Articles – From the horse’s mouth
R-N301 Natural Sound Network Receiver
Catalogue Page (Australia, Europe)
A class of hi-fi component that is missed out on when it comes to network audio and AV is the stereo receiver. This component is more focused about reproducing music in stereo from radio broadcasts or other hi-fi components like CD players or turntables. This is compared to the home-theatre receivers which are more focused on reproducing surround sound, typically from attached Blu-Ray players, cable TV or other video sources along with support for radio broadcasts.
Onkyo previously released a network-capable DLNA-compliant stereo receiver in the form of the TX-8050 but Yamaha have released a more affordable unit which also works with Pandora, Spotify and co. This receiver, known as the R-N301 Natural Sound Network Receiver, has these abilities along with support for AirPlay and DLNA control and can put the music out at 100 watts RMS per channel (0.2% THD, 8-ohm speaker load, 20Hz-20kHz frequency response).
One omission that may affect some peoples’ buying decisions is the lack of a phono preamplifier so you can connect a turntable. This may be of concern especially with vinyl coming back in to vogue but is available in a more expensive network-capable stablemate in the form of the R-N500 Natural Sound Network Receiver.
But what I see of this is that Yamaha is joining Onkyo in providing a “full-width” stereo receiver that can be part of the home network but can be used in a lounge area like the formal living room where music, reading and other similar activities is the main activity.