Pioneer-N50

Pioneer’s new Airplay-enabled Network Audio Players

Earlier this week, Pioneer announced two lovely new Network Audio Players. The N-30 and N-50 both support Apple’s AirPlay function and offer the ability to play music files from a variety of sources and formats, including high resolution 192 kHz/24-bit audio files. Awesome.

Pioneer-N50

Why should you be excited, then? Well gadgeteers, both players feature high quality playback of music files, including FLAC and WAV, up to 192 kHz/24 bit. Sweet. But oh, that’s not all.

We’ll get you started with the N-50 which has dual transformers and USB/Optical/Coaxial digital inputs to work alongside the RCA and Optical/Coaxial outputs. Additionally, (and quite fantastically) it can support internet radio and iPod files, so, whatever format it’s in, and no matter how far it’s embedded within the deepest, dankest and darkest corners of your computer’s musical collection, then it’s likely to play for you. It is very good like that. Is there a catch at all? Unfortunately, yes; you do need an additional adapter for wi-fi compatibility… wait… wait… it’ll be okay. Read on and feel comforted by the horse’s mouth… no wait, that’s really not right. Ah yes, feel reassured by some info straight from the source… better.

Technology and Product Information Manager at Pioneer Europe, Philippe Coppens says: “Audiophiles now want to enjoy audio playback from their whole music library as well as online media, in the best possible sound quality. Keeping that in mind, Pioneer’s network audio players were developed to offer a new listening experience, giving access to music files wherever they are stored —PC, NAS, HDD, iPod/iPhone/iPad, or USB— as well as internet radio programmes from around the world.

“For the N-50, we have further integrated asynchronous USB DAC functionality and DSP processing, along with the parts and construction to make sure the requirements of even the most demanding audiophile are met.”

What about the N-30 then? Well, err, dear audiophiles, it’s not quite as good as the slick N-50, but it still does a top-notch job. Yeah, it lacks the dual transformers and digital inputs (excluding AirPlay and DLNA, of course), and the iPod compatibility, but otherwise carries out the same functions as its “big brother” model.

These luscious new Pioneers are available in black now, priced at £349.99 for the N-30 and £499.99 for the N-50.