Indianapolis - Pioneer unveiled its first two component-size network audio streamers, both in the Elite series of step-up A/V products.
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 album art.
Both sport 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 Bluetooth sources.
Other N50 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.