Your Music from Everywhere
As part of the mydlink Home series of offerings, D-Link has released its DCH-M225 product. This particular device combines Wi-Fi extender capabilities with Music Everywhere technology whereby you can stream music from a smartphone, tablet or computer to various speakers via a connection to an AUX socket. There is support for Windows and Mac computers plus Android and iOS mobile devices.
Considering the dual nature of this device (audio streaming and Wi-Fi extending), its appearance is extremely understated. It could easily be mistaken for a slightly bulky white 3-pin power plug with dimensions of 65 x 55 x 42mm (D x H x W). These measurements do not include the 3-pin element as it will be concealed inside whichever mains socket it will be seated in order to receive the power it needs to operate.
On closer examination, the device does reveal a 3.5mm jack socket and a small button labelled WPS for linking the product to a Wi-Fi router. As for the jack socket, I will return to its presence a little later although I will take the opportunity to mention that a 150cm audio lead, with 3.5mm jack plugs at each end, is included are part of the package. While you could site this device anywhere to deal with possible dead spots within the home network, some care, as I will indicate later, needs to be taken as to the positioning of the device in order to gain its full benefits.
Setting up this product does require an initial download to a mobile device of the QRS app from either the App or Play Store. QR codes are provided in the Quick Installation Guide to save you the bother of searching for the app on the relevant store for your device. Prior to using this app you will need to link your mobile device to the D-Link product using the supplied SSID and password.
A set-up wizard in QRS Mobile will then search for and identify available networks including the home network which needs to be selected. Once the relevant password has been entered, a link will be set up between the D-Link device and the home network. An option is available to change the default password used by the D-Link password. You will be shown a summary of the decisions taken and various settings. This summary can be saved.
For the product’s extender capability, the D-Link DCH-M225 performance is fine. Once it is plugged in, you can forget about it. It can offer to handle wireless speeds of up to 300 Mbps which, while not the fastest, should be acceptable for most tasks.
Available alongside the wireless extension feature, this device can also be used to stream music which explains the Music Everywhere facility which is heavily promoted on the product’s packaging and also the presence of that jack socket and audio lead mentioned earlier. Put together the jack socket and lead allow you to stream music not just over your home network but also using speakers that do not have access to their own built-in wireless capabilities.
While the extension feature is straightforward, the same can not be said of the music streaming capability which is slightly more involved. When streaming music to a standalone speaker or a non-wireless older type audio system, there needs to be a physical connection which is where the supplied lead comes into play. One end of the lead slots into the socket on the D-Link device while the other jack plug needs to be attached to the speaker via the AUX connection. This physical linkage does mean that the DCH-M225 and the speaker have to be reasonable close together which could effect the positioning of the D-Link device.
When using this device to stream music to different speakers, you need to ensure that the source (smartphone or tablet) is on the same network as the D-Link device. It was noticeable that when repositioning the Music Everywhere device in another room on another power socket then there would be a delay while the D-Link device rebooted itself.
Different delivery systems were required when using my main computer or mobile device as the source. In the case of the main computer, the streaming was instigated by Windows Media Player with the Play To DCH-M255 option selected. When using a smartphone as the music source then the streaming was carried out by the DLNA app iMediaShare.
When it worked, the music streaming was of an acceptable standard but the occasional failures were frustrating. It was also noticeable that when repositioning the D-Link product to another location, there would be a delay of at least a couple of minutes before the smartphone could identify its network and make a connection. Currently Amazon.co.uk is listing this product at £36.74.
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