Audiolab 6000N Play Network Streamer
The Audiolab 6000N Play combines the versatility of the DTS Play-Fi wireless audio platform with Audiolab’s sonic know-how to deliver a great-sounding Wi-Fi streaming solution that is simple to set up and use. Users can stream from any source on their wireless network – smartphones, tablets, PCs and Macs, as well as NAS drives and music servers – utilising the 6000N Play’s dual-band, dual-antenna Wi-Fi. It also connects wirelessly with other Play-Fi-equipped devices, enabling a fully synchronised multi-room set-up.
Providing access to a wealth of internet music services: Spotify, Tidal, HDtracks, Deezer, Qobuz, Amazon Music, Napster, TuneIn, iHeartRadio and SiriusXM, to name a few. Users might choose to browse a radio guide listing thousands of stations and podcasts, or stream from a home media server with DLNA compatibility. The 6000N Play is hi-res audio enabled, capable of receiving data up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution over Wi-Fi – well in excess of CD quality – without transcoding or down-sampling.
The 6000N Play incorporates a high-quality DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter), utilising the same ES9018 Sabre32 Reference chip found in the highly acclaimed Audiolab 6000A integrated ampliﬁer. ESS Technology’s 32-bit HyperStream architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator, coupled to Audiolab’s own circuitry, delivers ultra-low noise and high dynamic range. The circuit design also draws inspiration from Audiolab’s 6000CDT CD transport, incorporating the same isolated power supply with a high – eﬃciency toroidal transformer for optimum signal purity.
The inclusion of a DAC stage ensures the 6000N Play can be used with any audio system – simply connect the RCA analogue outputs to a regular ampliﬁer, or a pair of active speakers. Alternatively, take a digital feed (optical or coaxial) direct to an external DAC, or an amp with digital inputs such as Audiolab’s 6000A. Naturally, the 6000A is an ideal partner for the 6000N Play; when these two components are paired digitally, an optical or coaxial cable is used to convey the audio signal while a supplied USB control cable enables control of the 6000N Play via the 6000A’s remote handset.
The 6000N Play is conﬁgured and operated via the Play-Fi app, available for iOS, Android and Kindle Fire phones and tablets, as well as Apple and Android smartwatches and Windows PCs. It can also stream directly from Spotify via Spotify Connect, and is DLNA and UPnP compliant. There are minimal controls on the component itself – just the standby button and a set of six’ preset’ buttons. These presets operate exactly like those on a DAB or FM tuner; simply select an internet radio station, or a playlist from a compatible streaming service, and store it as a preset for speedy access – no app required.
This operational simplicity, coupled to Play-Fi’s versatility, is key to the 6000N Play’s appeal. For some, it is the perfect way to stream music from the likes of Spotify, Tidal and Deezer, with all the additional functionality of Play-Fi including multi-room audio. For others, it is simply the best way of adding radio to their hi-ﬁ system, with the huge choice of stations available via the internet – the traditional hi-ﬁ’tuner’component, reinvented for the streaming age.