Network Player and Streamer Reviews

Sort By: Post Date | Title | Publish Date
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 10, 2014 1 comments
A Portable Network Player
Networked music on the go? From room to room and deck to driveway? The Bluesound Pulse is a portable player albeit one that is not battery powered that lets you connect to your network attached storage and the Internet for streaming either via Ethernet or Wi-Fi and play back up to 24/192 files. Throw in Bluetooth connectivity through an optional dongle and you have the world of music coming and going through one device.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 03, 2014 21 comments
A Network Node
The Bluesound Node is a network player—Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth in, out comes your choice of digital (Toslink) or analog (RCAs) music. The Node supports MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF in resolutions up to 24/192, gapless playback, cloud services including WiMP, Rdio, Highresaudio, Slacker Radio, Qobuz, Deezer and Juke (all of these services require an account and some have geographic restrictions), and Internet Radio via TuneIn Radio. You can also play music from an Internet URL. All of this functionality is wrapped up in a relatively small round-cornered display-less cube in your choice of high gloss white or black highlighted with a brushed steel strip running down its center. Control of the Node is performed strictly through the Bluesound app for iOS and Android devices.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Mar 20, 2014 4 comments
All-In-One
The Cambridge Audio Minx Xi packs a 40 watt per channel (into 8 ohms) Class AB integrated amplifier, a network player, DAC, and headphone amp into one relatively small and sleek metal-wrapped high gloss white or black package. Throw in Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and the Cambridge Stream Magic app for iOS or Android devices, and you've got yourself one very good reason to never leave your couch. Except to dance.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 18, 2014 52 comments
MiND Reader
The Simaudio Moon MiND (MOON intelligent Network Device) is a UPnP/DLNA compatible renderer or more commonly a network player or streamer. In other words, the Moon MiND lets you play back your file-based music without a computer. Just add Network Attached Storage (NAS) and you'll be streaming your music in no time. A lot of people are also wondering—is the MiND an audiophile version of the popular and discontinued Squeezebox Touch? Let's find out.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Feb 04, 2014 4 comments
A Powerful Musical Duo
The Bluesound Powernode delivers network-, smartphone-, tablet-, and Internet-based music via wi-fi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth while also packing an 50 Watt Direct-Digital Amplifier and a 24/192-capable DAC designed by NAD Electronics in one small round-cornered cubed package. The Duo is a sub/satellite speaker system designed by Paul Barton of PSB that has been optimized for use with the Powernode and together they can deliver music anywhere your wired, wi-fi, or Bluetooth range allows. Each come wrapped in gloss white or black with steely metal highlights.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 21, 2014 18 comments
A Musical Vault
The Bluesound Vault is in a category all by itself, at least for the time being. The Vault combines 1TB of Network Attached Storage (NAS) with a DAC and digital volume control so you can connect it directly to your hi-fi with a pair of regular old RCA interconnects. Using the very slick Bluesound app on your smart gadget or tablet of choice you can be playing scads of music in no time flat. No computer or external storage need apply. But that's not all.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Dec 17, 2013 10 comments
ilLUMINate
The Lumin Network Player is the first and currently the only product from Lumin which is a trademark of Pixel Magic Systems Ltd. The latter's core business "...is to develop innovative technologies for the home theater video processing/scaling products and high definition TV related products with advanced software programming and design." I learned from an interview with Lumin on Positive Feedback Online (see interview) that the Lumin player essentially came about because the guys at Pixel Magic Systems are audiophiles and they couldn't find a DSD-capable network player. So they built their own.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 24, 2013 19 comments
Pi-Eyed
In my quest to find a suitable replacement for the discontinued Logitech Squeezebox Touch, I came across the Rasberry Pi. Anyone on a similar quest has more than likely been tempted by the Pi and if you're anything like me, you found its $35 price tag coupled with the promise of streaming capabilities from network attached storage and USB audio output too good to pass up. So I ordered myself some Raspberry Pi, loaded up a few instances of music player software and got to playing. I will say up front that so far I have mine working with CD-quality files through an older USB 1.0 DAC.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jan 31, 2013 16 comments
Its Magic
People looking to play hard drive and Internet-based music without a computer have one choice—a network player. You could argue that a network player is a computer but that's missing the relevant point which is some people don't want to tie up their computer for use as a music server. They'd rather use a computer as a computer. So a dedicated device is their solution. The Cambridge Audio Stream Magic 6 gives you most everything you'd expect from a network player including the ability to play up to 24/96 music from Network Attached Storage (NAS), USB-based storage, the Internet, and it throws in a 24/192-capable USB DAC to boot.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Sep 18, 2012 5 comments
How Smart Can a Radio Be?
Logitech has recently rejigged its entire lineup of music-playing products giving them all a new home under the "UE" umbrella. Here's what Logitech says about their new UE line:
Artistry Meets Engineering

Now, as Logitech UE, our commitment to precision technology and sound quality is the inspiration behind everything we do. State-of-the-art research facilities and top engineers from around the world ensure that every last detail in each of our products—from headphones, to smart radios, to wireless speakers—is perfect. Artists on stage or people in their living rooms are all united by the music they live for. And we are dedicated to creating products that bring it to them pure and undiluted.

Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jul 12, 2012 4 comments
A Network Stereo Receiver
From a certain perspective, the more buttons, knobs, inputs, and outputs a given piece of hi-fi gear has the less likely its going to be taken seriously by the audiophile community. Never mind that the audiophile community is rarely taken seriously outside itself and sometimes even suffers dissension from within, the simpler-is-better maxim makes most sense when there's one specific job to do. When we add other factors like price, convenience, and increased functionality things can get all complicated. So if you are already taken aback by the word "Receiver" you may want to hold on to your Shakti Stones because the Integra DTM-40.4 also has...tone controls.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Jun 07, 2012 5 comments
If you read my review of the Musical Fidelity M1 CLiC Universal Music Controller you'll know that I had issues playing back high definition files through the front USB port. When John R. Quick of Tempo Sales & Marketing, the Musical Fidelity US Distributor, heard about this, he tried to reproduce my problems with another M1 CLiC without luck. So he assumed the issues I was having may have been due to the age of my unit (no jokes) so he sent along a newer M1 CLiC for this follow up.
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 24, 2012 5 comments
All Things To Some People
The Musical Fidelity M1 CLiC Universal Music Controller has its hands in a lot of pies. Beyond getting what you'd expect from a network player/streamer including wired and wi-fi inputs, a host of S/PDIF inputs, an iOS device input, and the ability to connect a USB thumb drive or Hard Disk Drive, the M1 CLiC throws in an old-fashioned USB DAC and a Preamplifier with three analog inputs with a choice of fixed or variable outputs. Yea, I said 'old-fashioned' in reference to the USB DAC since it's run in adaptive mode and it only supports up to 16-bit/48kHz data. But hey, not every network player throws in a USB DAC so you can think of this one as an extra or as not existing at all (if that makes you feel better).
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 11, 2012 14 comments
Theory
T+A stands for "Theory And Application" and it also stands for a company that's over 30 years old (founded 1978 in Herford, Eastern Westphalia, Germany). T+A has a complete line of products that includes nearly every piece of the hi-fi puzzle—speakers, amplifiers (tube and SS), preamplifiers (tube and SS), integrated amplifiers, receivers, network players/streamers, all-in-one devices, CD/SACD/DVD players, turntables, and more. T+A has over 180 dealers in their native Germany alone and my only question is, why don't we know more about them in the USA?
Michael Lavorgna Posted: Apr 03, 2012 3 comments
There's A World Of Music Out There
The Pioneer Elite N-50 is chock full O features meant to submerge you into the growing stream of digital music. And it can let you drink from many sources. You could say the N-50s musical appetites are, as with most like-devices, voracious which is good news since people considering something like a Pioneer N-50 are voracious lovers of music as well. The N-50 also has a few extra musical tricks up its sleeve.

Pages

X
Enter your AudioStream username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.
Loading