Preston Welcomes Linn Products And The New Linn Selekt DSM Music System

Here at Preston we are proud to welcome thw world reknowned Linn Products brand to our branch with their newest product, the Selekt DSM streamer.

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There are four different versions of the Selekt DSM available, starting with a dedicated streamer to an all in one which incorporates their Katalyst DAC. We have in store and ready for demonstration the Selekt DSM streamer including amplifier which is a delight to operate as much as it is to listen to.

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The digital inputs give you two optical, two coaxial, a USB and HDMI for all your digital connection needs. The Selekt DSM range are music streamers, which gives you access to any music that you have stored on your home network via UPNP up to 24 bit 192khz high resolution and any of the thousands of internet radio stations from anywhere in the world using Tune-in radio.

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It also has Tidal and Qobuz lossless music streaming *services (*subscription required) built in, all of which can be selected and controlled by using the Linn control app that is available for your Apple and Android smart device which you can download from the app store.

Linn control app.

Linn control app.

Within the set up procedure Linn use a very useful tool called Space optimisation, which is part of the Linn set up software that is installed from the their website onto a PC or laptop.

Main volume control

Main volume control

The Linn Selekt DSM software gives you the opportunity to input your listening room dimensions as well as features in the room to optimise the sound quality for your room. In this set up you can choose from a seemingly endless list of speaker manufacturers and models enabling you to get the very best sound from this system in almost any domestic setting.

Ir remote

Ir remote

Come on in and have a listen. We look forward to demonstrating it to you.

Ian, Gavin & Andy - Audio T Preston.

Linn Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Oxford, Preston, Swindon

Sleek Stylish and Scintillating New SONOS Amp

The new SONOS AMP has arrived and it is a thing of beauty.

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This AMP is an exercise in industrial design, sleek looking, lovely soft touch finish and touch sensor controls on the front edge.

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When we look round the back of the AMP it has the same elegant and minimal approach. There is a pair of phono sockets for analogue in, an HDMI socket for interfacing with your TV, a subwoofer output for traditional subs and a couple of Ethernet sockets. The speaker sockets are 4mm banana type and plugs are supplied in the package.

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This is definitely the best AMP SONOS have produced sounding wonderful streaming Woodkid -The Golden Age from our library on a pair of Dali Zensor 5 floorstanders. It handles the intricate percussion of this album with ease and manages to reproduce the scale of the production effortlessly. On more intimate material like Chris Jones - Roadhouses and Automobiles there is real delicacy and resolution

The AMP also adds a lot of flexibility to an existing SONOS system, use it to connect an external source into the SONOS chain like a turntable or CD player, it will also integrate into SONOS surround systems with its HDMI input. It has Airplay 2 and a healthy 125 W per channel unlike the old Connect amp which is 55W.

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All in all the new SONOS AMP is a big hit with us here at Audio T Brentwood.

Come in and hear for yourself!

Paul, Francis, Jason, and Boswell

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SONOS is available from the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Manchester, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

Don't Be Afraid to Catch Feels (Again): The Arcam SA20 Amplifier

Those of you who read our previous blog post about the Arcam SA20, mostly with regard to its performance with a Rega Planar 3 turntable, I’d hinted at the SA20's DAC but postponed elucidation to a later blog; this one!

To recap, the Arcam SA20 has two co-axial and one optical digital input, with a sophisticated 7-step filter selection which is fun to experiment with. I left it in position 3, Arcam’s default.

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A long-standing customer of ours (he knows who he is), brought his Bryston BDP-3 network audio player in for me to update and set-up. It has no DAC of it's own, so to check its function (and get a sneaky audition), I connected it to the SA20 that was warmed up in the dem suite with a Black Rhodium Rondo coaxial digital interconnect. (One of our favourites.) The speakers were the Monitor Audio Silver 200s I had connected for the Rega Planar 3 turntable demo earlier.

Our Mr K remembered how fond I am of Norah Jones, so he brought in a 24-bit download from HDTracks of 'Come Away with Me', plus Diana Krall's 'Turn Up The Quiet' for good measure. (What a nice man.) All in all, about £6k for the system, with an unusually high 2/3rds of the budget given up to the front end.

Wow!

What initially grabbed our attention was the soundstage. Just before Lee Alexander starts playing bass on "Cold, Cold Heart", it pops out, almost holographic. Norah's delicate piano playing and delicious, breathy vocals (steady now - ed) firmly held in their own space, the swing of the bass washed over, melted us into the sofa and had me longing for a glass of something restorative.

This Arcam SA20 amplifier continues to impress...

Thanks for reading. - Audio T Swansea.

Arcam Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brentwood, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Oxford, Preston, Southampton, Swansea, Swindon

Primare And The Wonderful Prisma Technology Arrives At Audio T Brentwood

We’ve just received our new stock of Primare equipment and we’re mightily impressed! This Swedish company has been making exceptional Hi-Fi products for over thirty years and always with a beauty of style and sound. They have now launched a new “connectivity and control technology” called Prisma which can be incorporated in their new modular range of separates.

Firstly they’re beautiful!

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And the fit and finish is exceptional.

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The first two models to show are the 35 range comprising I35 integrated amp and CD35 integrated CD player or DD35 CD transport. They sound gorgeous. Appropriately we put a CD of Eivor into the player, the album Slor, and the sense of scale and imagery through the Bowers and Wilkins 805 speakers was breathtaking. The addition of the Prisma technology takes them to another level adding app control, Bluetooth, Airplay, and Spotify Connect. Prisma also has Chromecast built in allowing you to cast from your phone or tablet direct to the Prisma module.

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The I35 has analogue (balanced and single ended) and digital inputs as well making it a truly versatile and comprehensive performer.

Down from that is the 15 range comprising the I15 integrated amp and DD15 CD transport

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These are equally beautifully built and can also be equipped with the same Prisma technology as their bigger siblings.

Sticking with the Scandinavian theme, we put some of Bjork’s most recent Utopia album on playing through the equally Scandi Dali Oberon 5 speakers. This album has an incredibly wide dynamic range which just sang through the speakers being driven by the little I15 (they’re only about 2/3 width).

We are really looking forward to getting to know these lovely components better, why not come in and try them for yourself.

We would like to thank all of our customers this year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Paul, Francis, Jason and Boswell

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Primare Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T:
Brentwood, Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester

Audio T Bristol Welcomes Primare Prisma Range

Primare have been making quality Hi-Fi for over 30 years and their equipment is incredibly well engineered which isn’t just for appearance as it sounds great. The move to streaming has not passed the guys at Primare  by. Their streaming system, called Prisma, is a very capable media solution offering Airplay, Bluetooth, Spotify and Chromecast built in. This allows a seamless solution for all your streaming and multi-room needs.

Primare i35 Range

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The Primare i35 streaming amplifier is a cleverly thought out piece of audio engineering. It’s modular design means it can function in any which way you want. So you could buy it as a standard Hi-Fi amplifier which provides ample power, 150w per channel, just add the matching high quality Primare CD 35 CD player. If you already have a streamer you can buy the amp with a card installed for high quality digital playback. If you don’t have a streamer all is not lost as you can buy the i35 with the previously mentioned Prisma solution. If you have an amplifier and need a CD player but you also want to delve into the world of streaming you can buy the i35 CD with Prisma and away you go. I think Primare have all combinations covered here.

Primare i15 Range

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The Primare i15 amplifier and DD15 CD player s is similar to the i35 range but in a small package. The amplifier is only available with prisma installed so you could buy that for a complete streaming solution or as part of a muiti-room system. It will drive most speakers with its 60 watts per channel output. If you need CD playback there is a matching CD transport and if you just need a CD player come streamer then it is available with Prisma built in.

We have tried all the above with different speaker combinations and genres of music. We think they perform admirably in terms of the sound they produce and functionality they offer. The streaming side of things is a pleasure to use, which means you can simply get on with listening to music.

As always we say don’t take our word for how good the Primare is, come along and have a listen and judge for yourself. Martin, Max and James - Audio T Bristol.

Primare Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:

Bristol, Cheltenham, Manchester

An Amazing Brighton Customer Hi-Fi Journey With Linn And Naim

For this months blog we have chosen to highlight a long standing customer who epitomises the old adage of buying well and upgrading over time.

With an original purchase in the 1980’s of a Linn Sondek LP12 turntable and Naim amplifier combination, this customer improved and expanded his system over many years with us, and has taken advantage of rejuvenating original equipment with servicing, as Naim recommend for their electronics at 8 to 10 year intervals.

Waiting for the  ND555  &  PS555 DR  that are due in July.

Waiting for the ND555 & PS555 DR that are due in July.

Building to a classic system with Linn LP12, Naim CDSII, NAC52 pre amp and Naim SBL loudspeakers driven actively with a four pack of NAP135 power amps this was a formidable combination, providing many years of superb performance and great enjoyment.

In 2007 we returned his Naim equipment for servicing, and his Linn LP12 was left with us to service and add an internal Naim Prefix phono stage. He added a Naim Hi-Line interconnect for the CDS2 and upgraded his equipment racks to Quadraspire Q4.

Once again with the LP12’s modular design, meant in 2009 he was able to upgrade to the Linn Keel, introduced in 2006. A machined one piece aluminium sub chassis and arm board for his Naim Aro tonearm. A rigid support for the bearing and arm that reduces unwanted vibrations and improves mechanical integrity, meaning less distortion and more music.

Moving on to April 2018 and he embarked on bringing the system up to date. We returned the amplification to Naim for servicing once more. This time he is trading in the Naim CDSII and XPS combo for the new top of the range Naim ND555 network player with Naim 555DR power supply, and a Naim Core CD ripping music server. The Quadraspire racks have been changed for a combination of Naim Fraim and Fraimlite stands, and all of the interconnects to Naim Super Lumina and mains leads to Naim Powerlines. This is another big commitment towards continued and improved musical enjoyment.

It was also time to look at what Linn had been up to since his last visit with the turntable. First produced in 1973, Linn have strived to keep the LP12 at the forefront of many a Hi-Fi system. Always looking to advance performance, in 2009 they introduced the Linn Radikal and Urika. This has replaced the customers Naim Armageddon turntable power supply with the Radikal, a power supply and DC motor, significantly improving performance, along with the Urika inbuilt phono stage replacing the Naim Prefix. This is connected to his pre amp using a Naim Super Lumina 5 pin Din interconnect along with a new cartridge to replace his dearly loved Linn Troika. 

The Linn Kandid cartridge introduced in 2013 is the best cartridge Linn have ever made and is designed to extract as much musical information from your records as possible. All those still holding on to old or well loved cartridges such as the Troika should really hear how things have come on in the world of cartridge development.

And to add a little spice to the occasion, the Tiger-Paw Tranquillity has been included as a final touch to the proceedings. This clever addition is a two piece magnetic combination fitted to the bearing housing and opposing section to the underside of the inner platter, reducing the force between bearing and thrust plate. Pop in and borrow one for the weekend to see how you like it.

What could be next you may ask? Well, having addressed obtaining the best input to the system, the hierarchy moves to the pre-amplifier. The next upgrade may very well be from the NAC52 pre- amp and Supercap to the legendary Naim NAC552 and 552PS and adding a Supercap DR  to power the active crossover and get another leap in performance. There is generally more to be had!

Of course this is a system of real magnitude, but if you have a Linn LP12 turntable or a Naim Amplifier of any vintage, yours can be given a new lease of life by being serviced and upgraded as appropriate.

So, purchase high quality components and they can remain at the heart of a marvellous  Hi-Fi system for many years, giving exceptional value for your original investment. When you next want to upgrade your Hi-Fi system, buy the best you can!

Our sincere thanks and very best wishes go to this special customer for his tremendous loyalty over many years. We wish you many more years of musical joy!

A comment from the customer himself...

I’d just like to add that none of this would have have happened without the incredible support of Julian, John and Paul at Audio-T in Brighton. The depth of knowledge that they have accumulated between them over the years is amazing and they have been able to advise wisely every step of the way.

Buying a music system is a very personal thing and in many ways it grows and adapts with you over your life. We all know where we were when certain tunes are played, but imagine hearing that tune again many years later but this time Kate Bush is in your room singing it! It’s like a time machine.

 As they say a 1000 mile journey begins with a single step!

Contact Julian, Paul and John at Audio T Brighton T: 01273 609431 E: brighton@audio-t.co.uk

Naim Hi-Fi products are Available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouth
PrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Linn Hi-Fi products are available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrightonBristolManchester

The All New Arcam HDA SA10 Integrated Amplifier Is Now Available At Audio T Preston

Just arrived here in Preston is the new Arcam SA10 integrated amplifier. This is the latest offering of an entry level amplifier from Arcam and replaces the very capable and successful A19.

As we unboxed the Arcam SA10 the first thing we noticed was a new look to the front facia giving it a fresh modern appearance. Also the addition of a new display panel that is larger and brighter than the earlier A19.

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The SA10 has 5 analogue inputs in total, one of which is a moving magnet phono input and on the front you can find a 3.5mm stereo jack input. If that wasn't enough Arcam have also added three digital inputs, two coaxial and one optical, making it more versatile than it's predecessor.

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At the rear of the amplifier new gold plated speaker terminals have been added along with a network input and an RS232 connection. 

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The network input can be used for controling the amp via the Arcam Music Life app, which can be downloaded free of charge on any Apple or Andriod smart device, and the RS232 allows for remote connection to a third party home automation system or computer.

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For the late night listener a 3.5m headphone socket can be found on the front facia.

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The IR remote control supplied by Arcam is ready to use on many Arcam products but it is also a learning remote and can be programmed to control other products for your convenience

We set the SA10 up and partnered it up with the Rega Planar 3 inc Elys 2 cartridge along with the KEF R100 speakers and it didn't disappoint. The 50w of power was driving the speakers with ease, giving a presentation that was both engaging and revealing.

Priced at £699 we feel that this amplifier has a lot to offer and while there may be cheaper models available, however the SA10 is a great starting point for any music lover.

Why not come along and have a listen at Audio T Preston 

We look forward to seeing you. Ian, Gavin & Andy.

Arcam Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldOxfordPrestonSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

Cor Blimey Governor/ness. Do We Have A Cracking New PMC Amplifier For You!

We may have been quiet on the blog front for a while but only because we have been so incredibly busy in store, so busy in fact that there are now slightly more than two and a half of us with Wayne joining our team for three days a week!  Enormous thanks to all of our loyal customers, both new and old, who have contributed to our success. It's been our best year for a very long time and goes to prove that it needn't be all doom and gloom in retail!

We are delighted to announce that we will very soon be taking delivery of our PMC Cor integrated amplifier.  When Tom from PMC first brought his demo model in for us to hear we were totally amazed.  The Cor simply blew away any other integrated amplifier we had heard previously.  It just delivers the music effortlessly and never runs out of steam!

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We took our first Cor order whilst we had the early demo model on loan and knew instantly that we just had to stock this magnificent amplifier.  It is the perfect partner to the PMC Twenty5 series range of speakers which we have stocked in full, and been massive fans of from day one, and is especially well-suited to the top model Twenty5 26, but equally at home driving any high quality speakers.

Interest in Cor is likely to be high because of the initial limited build, so please let us know if you would like us to contact you when we are in a position to book a demonstration, or arrange a home loan over a weekend.

We look forward to seeing you very soon.

Audio T Southampton - Alan, John and Wayne

Naim Multi-room Firmware Update For Uniti And Mu-so Also Improves Sound Quality

This latest firmware update from Naim, not only improves functionality, but also offers a noticeable improvement in sound quality.

The new Uniti and Mu-so are updated Over-the-Air so just update via the Naim app. Please ensure you read the information below before carrying out the update on manually updated products.

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The firmware updates will enable you to seamlessly play music between Naim streaming products. This update also includes known bug fixes.  For Mu-so and the new Uniti ranges, the Naim app will notify users that an update is available.

N.B. For legacy streaming products that don't have the over-the-air update feature, Naim will publish the download links as usual on the Naim website and Forum.

Products to be Updated

Over-the-air (App prompted)

Mu-so
Mu-so Qb
Uniti Nova
Uniti Star
Uniti Atom

Manual Product Update
Except for Mu-so and the new Uniti ranges that will update over-the-air, all other products will require a manual update. To update the unit you will need a PC or Mac and a USB to mini-b or USB to RS232 cable, depending on the age of the product. A simple step-by-step video on how to update a unit manually can be watched below.

Manual update - IMPORTANT - In order for the unit to perform the update it MUST be 24bit/192kHz capable).

NDS
NDX
ND5 XS
• SuperUniti
• NaimUniti
• NaimUniti 2
• UnitiLite
• UnitiQute
• UnitiQute 2
• NAC-N 172 XS
NAC-N 272

To identify if the unit is a 24bit/192kHz variant, follow these instructions:

1. Press the ‘Settings’ button on the remote control
2. Scroll and select ‘Factory Settings’
3. Scroll and select ‘System Status’
4. Scroll to ‘BC SW’. If the code starts with ‘3D’ you have the latest hardware and the update can be made. If it displays anything else then the update cannot be made. 

If you have any questions regarding the update or are experiencing any issues installing the new firmware please contact the Naim Technical Support team.

Join Julian, Paul and John in the Brighton store to explore Naim in depth.

Naim Hi-Fi products are Available at the following branches of Audio T:
BrentwoodBrightonBristolCardiffCheltenhamEnfieldManchesterOxfordPortsmouthPrestonReadingSouthamptonSwanseaSwindon

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