By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
New York – Component-audio supplier NAD hopes to connect with a younger generation of music enthusiasts who connect to PCs, smartphones and tablets to play music but who have shunned full-size audio components.
The company plans July shipments of the $999-suggested D7050 network receiver, $499 D3020 DAC/amplifier and $499 D1050 USB DAC. All but the USB DAC incorporate stereo amplification to drive a pair of passive speakers of the consumer’s choice.
The products target a new generation of music listeners who have never bought a CD and who store their music on computers and smartphones, said Greg Stidsen, director of technology and product planning for NAD parent Lenbrook Industries. Many of these “digital natives” never heard good sound and are uninterested in full-size audio components, but the new products will provide these consumers with an “audiophile experience” in compact form factors “that work with what people today are listening to,” he said.
Just as important, the D7050 network receiver and D3020 DAC/amplifier hold true to the basic component-audio tenet of enabling users to choose their own speakers, upgrade them over time, and add a subwoofer instead of being locked into the performance of a one-piece tabletop digital-media speaker, Stidsen said.
The new products will also help introduce NAD’s core audiophile customers to digital media. “A lot of them don’t know anything about digital music,” he said.
The company already offers multiple full-size integrated amplifier/DACs that connect to a PC’s USB port, an outboard USB DAC to connect PCS to a full-size component-audio system, and a wireless DAC to connect PCs to component systems.
To this mix, the company is adding the three new components, starting with the $499 D1050 USB DAC with asynchronous USB input, built-in headphone amp, 24-bit/192kHz technology, stereo Bluetooth with AptX, two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, no analog inputs, balanced XLR outputs, single-ended outputs, LED display, and volume control for the headphone amp.
The D3020 at $499 is a DAC/amplifier with built-in 2x30-watt Class D amplifier, stereo Bluetooth with AptX, asynchronous USB input, subwoofer output, separate embedded headphone amp with volume control, remote, two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, and an analog input.
The $999 D 7050 network receiver also features asynchronous USB input, stereo Bluetooth with AptX, and integrated headphone amp, but it adds embedded Wi-Fi, DLNA networking, AirPlay, and Ethernet port. Its DAC steps up to 24/196 performance, and the amp steps up to a 2x50-watt amp that features proprietary Direct Digital technology. That technology uses pulse width modulation (PWM) to directly amplify a digital signal.
The D 7050 also features two optical and two coaxial digital inputs, no analog input, and remote.
In other product plans, NAD plans summertime shipments of its first headphone pair since the 1980s. The passive fold-flat Viso HP50 will retail for a suggested $299.
The company also plans later this year to expand its Viso 1 selection of single-chassis audio systems for new media. The new model will feature AirPlay but no Apple-docking pins. The current $599-suggested model features 30-pin iPod/iPhone connector and stereo Bluetooth with AptX.
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