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Pioneer debuts N-30 and N-50 networked audio players: AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 and smartphone apps on tap

Pioneer debuts N-30 and N-50 networked audio players: AirPlay, DLNA 1.5 and smartphone apps on tap
Donald Melanson
Donald Melanson|@donmelanson|January 4, 2012 9:24 PM
Willing to spare no expense to meet your streaming music demands? Then you now have two more fairly high-end systems from Pioneer to consider. The company has just released its new N-30 and N-50 networked audio players, which each boast support for AirPlay and DLNA 1.5, as well as the ability to handle top-end digital audio like 192kHz/24-Bit FLAC and WAV files. You'll also get a 2.5-inch LCD up front and control apps for both iOS and Android devices, although you'll have to shell out a bit more for some optional adapters if you want WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity. The N-50 model (pictured above) also steps things up with gold-plated RCA jacks and an "armored chassis" designed to reduce noise, plus support for additional audio features like Advanced Sound Retriever and Sound Retriever AIR (which promise to enhance compressed audio files). Look for it to set you back $699, with the lower-end N-30 model running $499. Some additional details can be found in the press release after the break.
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Pioneer's New Networked Audio Players Expand Audiophile Listening Options

Two New Models Improve Audio Quality of High-Resolution Streamed Digital Music

LONG BEACH, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today expanded its family of networking devices with the release of two new Elite® branded networked audio players. Both the N-30 ($499) and N-50 ($699) are equipped with AirPlay® and DLNA® 1.5 wireless technologies, offering music lovers access to their music stored in a variety of different sources. With the growing popularity of high-resolution audio available for Internet download, Pioneer's networked audio players are designed to handle and expertly reproduce high-resolution digital music. In addition to AirPlay and DLNA 1.5, the networked audio players feature vTuner™ Internet radio, iPhone® and Android control apps and a 2.5-inch full-color LCD display.

"Utilizing Pioneer's audio heritage, we wanted to create a networked audio player that can handle a wide range of music formats, including high-resolution audio that enthusiasts and music lovers are now asking for," said Chris Walker, director of AV marketing and product planning for the home entertainment division of Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "These new networked players enhance any digital music so even audiophiles, who love listening to every detail of their music, will find these networked audio players a must-add to their existing high end system. Both models are the ideal complement to any existing home audio/video system that's missing networked audio capabilities."

Built with a focus on quick and easy access to digital music files, the N-30 and N-50 systems share a number of today's popular network-enabled music programs. Both players are AirPlay-compatible, enabling consumers to listen to music saved in their iTunes library as well as access to music available on AirPlay-enabled apps like PANDORA® Internet radio, iHeartRadio® and other music streaming services. The N-30 and N-50 are both "Made for iPad, iPhone and iPod" for music playback¹ and charging. Their DLNA 1.5 Certification enables consumers to stream music from a computer or other DLNA 1.5 server via a home network.

To connect either system to a wireless network when a direct Ethernet connection is not available, Pioneer offers the AS-WL300 optional wireless LAN converter (sold separately). The networked audio players also feature wireless Bluetooth® (optional Bluetooth adapter AS-BT200 required) transfer of audio content from any A2DP Bluetooth wireless enabled mobile device or personal computer. When users want an alternative from their own music library, both systems are equipped with vTuner Internet radio to access the more than 16,000 Internet radio stations around the world. Users can choose from different genres, station locations or have the ability to simply search for specific stations.

These systems enable playback of standard compressed audio formats including MP3, WMA and AAC. Through DLNA 1.5, both units feature high-resolution audio playback which can support 192kHz/24-Bit FLAC and WAV files that are now available from a number of Internet sites. AirPlay functionality provides Apple's Lossless audio with no degradation in sound quality when listening to music encoded in its native high-resolution format. A full-color 2.5" LCD screen built into both systems provides a convenient way to display the album art and song information of currently playing music. For added convenience, consumers can control their music via ControlApp, a free app that is available for the iPod touch®, iPhone and iPad® as well as select Android devices.

In the upper model N-50, Pioneer included an armored chassis to resist noise and gold RCA jacks for better audio connections. The N-50 also comes with additional audio features including Advanced Sound Retriever and Sound Retriever AIR that enhance the audio quality of compressed audio files, delivering near-CD quality from portable media players, Internet radio and Bluetooth audio transmissions.

For higher quality audio output, the N-50 features twin EL transformers to reduce interference and a Hi-Bit 32-Bit conversion processor for an elevated audio experience. Consumers with electronics devices with older or inefficient DACs can take advantage of the N-50's DAC Only Mode.

The Elite audiophile networked audio players are now available. For more information, check out www.pioneerelectronics.com.

It all began with a passion for music that Pioneer founder Nozomu Matsumoto hoped to share with the world. He started Pioneer in 1938 as a specialty speaker company, building products out of his garage. Today, Pioneer's Home Entertainment and Business Solutions Group continues Matsumoto's enthusiasm, developing award-winning audio and video home theater products including A/V receivers, Blu-ray Disc™ and DVD players, and speakers. Long-standing partnerships and collaborations with the creative community have provided Pioneer unique insight in its quest to capture the purity of a movie or musical artist's original vision into its broad range of home entertainment products. The company's brands include Pioneer® and Elite®. More details can be found at www.pioneerelectronics.com.

¹ USB cable not included with Elite Networked Audio Players.

PIONEER, the PIONEER logo and the ELITE logo are registered trademarks of Pioneer Corporation.
AirPlay, iPod, iPod touch, iPhone and iTunes are registered trademarks of Apple Inc. The AirPlay logo is a trademark of Apple, Inc.
"Made for iPod" and "Made for iPhone" mean that an electronic accessory has been designed to connect specifically to iPod or iPhone, respectively, and has been certified by the developer to meet Apple performance standards. Apple is not responsible for the operation of this device or its compliance with safety and regulatory standards. Please note that the use of this accessory with iPod or iPhone may affect wireless performance.
DLNA, the DLNA Logo and DLNA CERTIFIED® are trademarks, service marks, or certification marks of the Digital Living Network Alliance.
Bluetooth® is a registered trademark of Bluetooth SIG, Inc.
vTuner is a registered trademark of Nothing Else Matters Software, Ltd.
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