I have to say that as a bargain way of getting your digital music into a reasonable hifi system this is a damn good way to go!
Firstly, I had no problem at all with setting up and connectivity. Also in terms of staying connected I think the issues are more to do with my wifi and normal feed issues than this box.
As to sound quality, well, all I can say is that with a 44mhz/16 bit rip on Itunes and playing through a 6 year old low end Naim pre and power amp (can't remember their numbers but the half height ones) and into a pair of stand mounted PMC 1 speakers the sound is great! I am a rock fan by nature and the quality of sound on Pink Floyd and the like is great. Definition on some decent prog rock is great as is the drive behind AC/DC.
The sound stage is nice and wide. Definition between instruments is good and I have to say there is a great energy in the sound.
I bought this to do a bargain upscale because I was desperate at the time. But all I can say is that if you have a half decent system and a decent source then this won't disappoint! Will i in time upgrade to a fixed line DAC? yes. But for now I'm enjoying hearing my music like this.
By the way all of this has been done over apple airplay so I haven't tested the front mounted USB input yet. Having read what's written above I will be doing so.
I bought this as a quick fix easy solution to music in my front room. I am sorry to say it has been neither. The unit is very fussy with wifi dropping internet radio at the first chance and streaming from my server (WHS2011) is hit and miss to say the least. I have now run a LAN connection to the unit and this has improved the radio although by no means perfect as for the streaming there has been little improvement there. When scrolling through folders the unit often stops as if trying to catch up. All in all it is a shame as paired with my Audiolab LX (Original) and Monitor audio S2 speakers music for general listening or ironing (Yes I iron) is very admirable and an enjoyable listen. The I pad control is useless but this is a minor point.
I have to say I am not impressed and I am glad I only paid a couple hundred pounds for this item if I had paid full retail I would have been very upset with the purchase.
Save your frustration and spend a little bit more and buy a Cambridge Audio it works over wifi with no issues and the i pad interface is a joy to use.
would be interesting to know how good is the digital output. cause lot of us already have our desired dac and can keep without going for the higher priced offerings from CA/marantz/pioneer
If I use an external DAC, how should this compare to the competition, specially agains a Squeezebox? I guess the sound quality shouldn't be very different with a FLAC or ALAC from this to a much more expensive media server?
Yes, the internal streaming client implementation, DAC and analogue output stage. And yes, the same amp and speakers were used for both.
I'm confused by what job this does and how it affects sound quality - is sound quality down to the internal DAC? I assume the same amplifier/speakers were used when comparing with the Cambridge Audio product.
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