Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Denon Heos 1 vs AIWA EXOS9




This is one of the review quickies.

This is a review that compares the DENON HEOS 1 to the AIWA EXOS 9


First off the specs of each are the following presented in a comparison table, where the differences are presented accordingly.


HEOS 1
AIWA EXOS 9
Connectivity (a/v)
Aux (3.5mm),
Aux (3.5mm)
Connectivity (Network)
RJ45, Dual band 802.11N wifi (2.4Ghz and 5Ghz)
Bluetooth/NFC/Linking with other ExOS9s
Software controllers
Android 2.3 or higher and Apple iOS app based controllers
No apps but managed with Bluetooth host
Speaker config and specs:
Dual “wide range” drivers
2x tweeters,2 x midrange, 1 6.5 in subwoofer
Speaker linking
Yes
Yes (bluetooth direct)
Night modes
No
No
Includes cables
Yes
Yes





Setup comparison (hardware/software)

Both home/on the go speakers are easy to setup and get the party going

They both had great cables included and plugged in fine to my A/V gear.

Here’s a table outlining my experience with setup and config of both units:


HEOS 1
AIWA EXOS 9
Ease of installing app
4/5 (app install was short)
N/A (bluetooth direct only
Wifi association
5/5 (worked the first time
N/A (bluetooth only)
Input selection
4/5
4/5
Music server/services
4/5 (worked great with both local and streaming, however some playlists were out of order on emby and serviio servers [DLNA], recognized very quickly though and work well)
N/A Works with Bluetooth only.
Control responsiveness (HW)
5/5 hardware buttons work well
3/5 touch buttons do not work consistently every time, sometimes executes wrong action
Control depth (audio)
2/5 lacks EQ, just bass bass/treble
4/5 Has 5 band EQ with presets





Sound quality:

Both speakers have pretty good sound quality. I’ve tested with several types of music. We’ve added the movie category as an “overall” rating and will not break down movie genres.

Here’s a rundown of the highs and lows of both units:


HEOS 1
AIWA EXOS 9
Music (all genres)
3.5/5
3.5
europop/dance
3/5
5/5
pop/rock
4/5
2/5
symphonic/heavy
3/5
4/5
trance/harddance
4/5
3/5
Movies
 4/5
 4/5





Overall Performance:

Both speakers have done relatively well as a whole, however I’ve presented the high and low points of both:


HEOS 1
AIWA EXOS 9
Connectivity perf (A/V)
4/5 Simple connectivity with aux jack, intermittent connectivity with WLAN.No Bluetooth
3/5  Solid aux but iffy Bluetooth connectivity.
Services
Works great with media servers (local and online)
N/A
Overall
3/5
4/5

Closing thoughts:

Both speakers sound decent. The Exos 9 has more of a “party speaker” signature and the HEOS1 has a more theater signature. Both cope with songs very differently. The thing I hope for with the Exos is that Aiwa adds an app and wifi which is better than using bluetooth, and to make firmware upgrades easier as well as providing access to streaming. Using both Exos units as linked makes for an interesting PC audio setup. They are currently mostly tied due to the connectivity features of the HEOS and the Pretty good sound quality of the Exos. If connectivity and multiroom is more important than sound get the HEOS. If big sound with simple setup is more important get the Exos. However the Exos had lag with pairing, and one unit's firmware would not update.


Overall the ratings for both are as follows:

Denon HEOS:  3.8/5
AIWA EXOS 9:  4/5



Friday, August 26, 2016

Ligowave NFT-3AC review



1)Intro
2)Features
3)Setup
4)Wireless configuration
5)Throughput tests (Wireless/Wired)
6)Closing Notes
Intro: The Ligowave NFT 3AC is an SMB  level wireless access point that is  somewhat affordable for small to medium businesses, has some decent features and can tolerate a a fair amount of usage.
Features: The Ligowave NFT 3AC features the following:
1) Dual band 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz operation with 3x3 MIMO connectivity at up to 1300Mbps
2) 2 wired Gigabit LAN ports
3) 4 3x3 mimo  x3dBi  dual band internal SMA antennas with 30dBm output power for great wireless coverage
4) SSIDs with configurable VLANs for each one providing more security then standard guest networks
5) VLAN configuration
6) Client connectivity details and monitoring.
7) Fixed and DHCP client address assignments
8) And  more
Setup:
1) Very easy and done locally. Cloud is available as well, however untested.
2) My setup went pretty smooth and it works fine over PoE   
Main status page:

Here’s the WLAN config screens:
Radio Settings:

Security Settings:

The Ligowave NFT 3AC supports WPA/WPA2 and supports PSK and Enterprise authentication types that can be different for each SSID. Selecting “Enterprise” allows you to use RADIUS Authentication, which allows you to define a username and password rather then a static key, allowing for more fine control over your wireless network. User based controls allow you to define limits PER USER so that if let’s say, they get fired, you just delete thier user account and not have to change the ENTIRE NETWORK’S encryption key.
Throughput Tests: (Wireless)
I will be using LAN Speed test for the throughput tests and PRTG to generate the graphs. It also is a comprehensive enterprise level network monitoring software and it can record uptime, transfer rates, errors, etc.
Test environment: (Set 1)
Specs of Building: This is going through about 32 ft through 2 walls, a solid all-wood dresser, and a chimney. The room has plaster walls in some places.
Specs of server :(my machine in the same room as theLigowave NFT 3AC): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: (remote machine in other room): AGNXAndrakon/AMD Phenom 9650/6GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/ASUS AC53 USB
5Ghz 802.11anac mode: Channel 36 -33dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 24Mbytes/sec or 192Mbits/sec

2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 1 -46dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 3Mbytes/sec or 24Mbits/sec

Test environment: (Set 2)
Specs of Building Test Run 1: 16Ft away thru a wood door hallway right outside the office where the Ligowave NFT 3AC is located.
Specs of server (my machine in the same room as theLigowave NFT 3AC): Intel i5 3570K/16GB Corsair XMS3 DDR3 1600 RAM/Nvidia Geforce 650Ti/Samsung 840 120GB SSD/Windows Server 2012 Standard/Realtek GBE NIC
Specs of client: HP2000-412NR/AMD E300/8GB DDR3 RAM/500GB SSHD /AMD RADEON 6310/Windows 7 x64 Home Premium/RalinkRT5390 WLAN
2.4 GHz 802.11n mode: Channel 1 -36dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 3Mbytes/sec or 24Mbits/sec

Same system New WLAN USB (Edimax AC600)
5.0Ghz 802.11ac mode channel 36 -29dBm
LAN speed test: 25 stream 6GB file: 6Mbytes/sec or 48Mbits/sec

Conclusion:
The Ligowave NFT 3AC Wireless Access Point is a decent cloud managed wireless access point. It has good 5Ghz connectivity, and a nice cloud managed UI.
Pros:
Ø Decent management software with an great amount of options
Ø CPU usage and quick stats at the top of every page
Ø Pretty solid 5Ghz throughput and stability
Ø Very easy to learn and use
Ø Cloud does not need license fees
Cons:

Ø Not enough mgmt controls (lacks QoS and firewall)
Rating:  8.5/10
Recommended: Yes