The features in home entertainment electronics have been growing at a rapid pace. Most of us audiophiles are constantly on the lookout for the latest products that can offer some pretty cool features along with an ultra clear and sharp listening experience. But finding our way to what satisfies us in the ever-changing world of cutting-edge audio entertainment can be overwhelming.
Well, let’s take one step at a time and look at the latest introductions this year, first up by home entertainment innovators Onkyo Corporation.
The DP-X1A High-Resolution Audio Player
The DP-X1A is a versatile and powerful portable audio player and streaming device and is the enhanced version of the popular DP-X1 model, offering more stability and clarity.
The DP-X1A incorporates a pair of ESS Technology’s SABRE DAC “ES9018K2M” and SABRE “9601K” amps for the highest possible sound quality and wide sound stage. It has a fully balanced circuit design from the DACs to its output, and supports up to DSD 11.2MHz, FLAC/WAV up to 384kHz/24 bit, and the latest MQA technology.
The DAC local power uses the Nippon Chemicon MELODIO series based custom audio grade capacitors, giving attention to the finer details to provide a greater audio quality. The DAC/AMP and CPU circuit board is separated into a block with its own independent power circuitry, allowing for a close looped circuit design for the individual blocks to maintain separation from one another. This keeps noise from entering the audio signal, in return allowing Hi-Res music to sound great and elevating the sound quality of compressed audio as well.
The DP-X1A is based on an Android OS and has multiple connectivity capabilities:
- Balanced output, digital output through Micro USB/OTG*1 support allows for both high quality output via the headphone jack and peripheral connections.
- The 2.5mm 4 pole balanced headphone (BTL balance mode/Active Control GND mode/Line out mode) allows for different kinds of high resolution sound depending on preference.
- 5mm stereo mini output (w/Line out mode).
- Micro USB/OTG digital output supports up to DSD 11.2MHz and 384kHz/24bit (DoP/Direct Transfer/PCM conversion).
- Built-in WiFi, WiFi Direct, and Bluetooth® with apt-X for high quality wireless streaming.*2
*1 OnTheGo host function requires compatible cable (sold separately)
*2 Compatible hardware required. Depending on Wi-Fi network speed, high-res audio playback may be intermittent.
With internal memory of 64GBs and two microSD card slots, up to 464GB of storage is available for all forms of entertainment.
The class leading 4.7inch GorillaGlass touch screen and access to GooglePlayTM allow for app support beyond what is preloaded, such as music and video streaming services and games. Using the preloaded OnkyoMusic app, downloading High-Res audio files can be done without the need of a PC.
The Onkyo DP-X1A is retailing at all authorised retailers at $999.
LS7200 3D Soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X
The three-piece LS7200 3D Soundbar system is part of Onkyo’s growing Envision Cinema product family, featuring the famed Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies. packed with a 40-preset FM tuner, AV sync function, and L/R tone controls, this audio set has the capabilities of a full-sized home cinema component tailor-made into a sleek and sophisticated system just for passionate listeners.
This system is designed with a low 53 mm profile for a neat and clean setup under the TV display. The wall-mountable soundbar connects to a separate AV Center via Multichannel Audio Cable, with full-scale power delivered to precision drivers (comprising two speakers each for the left, right, and center channels, plus single height speakers) by a discrete digital amplification system.
The AccuEQ Room Acoustic Calibration feature tailors sound to individual spaces, adjusting essential speaker conditions such as output level, distance, and crossover, while preventing standing waves inside the room for a clear and well-focused image presentation.
Other supported wireless streaming technologies include DTS Play-Fi®*, AirPlay® and FireConnect™ multi-room wireless technology. The AV Center includes four HDMI® inputs to connect media players and game consoles, with all components and cabling easily concealed in an entertainment unit. TV connection comes via single 4K/60p HDMI cable with Audio Return Channel, allowing the LS7200 to enhance broadcast TV audio.
* Firmware must be updated before operation.
As well as various dialogue volume adjustment functions for DTS:X™ soundtracks, DTS Neural:X™ is included to upmix standard multichannel audio to 3D sound.
Dolby Audio™ adds a new Surround Enhancer technology that wraps sound around the audience by creating virtual rear speakers. Other practical inclusions are Direct Mode for high-quality stereo sources, Late Night Mode, and custom DSP programmes for games and music.
An Onkyo Controller app brings together wireless casting technologies, simplifies access to included TuneIn and TIDAL services, and centralises housewide audio distribution to optional FireConnect™-compatible wireless speakers. The easy-to-use app compliments on-screen GUI with system remote controls for each zone.
The LS-7200 speaker system is retailing at all authorised retailers at $1,799.
NCP-302 Wireless Speaker with multi-room support
You can now move around in your home with your favourite music following you, thanks to the NCP-302 Wireless Audio System. This is a standalone speaker that links with other units and compatible Onkyo master components, from AVRs to mirror home entertainment sources around the home over FireConnect™ powered by Blackfire1.
The smooth and compact speaker system can be placed on shelves or any surface or countertop that you desire, and supports a variety of music streaming and internet radio services, such as Spotify®, TIDAL, Deezer, and TuneIn2, together with audio files stored on mobile or media server inside the Onkyo Controller application3. FireConnect™, a network protocol based on the Blackfire technology, operates over 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi® and offers 44.1 kHz and 48 kHz sampling.
The built-in Chromecast4 feature allows users to cast any music from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or PC to a speaker or speaker network with ease, and includes support for the Spotify® Connect app, and DTS Play-Fi®*4 technology, along with Bluetooth® wireless technology. The NCP-302 can be played to separately or grouped with other units using an Onkyo Controller, which offers source selection and playback management for individual or multiple speakers within a single intuitive interface.
Another amazing feature of this system is that it can also mirror network music playing through a master component as well as sources input via analogue audio terminals*5, including vinyl records, CDs, and cassettes.
With NCP-302 and a FireConnect™-ready master component in the main living space, families can experience Onkyo’s Next Generation Network Audio: an ecosystem of technologies that coalesce in smartphones to deliver audio anywhere, any time.
The NCP-302 speaker is retailing at all authorised retailers at $599.
*1 FireConnect™ is enabled by a firmware update.
*2 Service availability depends on region.
*3 Available for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. Check App Store or Google Play™ for OS and device requirements.
*4 Enabled with a future firmware update.
*5 Enabled with a future firmware update. Transmission via external analog inputs is not supported on the TX-NR555 Onkyo products compatible with FireConnect™.