Onkyo CR-555DAB Hi-Fi Mini Receiver: Not too shabby

By Dominic Smith,

Home audio manufacturing monster Onkyo has introduced its boss new CR-555DAB Hi-Fi Mini Receiver, a quality personal audio player packed to the brim with some tasty high-end technology offered up at a not-too-shabby price (see below) with a nice black or silver finish fit for the office, living room or bedroom. Bow chicka wow wow!

CR 555DAB

Offering a wide selection of audio inputs, as well as the requisite top-mounted iPod/iPhone dock, front-loading CD tray, and FM tuner, the receiver features a USB port to accept flash-memory devices, playback is easily controlled using the system remote. Super-sweet, so far, then.

Audio enthusiasts (most of you, then?) can enjoy decent high-resolution playback, with a 96 kHz/24-bit optical or coaxial input directing the signal to the receiver’s 192 kHz/24-bit DAC. These inputs offer a convenient way to connect a PC and enjoy iTunes libraries, online audio streams, or movie downloads with sexy immersive sound.

Three analogue sockets enable connection of practically any electronic audio device, but the coolest feature here is the DAB/DAB+ tuner. With a big 40-station preset memory, the digital radio function opens up a great wide world of programming entertainment for the user to enjoy at the simple touch of a button (are you excited yet? Are you!). Naturally, there is also a dedicated subwoofer pre-out should the user wish to add ground-shaking impact – we here at LatestGadgets HQ full endorse this, of course!

As well as adding a DAB/DAB+ radio tuner to its feature set, the CR-555DAB boosts core audio performance by incorporating the same three-stage amplification technology currently driving Onkyo’s top-shelf A/V receivers and hi-fi separates. The delightful “inverted” Darlington circuit design uses proprietary technology to amplify the incoming signal in three distinct stages, reducing distortion and faithfully preserving the natural character of the recording.

Just like its high-end siblings, both channels on the CR-555DAB are symmetrically laid out, with short signal paths between amplifier and power supply to reduce interference. This uniformity eliminates errors between channels, cuts noise levels, and improves the unit’s ability to deliver well-separated stereo sound. Love it!

Another advance comes in the form of a Phase-Matching Bass Boost system (it’s as useful as it sounds, folks). While most mini systems offer some form of bass enhancement, most are prone to the effects of phase-shifting, which can overwhelm mid-range frequencies and muddy the sound. Onkyo’s phase-matching bass solution preserves that all-important mid-range clarity – allowing vocals and strings to shine, while maintaining a powerful low-frequency presence at all volumes.

Onkyo will also be offering the receiver in a complete system, partnered with its D-055 speakers (CS-555DAB). Using N-OMF (New Onkyo Micro Fibre) speaker cones made of moulded layers of aramid and lightweight non-woven cotton, these provide the stiffness for a faster, more accurate response. This durable material combines with a bullet-shaped equaliser to absorb vibrations and enable very precise audio reproduction. What a beast!

The CR-555DAB CD Hi-Fi Mini Receiver is out in August priced £250 while the CS-555DAB – CD Hi-Fi Mini System with FM/DAB+ tuner, and D-055 2-way speakers (black or silver) has a price to be confirmed but will see light in August.

For more information visit the Onkyo website: http://www.onkyo.com.