A hi-fi streaming field to switch your receiver

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It was that community gamers had been a comparatively area of interest hi-fi element, purchased by these with giant libraries of digital information at a time when many nonetheless most popular CDs or different bodily media. However today a streaming field could be the very coronary heart of your setup, and also you’ll want one if you wish to keep away from the lossiest wi-fi codecs or drive your digital music to essentially good audio system.

However, you can take a look at changing your setup or receiver with an all-in-one that has high-end networking in-built. I’ve been testing the Evo 75 from British engineering stalwart Cambridge Audio and, whilst you miss out on some flexibility utilizing an all-in-one field relatively than separate elements, the outcomes have been very spectacular.

Cambridge Audio’s Evo 75 is an all-in-one receiver and community streamer, simply add audio system.

In essence, this can be a field designed to output the very best high quality sound from each streaming service and supply, however there are alternatives to help your bodily media through exterior units too. It’s a good funding at $3300, however then all you could add are audio system and you’ve got a significantly high-end setup.

The Evo 75 is a slick and strong unit with the entrance dominated by a twin rotary dial for quantity and enter choose, plus a set of buttons and a big LCD to indicate off your album artwork. It comes with a pleasant distant management, in addition to two units of magnetic facet panels; you may select between retro wooden veneer or a contemporary gray ridges.

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Round again you’ll discover your outputs — audio system, sub and pre-amp — in addition to analogue RCA, optical, and coaxial inputs on your CD participant or another gear. There’s additionally a USB for attaching storage, a HDMI ARC so the Evo can drive your TV audio and a 3.5mm output up entrance for headphone listening. Sadly there’s no phono enter, so any turntables will want their very own phono stage.

If you’re not into wood grain, there’s a more modern side panel option in the box.

In the event you’re not into wooden grain, there’s a extra trendy facet panel possibility within the field.

However that’s all pretty common receiver stuff and, whereas the Evo 75 performs very nicely with native sources, it’s the networking that’s entrance and centre.

It really works with Tidal and Spotify straight from their respective apps, in addition to extra area of interest streamers Qobuz and Roon through Cambridge’s StreamMagic app. You may as well ship music over AirPlay or Solid, tune into web radio, or faucet into your personal server or community storage. As a final resort it might probably additionally do Bluetooth, as much as aptX HD in case your cellphone helps it. You should utilize the app to outline preset stations or playlists, select which sources seem in your unit so that you don’t need to wade by stuff you don’t use, or configure your library over the community.

At first I had a whole lot of hassle getting the Evo to remain linked to Wi-Fi, which made it unattainable to play quite a lot of seconds of music and even use the app. I had higher luck after transferring it close to my router, so it may simply be my home, however I’d extremely recommend utilizing the Ethernet port on the again of the unit to hardwire it to your community.

When you’re all arrange and it’s time to hear the Evo is a pleasure to make use of; simply flip the dial to pick out a supply, choose one thing to take heed to together with your cellphone and settle in. That is no tinny Bluetooth speaker or lossy data-sipping app; Cambridge’s sound is punchy and well-defined, with a large and musical stage. There’s a particularly primary EQ within the app, however you seemingly gained’t want it; it’s fluid and detailed out of the field.

I actually take pleasure in that, subsequent to the monitor data and artwork, the Evo shows bitrate info so you recognize you’re getting the very best high quality streams attainable out of your supply of selection. It additionally has an MQA decoder on board so appropriate streams — for instance from Tidal’s Grasp library — can have their authenticity and provenance verified mechanically and you will get that reassuring blue test.

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Tim Biggs is the editor of The Age and Sydney Morning Herald expertise sections.Join through Twitter or e mail.

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