The latest offspring from Cocktail Audio, which is now available in the form of the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer, sees itself as the central interface of modern hi-fi systems. The Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer can be used as a streamer alone.
As before, the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer should be able to function as the central interface of modern hi-fi systems. According to Cocktail Audio, its primary task is to provide music from various sources, be it from the own network or via the Internet. In addition, the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer also functions as a central data provider for multiroom audio streaming, can be used as a D/A converter as well as a digital preamplifier, but also has an integrated amplifier.
This makes it clear that the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer can essentially be used autonomously, only a pair of loudspeaker systems is needed. The little brother, the new Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer, is not quite as lavishly equipped.
Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer – The central component
Once again, the latest solution of the Cocktail Audio brand presents itself as a thoroughly elegant system that can be easily integrated into any living ambience. This is even more important in this case, because the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer, as just described, can be the only component necessary to build up a HiFi system.
The Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer measures no more than 440 mm in width, has a depth of 260 mm and a height of 73 mm. The solid housing with a 10 mm CNC-milled aluminium front is presented in discreet, timelessly elegant black, or in silver.
The front is adorned first and foremost by a 4.6-inch TFT display with a resolution of 800 x 320 pixels, which, in combination with two rotary encoders and several buttons, allows intuitive operation of all relevant functions directly on the unit.
If desired, an external display can also be connected, such as a TV set, to provide an even better overview during operation.
In addition, and this should be mentioned at this point, there is of course a suitable remote control, but above all a suitable app, the MusicX NEO app, which is available for Apple iOS as well as for Google Android. This makes the control much more comfortable and versatile, especially when it comes to the streaming functionality of the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer.
Solid equipment for high performance
Of course, the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer is a “PC” at heart, if you want to put it that way, but everything is designed in such a way that the user hardly notices anything.
The new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer is based on a Dual Core ARM Cortex A9 processor with a clock frequency of 1 GHz twice, which is supported by 1 GByte DDR-1,066 RAM and 8 GByte NAND as fixed memory.
The integration into the network can be done either via a Gigabit network interface or via the optional WiFi module according to IEEE 802.11n, which is designed as a USB dongle.
The new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer has a number of USB ports, first and foremost to directly connect corresponding storage media, but also to function as a high-quality external converter on a PC or Mac.
For use as a USB host, there are two USB 3.0 ports on the rear and one USB 2.0 port on the front.
Versatile interfaces for analogue and digital signals
For the use as USB DAC, the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer offers a USB-B port with support of USB Audio Class 2.0, which can be found at the back of the device.
To use the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer as a D/A converter, it also offers an optical as well as coaxial S/PDIF interface and even an HDMI input must not be missing here.
To output digital signals, there is also an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface, as well as an HDMI output with support for an eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel).
It is interesting to note that the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer also allows the connection of an external USB DAC, so you can raise it to an even higher quality level at any time, even if the function as a stand-alone device via the integrated amplifier is no longer available.
Of course, Bluetooth for the integration of source devices such as smartphones must not be missing, whereby it is a Bluetooth 5.0 module that supports AAC, aptX, aptX LL and aptX HD in addition to SBC. Sending via Bluetooth is also possible here, namely via the so-called Cocktail Audio Bluetooth Transmitter Kit, which is part of the scope of delivery and thus ensures that headphones can be integrated “wirelessly”. Here, too, aptX, aptX LL and aptX HD are supported in addition to SBC and AAC.
Signal processing via high-quality converters
The new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer uses an ESS Sabre32 ES9018K2M DAC for signal processing. The manufacturer promises a particularly accurate signal processing with high dynamics, many details and free of distortions. By the way, analogue signals are output via a pair of cinch sockets.
The converter supports signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bit and 384 kHz, thus also DXD with 24 bit and 352.8 kHz, and DSD up to DSD256. Content encoded in MQA should also be able to be processed with the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer.
UPnP, Apple Airplay, Spotify Connect, Roon Ready…
First and foremost, the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer is, of course, a dlna-certified UPnP streaming client. Even file sharing via SAMBA is sufficient to integrate storage systems with audio data as a source. As already mentioned, the MusicX NEO app for Apple iOS and Google Android plays a central role here. It is also the app that can be used for the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer in a Multiroom audio streaming network with other UPnP-capable solutions.
The Cocktail Audio team has developed its own Multiroom protocol in a development period of several years, which even plays DSD 384 kHz synchronously.
Of course, all relevant audio formats are supported and access to various streaming providers is possible. Amazon Music, TIDAL, Deezer, HIGHRESAUDIO, Napster and Qobuz are available, as well as Internet radio via Airable.
Spotify can be accessed directly via Spotify Connect, which should also be mentioned explicitly, and the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer supports Apple AirPlay as well as the software Roon from Roon Labs LLC, which means it is Roon-ready.
Integrated DAB+ and FM tuner
It should not be forgotten that the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer also has an integrated FM and DAB+ tuner, so that lovers of classical radio can consume content very simply and easily even without a network.
In this context, it is also worth mentioning that the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer offers the possibility of recording. Ripping of audio CDs is also possible via a corresponding external USB drive. For the sake of completeness, so-called MQA CDs are also converted into MQA files.
Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer
So far we have always talked about the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer, but in essence we have also described the Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer, the new solution from Cocktail Audio, which focuses solely on the streaming functionality and is therefore not equipped with an integrated amplifier.
The Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer is a classic streaming client, but with impressive flexibility.
Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer
With the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer, the developers go one step further and also rely on an integrated stereo amplifier, whereby it is a module in Class D with an output of two times 75 watts at speaker systems with an impedance of 8 ohms.
The speaker systems are connected to high-quality, gold-plated screw terminals.
Separate power supplies for “IT” and amplifier
It is especially essential for the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer that the different components are shielded from each other in the best possible way. In addition, the developers of the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer use a linear power supply for the analogue audio part and a separate switching power supply with SMPS for the digital components, so that interfering influences can be prevented right from the start.
The new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer will be available immediately, either in black or silver. The manufacturer’s recommended retail price is € 1.199,-.
If, on the other hand, you are content with the pure streaming client, thus looking for an extension for your hi-fi chain and can do without the integrated amplifier of the Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer, you can choose the Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer, which is also available in specialist shops from now on and has a recommended retail price of € 1.099,-. The Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer is also available in black or silver.
Getting to the point
Once again Cocktail Audio proves that it is possible to develop extremely flexible streaming systems that rely on open standards, yet combine enormous versatility and comfort. While the Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer proves to be a classic streaming client, the new Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer is even a complete all-in-one solution, where only one pair of speaker systems is needed to realise a complete, modern HiFi system.
|PRODUCT||COCKTAIL AUDIO N25 MUSIC STREAMER|
COCKTAIL AUDIO N25 AMP MUSIC STREAMER
|Price||Cocktail Audio N25 Music Streamer € 1.099,-|
Cocktail Audio N25 AMP Music Streamer € 1.199,-
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG|