Pioneer has launched a new player within a category that has more and more representatives. The new Pioneer NP-30 is a network audio player that will allow us to reproduce through our hi-fi equipment the music that we have stored on our computer or on another compatible device using our home network. We can also listen to music from a USB pen drive or from Internet radio stations .
Network players are a solution for all of us who have our music stored on our hard drive and want to have it available through our hi-fi equipment . Once connected to our home network, we can explore the files on our compatible computer or server equipment and choose the song or album that we want to play. Network players like our N-30 also allow us to listen to any of the thousands of Internet radio stations available. This gives us access to countless music stations as well as radio programs and information services.
The new Pioneer N-30 is a sleek and understated looking device. It is available in black (N-30-K) and silver (N-30-S) , so that we can combine it with the rest of the hi-fi elements of our equipment, and it occupies the same space as a normal CD player or DVD , or a traditional radio tuner . Specifically, measurements are 435 x 99 x 330 mm . As we have already pointed out before, the design of the N-30It is very elegant, thanks to its aluminum front face and its discreet and few control buttons. On the left side we will find the power button, plus three small activity information lights, the infrared receiver of the remote control and a USB port . On the right side, leaving the center empty cover, the N-30 incorporates a screen LCD of 2.4 inches with resolution QVGA , a function button and the four transport buttons. Obviously, the included remote control is full of buttons, allowing us an in-depth control of the N-30's possibilities .
The Pioneer N-30 is compatible with the main digital audio formats, being able to play MP3 (8-320 kbps), MPEG4 (16-320 kbps), WMA (5-320 kbps), FLAC (192 khz / 24 bit from network, 96kHz / 24bit from USB) and of course uncompressed audio in WAV format (192kHz / 24bit from network, 96kHz / 24bit from USB port) . All these formats are accessible both through the network and from any device connected to the front USB port . This USB port also allows us to navigate through the menus and receive audio from iPod or iPhone players .
This new Pioneer network player allows us to tune into online radio stations thanks to the vTuner service built into the equipment. The vTuner functionality can access Internet stations around the world, with an infinite number of musical styles or programs to choose from, many of them in high quality. The vTuner service is incorporated into many of the latest players and receivers on the market, from such important brands as Yamaha , Denon or Samsung .
The new Pioneer N-30 is compatible with the DLNA communication standard , which allows it to receive audio files from other compatible devices that we have at home, using our home network. These devices can be, for example, a computer, a smartphone, or a tablet. It is also compatible with the system Airplay of Apple , can play the music we have on our computer Apple through the N-30 . In addition to the audio file, Airplayit also sends information about the song we are listening to, such as the song or album titles, the artist, elapsed and remaining time, and the album art. All this information will be instantly displayed on the N-30 screen .
Thanks to Airplay we can also control the Pioneer N-30 from our iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch , being able to raise or lower the volume, and choose the music content from the iTunes library . If we have more Airplay- compatible equipment , the system will even allow us to control the volume of each player independently.
Apart from Airplay , the Pioneer N-30 mainly has an Ethernet port on the rear panel to connect to the network. If we do not have a network connection near your computer, you can also connect via WiFi , although this will have to purchase the optional adapter AS-WL300 of Pioneer , since the N-30 does not include wireless connectivity standard. The Bluetooth connection is not available either, so we will have to resort to the AS-BT200 adapter , also optional, in case we want to use this infrared connection.
As for the rest of the connections, the Pioneer N-30 has an analog audio output in RCA , digital audio output in coaxial and optical fiber, the Ethernet connection , two connectors for optional adapters, and the USB port on the front panel.
Price and competitors
The Pioneer N-30 is now available at a recommended retail price of 400 euros . If we want to make the connection through the WiFi network , we will have to opt for the AS-WL300 adapter , which costs about 70 euros . This price places it as a direct competitor to the Denon DNP-720AE , which has a RRP of approximately 450 euros . The Denon does not offer such an elegant nor is striking aspect screen LCD of the Pioneer , but includes free WiFiseries, becoming a somewhat cheaper option than our protagonist. Without departing from the Pioneer catalog we will find another similar option: the N-50 . With a sale price of 500 euros , and with an identical appearance to its smaller brother, the N-50 also offers direct connection to the PC through the USB port . It also includes Auto Level Control functions , to equalize the volume of different files, and Sound Retriever , which improves the quality of compressed audio files such as MP3 or WMA . The Pioneer N-50It also differs from the N-30 by its high-quality construction elements, such as the gold-plated connectors , or the power supply isolated from the rest of the components.
The Pioneer N-30 has a modern and attractive design, with remarkable features such as the front LCD screen , and with a price in line with the competition, as we have seen. We only miss the standard wireless connection, which is offered in other similar and even cheaper players, and which will force us to invest the extra cost of the optional wireless adapter if we want to access our files via WiFi .
|Supported formats||MP3 (8-320 kbps)|
WMA (5 ”“ 320 kbps)
MPEG-4 AAC (16 ”“ 320 kbps)
WAV (192kHz / 24 bit from network, 96 kHz / 24 bit from USB port)
FLAC (192 khz / 24 bit from network, 96kHz / 24 bit from USB)
DLNA 1.5 compatibility
|screen||LCD, 2.4 inch, QVGA|
|Frequency range||4 ”“ 80,000 Hz|
|Dynamic range||> 111 dB|
|Total harmonic distortion||<0.002%|
|Dimensions||435 x 99 x 330 mm|
|Approximate price||400 euros|