Streaming music is now the way of choice for a great many people - even collectors can stream casually, while keeping file collections for relaxed listening. And a network music player brings all these to your hi-fi.
A lot of the options here are small little things, but here our winner is a proper hi-fi sized bargain, Yamaha's NP-S303, at $699 for a versatile streamer together with AirPlay and Bluetooth, and once networked via Ethernet or Wi-Fi you enjoy all the abilities of Yamaha’s award-winning MusicCast multiroom platform - which means easy access to Spotify Connect, Tidal, Deezer, along with network streaming at up to high-res 24-bit/192kHz.
It is worth mentioning that all these abilities are shared by the smaller and much cheaper ($229) Yamaha WXAD-10, which wins an award in a different category. Where this NP-S303 scores over the smaller unit is not only in terms of build quality and rack presence, but also in the provision of digital outputs and in the quality of its analogue circuits, which Yamaha has stocked here with high quality components and separated physically from the digital section to suppress potential noise.
It’s Yamaha's great sound as well as versatility that wins the award here.
Full awards: www.avhub.com.au/awards