Sound quality from the ICS was excellent. The GXR2 features one of the strongest amps I've heard in an integrated audio distribution system. With its 60 watts per channel, I never wanted for power - even out by my pool, where I actually worried that I might be bothering the neighbors. More than just loud, the sound from my in-ceiling speakers had punch and depth.
Beyond the basic bass, treble, and balance adjustments for each zone, you get some nice extras, such as separate sleep timers and alarm clocks. Doze off to classical music on XM and wake to Howard Stern on Sirius. Add a Niles DBI-1 interface ($270) and you can have paging/doorbell throughout your system as well.
BOTTOM LINE Niles did its homework with the IntelliControl ICS multiroom audio system, delivering a system big on features and performance without a bank-breaking sticker. Though it allows only six sources, they're the ones you'll need most. And the ease and affordability of adding an iPod means your portable music player could readily function as your home music server.
Best of all, Niles has set a new control standard with the iRemote controller. It offers such freedom and flexibility, no ICS system should be without at least one.
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