Pioneer Announces New Networked Audio Players

Pioneer is joining companies in pre-CES announcements with two new networked audio players. the company unveiled the Elite N-30 and N-50 audio players, devices that can stream music over AirPlay and DLNA 1.5.

Both players feature 2.5-inch LCD screens, Internet radio modes, and can be controlled with iPhone or Android apps. They’re technically very similar, with the same support for MP3, WMA, and AAC files, the ability to play FLAC and WAV files through DLNA 1.5, and lossless audio over Airplay. they can both connect to networks over Ethernet, and optional Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters are available to stream music without cables. the need for adapters seems a bit unreasonable, when the players retail for $499 (N-30) and $699 (N-50).

The N-50 features twin EL transformers to reduce interference, an armored chassis to reduce noise, and gold RCA jacks. It also incorporates audio processing features like a Hi-Bit 32-bit processor, Advanced Sound Retriever and Sound Retriever AIR, which the company claims improves the audio quality of compressed files.

CES 2012

Pioneer’s Elite brand is the company’s line of high-end home theater and audio enthusiast products. They’re usually built to be heavier and more solid than regular Pioneer devices, and feature more features and media format support. Pioneer Elite products include Blu-ray players, A/V receivers, and audio players. before the company stopped making HDTVs, the Pioneer Elite Kuro series of plasma HDTVs was regarded as some of the best screens on the market. Sharp has since purchased Pioneer’s Elite brand for HDTVs and begun making Elite-branded LCD HDTVs.

The new Pioneer Elite N-30 and N-50 networked audio players are currently available.

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