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Pioneer releases new AirPlay network audio players

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By Jesse Hollington

Social Media & Software Editor, iLounge
Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012
News Categories: iPod Accessories, iPad Accessories, iPhone Accessories

Pioneer Electronics has announced the release of two new AirPlay-enabled networked audio players. Part of the company’s Elite brand, the new N-30 and N-50 players include both AirPlay and DLNA 1.5 wireless technologies providing iTunes and iOS users with the ability to stream music and other audio content wireless from their iTunes libraries or portable devices. Both models include an Ethernet port for a wired network connection; users can purchase the AS-WL300 wireless LAN converter or AS-BT200 Bluetooth adapter separately to provide additional connectivity options for streaming from a Wi-Fi network or A2DP capable Bluetooth device.

The two models also include vTuner Internet radio for streaming music from a selection of over 16,000 Internet radio stations worldwide. The systems support playback of standard compressed audio formats as well as Apple Lossless audio via AirPlay and include a ful-color 2.5” LCD screen for displaying track information and album art. An optional Pioneer ControlApp is also available on the App Store to allow users to control the unit from an iPhone or iPod touch. The higher-end N-50 model provides an armoured chassis for noise resistance and gold RCA jacks for better audio connections along with additional audio features such as Advanced Sound Retriever and Sound Retriever AIR to enhance the quality of compressed audio files. The N-50 also features twin EL transformers to reduce interference and a 32-bit conversion processor for an improved audio experience. Both players are available now from major electronics retailers, with the N-30 and N-50 priced as MSRPs of $499 and $699, respectively.

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Comments

1

My father bought the Pioneer Airplay for himself before Christmas, then sent it back as it kept losing connection to his iPhone.
I hope the new model fares better, as the old one didn’t live up to the hype or the price tag.

Posted by Anthony H. on January 5, 2012 at 1:30 AM (PDT)

2

This is intriguing.  Was actually kinda hoping that a good, high-end, component AirPlay/network player would eventually be made available.  Love that it natively supports 192/24bit FLAC (of which I have a large library of).  Also like the fact it has good high-end DACs and internal interpolation software that is used to attempt to improve the sound quality out of compressed files, such as MP3s.  No native support for Apple Lossless, though.  However, wish this thing also had native support for some of the popular on-line music streaming services such as Pandora, Spotify, Rdio, etc.  Guess I’ll have to use my iPad and the Pandora app if I want to listen to Pandora through this thing. 

In the end, this is something that I may seriously consider getting to go into my high-end audiophile rig.  However, I am going to want to see some reviews on this before dropping $700 on this.  For example, will there by issues with signal drop-outs?  Will this thing be a royal PITA to setup?  How well does the associated iPad app work?  These are just a few of the questions I will have.  Hopefully the local Best Buy Magnolia section will carry these things and even have one setup to play with to see how it works and sounds.  However, the Pioneer Elite line is pretty nice.  I do have a Pioneer Elite universal player (which at the time, was a cool $1,000), but it sounds really incredible and is built like the proverbial brick $#!+house.

Posted by SkiBumMSP on January 5, 2012 at 9:37 PM (PDT)

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