LAS VEGAS– High-end componentaudio supplier Krell is coming to International CES with its first music-streaming component, the Krell Connect.
The dedicated music-streaming device, which features 3.5-inch color QVGA TFT display, will stream music from the Internet and from networked PCs. At least one other supplier, Pioneer, also offers dedicated component- size networked music streamers.
Krell Connect, shipping in March, will retail for an estimated $2,500 for a version with digital coaxial and optical outputs and no analog outputs. An optional digital-to-analog converter (DAC) module retailing for about $1,000 will add 32-bit ESS Sabre DACs with 24- bit/192 kHz resolution.
The DAC can be installed in the field for consumers who buy the DAC-less version but later choose to add the DAC.
Via Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n or wired Ethernet, the device will stream Internetdelivered music services and, via vTuner software, thousands of Internet radio stations. The component also features UPnP to stream music from networked PCs and network-attached storage (NAS) devices.
A USB port connects to USB-connected hard drives and USB sticks to play back their content, which can be sorted by artist, title and album via the component’s four-color display or via Krell apps for Apple and Android mobile devices. The Krell apps will also select music stored on PCs and NAS drives by artist, title and album.
The component’s screen also displays album art.
The device will play back music files in their native MP3, Ogg, FLAC (up to 24-bit/192kHz), WAV (up to 24-bit/192kHz) and WMA formats.
The 2-inch-tall, 17.25-inch-wide component features gapless playback. An optional remote will be available, though the component itself can be controlled from Krells’ planned apps. The component is also firmwareupgradable via USB port or network download.
Krell’s first networked product is the recently launched $6,000 Foundation 7.1-channel preamp/surround processor, which features an Ethernet port to enable control from an iPhone and iPad app and from PCs. It doesn’t stream music.