Another full-band network audio tuner appears, this time from Onkyo

Article – From the horse’s mouth


T-4070 | ONKYO Asia and Oceania Website (Catalogue material)

My Comments

Previously, I had seen in action the NAD C446 Media tuner which is effectively a “four-band” (AM/FM/DAB+/Internet) broadcast-radio tuner and file-based audio-content player that can play from USB memory sticks or the DLNA Home Media Network. This was able to do its job in a very exacting manner yielding high-quality sound from these sources to the sound system that it is providing these playback services to.

Denon fielded a network audio player with FM/AM tuner functionality in the same box but those of us who have DAB / DAB+ digital radio broadcast services in action may find that this tuner misses the mark. This is more so if the AM talk and sports stations like ABC Radio National in the metropolitan areas do simulcast on DAB and you find that you can’t hear the programme hosts on these stations due to electrical interference but you find that the DAB simulcasts “answer your prayers”.

But Onkyo have shown up with a tuner with the same functionality as the NAD C446 tuner. This means it can pick up broadcasts from FM, AM or DAB as well as Internet streams; alongside playing audio content that exists on your DLNA-enabled home network or USB memory keys, providing these services to the sound system that it is connected to. If you have a smartphone or tablet full of music, you can stream audio content that exists on the device to this tuner via your home network using Apple AirPlay or DLNA.  The same holds true with computers that are packed to the gunnels with music and use iTunes, newer versions of Windows Media Player or other DLNA-capable media management programs.It also has access to the Spotify online music service as well as another service called Aupeo.

This function set, whether with or without DAB+ broadcast reception could end up being determined for audio-based network media adaptors, especially when it comes to gaining access to broadcast and Internet radio as well as network-hosted audio content, including online services. As well, the fact that mainstream hi-fi names are cutting in to the market shows that the class of product is being given serious thought.

I would see this device and its peers becoming simply a network media adaptor for audio content or a high-quality way to add DAB and Internet radio to that hi-fi system you so love.

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