Many new items this week – both hi-fi and home cinema. Here’s a selection of the most popular products.
Let’s start with the integrated stereo amplifier made for streaming and digital audio with any computer. This product is from Nuprime, the brand created by Jason Lee, co-founder of NuForce. The Nuprime IDA-8, like the Denon PMA-50 or NAD D3020 is a high quality acclaimed model. This is a hybrid model with warm pre-amplification (Class A) and sophisticated digital amplification which provides well detailed and structured sound. This little amplifier is adapted to both compact and floor-standing speakers. It features USB and S/PDIF inputs which are both PCM 32/384 and DSD (up to 11.2 MHz) compatible. In other words, it decodes all that a computer can play as regards CD or studio quality audio files. The best feature however is the Bluetooth receiver (apt-X, AAC, SBC) to stream music from any smartphone or tablet.
After the TX-8050 which was the forerunner to amps with integrated DAC and network player, Onkyo has released the Onkyo TX-8150 (review to follow shortly on our blog). With the capacity to develop 125 W per channel, this amp brings on board the new top-of-the-range DAC – the Asahi Kasei AK4452, compatible with PCM files up to 32 bits and 384 kHz and DSD files. The Onkyo TX-8150 is Hi-Res Audio-certified. Another highlight of this amp is its native support of Spotify, Deezer, Internet radio and files shared on a local network. Add to that the Bluetooth receiver, a phono input for a turntable and an iOS or Android control app and you’ve got the perfect network hi-fi amplifier.
Dematerialized music on a high-end portable audio device, that’s what you get with HiFiMAN audiophile high resolution – the HiFiMAN HM-901U portable player. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Chinese brand, high-end audio has always been their strong point with their range of high quality headphones (Planar Magnetic) and portable music players. The HiFiMAN HM-901U features an SD Memory card slot, enabling CD and studio quality file playback (up to 256 Gb) but above all, this audiophile device has two ESS Sabre 9018 DACs and a top-of-the-range headphone amplifier. This is absolute listening pleasure.
The ultra connected Onkyo DAC-HA300 portable audio player is also extremely appealing as it can be used as a portable player, portable DAC and home DAC. As well as its main function as a portable device with an SD Memory card slot for CD and studio quality files (PCM 24/192 and DSD), the Onkyo DAC-HA300 can be used with an iPhone or Android device for sound decoding. Its digital input allows it to be used with any digital source (CD player, TV, etc.). The highlight of this model is the adjustable gain for demanding headphones.
Music can also be dematerialized with the Light Harmonic Geek Out V2 DAC which can be paired with any computer for a totally amazing listening experience. An ESS Sabre 9018 chip with high quality components preserves the digital signal coming from the computer and converts it into audible sound. The highlight of this little DAC is its digital filters and high power headphone output. Click here to view all Light Harmonic DACs and power supplies.
Vinyl is up next with the Pro-Ject Essential II Digital. As its name suggests, this turntable features a DAC and S/PDIF optical output to convey the vinyl’s digitised sound to a DAC or amp with integrated DAC (home cinema or hi-fi amp). This turntable has an Ortofon OM-5E cartridge and integrated MM phono preamplification. All that’s left to do is plug it into any amp, set on your vinyl, sit back and listen to the great sound.
As for home cinema, we’ve got the Denon AVR-X4200W 7.2 channel A/V receiver, successor to the high-performance AVR-X4100. This receiver is HDMI 2.0 HDCP 2.2 & HDR, Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, AirPlay, DLNA and Bluetooth compatible. Audyssey MultEQ X32 Pro and LSX calibration technologies also feature. This receiver develops up to 125 W per channel in stereo. Highlights include the 13.2 pre-out output and its control of 3 listening zones.
And what better with a very good amplifier but a widescreen TV? Available from Sony is the Sony KD-65X9005C 4K Ultra HD TV (165 cm screen diagonal) with ultra-slim screen, TriLuminos technology, MotionFlow 800 Hz video processing and Android platform. Films and series in high definition become a truly immersive and highly comfortable viewing experience. If you just don’t have the room for such a large-scale TV (best watched at a distance of 3 m), the Sony KD-55X9005C is a more compact alternative.
Why not take a look at the Sony BDV-N9200W 5.1 channel home cinema system, Hi-Res audio-certified with a Blu-ray player and SongPal Link audio multiroom-compatible.French