Gramofon is claimed to make it easy to stream music over the cloud to any audio system you own, from portables to hi-fi separates. Plug the little black box into your system, connect it to the Wi-Fi network in your home and get streaming from any Wi-Fi-enabled device – smartphone, tablet, PC or Mac. Gramofon is made by Fon: creator of the world’s largest Wi-Fi network, with more than 14 million hotspots. The device was first revealed in 2014 as a Kickstarter project, subsequently launching as a companion to the Spotify Premium music streaming service. Fon’s Wi-Fi know-how and the integration of Spotify Connect enabled the creation of a simple and affordable audio streaming device, ideal for Spotify users wanting to stream music to their existing audio systems.
Now, Gramofon is evolving. A major software update has brought Qualcomm’s AllPlay platform to the party, opening up a raft of additional services and facilities. In addition to Spotify Premium, Gramofon now supports all the other music-streaming services on the AllPlay platform, including Napster, Rhapsody, TuneIn, Aupeo, doubleTwist and Soma FM. More services will be added to AllPlay over time, and each will be compatible with the Gramofon – the likes of Tidal, SoundCloud and iHeart Radio are all coming soon.
AllPlay isn’t just about streaming music via cloud-based services; it enables you to play music stored locally on your smartphone, tablet or computer, too. It also adds multi-room functionality – if you have several audio systems around your home, simply connect a Gramofon to each one, and add them to your Wi-Fi network. Via the AllPlay app, you can choose to play music in just one room, or different music in several rooms, or synchronise your Gramofons so they all play the same thing. AllPlay via Gramofon offers a more flexible and collaborative approach – you’re not locked into one hardware brand or software interface, and friends can join your network when they visit and stream music from their own devices. AllPlay is essentially future-proof, too – as more functionality is added to the AllPlay platform, every Gramofon will automatically update its firmware to match. Gramofon also serves as a Wi-Fi extender, all for just €59 (around £43 at the current rate of exchange) with free shipping, via www.gramofon.com.