Time For A Little ZEN Courtesy of Innuos

Just arrived into Preston store we have the all new Innuos ZEN mini MK3. With all the all the CD ripping convenience of the MK2 but with added upgrades to make it even more appealing to home digital music streaming enthusiasts.

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As before the ZEN mini is available with 1/2/4/8 Tb internal storage, we opted for the 1TB at £899.

Innuos have made connectivity upgrades by adding a custom motherboard to include two Ethernet ports for network pass through to other network devices that are close by, this helps with audio playback performance.

The ZEN Mini MK3 now incorporates analogue/coaxial and optical outputs, we have used these in store and partnered it up with the Cyrus One HD and used the Neat Iota Alpha speakers and we were blown away with how it performed, whilst being so neat and compact.

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As for controlling the ZEN simply type my.innuos.com into your browser and up it pops!

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Taking around 5-10 minutes to copy an album (depending on which ripping mode is selected), all you need to do is pick the file format you require supporting DSD, FLAC and WAV, we tend to stick with FLAC as it takes up less space.

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All the album artwork is found making for easy navigation of your collection.

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If you want to control the ZEN from a tablet we have found a great free app for Android called Squeezer, if your using an Apple IOS product iPeng can be purchased for £8.99.

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Also available is the new dual-linear power supply if want to get even more performance from the product at £499 or £449 if purchased together with the ZEN at the same time.

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A great addition to any multi-room music system whatever the level your at. We look forward to demonstrating it for you. Ian & Gavin - Audio T Preston

Innuos Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

The Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 - Ripping Your Music CDs With Ease

My skepticism of high end ripping units has always been true but the Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 has swayed me to say the least. The simplicity of feeding it a CD and seeing magically appearing on your streaming platform can’t be underestimated.

Capable of storing up to a thousand CDs on even it’s smallest 1TB hard drive the Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 gives you ample room to grow your music collection.

Simplifying your music collection has never been easier

This is not to say that it doesn’t have the nerd out stats and control that many of us (including myself) desire. Simply type my.innuos.com into your browser and there it is, supporting DSD, FLAC and WAV at CD native bit rates.

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USB External DAC Support

The Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 isn’t simply a music server, it competently takes on the role of streaming as well. Having both digital and analogue output makes the price tag very appealing and working with Squeezebox gives you access to Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz at hi-res with no limitations. It also has a Roon core built in as standard.

Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 Phono

Built in 192kHz 24biti

DAC

The Zen Mini is built with fantastic precision having hardware that quite literally outperforms the very computer I’m writing this blog on! An Intel Quad Core with 4GB Ram is more than you could ever need.

The slot loading TEAC disc drive rips through a CD in about 5 minutes, getting you through your collection quickly. The auto metadata collection is accurate and foolproof. Any unrecognised albums are conveniently put under ‘quarantine’ for later review and manual tagging.

Considering it costs less than many streamers that exist today it’s a hard product to dismiss, killing two birds with one stone. I simply can’t find anything to improve being one of the easiest Hi-Fi products I’ve ever used and with excellent sound quality to boot!

if you’re in the market to digitise your music collection and de-clutter without compromising on sound quality, then we would certainly recommend giving the Innuos Zen Mini serious consideration. As always, we’re happy to give you a demonstration.

Innuos products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

Rip, Serve and Play - The New Innuos Zen Mini MK3 Music Server Has Arrived At Audio T Swindon

Innuos, a company that was founded in 2009, offer an easy solution to store your CD collection to its internal hard drive. This can be done by either ripping your CD’s or importing an existing music library via USB. Internal disk storage is available from 1TB up to 8TB.

We were really impressed by the previous model and this new Innuos Zen Mini MK3 is even better.

Innuos Zen Mini MK3 Music Server

Innuos Zen Mini MK3 Music Server

Innuos Zen Mini MK3

Innuos Zen Mini MK3

The new Zen Mini MK3 now features analogue and two digital outputs (coaxial & optical) so it can be directly connected to an amplifier. Another option is to connect the server to a USB DAC via one of the four USB sockets - Nice. A second low-noise Ethernet socket to which one can directly connect a third party Roon Ready / UPNP music streamer.

Set-Up and Connecting it:

We connected our Zen Mini MK3 via an Ethernet cable to our network, applied power to it and switched it on. It was found on the network within seconds.

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Once switched on you will see a menu bar and we go straight to settings.

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In there, we set the ripping file format to either WAV or FLAC and left the ripping speed set to Quick Mode (and it is quick!) - That’s it We are ready to rip our first CD.

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Not long and the correct artwork and information has been found and the Zen Mini MK3 starts ripping the first CD.

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Very useful: Missing artwork and CD information can be added or edited if necessary.

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As mentioned before existing music libraries can be imported .

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For those who have a have a Tidal, Qobuz or a Spotify account, just add your log-in details and the services will be available via the control app.

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All in all, the new Innuos Zen Mini MK3 sounds great and is easy to use.

Please get in touch with us here in the shop and we will be happy to give you a demonstration.

Thanks for reading. Stefan & Andy Audio T Swindon

Innuos products are available from the following branches of Audio T

Brentwood, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Portsmouth, Preston, Reading, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon and our Online Store

ROON Nucleus Plus Music Controller And Server

In our latest blog, we'd like to tell you more about the new Roon Nucleus Plus music server - it's like the brain of your digital music library, it knows where your digital music is stored on your home network and manages it for you.

Roon is software solution that organises and provides a control system to allow you to stream and play your music on any compatible Hi-Fi connected to you home network. It also provides a very intuitive and feature rich interface, so that you explore your music collection and discover even more music! In essence, Roon provides a single universal controller and user experience for all your music replay devices! 

There are two Roon Nucleus products, Roon Nucleus and Roon Nucleus Plus. Nucleus Plus extends the DSP capabilities in terms of up sampling, room correction and more. This is the one that we want to show you.

So what is Roon Nucleus?
Roon is the music management software and Nucleus is the optimised hardware that it runs on. I will explain what it means. I use Roon on my home computer (it also works with Mac's) and it's fantastic. The Roon software has to be downloaded and installed and the computer must be switched on in order to use Roon. It requires the end user to have basic understanding of computers and networks. With Roon Nucleus you get a music server and the software in a single package that doesn't require computer knowledge or networking skills and all you need is a Roon account and a Roon subscription.

What's in the box ?
Nucleus or Nucleus Plus, 4 screws for mounting an optional internal HDD or SSD, a quick start guide and the power supply.

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Let's have a look at the compact Nucleus Plus device:

Nucleus Plus Front View

Nucleus Plus Front View

Nucleus Plus Rear View

Nucleus Plus Rear View

It features 2x USB 3 sockets for either a DAC and/or an external USB-powered hard drive an HDMI socket for stereo or multi-channel output and an ethernet socket to connect to your network via ethernet cable to your router.

The Roon Nucleus Plus can be used as a standalone server to serve and control music network players (more brands are being added all of the time) or it can be connected to a USB DAC and an external hard drive (for music storage) with that used as music streamer. See below.

From the right: Roon Nucleus Plus Server - 500GB WD USB Drive - Chord Qutest USB DAC

From the right: Roon Nucleus Plus Server - 500GB WD USB Drive - Chord Qutest USB DAC

Switch on Nucleus once all cables are connected and start your Roon control app on a Mac, Windows PC, or the Roon control app for iPad, iPhone or Android devices.

At the heart of every Roon Nucleus system is a Roon Core. This is the brain, it manages your music collection, streams to your audio devices and stores the Roon database of your music. My PC at home is my Roon Core, here in the shop it is the Roon Nucleus Plus server.

The first step is to tell Nucleus where the music library is, this is either music on a NAS drive, USB drive or/and your Tidal music subscription.

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We then enabled all Roon-ready audio devices in our shop for music playback, including Apple AirPlay compatible devices, Sonos, KEF, Naim Audio, Bluesound, and there are many more (have a look on the Roon website).

Now we are ready to listen to some music!

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It is incredibly fast, the way it handles our large music library. Skip to the next song or change to another song from another album while listening. There are no delays, not even when we fast forward or rewind!

Now we transfer the music playing in our main room to one of the Roon-ready devices in the shop front and again - It transfers the music seamlessly to another player. (You rename all of the your zones within the app).

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The same when we group music players to the main listening room (multi-room). These are call end points, so you can even listen to music from your collection through headphone on an Ipad if you want to.

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Roon provides you with a lot of information about the music you listen to such as view the artwork, album name, sampling rate, bit depth, the lyrics (if available) and so much more. You can tag categories, bookmark pages, browse by genre, sub genre etc etc. 

Another great feature about Roon is the data and information it provides about the artists. In some way it's a bit like Wikipedia. Click on the name of an artist you are interested in and you can read all about it with links to gigs, related artists, external websites and more. Roon will take you deep into the music and artists you love.

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The Roon Nucleus Plus offers a simple and intuitive way to control and discover your digital music collection and the convenience of where you play it in your home. It is very fast and and works with a lot of manufacturers Hi-Fi systems.

We are extremely impressed with its capability and would be please to show you how it works and answer any questions you may have.

Stefan & Andy - Audio T Swindon

ROON - One Music Player And Hi-Fi Controller To Rule Them All

Roon is the latest and one of most exciting innovations to Hi-Fi music replay, so what exactly is it? Roon is a music player and control application (software) designed specifically for music lovers. Roon allows you to view all of your music from a single interface and allows you to play from any supported device in any location within your home and offers some fantastic features designed that enhance sound quality. 

One Control App To Rule Them All
You no longer need to keep opening, swapping and closing different system control apps whilst listening to music from different products, sources and places in and around your home. Roon organises all of your music in an attractive, easy to use single interface and like the wizard Gandalf from the J R Tolkien's books it has a few magic tricks up its sleeve that will allow you to enjoy your music even more...

So what can Roon do?
Roon allows you to control various, previously incompatible Hi-Fi brands with just the one control app. For instance, it can control your streamer and music library and play them through, for example, a high end Naim system and a multi-room Sonos system simultaneously. 

Roon is the software brains in your home audio system

Roon is the software brains in your home audio system

Better Sound Quality via Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Room Equalisation / Correction
Roon can both up-sample and down-sample music files, but what does that mean in reality? Well two things; firstly and most importantly, it can improve the sound of your music throughout the home. Secondly (using higher resolution audio and Sonos as an example) when previously playing 24 bit music throughout the home, Sonos would mute, as it could not handle anything above CD resolution. Using Roon, it will down-sample the hi-res files so that your Sonos will play quite happily.

Room correction: Roon has the capability to improve how your music sounds by enabling your speakers to work better in their environment. You can set up distances to the listening position and there is a graphic equaliser so that you can fine tune the sound to your liking within your own listening space.

Musical focus and radio: Roon has the ability to find exactly the sort of music that you want to hear, and when it is finished, will continue to play Roon Radio which will play music of a similar genre.

What about the Roon interface?
Roon is the best music app that we have ever seen. It is totally intuitive and incredibly informative. Discography, bibliography, intelligent links, lyrics and more, are readily available. Learn more about the album, artists, who they collaborated with and discover more music that you like. 

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Sorted by Artist

Sorted by Artist

Sorted by date added

Sorted by date added

Album page view

Album page view

Discover music!

Discover music!

What do I need?
You will need a Roon enabled product and the list of manufacturers is growing. You can view the current supported brands here.

Internet Radio & Tidal Hi-Fi
You can play any Internet radio station via Roon and if you are a Tidal subscriber it integrates your favourite albums right along side your own record collection. It will also allow the replay of MQA files the high resolution format supported by Tidal.

Roon Core & Nucleus
A Roon Core: it’s the traffic cop, the housekeeper, and the brains behind the operation. A PC or Mac is needed to handle the quite substantial processing. Some ripper servers (Innuos for example) can act as the core as it has Roon software built in. The core manages your music collection from many sources, and builds an interconnected digital library using enhanced information from Roon, allowing you to explore your favourite artists and to discover new music genres.

If your system has multiple players, room correction and a lot of DSP in use, then the dedicated Roon Nucleus Core would be well worth considering. Nucleus becomes the centre of your Roon music system.

Aside from being a powerful, music server, what sets Nucleus apart is that it’s powered by Roon OS – a fast and lightweight operating system optimised to do just one thing: browse and play your music. Roon is a multi-room, multi-user networked audio platform built to the exacting standards for music lovers. For more information on pricing and availability please call Audio T Oxford.

Can I see it working?
Yes you can. Please contact Jon Abson at Audio T Oxford and he will arrange to show it to you in store. If you like it, we can set you up with a FREE trial for a month and if you like it we can organise a subscription for you.

Bluesound Offers a Simple and Effective High Quality Multi-room Music Streaming System

In this months Blog we are focussing on Bluesound multi-room music streaming products and will show you how easy they are to set up and tell you why it is so good.

Bluesound is an award winning wireless, multi-room system that supports Hi-Res audio replay and has been designed to fill your home with high quality sound. It has a sophisticated but easy to use operating system (BluOS) which we will talk more about later.

Music streaming services like Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music, Internet Radio and many more are supported and the system supports up to 64 players to fill your rooms with high quality sound.

In addition you can play music from your NAS drive (network attached storage) USB drive or via Bluetooth from your phones, tablets and PC's.

The Bluesound system connects via your home's Wifi network (your broadband router) or hard-wired via ethernet cable to the same router. You can control it with the BluOS Controller App for iOS, Android, Kindle (phones or tablets) and there are desktop apps available for Windows (PC) and OS X (Mac). Supported file formats are MP3, AAC, WMA, OGG, WMA-L, ALAC and OPUS as well as Hi-Res formats FLAC, MQA (Master Quality Authenticated), WAV and AIFF from 16Bit (CD Quality) to 24Bit (Hi-Res Audio).

Let's take a closer look at the products.

Bluesound Vault 2 - Storage and the possible heart of your music streaming system
The Vault comes shipped with 2TB hard drive and allows you to rip your CD collection to the streaming formats FLAC (lossless smaller file with no degradation in quality) or WAV (original copy - large file which takes up more space on a hard drive). It is very user friendly and requires no computer for the initial set-up. Like every NAS (Network Attached Storage), just plug it into your router via ethernet cable, get the app for your control device and you can start setting up the Vault 2. The Bluesound Vault can be used as storage/server and as a player. You can use the analogue or digital outputs on the back and connect the Vault 2 directly to your music system and away you go. 

All Bluesound players or speakers can access the music stored on the Vault 2 .

Vault 2

Vault 2

Vault 2

Vault 2

 Wireless Bluesound Speakers: Pulse Flex, Pulse Mini and Pulse 2

The Pulse Flex can be used as a single speaker or you can buy two and set them up as a wireless speaker pair. Attach a rechargeable Battery Pack and you can take wherever you go.

The Pulse Mini and Pulse 2 are bigger and more powerful. Great if you want more bass and a bigger sound. There are sound controls for bass and treble adjustment if you need them. All 3 speakers support Bluetooth, have an analogue and optical input -  plus a headphone socket.

Pulse Flex

Pulse Flex

Pulse Flex

Pulse Flex

Pulse Mini

Pulse Mini

Pulse Mini

Pulse Mini

Pulse 2

Pulse 2

Pulse 2 on the left and Pulse Mini on the right (available in black or white)

Pulse 2 on the left and Pulse Mini on the right (available in black or white)

Bluesound Music Players: Node 2 and Powernode 2

Node 2 The Node 2 connects to your existing stereo or home cinema system via analogue connection (with fixed output option) or digital coaxial outputs. It is compact and sounds fantastic. I have (Stefan) got one myself and I all I can say is - It sounds stunning, really stunning.

Powernode 2 -  The Powernode 2 does everything the Node 2 can do, plus it can drive a pair of stereo loudspeakers. This is great and gives you various options for use in-ceiling, outdoors or to use as streamer and amplifier connected to an existing set of speakers. With 60W per channel you can choose from a wide range of speakers for your home or office set-up.

Powernode 2 on the left and the Node 2 on the right

Powernode 2 on the left and the Node 2 on the right

Powernode 2 on the left and Node 2 on the right

Powernode 2 on the left and Node 2 on the right

Pulse Soundbar and Pulse Subwoofer
Both work wirelessly and that is also how they connect to each other. You can play all the music that I mentioned above through the Pulse soundbar with or without the Pulse subwoofer. Our suggestion is to use a subwoofer and you can even use one from a different brand, such as a REL.

Now add two Pulse Flex speakers as wireless surround sound speakers and you have a 5.1 home cinema system - very flexible!

Pulse Soundbar

Pulse Soundbar

Pulse Soundbar under our 55" Panasonic OLED TV

Pulse Soundbar under our 55" Panasonic OLED TV

Pulse Subwoofer

Pulse Subwoofer

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Controlling Your Bluesound streaming music system
Open the BluOS app and bring in your speakers or components. This is very easy. You can see them in a list on the right hand side. Select one and play your music or group some of them and play your music in several rooms at the same time.

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On the left hand side you see your players inputs, music streaming subscriptions and access to the player settings.

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Supported Music Streaming Services

Supported Music Streaming Services

Music playing from Tidal

Music playing from Tidal

All Bluesound players and speakers are compatible with Roon if you want to take streaming music control and sound quality to the next level.

There is so much more we can show you about streaming music via Bluesound, however as always your ears and eyes need to be the judge, so please feel free to email us or call us on 01793 538222 or if you're live locally just come into the Audio T Swindon shop.

Stefan and Andy

Bluesound music streaming products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
ManchesterOnlinePortsmouthSwindon

Naim Uniti Star Streaming System Offers Flexibility and Outstanding Performance

Just add a suitable pair of loudspeakers to the Naim Uniti Star for a comprehensive and rather beautiful modern music system, incorporating all the features below!

With control by the Naim iOS or Android app. your music will be at your fingertips.

With control by the Naim iOS or Android app. your music will be at your fingertips.

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Under the Skin of Uniti Star
This all-in-one player packs a heavy punch.  Uniti Star includes a CD player alongside streaming and amplification technology. The custom integrated CD drive also doubles as a ripper, making Uniti Star the most versatile all-in-one in the range. State of the Art digital technology comes together with the legendary Naim sound quality!

Suitable for use with a wide range of loudspeakers, but the Neat Iota Alpha is proving to be a popular choice with the Naim Uniti range.

As you would expect within the Uniti range there are clear performance differences between the models, and it really makes good sense to come along and hear for yourself what they are capable of. 

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Julian, Paul & John look forward to seeing you in store, for a listen to some of the amazing equipment we keep on demonstration.

Naim Uniti products are stocked at all branches of Audio T.

Join us in Uniti on Thursday 9th of November at Jurys Inn Brighton

On Thursday 9th of November we will be showing the new Uniti range from Naim Audio, at the Jurys Inn located at Brighton Station

We will be joined by representatives from Naim Audio, who will not only demonstrate the products but answer any questions you may have about them.

It all begins with the Uniti Core

NAIM UNITI CORE

NAIM UNITI CORE

From there you are able to add your network player of choice, starting with the Uniti Atom.

Naim Uniti Atom

Naim Uniti Atom

If you have a larger room or even a larger room and bigger speakers it could be the Uniti Nova that would suit you best.

NAIM UNITI NOVA

NAIM UNITI NOVA

If you are one of those people who like to still play CDs and also have the ability to rip them to some local storage such as an SD card or USB drive then the Uniti Star would be just the job for you.

Naim Uniti Star

Naim Uniti Star

We will be demonstrating these through a pair of ProAc Response D20R loudspeakers and the ProAc representative will also be there if you have any questions regarding their speakers.

So please don't be shy, come along and experience an evening of great products and great tunes, tickets can be booked here, if that isn't enough all attendees can enter our FREE prize draw* to win one of 3 Mu-So QB's worth £649 each.

*T&Cs apply. Mu-So Qb prizes are for the entire roadshow not per event. One entry per person. Prize draw will take place after the final roadshow event on the 9th November and the lucky winners notified by phone or email and published in the Audio T eClub newsletter.

Julian, Paul & John look forward to seeing you on the night.

Naim Uniti products are stocked at all branches of Audio T.

ProAc loudspeakers are stocked in Brighton and Preston.

Bluesound Hi-Res Music Listening Event At Audio T Portsmouth

On Thursday the 5th of October we are holding a Bluesound Hi-Res listening event. Bluesound is a multi-room high resolution streaming system which allows you to add great sound to any room.

Bluesound also gives you the ability to add music streaming to an existing Hi-Fi system. And with the Vault 2 ripper and streamer you can rip and store your entire CD collection on to the 2TB (terabyte) hard drive, which equates to approximately 2600 CD's - freeing up space in your home if you have your CD stored in racks or towers.

Click on the poster to book your place.

Click on the poster to book your place.

Using the Bluesound app you can stream from a number of music services, such as Spotify, Qobuz, TIDAL and of course any music you have stored on computers or servers, from the comfort of your sofa. Now you have the convenience of millions of tracks at your fingertips.

On the day we'll be recreating the ear opening demonstration that was conducted the Bristol Hi-Fi show earlier this yearA representative from Bluesound will allow you to listen and hear the difference in sound quality between MP3, CD and MQA from the TIDAL Masters collection.

This will be a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the Bluesound range of streaming products, or if you are already acquainted, it will be an excellent chance to ask any questions you may have.

Meet the Bluesound family

Bluesound family

Bluesound family

The Awesome Vault 2

The Awesome Vault 2

In the meantime if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or pop in.

Click here to reserve your place or drop in on the day between 12-7 pm.

We look forward to seeing on Thursday 5th October.

Nick, Joe and James

Bluesound Hi-Fi is available from the following branches of Audio T:
ManchesterOnlinePortsmouthSwindon

Musical Fidelity Encore 225 All In One Music System

When you open the box for the Encore you are presented with an 18.3 Kg beast of a unit! This 225 watt box of musical delights is really solidly built and as such fills you with confidence even before you plug it in.

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The Musical Fidelity Encore 225's purpose is to provide a one box solution designed to take away the fuss that usually entails when you take your first steps into streaming. There is no need to have a separate storage unit such as a network attached storage (NAS) drive as the Encore has its own 1TB (upgradeable) hard drive built in. You can connect the Encore to your network and you can drag and drop music onto it. Not only that, but it comes equipped with a CD drive which can work as a CD player but is also a ripper. Copying your CD collection could not be simpler, just put it in the drive and the Encore takes care of the rest. Using the Apple or Android App you then simply find your music and press play. The large high resolution display on the front panel will then show the artwork and track you are currently playing. It's not limited to playing music from the hard drive or CD though, as the Encore integrates the music subscription service Tidal through its App allowing CD quality playback from their large jukebox in the cloud. Also around the back of the unit you will find 3 pairs of RCA inputs, 4 digital inputs and a couple of USB inputs for expanding the units storage. Also on the front panel it has a high quality headphone output.

As previously mentioned the Encore has 225 watts per channel plenty enough for the vast majority of speakers out there and enough to always keep things under control. We have tried it on a number of different speaker makes and models including Dynaudio, Neat, Bowers and Wilkins, PMC and it worked well with all of them so it's certainly not a fussy amplifier. We also tried a variety of music genres. Playing Antonin Dvorak Op. 77 Scherzo performed by the Berlin Philharmonic String Quartet showed just how much grip on the speakers the amplifier has as the dynamics of the performance shone from the first bar onwards. Tippers Gulch from his Backwards Forwards album memorised with the scale of the sound stage and again this showed the amplifiers control as the speakers didn't trip up once as the sounds in the track twisted and turned. It not all about power though, as the Encore is really good at resolving the detail. On Agnes Obel's Aventine you could hear every last nuance in her voice and the strings giving the impression the artists were in the room with you. All in all we think the Encore is a great sounding product and perfect for the modern ways of music consumption. The Encore 225 offers a lot of product for the money. Of course you can come and hear it for yourself, Just give us a call for a demonstration on 0117 926 4975.

Thanks for looking.

Martin, Max and James. Audio T Bristol 

Musical Fidelity Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOnlineSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon