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Tech Triumvirate

Tech Triumvirate

Published: Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Onkyo continues its tradition of phenomenal compact Hi-Fi performance with the introduction of three new package systems comprising the flagship CS-N775D Multi-room Receiver System, CS-N575D Multi-room Hi-Fi CD System, and CS-375D CD Receiver System. Each blend component-grade musicality with effortless operation for people of all ages, especially those less familiar with network audio.

Two network models support Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi, proprietary multi-room distribution for network and analogue audio, with the CS-N775D adding the AirPlay wireless audio streaming platform. Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, and TuneIn are integrated together with mobile music and audio on networked media server via the Onkyo Controller app for iPad, iPhone, and Android devices.

The receivers showcase a new JOG dial and advanced display technology that helps everyone find and play music in seconds. The CS-N775D and CS-N575D feature information-rich LCDs providing visual reference when navigating content. Operation is demystified for listeners that prefer intuitive front-panel control.

Central to the CR-N775D (£469.99) concept was development of patented 3-state Bitstream switching amplification, a game-changing design that achieves class-beating frequency response, flat linearity, and analogue-like fluency with ultra-wide-bandwidth resolution. Where conventional switching amplifiers use only two digits (“on” or “off”) to reproduce the sound wave, 3-state Bitstream adds a third digit (or “neutral” position) to smoothly shape a waveform similar to that produced by an analogue amplifier. High power elicits peak performance from low-impedance speakers, distortion levels vanishing as sound-pressure grows to fill the room with vibrant music. The amplifier excels with quality sources decoded by an AK4490 768 kHz/32-bit DAC from AKM.
With 40W + 40W (4-Ohms, 1kHz, 10%, 2-channels driven, IEC), the CR-N775D is paired with D-165 2-Way Bass Reflex Speakers, each fitted with Onkyo’s premium 130mm N-OMF woofer and 30mm ring-radiator tweeter in an MDF enclosure with thick baffle.

Users can stream any music from Chromecast-enabled apps for iPhone, iPad, Android devices, Mac or Windows laptop, and Chromebook to the CS-N775D and any other supported speakers with Chromecast built-in.

DTS Play-Fi technology, meanwhile, allows streaming from online services, media server, or device library over 5GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi to any number of compatible products via the Onkyo Music Control App for iPad, iPhone, and Android phone/tablet.

DTS Play-Fi connects systems for synchronised music in every room, and can also stream different music to different rooms. Users can easily structure a comprehensive ecosystem that satisfies virtually any need.

Onkyo also includes proprietary multi-room network and analogue audio distribution baked into the Onkyo Controller app, which works with Onkyo NCP-302 speakers. Mirror audio from the CS-N775D in other rooms or configure speakers for grouped playback.

AirPlay is also included to share audio from supported applications, such as iTunes, from mobile devices and PC over Wi-Fi, while Bluetooth technology offers a versatile wireless connection to almost any device.

In another first for Onkyo, portable HDDs can function as a music server for the CS-N775D when connected to a USB input. Listeners can download music to PC and copy the files to the HDD via the home network. File playback includes 192 kHz/24-bit FLAC, ALAC, and WAV as well as Direct DSD 11.2 MHz, DSD 5.6/2.8 MHz, and compressed audio formats.

Other entertainment is served via FM/RDS and DAB+ tuners, front-loading CD player, 192 kHz/24-bit-capable co-axial and optical digital audio inputs, and line-level input. IR input/output and subwoofer pre-out join gold-plated speaker posts on the rear panel.

The CR-N575D receiver (£399.99) generates 20W + 20W (6-Ohms, 1kHz, 10%, 2-channels driven, IEC) for enthusiastic Hi-Fi sound. Original switching amplification developed by Onkyo’s experienced engineers features Optimum Audio Control DSP tuning, which integrates amp and loudspeaker characteristics for best performance. The efficient switching technology delivers high power for increased speaker sound-pressure and a wider sound-field.

With processing and amplification performed in the digital domain, accurate detail resolution is possible across a wide frequency bandwidth for rich, nuanced vocals, buoyant bass, and unstrained articulation of high frequencies. Each supplied D-075 2-Way Speaker includes a 130mm pressed pulp-fibre woofer and 25mm soft-dome tweeter in a thick MDF baffle. Vibrant stereo sound is projected from a compact footprint.

The receiver features Chromecast built-in, DTS Play-Fi, Onkyo multi-room audio distribution, and the same on-demand music services as the flagship model with support for Onkyo Controller, Bluetooth streaming, FM/DAB+ tuners, and LCD with JOG dial.

The CS-N575D supports HDD playback via USB input and full support for Hi-Res Audio including Direct DSD 11.2MHz. Connectivity includes USB inputs, 96kHz/24-bit coaxial/optical digital inputs, line-level input/output, IR input, subwoofer pre-out, and headphone jack.

The CS-375D (£269.99) is a well-featured and affordable component mini-system that carries the same premium switching amplification with Optimum Audio Control as the CR-N575D receiver. The system serves magnificent sound with natural verve, beating class rivals purely on this alone.

Yet it also offers great value and even better usability with JOG dial for easy operation, and includes coaxial digital and line-level inputs to route TV sound through the system or connect a media player for easy network audio. FM/RDS and DAB+ tuners add further value.

Bluetooth technology assures quick and stable wireless connection, the system powering up when detecting an incoming stream from an audio application. It offers USB audio from flash-memory devices, and the CD player reads CD-R/CD-RW and well as MP3-encoded discs.

The same high-quality D-075 speaker system as the CS-N575D completes a package that’s pitched at those seeking the best-sounding compact system on a modest budget.

All three systems encourage families to make music a part of everyday life. Offering separates-level performance in unobtrusive dimensions, and cleverly integrating app-based audio and sharing it around the home, the new CS Series outshines in every respect.
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