Mint Studio hands-on and impressions
It's the wireless capabilities that are the real selling point here though, and on that front the Mint Studio mostly lives up to its (admittedly modest) aims. The biggest downside is that the system is strictly one-way, meaning that you can stream music to up to three systems from your computer, but you can't actually control iTunes or other music applications with the Mint's remote. You also can't stream different music to different Mint Studios from your computer, nor can you stream music from an iPod on one Mint Studio to another Mint Studio.
The good news, however, is that it's relatively cheap ($129 for the system and a wireless transmitter, plus $99 for each additional system), and it works as promised with virtually no setup required. Setup actually turned out to be easiest in Windows (XP in our case), where the USB transmitter was immediately recognized as an audio device, although things aren't much more difficult on a Mac, where you just have to go into system preferences once to select the transmitter as your audio device (after which it's recognized each time you plug it in). In both cases, however, the transmitter acts as your computer's sole audio device, meaning you can't use your speakers or headphones without first removing the transmitter, which could be particularly annoying for those with a desktop under their desk. Most importantly, however, we had no problems with the Mint Studio when it came to interference or drop outs, and that includes whether we were simply streaming to a dock across the room or to multiple docks upstairs and downstairs.
So, while it's not exactly punching it out with the heavyweights in multi-room audio, the Mint Studio does certainly hold its own with many similarly-priced iPod docks out there, and it gives you a little extra functionality that most of those don't -- which is never a bad thing. Check out the gallery above for a closer look.