Indianapolis – Pioneer unveiled its first two
component-size network audio streamers, both in the Elite series of step-up A/V
Working models of both products, the Elite N30 and Elite N50 networked media players, are on display at the CEDIA Expo and will ship around December. Retail prices
are expected to be around $500 and $700, respectively.
Both feature Apple AirPlay and DLNA 1.5 networking as well
as vTuner to access thousands of Internet radio stations. Additional
audio-streaming services might be included by the time the products ship, a
spokesman said. Both can be connected to an optional stereo Bluetooth module to
stream Bluetooth stereo, and both feature a 2.5-inch color screen to display
high-performance audio features such as 32-bit DACs, and both support the
highest bit rates of multiple file formats. They also play 192kHz/24-bit FLAC
and wav files.
The step-up N50 adds
the ability to operate as a 32-bit USB DAC to substitute as a PC’s sound card,
and it can operate in a DAC-only mode for connection to CD transports. The N50
also adds Pioneer’ Sound Retriever technology to improve the sound quality of
compressed music formats, and its Sound Retriever Air does the same for stereo
enhancements include 32-bit up-conversion, auto-level control to deliver
consistent volume levels between tracks, and an armored chassis.
They come with
control apps for Apple and Android handheld devices, and if an Android
smartphone features DLNA server capability, the app will push the device’s
music to the players. Likewise, AirPlay pushes music from an Apple handheld
device to the players.
Both DLNA 1.5 and
AirPlay also enable streaming of music from a networked PC, with AirPlay
enabling streaming only from a PC’s iTunes application.