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D-Link DCH-M225 Wi-Fi Audio Extender

  • Music Streaming: From Smartphone to Connected Speaker
  • Wi-Fi Range Extender
  • Easy Setup: Connect to Existing Wi-Fi with WPS
  • QRS app support (iOS, Android)
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Learn more about the D-Link DCH-M225

General

Brand
D-Link
Model
DCH-M225

Spec

App-Enabled
QRS app support (iOS, Android)
Specifications
WPS Button
3.5mm audio jack

IEEE 802.11n/g/b

2.4GHz to 2.4835GHz

Two internal antennas

Security
Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2)
WEP 64/128-bit encryption
WPS

Power
Input: 110 to 125 V AC, 50/60 Hz
Features
Music Streaming - Stream your music from your smartphone to any connected speaker

Range Extender - Expand your Wi-Fi coverage for improved connectivity

Easy setup - Easily connect to existing Wi-Fi with WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup button)

Compact Size - It fits in the palm of your hand

Wi-Fi compatibility - Works with all Wi-Fi devices

Physical Specification

Dimensions
2.13" x 1.65" x 2.15"
Weight
0.18lb

Quick Info

Warranty

  • Limited Warranty period (parts): 1 year
  • Limited Warranty period (labor): 1 year


Customer Reviews of the D-Link DCH-M225

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4 out of 5 eggsGood idea, needs polishing

Pros: - Obviously the ability to listen to music anywhere is paramount. Otherwise, why buy this? :)
- Easy setup, even in manual mode (see other thoughts below)
- Nice exterior design
- Easy to read/follow instructions
- Had success playing music via various DNLA methods as well as Apple Airplay. All in all everything worked fine for me. I know some have had issues with Android. The app that seemed to work well for me was Streambels AirPlay Chrome DLNA on the Google Play store. Has a nice interface too. Be sure you select the DNLA connection though as it shows multiple ways to connect to it. DNLA was the most stable.

Cons: I would have given this 3 1/2 eggs if I could have and here is why.

First and most importantly: why in the world can't I disable the wireless extender function? I have multiple access points in my house with everything fine tuned and I don't need nor want this function as it only creates extra congestion on the already congested 2.4 GHz band. This should be a no brainer. If someone from DLINK reads this, please consider making this an option. Leaving it on by default is fine for most I suppose, but for those of us who require this option, please give it to us.

Secondly, and this isn't just a complaint to DLINK but to all manufactures out there: please please PLEASE include 5 GHz radios in your products. The 2.4 is congested and slower than that 5 GHz band. I get that for compatibility 2.4 is desired because not all users will have 5 GHz, but if we are to all adopt 5 GHz as we should, we really need to start including it in more and more devices.

Other Thoughts: Ok so here's a bit of instruction for those of you who are complaining about wireless extender speeds. Since this is what I do for a living (IT and wireless deployments), let me impart some wisdom.

2.4 GHz speeds at 20 mhz widths which is the standard is 150 megabit, not 300 megabit. It is POSSIBLE to achieve 300 Megabit on 2.4 with 40 mhz wide channel selections, however due to 2.4 ghz congestion and interference 20 mhz widths or 150 megabit is 99.9% of the time more desirable.

Now that that's out of the way, and we understand that 150 megabit is really what the device is connecting at, here's another thing you should be aware of: when speeds are advertised, pay close attention to the fine print. Because of overhead, interference, and a lot of other technical reasons, wireless connections tend to only achieve about 33% or 1/3 of advertised speeds. That means that a 300 megabit connection maximum expected speeds should be around 100 megabit and 150 megabit connection maximum expected speeds should be about 50 megabit.

Now some of you may be saying, "well hey now, I'm not even getting THAT with my DLINK device on the extender speeds." That is true. So here's the last piece of the puzzle. When you "extend" a wireless signal your speeds will be cut in half. So that 50 megabit that we had before turns into 25 megabit now (sound about right for the speeds you are getting?). This goes for ANY device that extends wireless. This is because now your extender device has to connect to the primary router or a nearby access point and then repeat that signal for you. This creates double the wireless overhead/traffic load.

I hope all of this makes sense. Don't blame DLINK for the poor wireless throughput for extending wireless connections. It's just plain, old radio signal physics. :)

I hope you now realize why before I suggested to DLINK to allow that feature to be turned off. It's much more advantageous to purchase a separate access point or router that has an access point mode (Asus routers do this) and plug it into a dedicated line so you don't have signal degradation. Wireless extenders really should only be used as a last resort.

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5 out of 5 eggsWorks Great ! D-Link Tech Support 5 Eggs

Pros: Small
Unobtrusive
Attractive
White NOT BLACK !!!!!
My wife thought it an air freshener
Toll Free tech support by great people
Default configuration data on unit
Wallet size configuration card

To save space in the other thoughts section I will write some here.

I was not able to use the audio extender feature of the M225. I have no doubt that it works but my tablet while some literature states it has DLNA, I wonder. I downloaded several apps and spent considerable time on the project. One needs powered speakers and a DLNA music app. I am disappointed that I could not make a go of it.

I was able to make the connection to my non-DLink router using the router's WPS button and following
the quick start prompts. It was as simple as pushing the router's WPS button then pushing the DCH-M225's
WPS button. The unit has a 3 color LED. Solid red while booting. Amber when not connected but
negotiating the connection and then Green for connected. The initial connection took only a couple minutes.

CONTINUED in OTHER THOUGHTS

Cons: Confirmed by tech support, Chrome incompatibility (at least on my rig).
Size of unit may block a wall outlet, dependent on what size plug you also want to plug in.
Unit's side WPS button. I pushed it several times while removing from outlet but it didn't seem to matter.
Only documentation included is the dreaded quick start guide. End user must download manual from website.
REALLY? Put a mini CD in the box...it would fit !

Other Thoughts: Where I ran into problems was using the web-based configuration utility in Chrome. The address provided
by DLink to log in is dlinkap.local. On initial login I was prompted to upgrade the firmware. After downloading and installing the update I again loaded dlinkap.local in Chrome.
I was not able to continue. I could not log in. No password is required. Chrome would take me nowhere.

DLink has toll free tech support. On my first call to support I talked with Carlos AR004279. He was patient
spoke and understood English quite well and as he told me was on the DCH-M225 dev team in some capacity the I can't
exactly recall. What is important, he knew the unit forward, backward, inside and out. After doing a reset (which must
be done while the unit is plugged in) we began to troubleshoot. Carlos suggested we try IE. Using IE I was able to log in. Carlos told me he was going to pass the Chrome issue along. Carlos suggested I stay online and we could do a few things. We set up my tablet then made sure I was indeed using the DCH-M225 as my connect point. Then Carlos suggested we might change the name and password for my convenience.
That was a nice touch...who wants to remember dfdfjjdfd-155sdaas if all you need to remember is dfd.

I had occasion to call tech support a second time and spoke with George (Jorge) AR0004202. My question was specific and George(Jorge) knew the answer. He was patient while I fumbled a bit.

There is a ton of bad tech support out there but I did not find any at D-Link Thanks Guys.

This unit is designed to do two things. First and foremost it is a WiFi extender. There are no dead spots in my home. I do have two areas with weak signal though. The library, uh hum,
and the upstairs. Once the DCH-M225 is set up it can be uplugged and placed anywhere without further configuration.
Upstairs while connected through the DCH-M225 I get a constant 300 Mbps with the unit only a few feet away. When
using my router signal the strength is variable from 90 Mbps to 160 Mbps. A marked improvement.

I spend a lot of time in my detached garage The WiFi out that far ~120 feet thru walls is to weak to be useful.
So if I have an internet question while working on a project
I have to come inside. Not easy when dirty. I plugged the DCH-M225 into the garage outlet. It did negotiate
the connection but lost it after a few seconds. To far, too many obstacles. If I had let it go at that ? But I didn't.
I plugged it into the upstairs bedroom; closer with fewer signal obstacles and was very happy to get 45 Mbps on my laptop
and 13 Mbps on my tablet. The word is experiment.

The DCH-M225 is a great product backed by 1st class support. I recommend it without reservation.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

3 out of 5 eggsSort of works…

Pros: Very good sound quality. Easy to set up. Will indeed stream MP3s from your phone to a remote speaker.

Cons: For years I've wished for a way to control a whole-home sound system from any room, and I thought this was finally it. Real close, but not quite. I did learn that DLNA is a good way to spend many hours of your life fruitlessly. Dozens of programs and apps, most of which don't seem to work. This is probably an area where the Apple ecosystem shines (perhaps that's why this device is shiny white), though I wasn't able to test this. But in the android and PC world, incompatibility and frustration abounds.

Theoretically, DLNA should allow me to control a music player on my PC with an android app, and stream the music to the D-Link DCH-M225, but it just wouldn't work. I finally called D-Link tech support, and after being switched between three departments, finally their crack team of "new product" specialists informed me that this device can't do that. In fact, it turns out they were wrong, and I eventually was able to stream music from my PC using either Windows Media Player or MediaMonkey – with one problem. DLNA can only play a file, not a folder, so you must direct it to a playlist. Except that DLNA can't handle a playlist with more than 200 to 300 songs. So if you want to play your entire library, sorry.

So the closest I came to my dream system was to load up my phone with as much music as it can hold, and stream from it. This isn't ideal – the phone only holds 32 gigs, and streaming music over Wi-Fi will quickly exhaust the battery – but hey, there was some success.

Another reviewer seemed to be able to use the M225 to stream Internet radio, but I have no idea how.

Other Thoughts: There are other ways to approach this problem – various apps that can move music between smart phones and PCs in various ways. For me, the M225 offered no real advantage to these other (often free) solutions. And as has been noted, it's abilities as a Wi-Fi extender are limited at best.

Did you find this review helpful? Yes No

4 out of 5 eggsAll in one box, wifi extender plus music e

Pros: Compatibility with my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and other android phones.
Easy to configure right out of the box
Software is easy to use
User interface (web) is simple and NOT too complex
Small and compact form factor
Quality material / plastic construction
Fits right onto the wall plug
It remembers my wifi signal and password even after unplugging it over and over again.
Pricing not too steep for this type of device
I like that it has a 3.5" mm headphone jack so I could plug into speakers.
Audio quality was good, I didn't feel like it lost any sound quality at all.

Cons: I wish it had a small USB port to charge my MP3 player. I had an older SanDisk MP3 player laying around, which I used to test, and the SanDisk has a USB head for charging and playing rather than using all WiFi only devices.

Although it's great for streaming music wirelessly, the WiFi extension part of it was a little lacking. Some times, when I connected onto the D-Link WiFi extender, my signal was less than when it connected directly into my router...and I had the plug right next to my computer.

When connected to the D-Link WiFi extender, I had a hard time connecting to my NAS and playing HD movies. I was able to do music fine but HD content was stuttering.

Just like some other bluetooth speakers out there; there is a 1 second lag between where the music is played on my phone (or PC) and what is being heard from my speakers.

Other Thoughts: After getting the D-Link extender all set up with my wifi, these were the setups that I had tested.

The first setup was simple: play music from my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 while having the D-Link extender hooked up to my older receiver (Sony 5.1 Stereo receiver). This worked out really well. No flaws at all and no stuttering.

The second setup was very similar, except that playing the music was from my laptop instead of my Galaxy Note 3...this setup was also flawless since everything was on the same network.

Of course, if you had other smaller speaker setups, you could plug that instead of plugging it onto a big receiver like I did...

After those setups, I have to say that I love this D-Link extender...as a music extender to my receiver...as for the WiFi extending capabilities, I think there's more work that can be done there from D-Link. It was more of a miss than a hit for the WiFi extending capabilities. I have a lot of devices connected to my network (11 devices) and that may be one of the issues, but who knows?

As for my recommendation: if you need a great performing music extender, this one is for you. I would highly recommend it.

It is high quality, small and compact, it remembers the wifi password without having to re-enter it every time you unplug it and the quality is loss-less.

If you want a wifi extender, it works but doesn't justify the pricing for it. I find that the wifi extending capabilities are another "perk" you get for getting a music extender.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

3 out of 5 eggsGreat Music Streaming for Phones

Pros: My main concern with this product was sound quality. Fortunately there didn't seem to be any degradation of the sound quality, even when I started to get near the far range of the Wi-Fi signal. The device streams data fast enough for any kind of music, even very high bit rate.
Easy to use and configure. WPS button on the side for easy integration into your existing wireless network.
Compatible with iOS and Android.
I was able to use Airplay with my iPhone. I've never used it before so it was a bit confusing at first. But it's actually quite simple, especially if you're using a phone. You just use your Wi-Fi to connect to it and in iTunes you enable Airplay. Then your music will automatically stream to whatever speaker you have hooked up to the D Link. I was able to control the volume using my iPhone like you would under ordinary conditions. I read in another review that somebody wasn't able to do that. Of course, it helps to be able to control volume on the speakers you've got connected.
One very nice feature with this device is it's easily portable. Small enough to fit in your pocket.
Another nice bonus is the default password is on the bottom, but, it's nearly impossible to read if it's plugged in. However, you can plug and unplug it as much as you want and it remembers your settings.

Cons: This device is rated for 300 Mb/sec. But I didn't get anywhere near that. I however didn't bother to update the firmware, I understand there is an update, but since it did what I wanted I didn't see the need. The range is rated for 300 feet but I was lucky to get 50 feet. Maybe if you were outside you would get more range, but indoors the range isn't that great. You're supposed to be able to use it as a range extender, but the bandwidth is so poor it's almost useless for anything but streaming music.
I also had trouble detecting it with my phone if I was within 15 feet of my router. I got this hoping it would work with my iPod Touch Gen 4, which I did read somewhere that it was compatible, but it wasn't. It's only compatible with Gen 5 touches and iOS 6.3 or newer.
This device uses a 1/8 inch jack as an audio output. Which I guess is ok since any device you would hook up to your phone would need that jack, but it would be nice to have some other options. You could use adapters to get the 1/8 inch jack converted to red and white RCA plugs for stereo sound. With the use of adapters you could eventually get it to work with virtually any kind of plug you could imagine.
All the advertised features work, but aside from the music streaming, not very well. So it really is overpriced at this time. Unless they can provide a firmware update that enables it to transmit data at the full 300 Mb/sec bandwidth. Then it would be worth the cost.

Other Thoughts: The D Link audio extender is great for streaming audio, but not much else. And unless you're using a phone, you're stuck exchanging your internet access for audio streaming capability. There are a lot of other options out there for range extenders that work a lot better and plenty of routers that have apps that allow you to stream via your home network. But for a very basic audio streaming option, this isn't a bad choice. Mainly for a select group of people, not something I would recommend for everybody. Basic and inexperienced users would probably find this device useful.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

3 out of 5 eggsInteresting Idea but Mediocre Performance

Pros: Uses a very pleasant and simple web interface to change your settings for the device.
Uses DHCP by default but can also manually set the IP address settings.
Firmware upgrade process was very simple and straightforward.
Features a section to view usage statistics on the network

Streaming music to the device was simple and seemed to work decent as the songs changed quickly and sounded good. Despite having the option for it, I was not able to change the volume of the music being played from my phone as the speakers I used don’t have volume control on them.

Uses a randomly generated password by default which is much more secure than having the same for every device they sell. Comes with a cool Wi-Fi configuration card where you can write your settings down neatly like your password and SSID. I don’t personally need this but I can think of a lot of people who could use this. Also comes with a sticker with all of the devices configuration info on it. Settings are listed in three places, the device itself, the included sticker and the configuration card.

Here are some benchmarks of its wireless performance (Device was 15 feet away from my router):

Laptop @ 5 Feet
• Signal Strength: -25 dBm
• Server (100MB File Transfer): Read = 2.052 MB/s, Write = 1.906 MB/s
• Internet Speed Test: Ping = 15 ms, Read = 15.17 Mbps, Write = 5.27 Mbps

Power Consumption:
• Idle: 1.4 Watts
• Load: 2.2 Watts (Speed Test over Wi-Fi)

Cons: After performing the firmware update the device would not let me log in as others have noted. The only fix was a factory reset which is done by holding the reset button for 10 seconds while the device is powered on.

Pausing music while streaming just froze my music player and I couldn’t do anything with it unless I closed the app and reopened it.

Laptop @ 50 Feet (Barely useable at this distance)
• Signal Strength: -65 dBm
• Server (100MB File Transfer): Read = 0.095 MB/s, Write = 0.1704 MB/s
• Internet Speed Test: Ping = 15 ms, Read = 1.00 Mbps, Write = 1.18 Mbps

If you look at the statistics page for the device while it’s in use the internet speeds are horrible (Most likely due to its processor not being good enough of handle processing both concurrently).

Other Thoughts: In the end this device is not ideal as a range extender as the performance isn’t that great up close and just gets worse the farther away you get. This is a disappointment because a cheap Wireless-N router will noticeably beat this as a range extender in every test I conducted. As an audio extender it seems to work fine granted I don’t see a use for this functionality but I’m sure someone else does.

Server and Internet Speed Full Capacity: Wired Connection (1000 Mbps)
• Server (100MB File Transfer): Read = 113.53 MB/s, Write = 102.87 MB/s
• Internet Speed Test: Ping =16 ms, Read = 112.82 Mbps, Write = 5.85 Mbps

*All tests were conducted three times to ensure accuracy and repeatability of results.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

4 out of 5 eggsConfused Identity

Pros: A decent wireless cloning repeater. Or, a decent media bridge for any DLNA source and client.

Small and can be used in any outlet. No bigger than some of those stink-hider products that plug into a wall outlet.

Simple and very portable once configured.

Cons: If cloning a wireless AP, this can create a dead zone when source signal and repeated signals are equal strength. When I changed the name and channel, I had better coverage than when in clone mode.

In order for this device to be both a repeater and media bridge, you will have to be one of the rare people who want their music player to be somewhere in between the furthest extended wireless requirement. By its usage nature, the person wanting extended wireless will place this device in zone already covered with wireless, so the need for a media bridge there is probably already satisfied, e.g., you can hook your phone to the speaker and play your music already. The reality for most people, self included, is that the wireless coverage does not extend to the zone where media playback is desired, and placing this device in proximity to the speaker just makes it another wireless device that can't pick up enough signal to have a reliable stream transport.

Other Thoughts: This is a decent 4-egg brand name repeater. Or it is an overpriced media bridge. Don't waste your time or effort trying to make it both.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

2 out of 5 eggsSolid Music Streamer, Nothing More.

Pros: + This is a decent way to stream music to older legacy speakers/receivers that don't have a proper digital connection option. Remember, you plug your speaker into the unit, not your phone or media player.

+ Plays equally well with DLNA and Airplay. Also has QRS app support on iOS and Android.

+ Remembers your settings even if you unplug it.

+ Music quality through Spotify, Sony Unlimited, Prime Music, iTunes, and PC network offered no perceptible quality loss from the streaming.

Cons: - As a wi-fi extender this is pretty terrible and my main concern with this unit since it's advertised. (I have 100MBps down, 50MBps up cable) The signal is too weak, too short to be considered viable for much of anything besides music streaming. It was so unstable I couldn't even stream videos while connected to it and about 15-25 feet away. Due to this I won't even list data rates as it was that unstable and unreliable from a practical standpoint.

While YMMV, I don't suspect it will too greatly since it seems to be a common theme with it being a poor wi-fi extender. In fact, it never literally extended my wi-fi signal to a greater range than the router itself or of a better quality over 10 feet away from the unit itself. The signal degraded to such an extent at such short distances that it was equal to my router at the fringe, except the router was farther away.

- A bit bulky. Given the reality that it is very likely to share an outlet with a powered speaker, this can be quite the annoyance, especially if that speaker isn't a straight, two prong plug. It's just barely big enough to present problems depending on your outlet setup. For instance, I couldn't even connect a tiny Samsung USB charger next to it.

- There's a 2-5 second input delay when changing playlists, hitting the next button, etc. Not a huge issue but worth noting.

- ONLY works with DLNA or Airplay supported devices/apps. Which encompasses a good fair bit but still worth noting.

- WPS seems hit or miss. Very hard to reliably connect through IP Browser at times as well. But once a stable connection is created, it stays connected.

- I tested this at three different households and one has a modem/router combo that the Cable company says you cannot hook up another router to. It seems this qualifies as I could not, through any means, make it work with that setup.

- I contacted D-Link about a variety of problems and I haven't received any personal response besides canned, non-helpful responses. Disappointing.

Other Thoughts: Since it's been 10 days and with no real meaningful communication through D-Link I don't know if my unit is defective or if the device is really this finicky.

If you need a music streamer for a very specific setup AND short distances this will likely suit your needs. If you also want a reliable, moderate data friendly wi-fi extender or anything more, look elsewhere.

It's also worth noting is that given the nature of this product there is no power saving modes, which makes perfect sense, but if that matters be aware that it pulls 1-10 watts depending on what it's doing, 5 Watt average.

I was torn between giving this two or three eggs but I went with two largely because of the unusually poor customer service from D-Link and the fact that this is also advertised as a wi-fi extender. If this didn't include wi-fi extender as a feature and was ONLY touted as an audio streamer, it'd easily be a 3 or 4 egg device.

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5 out of 5 eggsSimple and effective

Pros: truly extended range for audio,all Audio kept the sound sprectrum

Cons: I had a few problems with channels not working well but is that really a problem when you can just choose another channel? Answer is no.

Other Thoughts: I used this strictly for audio streaming from Android,apple and even windows mobile after finding compatible software and was able to use it through "Boom Box" or my stereo from any room in the house and then for fun I decided to try it out in the back yard from far office in house and the only hitch is for that distance I had to use channel 2 and was great not having my phone in the sun. I must say I was not expecting much out of this as far as an extension but it did well as I /my kids can now roam w/o blotchy audio and my youngest daughter is already attempting a full takeover of this product and she will probably win.
Read the directions and relax and you will be extending your music in no time.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

4 out of 5 eggsPretty Slick - I'm diggin it

Pros: Wifi Range Extender AND a Wifi Streamer!
WHAT!
IOS & Android Capable
Competitive pricing to performance ratio

Cons: - Only problem that I had with this bad boy is depending on the Wifi security type (WEP....) it can seem to be a bit problematic with dropping connection sometimes, but this could also be related to interfering signals in my area...
-Initial setup could have been a little more intuitive for the not-so-savy tech user. But what can you do?

- You may need to change the wireless channel you are broadcasting on if you are using it as an extender. I was only able to get it to pick up the signal using channels 2, 4, 7 & 11. But again this may be specific to my network / locale.

Other Thoughts: I would recommend using this for personal use around the house.

Flash the firmware.

0 out of 1 people found this review helpful. Did you? Yes No

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