Audiolab Unveils the 9000N Network Streamer

Audiolab Unveils the 9000N Network Streamer

Audiolab, the UK-based audio company, have introduced their latest technological marvel, the 9000N Network Streamer, which they boldly describe as a "streaming tour de force." Designed to complement their high-end audio offerings, the 9000N is set to elevate your audio experience to new heights. Let's dive into the technological prowess that defines this streaming powerhouse.

Linux-Based Streaming System:

At the heart of the 9000N lies a Linux-based streaming system, powered by an ARM Cortex-A53 processor. This robust foundation allows the 9000N to seamlessly support a wide array of streaming services, including Roon Ready, Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, and Apple AirPlay 2. It also boasts its own UPnP-based app, rumored to be developed in collaboration with the esteemed streaming experts, Lumin. This partnership is evident in the multi-source playlist creation feature, setting the 9000N apart. Streaming is a breeze over both Wi-Fi and Ethernet connections, ensuring you stay connected effortlessly.

Hi-Res Audio Support:

Audiolab doesn't compromise on audio quality. The 9000N delivers hi-res support up to 32-bit/768kHz for PCM and DSD512 for DSD, with options for 352.8kHz or 384kHz upsampling. It offers a variety of DAC filters, including two linear phase, two minimum phase, and one hybrid filter. Remarkably, it also supports MQA, despite its deprecated status on Tidal's 'Hifi Plus' tier.

ES9038PRO DAC Implementation:

The internal DAC of the 9000N is built around the esteemed ESS 9030PRO chip, featuring eight decoder channels split four per side. However, Audiolab emphasizes that it's not just the chip that matters; it's the meticulous implementation that truly counts. They have developed a new Class A circuit tailored to make the most of the ES9038PRO chip. Moreover, a dedicated power supply for the DAC section employs multiple discrete ultra-low-noise regulators, ensuring clean and precise power delivery to the left and right channels throughout the digital-to-analog conversion process.

Analog Excellence:

Audiolab pays equal attention to the post-DAC analog stage, adopting a balanced design to minimize noise and distortion. This stage exits via XLR sockets on the rear panel. For those who prefer single-ended connections, RCA outputs are also available. Both sets of analog outputs can be attenuated using the front panel volume control, providing the flexibility to customize your audio setup.

Connectivity Galore:

The 9000N boasts a comprehensive range of connectivity options. It features a USB-A port for streaming from directly attached storage devices using the provided app. A USB-B port is available for connecting to Macs, PCs, or Raspberry Pi setups. Additionally, it offers coaxial and TOSLINK outputs, catering to those with external DACs.

Intuitive Control:

The 9000N's front panel hosts two rotary knobs, 'select' and 'volume,' simplifying the control of settings displayed on its 4.3-inch IPS LCD screen. This screen not only provides vital information like cover art, sample rate, bit rate, and volume but also features a progress bar to keep you in the loop.

Pricing and Availability:

The Audiolab 9000N Network Streamer is set to hit the market through Audiolab's dealer network later this month. It will be available in both black and silver finishes, with a price tag of £2,499 in the UK, $3,499 in the USA, and €2,799 in the EU.

In summary, the 9000N Network Streamer from Audiolab is a testament to cutting-edge technology in the audio world. Its impressive feature set and meticulous implementation make it a standout choice for audiophiles and tech enthusiasts alike.