Network Complete System of Philips MCi 900

The new complete system Philips MCi900 (1000 euros) with the idiosyncratic SoundSphere speakers wants to combine comfortable network with real HiFi.

Bet, you have one at home? A Philips. Maybe the light bulb in the night light, the batteries in the remote control, the electric toothbrush or a blender? Hardly any other brand is globally present in the household. Even if outside, not the well-known Philips logo emblazoned, drives, semiconductor (by NXP’s daughter) or other inventions from the bustling home stuck in many CD – and DVD players of the world. Not to mention the audio CD itself, the DVD or the Blu-ray disc.

In the beginning was Streamium

Also at the HiFi network, Philips was setting the early tone. In a time in which most HiFi manufacturers regarded the computer as the arch-enemy of good music and used only for data processing, the Dutch made already busy connecting the entertainment with information technology.

in 2002, Philips brought out the first micro HiFi system in the world with Ethernet access, in the style of a dolled up Ghettoblaster played music from various Internet music services and MP3 files from the PC. The nickname of the MCi200 – Streamium – featured from now on any network-enabled device that she left the production halls.

A pity that the intelligent Streamium HiFi friends enjoyed no have reputation. Quietschen stained too often the optics, to generally sound. Perhaps the network products of their time were also too far ahead. 2004 Philips turned to new development areas, and the former network Department was separated as a service provider under the name “Stream Unlimited”. There, a wide variety of platforms for audio and video streaming are produced since – also for Philips.

So, also the latest Streamium prank from Eindhoven got there tailored, the complete system MCi900, its network talents. Great advertised this but couldn’t get Philips. OK, it’s a plant that can communicate via Ethernet or wirelessly with any local network and the Internet. And while so uncomplicated, that after plugging in the network cable the proud owner must confirm only the one by one the following steps with the touch of a button on the clearly arranged remote control to connect to the router is.

These instructions by the way, not on a monochrome omen matrix display, but on a full-shade Crystal, with sufficient font size, will be presented him to perform the initialization operation of bed or sofa. Also, this screen can string together existing server in a slide show photos from a network and show also the matching cover to the music. This requires only an enabled UPnP server and (tagged) music file equipped correctly with all information. The Philips times should refuse a cover, it is usually not even the Streamium, it’s the server software, some formats such as FLAC with images not much to start the white.

Who has no server or investigations his digital music collection has only been on the PC, but reluctant to want to use this as a power-guzzling song suppliers, simply grabs the in enclosed with the included USB disk with a 160 Gigabyte capacity, it copied its library and connect it to the USB port of the Philips. Then the MCi900 mess a kind of map of all data, white images indistinguishable from music, and offers quick access to the digital resources from now on with the button “HDD”. Thanks to this solution, Philips will equal two birds with one stone: first an external USB disk is not obsolete, it can be faster and more comfortable exchange as an internal hard disc. And secondly to deal so the unpleasant conditions of the music industry, which locks every access to digital music on firmly installed hard drives. The en is entirely responsible for the content of the USB disk, the MCi900 plays just good (as long as no DRM) and no questions.

Conspicuously well

Of course, an element of the classical music server eliminates: independently ribs is not able of Philips. Those who opt for the Streamium model must have turned ever a CD on the computer in music files. However, there is a drive for audio CDs and even DVDs will play back. And contents even via HDMI to the now mandatory HD resolution of 1080 pixels in fullscreen calculated on. And yet, despite these whole capabilities: Philips one has touted the Streamium MCi900, with emphasis on quite different talents. Because this time, the engineers in the head have set themselves sound again to set standards. Instead of above the page to make the same compact Boexchen the idiosyncratically shaped main unit to drive down and switching power amplifiers, you tinkering around busy the past seven years on a fancier concept.

The acoustic Department in Belgium dreamed of the perfect two-way box with Hi – point sound source. The project “SoundSphere” took its course – and culminating ready in the unusual Philips boxes with a radiating diagonally upwards means low-frequency Woofer and a Silk dome tightsr floating about now. The woofer is not only for optical reasons in a housing made of extruded aluminium: the selected material to allow for an optimal wave propagation inside the housing – and despite compact dimensions produce much bass volume.

Alone for the bold exterior is due to Philips respect – and just right for the consistent implementation of the difficult concept. Who visually less wants to have the nerve, the woofers with matching coverage can take the form of curious; the tweeter but is still on the gooseneck as a nostalgic microphone. You must like that, as well as the more discreet bass (despite aluminum housing) and the modest level of strength.

Anything but amazed with its successful harmony: the appealing timing as well as the small, but very homogeneous stereo image. Although an active speaker as the EPOZ AktiMate Maxi can (AUDIO 06/10) alone due to their volume rebuild much more fundamental and penetrate deeper and also loud in the room. It allows the SoundSphere, to hold the music with a playful elegance, not to divide them in low and high frequencies, but to serve as a natural, coherent unit. Perhaps the Philips sound-point solution is almost already oversized good not the perfect box, but for a complete system. And who listens to her some time, succumbs to her charm soon. Along with the successful player (which dominates almost all network capabilities except for seamless playback of contiguous pieces of music and the missing fast forward), thoughtful service, and fancy design, the MCi900 is undoubtedly the best Streamium package.


Philips reports back in the Hi-Fi world. With a real HiFi Streamium system: Unusual technology, daring design, new material. And yet with the proven virtues of the network, the customers never stumped or confused to leave, but entry and orientation in the world of music network make it as easy as possible. This is clearly the way to go.


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