Audiocast wifi dongle for audio systems - a brief day one review

Jul 20, 2001
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I have an older stereo system with no wifi capability. I wanted to stream music to the system from a Windows PC/iPad/iPhone/Fire tablet and I wanted to do it on the cheap. I'm trying out the Audiocast (Riversong) wifi dongle available for $30 on Amazon. The device supports Airplay and other protocols.

The device is a little black puck about two inches across that has 1/8" mini-jack out and a USB power cord in. It has a WPS button, a scannable QR code, and a blue LED status light. It comes with a stereo cord and a USB cord but no power plug. I connected the 1/8" cord to an RCA adapter and into the stereo.

There are multiple ways to setup the device for a network. One method is that the device has a built-in router/server so I opted to set it up by logging into the device's web interface from a PC. The device recognized my router so I was able to easily enter the network key. One minor annoyance is that the device's MAC address is not available through the web interface (apparantely it is available through the companion app for IOS and Android) so I had to turn off MAC authentication on my router, let the device attach, read the MAC address, and then restart MAC authentication.

If the device is connected to the stereo, it will announce over the stereo when it successfully connects to the wifi network.

Once on the network, IOS devices and iTunes on the PC will recognize it as an Airplay speaker. According to the Amazon description, the device doesn't support Airplay 2 but it played just fine.

To use it with other Windows programs, I downloaded the AirFoil program. With this program I can stream audio from any Windows program including Audacity and VLC. One note on using it with Audacity is that the device buffers a few seconds of audio so there is a time mismatch between what Audacity is doing and the audio output.

For the Fire tablet, I downloaded the app from the manufacturer's website as it isn't available in Amazon's app store. To do so, I had to go into settings and allow the tablet to install unknown apps. The app works well, finding my music and the speaker without issue. I ended up uninstalling the app anyway (see the ugly below).

That was all the good stuff. Now the bad and the ugly.
The bad: the device times out after a few hours of non-use and has to be unplugged and plugged back in to re-establish it's connection. Not a horrible thing but it is an issue. Turns out that the problem is with Windows, not the device.

The ugly: The device calls home (China) a lot, as in several times per minute. An Amazon reviewer mentioned this so I was watching for it. I went into the router settings and blocked the device from communicating outside of my LAN and so that issue is resolved.

Overall the device works as advertised.
 
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