Onkyo launches new systems with high-end audio technology, plans stereo amps for later in year

Just announced here in Japan is Onkyo's new CS-555 DAB mini system, said to be 'a quality personal audio player loaded with high-end technology but offered at an eminently affordable price.'

Available in black or silver, and with or without speakers, the system is expected to sell for around £300 for the CR-555 CD receiver without speakers when it hits the shops in June or July, with the price of the system with speakers to be confirmed

It'll be followed by a version adding network streaming internet streaming capability: the CR-N755 receiver unit will sell for £450 (with speakers), pitching it up against systems such as the Marantz M-CR603 and Denon RCD-N7 Ceol.

The CR-555 has a CD player and FM/DAB/DAB+ tuner, plus optical and electrical digital inputs able to take content at up to 96kHz/24-bit. There's also a USB port for use with flash-memory devices, to which iPhones and iPods can also be connected.

40 stations presets are provide on the radio and the system, which comes with a comprehensive remote control, also has three analogue inputs and a subwoofer output.

The receiver uses 192kHz/24-bit digital to analogue conversion, and has a symmetrical, uniform circuit layout for optimal sound quality and minimal interference between the channels.

The main amplification uses the same discrete three-stage Darlington circuitry found in the company's flagship AV receivers, which brings the benefit of lower noise and distortion even when the volume level is high.

Power output is 22W per channel into 4ohms. Also provided is Onkyo's Phase-Matching Bass Boost system, designed to enhance bass at low listening levels without affecting midrange frequencies and muddying the sound.

The optional D-055 speakers are a two-way bass-reflex design, using the company's N-OMF (New Onkyo Micro Fiber) material which moulds together layers of aramid and non-woven cotton for stiffness for the mid-bass unit, which also has a bullet-shaped pole-piece to absorb unwanted vibrations. This driver is partnered with a soft-dome tweeter.

The amplifier technology featured in the CR-555 DAB receiver is also at the heart of two new stereo amplifiers on the way from Onkyo, and set to be pitched into the competitive sub-£500 market.

The amplifiers have been previewed to us during our brief visit to Onkyo here in Japan, but the company's engineers admits that some final tuning is still to be done.

Two models will be available – one with digital inputs, the other without – and the Onkyo engineers say they've been studying the European sound to make the new amps as competitive as possible.

Thenew amps will also feature the company's Dynamic Intermodulation Reduction Circuitry, or DIDRC, found in some of Onkyo's AV receivers, and should hit the shops around August this year.

Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, GramophoneJazzwise and Hi-Fi CriticHi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.