Author Archives: Thomas Nielsen

Interesting Short on Sonos

UK magazine What Hi-Fi? just wrote a short on what Sonos is and what it does. The short is, in short, rather short. But it does tell the story without much fiddling about meaning, of course, that it lacks a bit on the technical details.

Clint Asgard

asgaardfootWith their Asgard line of speakers, tiny Clint are barking awfully loud, namewise. If their bark matches their muscle remains to be seen but the speakers do look rather cool. There is no doubt that with every competitor Sonos face, their users get a better product and users of multi-room streaming audio components in general will have a larger selection and thus be happier people. It is this extended selection that Asgard is part of.

The line consists of three speakers. Two versions of the small 7W Freya, one Bluetooth and one Wi-fi, and the larger Odin supporting both Bluetooth and Wi-fi. Asgard speakers can be fed from a Bluetooth audio source or via Wi-fi from a NAS or streaming service, as well as via Apple Airplay. The interesting part, of course, is that they can form a multi-room solution and run 4 speakers in concert, albeit only when running on Wi-fi.

The Odin speaker offers a modest 25W of class-D power in a 57cm floor standing pondus and supports the mainstay of formats, incl. 192KHz/24-bit flac. Control is limited to iOS and Android apps.

Geneva Labs AeroSphère

areospherebase01For those who have the rooms to suit a bit of soft, round fluffiness, Geneva Labs, known for their cubistic iPhone docks, have a streaming audio setup slightly out of the ordinary and certainly not a cubistic one. The system consists of an optional base station that receives FM and DAB radio as well as plays audio CDs, and two sizes of speakers, which placed on their polished steel stands, look quite the piece.areospherelred_b All components are nicely rounded and might as well be leftover props of Lost in Space. The speakers on their own will play AirTunes, Bluetooth audio and DLNA streams. When connected to a base station, it will play audio from there as well. The base station will feed up to 4 speakers, Platini the same ting simultanously. The output effect is not mentioned. Both speakers and base station have a line input for analogue sources. Unfortunately the base station isn’t capable of acting as a DLNA server. Otherwise it would have been a nifty add-on to many streaming systems that don’t have a CD player.

Qobuz Aiming For High Resolution Streaming?

British hi-fi magazine What Hi-Fi suggests that French lossless streaming service Qobuz may have streaming of high resolution audio files in their pipeline. They have recently been given the Hi Res Audio logo rightly suggesting such a step. This will be interesting to follow.

Sooloos On The Loose

Roon, the software that drives Meridian Sooloos, is being detached from the dedicated Meridian hardware and will be available to run on any computer soon. Jeff Dorgay of Tone Audio magazine has authored an in-depth review of Roon which you really should read.

Astell & Kern AK500N

Astell & Kern AK500N

Moniked… can you say moniked? Well, I did… moniked The Ultimate MQS Network Audio Player this beast pulls on attitude not only in its looks. Outgrowing its older portable siblings, this one rips to lossless Wav or Flac. It replays high resolution files up to a 24-bit/384KHz through its Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC. The power supply consists of a lithium battery which is being charged when the player is not in action, or if it really needs to. This makes the job of filtering out noise from the grid much easier effectively conditioning power to avoid hum and spike induced artifacts.

Astell & Kern AK500N

The AK500N is operated either through the built-in flipable touch panel, from the comfort of your PC, or from your phone or tablet. It boasts balanced outputs, both fixed and variable, and 4 digital in- and outputs + USB. In terms of file formats there is nothing you can’t throw at it.

Good Tidal to You, And All of Your Kin

Tidal just announced another 5 countries on their list of supported locations. Tidal is now available in these countries: USA, UK, Canada, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Finland, Belgium, Italy, Singapore, South Africa, Denmark, Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Denon PMA-50

denpma50ps_2Denon is releasing their version of a bookshelf class-D amp with an abundance of digital inputs. The PMA-50 supports digital audio of up to 24bit/192KHz via USB, coaxial or two optical inputs. Additionally it sports a single analog audio input. On the output side of things, numbers reach 50W at 4Ω. The frontpanel comes in two flavors, allowing you to position the amplifier flat or upright.

Blue Sonos

Blue Note PLAY:1Commemorating 75 years since the inception of Blue Note Records, Sonos have released 4,100 blue airbrushed PLAY:1 at a +25% price tag. With it comes three TuneIn channels with Blue Note music. These channels are available on any Sonos system, in fact, for the next year. The stock of blue PLAY:1 will probably not last that long.

We Need A QA OR An FAQ On MQA ASAP

Illustration excerpt from Stereophile article on MQAWhen Meridian went public with their MQA last year, nobody appeared to grasp the concept. Most just went “Wow” and said it lifted the soundstage and brought more brilliance to the sound vectors; better than lossless, even. Just below my otherwise allsensing radar, John Atkinson of Stereophile conjured up a brilliant little article that describes MQA in as much detail as anyone could possibly need, save those who need to implement the darn thing. So without further ado, here is a link to the hero of the day, who actually manages to explain MQA losslessly more or less verbatim off of Bob Stuarts notes, without resorting to those dreaded black arts…

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