Article – From the horse’s mouth
If you are looking for an audio-focused network media player for your hi-fi system, you will typically come across devices that have an integrated broadcast radio tuner or optical disc player. This may be OK if your sound system doesn’t have these functions and may come in to its own with those network media players that have an integrated DAB+ or ISDB digital-radio tuner so you can add digital radio to your existing system.
But you may find yourself “doubling up” on functionality especially if you have an AM/FM tuner or broadcast-radio subsystem that is doing its job very well with broadcast radio.
Denon have filled in this gap with an audio-focused network media player in the form of the DNP-F109 that just provides access to network-hosted or Internet-hosted audio content as well as file-based audio content for existing audio systems. They pitched it primarily as an optional-extra component for their D-F109 bookshelf hi-fi system which consists of a CD player and a stereo receiver feeding a pair of bookshelf / mantelpiece speakers. Here, you can link this unit to the other components in a way to permit simplified “one-touch” operation or control with the system’s remote control.
But the DNP-F109 comes with its own remote control and has a coaxial digital output along with an analogue line-level output, thus allowing it to be plugged in to a vacant tape, CD, tuner or aux input on the amplifier. The digital output comes in to its own with “Dolby Digital” home-theatre receivers, digital amplifiers and digital-analogue converter components for best-case sound reproduction.
It can work with a small network that implements Ethernet or Wi-Fi connectivity and supports DLNA and Apple AirPlay setups. You also gain access to online media services like Internet radio and Spotify as well as the ability to play media held on USB-connected devices.
These kind of components can go a long way as an alternative to hooking up a laptop computer or tablet to an existing music system to play network-hosted or Internet-hosted audio content without making existing components or functions redundant.