Onkyo CR-N755: Spotify ready and willing to stream

It seems those harmonious home audio wizards Onkyo  have been hard at work cooking up another winner. Having been concentrating up to now on building quality mid market systems, they’ve now turned their efforts to the mini hi fi market.

Onkyo-CS-N755

The CR-N755 is a mini hifi receiver mini system and in true Onkyo fashion is fitted with 96 kHz/24-bit optical and coaxial digital inputs and a 192 kHz/24-bit DAC for high-resolution audio. Three-Stage Inverted Darlington Circuitry amplifies incoming signals while Onkyo’s Phase-Matching Bass Boost system ensures mid range clarity and a strong low-frequency presence, whatever the volume. Another high-end inclusion is VLSC noise-mitigation technology, which helps the onboard DAC to filter digital noise from the audio.

The genius part, is it’s able to network streaming music serives, so Spotify, Last fm, vTuner and AUPEO! can all be accessed, plus a plethora of internet radio stations. Now, I’m an internet radio convert, no hysterical or banal presenters, just 24 hours of uninterrupted music and the CR-N755 is the perfect platform to get it from. Better still you can download apps to your smart phone to browse these services and then play the stream through your network. You access your LAN via a standard cable connection, however there is an optional UWF-1 adapter. Talking of optional items, you can also get a pair of two way bookshelf speakers for an extra £150.

The mini receiver also caters for other media sources; the front loading cd player, the AM/FM tuner and finally a USB port for an iPhone, iPod, or flash-memory device. So all the bases covered then. This is a pocket rocket that packs a quality punch too.

Onkyo CR-N755 – Network CD Hi-Fi Mini Receiver with Spotify (available in black or silver) – £300. Additional D-055 speakers £150. Wi fi adapter £50.

All available from September 2012.

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

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.

Onkyo TX-NR818: Harmonious high-end quality at midrange price

Home cinema may well be the perfect scenario if you are a movie fan; sitting in the lounge with your popcorn at the ready watching the latest blockbuster on your big plasma.  There it is in full HD leaping right out at you. The only problem is unlike the real cinema experience, the sonics just don’t cut it.

TX-Onkyo

Onkyo which means ‘sound harmony’ in Japanese, has long been a leader in high quality home cinema audio but with the unveiling of the TX-NR818 and its slightly lighter stable mate the TX-NR8717,  the assault on the mid range market is well and truly underway.

These two network channel receivers are packed with punch and feature laden with goodies to melt the heart of any home cinema audio enthusiast whose pocket is not perhaps as deep as they would like it to be.

Audyssey MultEQ XT32 room acoustic correction calibrates your speakers and equalizes the system to optimize the sound for your room space. Onkyo has also ported across its three 7.2 decoding systems normally found in its higher end models; Dolby Pro Logic IIz, Audyssey DSX DTS. DTSNeo:X which uses front wide and front height technology to produce a more enveloping 3D sound performance.

The TX-NR818’s video delivery is boosted using a dual core chip combining an HQV Vida VHD 1900 video processor for 1080p up scaling and Marvell’s 4K video processor which can convert 1080p HD to a 2K or 4K display.

Both receivers offer up eight HDMI inputs one front, and seven in the rear together with two outputs and support for mobile HDMI, a godsend if you want to reproduce media from your smart phone in 7.2 channel surround sound.

There also plans to release a USB Bluetooth adapter so both receivers will be able to interact with hand held devices.

TX-NR818  £999   Black or silver.

TX-NR717  £800  Black or silver.