Feeds
75%
Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30 hi-fi streamer

Hi-res, networked musical box

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Review Sound quality isn’t always the first consideration in the world of digital music, where songs tend to be compressed for convenience, rather fidelity. That’s where Brit hi-fi brand Cambridge Audio hopes to make its mark with the NP30 (Network Player 30), which offers better-than-CD hi-res 24-bit audio playback for music files and Internet radio over your home network.

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

Lacking an amp and speakers, the NP30 has been designed to fit in with the company’s swish-looking Sonata range – such as the AR30 amp (and CD30 and DVD30) – but it can be connected to virtually any set-up using its standard stereo analogue outputs. You can also use digital S/PDIF and optical outputs for connecting to higher quality DACs and there’s a trigger connection that allows the NP30 to automatically power up when the amp it’s connected to is switched on.

Unlike similar devices such as Sonos or Squeezebox, the NP30 is a native 24-bit player with a built-in 24-bit/96kHz Wolfson DAC, which puts it well above CD’s 16-bit/44.1kHz resolution and firmly in the hi-fi category. While you can stream full 24-bit files using the on-board Wi-Fi, Cambridge Audio recommends using the Ethernet connection, so there’s less chance of interference, though I didn’t notice any when testing.

As well as getting the music off your computer, Cambridge Audio’s UuVol streaming service offers over 20,000 Internet radio stations that you can sort by the usual location and genre, and search by name. Using Uuvol’s web portal you can also search by bitrate and add non-UuVol stations too.

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

Wi-Fi on-board, but streaming using Ethernet is recommended for 24-bit audio

It also offers additional streaming services with BBC iPlayer (radio), Live365, Aupeo and MP3Tunes and you can access podcasts too, at least from the BBC and BlogTalkRadio. There’s no Spotify, Napster or Last.FM yet, but CA says they’re negotiating for licences now. You can also play back tracks from a storage device from its USB port.

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

High performance access to file storage

Next page: Remote options

More from The Register

next story
Report: Apple seeking to raise iPhone 6 price by a HUNDRED BUCKS
'Well, that 5c experiment didn't go so well – let's try the other direction'
Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT
Especially if you are bad at them and keep losing
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Nvidia gamers hit trifecta with driver, optimizer, and mobile upgrades
Li'l Shield moves up to Android 4.4.2 KitKat, GameStream comes to notebooks
Gimme a high S5: Samsung Galaxy S5 puts substance over style
Biometrics and kid-friendly mode in back-to-basics blockbuster
Dell Wyse Cloud Connect: Pocket Android desktop
Ultrathin client with a lot of baggage. The upside? It's a rogue sysadmin's delight
AMD unveils Godzilla's graphics card – 'the world's fastest, period'
The Radeon R9 295X2: Water-cooled, 5,632 stream processors, 11.5TFLOPS
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Sony battery recall as VAIO goes out with a bang, not a whimper
The perils of having Panasonic as a partner
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.