A couple of months back, I got Audiolab’s 6000A Integrated Amplifier in for review, and I loved it so much I bought the unit as a reference amp. Today I’m taking a look at the companion product to that amp, the $599 6000N Play Network Audio Player. The 6000N Play leverages the DTS Play-Fi Wireless audio platform to provide a simple network-compatible audio source.
DTS Play-Fi has its pros and cons, but one of its biggest strengths lies in the fact that it’s an open system, meaning it’s integrated into products from many different manufacturers like Arcam, McIntosh, Onkyo, SVS, and many others. This means you are not locked into a small offering of products from a single manufacturer, like SONOS for example. There’s a lot more flexibility when putting together a multi-room setup.
I couldn’t wait to get the 6000N out of the box and see how it played with the matching 6000A amp. This is a pretty nifty device since Play-Fi will let me stream music over my Wi-Fi network from my Spotify, Tidal, and my NAS drive. That’s a lot of music to listen to, so I better get started. Stay tuned for my full review coming soon!
Features from Manufacturer and Unboxing Pics:
The 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.
I’m an audio writer who started as a young audio salesman/consumer electronics professional back in the late 90s. That’s where I discovered the magic of 2-Channel sound. My thirst for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.