Network Media Players

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Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 28, 2019  |  0 comments
The BluOS multi-room range has a new all-in-one system and it’s a total stormer
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2019  |  0 comments
The unassuming mini music streamer that takes a different approach to most
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 21, 2019  |  0 comments
The compact networked music player that boasts an impressive spec at an attractive price
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Auralic’s Vega G1 streaming DAC builds on the success of its Aries transport series, but there’s a twist
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 14, 2019  |  0 comments
Next-gen digital hub that wowed Bristol Hi-Fi Show now available
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Jun 12, 2019  |  0 comments
Known for its playback software, Volumio’s first standalone networked music management tool impresses
Hi-Fi Choice  |  May 16, 2019  |  0 comments
As the most affordable model in Naim's latest standalone network music player series, the ND5 XS 2 may have a minimalist aesthetic, but what it offers is anything but...
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
Since the demise of the iPod Classic and the rise of the smartphone as the portable audio device of choice for the majority of users, the digital audio player market has struggled to flourish. This hasn’t stopped some specialists from carving out a niche, though, and Astell&Kern has been offering a considerable range of high-end players for some time. With an eye on keeping things in the real world, the A&norma SR15 is at A&K’s more affordable end of its extensive product range and is £100 more than the AK70 (HFC 428) that’s more recently been updated to mkII. The specification of the SR15 improves on the AK70 mkII and it’s fitted with 64GB of internal memory, which is supplemented by the inclusion of a microSD card slot for a card up to 400GB.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 03, 2019  |  0 comments
As last month’s Group Test of entry-level network audio players showed, the streaming sector is hotting up with a wide selection of easy-to-use players to choose from at some very attractive prices. As if to further demonstrate the growth in the market, Yamaha has introduced its keenly priced MusicCast NP-S303 music streamer that’s designed to be an easy network audio add on to an existing hi-fi setup, or to partner with its matching full-size integrated amplifiers as part of a unified system.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Feb 01, 2019  |  0 comments
Our recent Group Test of entry-level network music players (HFC 442) showed there are some very impressive low-cost models to help you get started in streaming, but Google perhaps offers the bargain of the lot. It has a growing range using its own Cast streaming platform and for £70, the Chromecast Ultra supports video, but we’re more interested in the Chromecast Audio at just £30.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 22, 2018  |  0 comments
With streaming music readily available at our finger tips, it’s sometimes difficult to fathom the best way of combining digital media libraries into one central location to achieve the same effortless tap-to-play scenario that brings together all our digital music. I am sure plenty of us have spent enough time grappling with network-attached storage hardware and CD-ripping software to know that there has to be a more elegant way of cataloguing our music libraries.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Nov 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Eagle-eyed readers will recognise the form of the Auralic Aries G1 from our review in the January issue of its high-end Aries G2 sibling at £3,899. Understandably the G1 sacrifices some of the features of the flagship model to come in at less than half the price. The principle is the same, though, and this is a streaming transport that focuses on the business of accessing your digital music files on a home or external server and presenting them to an outboard DAC via its digital output connectivity.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Oct 08, 2018  |  0 comments
Looking at the latest CXN network streamer/digital preamp/DAC, nothing has changed cosmetically from the original and between us and the barcode label on the carton, no one else will have a clue that this is the updated version. In matters of hiding your brighter light under the same bushel, the CXN V2, with its enhanced usability and slicker streaming properties, looks very Cambridge Audio and pretty much foolproof.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  0 comments
In the world of networked audio, a seamless user experience to back up the solid performance is key to any success. In parallel to the development of networked streaming audio products, we’ve seen the development of servers and control software too. One of the best known and most effective has been Roon (see Insider, HFC 435), which with its highly regarded bespoke software suite allows even very large libraries to be managed in a logical and self-explanatory fashion. Nucleus is a dedicated piece of hardware that creates an optimised Roon experience.
Hi-Fi Choice  |  Aug 19, 2018  |  0 comments
Network audio has become a big part of our hi-fi listening habit as more of us get more comfortable with the prospect of streaming music from pay services like Tidal and Qobuz or from a networked server containing a music library at home. It’s an area that’s seen considerable expansion in the last decade, but is still pretty much dominated by a few familiar names. For any company to make inroads into this sector, it needs to have a front end that goes the extra mile at a competitive price. Auralic has been impressive in this regard and first began to carve itself a reputation for well thought-out and capable products at competitive price points with the likes of its Aries Mini music streamer (HFC 425) and the Altair DAC/preamp with music streaming (HFC 428).

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