The network audio player is the present–not the future–of music listening. For the past several years, Marantz has been releasing products in this area that will take your music and stream it to your home stereo or home theater. Marantz has now brought its many years of experience in this space plus its audiophile pedigree and launched their Reference Class NA-11S1 Network Audio Player and DAC for $3,499.
That’s certainly quite a bit of money considering most of the previous offerings from Marantz and competitors like Pioneer have been under $1,000. So what makes the NA-11S1 so special? According to Marantz’s news release there’s plenty to justify the reference-level price. As far as I can see from the release, Marantz is positioning this piece as the hub of all your digital media. It has a USB connection so that you can connect a computer directly to the unit; supports AirPlay, decodes and plays just about every audiophile codec such as Apple Lossless and FLAC and has a 192 kHz/24 bit DAC; and has your choice of audiophile balanced and unbalanced connections.
It looks like Marantz is really raising the bar with their focus in this space. There’s no question that network audio solutions are not the future, but represent needs for the present. Is this Marantz just what you’ve been looking for? You can read Marantz’s news release below and see.
Marantz®, a world leader of advanced home entertainment solutions, is dramatically expanding the musical horizons for today’s digital consumer with the launch of its Reference Class NA-11S1 Network Audio Player and DAC
(SRP: $3,499.00). The NA-11S1 brings new levels of high-quality music reproduction to today’s discerning listener, combining superior audio capabilities with advanced Internet streaming and digital connectivity options, all in a package designed for total ease-of-use and flexibility. Equipped with exclusive Marantz technologies, including the use of multiple HDAM (Hyper Dynamic Amplifier Module) devices, the NA-11S1 provides connectivity to a broad range of portable devices as well as PC connectivity, all easily controlled with the supplied remote as well as with the Marantz Remote App
on iPhone, iPad or iTouch.*
Powerful Listening Experience from All Today’s Popular Sources
Engineered to reproduce a rich and full spectrum of sound from all of today’s popular music sources, the Marantz NA-11S1 is equipped with an RJ-45 LAN port so you can connect to your home network accessing thousands of internet radio stations and music streaming via Pandora, SiriusXM and Spotify**. The NA-11S1 is likewise equipped with Apple’s Airplay so users can stream their iTunes music, whether from a Mac or PC, as well as directly from their iPhone, iPad or iTouch*. Front and rear panel USB inputs expand the musical horizons even more, allowing users to enjoy iPhone and iPod audio via a digital connection and hear the music with new detail and richness through their home audio system, with sonic refinements made possible thanks to the NA-11S1’s advanced circuitry. The front panel USB type A port lets users connect portable devices directly, and it features automatic iPod detection and charging, even during standby mode. The USB type B port on the rear panel lets users connect a PC or Mac directly, and the newly developed Ground/Signal isolator technology helps to reduce PC noise for the highest quality sound. Dual (optical and coaxial) outputs are provided for connection to other components, and there are also dual digital inputs that allow the NA-11S1 to be used as a DAC with other digital audio sources. There’s even a high-quality dedicated headphone amplifier, which features its own output stage equipped with HDAM-SA2 devices along with a precision variable analog volume control.
Living Up to the Marantz Name in High-Quality Audio
A host of Marantz digital technologies combine in the NA-11S1 for the ultimate audio experience. It’s equipped with dual master audio clock generators with jitter reduction for numerous sampling frequencies and bit depths, up to 192 kHz/24 bits. The NA-11S1 also supports numerous audio file types, including WAV, WMA, MP3, MPEG-4 AAC, FLAC and ALAC, as well as DSD. The latest Marantz DSP processor (DSP PEC777f3) provides precision digital filtering, and the NA-11S1 offers a number of DSP modes that let users customize the sound, including two modes for digital sources, as well as the option of noise shaping and a DC filter with a 1.7 Hz cutoff.
Exclusive Output Technology Ensures Faithful Playback
For optimum audio fidelity, the NA-11S1 features high current, high resolution audiophile D/A converters, operating in differential mode for the lowest noise and widest dynamic range. The critical post-D/A current-to-voltage conversion is handled by the latest Marantz HDAM-SA2 devices, which feature precision discrete components in lieu of standard op amp chips. The final analog output stage features additional HDAM devices, and there are two output choices – unbalanced (RCA) and balanced (XLR). The balanced outputs also feature a phase-inversion option for compatibility with any XLR-equipped pre-amp.
Rugged, Durable Construction
As befits its reference-class status, the NA-11S1 features a rugged chassis with internal copper-plated surfaces. The thick 5mm top panel can easily support the weight of an additional component, and the dual-layer bottom plate and die-cast aluminum cabinet feet provide solid rigidity along with additional resistance from external vibrations. The massive power supply features a high current toroidal power transformer with multiple oxygen free copper (OFC) secondary windings, and is housed in a copper-plated enclosure for maximum shielding. Multiple separate circuit boards ensure minimal interference between the various analog and digital stages.
Paul Belanger, Technical Product Manager, D+M Group noted: “Marantz has built its legacy on delivering true high fidelity music listening experiences, and the NA-11S1 reaffirms that reputation, bringing the very best Marantz audio capabilities to today’s digital music universe. The result is astounding music playback with more ways to connect with all your favorite music, whether streaming directly from your iPhone, iPad or iTouch*, networked hard drive or USB thumb drive. The NA-11S1 blends seamlessly with a user’s existing home audio system, offering easy, networked access to all of today’s great music sources.”
* AirPlay requires iTunes 10.1 or later and iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 4.2 or later. A home Wi-Fi network is required.
** Some services may require a subscription For more information on Marantz, visit http://us.marantz.com/. Become a fan of Marantz on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/marantzamerica or follow Marantz on Twitter athttps://twitter.com/marantzamerica.