It seems like every high-end hi-fi company has an all-in-one amplifier at this point. That said, there aren’t too many with a built-in CD player. As a matter of fact, I can only think of one.
That would be the $2299 Audiolab Omnia, a do-it-all integrated that builds off their 6000A Play streaming amplifier. In actuality, it’s a combination of the previously reviewed 6000A Play and 6000 CDT CD Transport since it has the DTS Play-Fi streaming capabilities of the 6000A Play, along with the same CD Mechanism as the 6000 CDT. It also provides 50w per channel (8 ohms) or 75 per channel (4 ohms) of Class AB amplification, just like the 6000A Play.
On the other hand, Omnia does have some things you won’t find on the 6000 series gear, like a full-color screen, a USB DAC (an Audiolab specialty), plus a separate USB connector for plugging in an external hard drive full of music. There’s also an upgraded ESS DAC chip (ES9038Q2M) compared to the 6000 series amps. It also does full MQA decoding via the USB DAC, which is good if you plan to connect it to a Roon Core.
Omnia has tons of inputs and outputs (not balanced, however), so you can use it in various ways. Additionally, just like the Audiolab 6000 amps, you can switch the Omnia into a preamp mode where the power amp is turned off or a pre-power mode where you can connect to an external preamp or AV processor and just power the speakers.
While Omnia does a lot of stuff, there are some things I found early on that it doesn’t do. For example, there’s no Chromecast, TIDAL Connect, or AirPlay streaming (which I hope they can add later). In addition, while the marketing materials refer to Omnia being “Roon Tested,” you shouldn’t confuse that with being “Roon Ready.”
“Roon Ready” means a device can connect directly to Roon via the network, like the Cambridge Audio Evo amplifiers. However, the Omnia seems to only work with Roon via a wired connection to a Roon core, which is not a big deal as long as it’s installed relatively close to the core. In the case of Omnia, “Roon Tested” means Audiolab sent a unit over to Roon for testing and to certify that it will work with the software.
Nevertheless, so far, I’m impressed with what Omnia can do. Right off the bat, when I hooked up a pair of Evo 4.2 speakers from their sister company Wharfedale, I was amazed at the broad soundstage and focus. There also seems to be improved transparency over the 6000 amps, with which I’m very familiar.
Not to mention, Omnia has the robust build quality I’ve come to expect from Audiolab products. For example, when I unboxed it, I couldn’t believe how heavy it was. Now, I know that weight doesn’t always speak to the quality of a device. Still, I know that Audiolab uses some of the best components in the business, including the massive transformer in Omnia.
I can’t wait to put this amp fully through its paces in the upcoming weeks. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, E-mail, or IG to be alerted when the review is published.
|2x50W (8ohm) / 2x75W (4ohm) Class AB|
|ES9038Q2M 32-bit DAC|
|– 4.3″ (800x480mm) large size full view IPS LCD|
|Built in certiﬁed hardware MQA Full decoder (PC USB, Coax/Optical)|
|CD playback compatible with CD, CD-R, CD-RW discs|
|USB memory device support (MP3/WMA/AAC/WAV)|
|DTS Play-Fi technology (IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac)|
|Streaming service support includes Amazon Music, Spotify, TIDAL, KKBox, SiriusXM, Napster, Internet Radio, Deezer, iHeartRadio, PANDORA, Qobuz, QQmusic and more|
|Multi-room / multi speaker group support|
|Bluetooth 5.0 (aptX/aptX LL) streaming|
|Low Noise Moving Magnet Phono stage|
|Dedicated Current-Feedback Headphone AMP|
|Integrated / PRE-POWER / PRE only Modes|
|Android / iOS / Kindle Fire / Windows PC Control Support|
|USB ﬁrmware upgrade input|
|Inputs||3 x Analogue, 1 x Phono (MM) , 1 x Power Ampliﬁer, 2 x SPDIF (Coax),|
|2 x SPDIF (Optical), 1 x DTS Play-Fi Streaming, 1xPC USB(USB B),|
|1xUSB HDD(USB A), 1 x Bluetooth(aptX/aptX LL), 1 x 12V Trigger|
|Outputs||1 x PRE Ampliﬁer, 1 x Stereo Speaker, 1 x Headphone, 1 x 12V Trigger|
|Sampling Frequency||Optical / Coaxial:44.1kHz —192kHz|
|Optical / Coaxial: 44.1kHz —192kHz|
PC USB: 44.1kHz – 768kHz (PCM) / DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512
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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 hunger for great sound has led me on a delightful music quest that continues today.