Wireless; easy to set up
Dock and one speaker $250; Extra lamps $110 each; Subwoofer $149
We’ve reviewed all sorts of iPhone/ iPod speaker docks, so it’s nice to see someone bring something different to the speaker dock game. The Scott Luminor system takes something you probably have in every room in your house – light fittings hanging from the ceiling – and makes them part of your sound system.
The Scott Luminor consists of a simple docking device that wirelessly communicates with remote speakers. What makes this different is that the speakers are combined with an LED lamp. The entire assembly is screwed into a light fitting with an E27 screw-in socket. This is the larger of the two most common screw-in fixtures for light bulbs.
The base station has several audio inputs. As well as the iPhone/iPod dock, there’s an SD/MMC card slot, USB port and 3.5mm connectors. Switching between each of the sources was straightforward.
The base station comes with several adaptor plates, like the ones Apple used to ship with the iPod, so that the dock port creates a snug connection for your iDevice.
We loaded a selection of MP3 files onto different media and devices and toggled between each using the supplied remote control.
There’s also an RCA video output so that you can output a video from your iPod or iPhone to a TV or projector and have the audio directed to the Luminor lamps. Although RCA is a nifty feature, it’s limited in the quality it can transmit and we’re not sure if anyone would use it in the real world.
The remote control is very easy to use. Unlike some other devices we’ve seen, it is specifically designed for the Luminor base station. There’s a separate button for each different input, so switching is easy, plus a play/pause button as well as track skipping and volume controls. One thing we’d have liked was the ability to turn our iPhone’s screen on to see the track details using the remote.
The Scott Luminor transmits using the open 2.4GHz frequency range. Scott claims a range of up to 30m depending on walls, windows and ambient interference from other devices.
We used the Scott Luminor in a large room with vaulted ceilings where the light fitting were about 3m from ground level and several metres from the base station. We didn’t experience any dropouts or loss of sound quality.
With that range, it’s possible to send music to multiple rooms easily. A single speaker hanging over a dinner table would be a subtle way of adding some meal-time tunes.
With speaker systems it all comes down to sound quality. The Scott Luminor is passable but not brilliant. The bass was quite weak, even with the ‘SW Bass’ turned on. We’d consider fitting this to a kid’s bedroom but not as part of our main home sound system.
There is an optional subwoofer that can be connected wirelessly and that might rectify that shortcoming, although we weren’t able to test it. Scott says that the globes are rated for 30,000 hours.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice.
The lamp surrounding the speakers uses LEDs. We’d expect that you’d need at least a couple to adequately illuminate the typical lounge- room. That would work, as the base station can connect with up to eight globes and a subwoofer.
It’s worth noting that, although LEDs are typically more energy efficient than normal incandescent globes, the Luminor devices consume some power even when the lights are out as the wireless is on stand-by.