Network Integrated Amplifier/DAC Reviews

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Michael Lavorgna  |  Feb 04, 2014
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  |  Mar 20, 2014
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  |  Jul 06, 2017
All-in-One-System (AiOS)
The Cary Audio All-in-One-System joins the group of recently reviewed All-In-Ones; Moon by Simaudio Nēo Ace, Hegel Music Systems Röst, Lumin M1, and Peachtree Audio nova300 Amplifier. Let's see how well it fits in with such distinguished company.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Sep 25, 2014
Cocktail Audio
Cocktail Audio is, to the best of my knowledge, a division of Novatron a Korean company specializing in the manufacture of "Multimedia Devices". I first came across the Cocktail Audio X30 at CES 2014 and I was intrigued by its all in oneness. The X30 incorporates a 50W digital amp, DAC, server, UPnP network player, and CD ripper all in one package. Just add speakers.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 05, 2014
photo credit: Devialet

Luxury Goods
It's funny how in hi-fi some people look at beautifully made gear with scorn. As if that beauty were worse than secondary to its main purpose of playing music. As if beauty was misplaced, as if it was just plain wrong. Of course we're talking about personal taste and nothing more. I happen to appreciate the way things look (and feel) and this pertains to hi-fi as much as anything else. And I find the Devialet kit to exhibit this love of design both in terms of how it looks and feels and of course how it plays music.

Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 13, 2017
Hegel Walks The Walk
And that walk is decidedly, and refreshingly, their own. The Röst offers 75wpc into 8 Ohms, a DAC which supports PCM-only data and maxes out at 24/96 via USB and 24/192 via S/PDIF and the unit's network connection. Octuple-rate DSD lovers and 32-bit/384kHz hunters need not apply. The real question, with apologies to the company's name, being; does this walk take us down the high or low road toward musical nirvana or does it overcome this dualism?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Mar 09, 2017
Ethernet In, Music Out
Look Ma, no DAC! The Lumin M1 takes your network-attached digital music files (up to 32-bit/384kHz and DSD128 via DoP), converts them to 24/176.4 (PCM), which in turn gets converted to a pulse-width modulated (PWM) signal, and outputs 60wpc into 8 Ohms and 100wpc into 4. You can also connect USB storage devices (Flash or single-partition FAT32, NTFS and EXT2/3 only) to the unit's 2x USB Type A inputs. Open the Lumin app on your iOS device, point it to your network-attached music library or USB storage, Tidal, Qobuz, or TuneIn radio and play away. The analog part happens at your loudspeakers, so to speak.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Apr 27, 2017
Ace
Have you ever called someone "Ace"? And meant it?
Michael Lavorgna  |  Jun 26, 2014
Three For All In One
The Naim SuperUniti combines elements from three of Naim's stand alone components; the amp borrows its 80W per channel into 8Ω of power from the SUPERNAIT integrated amplifier, the UPnP network player portion comes courtesy of the NDX network player, and the DAC takes its "innovative data buffering jitter removal process" from the aptly named Naim DAC. There's also an AM/FM/DAB tuner and a headphone output in the SuperUniti making it one all around all-in-one player.
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 17, 2017
Classic
I like Technics, the company, and I always enjoy my time listening to their products and chatting with Bill Voss, Technics Business Development Manager US. Their gear has a classic look about it and Bill knows his stuff. So I was pleased to (finally) get a bit of Technics in-barn and the SU-G30 was the perfect fit in my ongoing series of review of like-components.1
Michael Lavorgna  |  Aug 31, 2017
"Comparison is the death of joy"—Mark Twain

"The biggest troublemaker you'll probably ever have to deal with watches you shave his face in the mirror every morning."—Anonymous Cowboy

I recently reviewed a half dozen all-in-one devices that come in in roughly the same ballpark price-wise. While they're all all-in-one, they don't all offer the same thing, feature-wise. So let's begin with a picture that should help explain things (and save me a lot of jawin').
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