- The Métronome Le Streamer is a solution from the Métronome Classica Series that specialises solely in hi-res audio streaming. It will make its debut at the High End 2023, and HiFi.luxury will be able to present it exclusively in a test at the same time.
Even though the manufacturer Métronome Technologie speaks of a streamer and network player, the latest Métronome Le Streamer is a so-called streaming transport, i.e. a solution that is solely dedicated to the most accurate possible playback of audio data from the network, leaving the actual signal conversion from digital to analogue to external specialists.
The new Métronome Le Streamer fits perfectly into the Métronome Classica Series, which until now included a CD transport, a CD player and a D/A converter. Even though the CD player and the CD transport offered the possibility of a streaming extension, there was a gap in the product line regarding a separate hi-res audio streaming solution, which is now closed by the new Métronome Le Streamer.
The Métronome Classica Series
The current generation of the Métronome Classica Series is still very young, only announced by the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer at the end of August last year. And this in the form of three new solutions, Métronome Le Player 4, Métronome Le Player 4+ and Métronome Le DAC 2.
Métronome Technologie itself likes to refer to the Métronome Classica Series as an entry-level line, the product family that should enable as many users as possible to make first contact with the solutions of the French company and open up the special Métronome sound, as they call it themselves. In view of the qualities offered by the solutions of the Métronome Classica Series, it has to be said that with this product line, Métronome technology starts where others do not even begin to reach, so we are already talking about absolute high-end hi-fi systems with the Métronome Classica Series.
This is also proven by the latest generation of the product series, which has been completely redesigned and raised to a completely new level of quality.
CD Transport and CD Player with Streaming Option
As already mentioned, the Métronome Classica Series does not offer a streaming option at all. For the Métronome Le Player 4 and Métronome Le Player 4+ systems, Métronome Technologie does offer an optional streaming solution as an extension.
However, the French manufacturer also admits that they are aware of the fact that many customers prefer a separate solution, and this is exactly what the new Métronome Le Streamer is supposed to provide.
According to Métronome Technologie, this follows the wish expressed by many customers for such a solution.
Métronome Le Streamer – The Streaming Transport of the Métronome Classica Series
It is essential to mention that the new Métronome Le Streamer is not a streaming client, but solely a so-called streaming transport. As already mentioned, this solution is dedicated solely to data management from the network and its playback; the signal conversion to analogue, on the other hand, is left to external specialists.
The company from Montans naturally focuses on its own systems, especially those from the Métronome Classica Series itself, i.e. the Métronome Le DAC 2, which is the central component of the product line, as it also serves as a converter for a possible Métronome Le Player 4.
Of course, Métronome Technologie also states that the Métronome Le Streamer can be used with any high-quality D/A converter, they want to leave the full variety of the market in the high-end segment open to their customers.
In the style of the Métronome Classica Series
Of course, the Métronome Le Streamer is presented in the style of the current Métronome Classica Series, and in this respect it can be said that, in our humble opinion, the Métronome Classica Series is the product line with the most elegant appearance of the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer.
The solid, completely made of robust metal cabinet presents itself with a partly brushed, partly silk matt front made of aluminium, whereas the cover and the rear panel are made of lacquered sheet metal with a generously dimensioned wall thickness. The Métronome Le Streamer is available in black or silver.
It should be mentioned that the device can be placed primarily on three very solid feet, but the scope of delivery also includes three matching metal cones that fit on the said feet and then guarantee a particularly good decoupling. Whoever wants to protect their streaming transport from sound-damaging resonances or vibrations is definitely on the safe side.
The fact that the Métronome Le Streamer weighs 11 kg (450 mm wide, 410 mm deep and 105 mm high) shows that it is certainly not a lightweight. However, the massive cabinet just described is only one factor responsible for this impressive weight.
Massive power supply
One thing is clear: the engineers at Métronome Technologie are not keeping a secret about the actual streaming platform of the new Métronome Le Streamer; like everyone else in this field, they are – literally – just boiling water.
Nevertheless, the new Métronome Le Streamer is also drastically different from many, many other such solutions on the market, and seriously so, as a look inside shows.
For Jean Marie Clauzel, owner and designer of Métronome Technologie and his technicians, it is of utmost importance for the quality of hi-fi components to rely on a power supply that is optimised in all respects.
While other solutions of this kind essentially make do with a circuit board for the actual streaming platform and a slim power supply unit, the effort that Métronome Technologie puts into the power supply, even for a pure streaming transport, is quite remarkable.
For example, two toroidal transformers with individual power supply units for the individual sections do their job, so attention is paid to every detail in order to achieve absolute perfection.
Only one LED on the front…
If you are looking for a variety of controls on the front, you will be disappointed, because the Métronome Le Streamer has none of them. But that’s not quite true, there is indeed a status LED on the front, but that’s it. Only the name of the device and that of the manufacturer are discreetly engraved in the centre of the aluminium front. The main switch is on the back.
A look at the back
Turning to the back of the Métronome Le Streamer, you will of course find first and foremost an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet interface, probably the best way to integrate this solution into the network for an always reliable connection with the best possible performance.
But there is also a “wireless” option, because the new Métronome Le Streamer has an integrated WiFi module that complies with the IEEE 802.11ac standard. According to Métronome Technologie, this should also guarantee a reliable data connection.
Via a USB 2.0 port, corresponding storage media can be used directly as a source, be it in the form of memory sticks or external hard drives.
Establishing a digital connection
As already mentioned, the Métronome Le Streamer is solely a streaming transport, so only digital interfaces are available as outputs. There is an optical and coaxial S/PDIF interface as well as an AES/EBU, and the Métronome Le Streamer is even equipped with an I2S, which is presented in the form of an HDMI.
Via S/PDIF as well as AES/EBU, the Métronome Le player can output signals in Linear PCM with up to 32 bits and 384 kHz, as well as DSD128, although it relies on DoP, i.e. DSD over PCM. The system outputs native DSD up to DSD256 as well as Linear PCM up to 32 bit and 384 kHz via I2S and thus the HDMI port.
UPnP, Apple AirPlay, Roon-ready and Plāys with Audirvāna
First and foremost, the new Métronome Le Streamer is a dlna-certified UPnP streaming transport, which means that once again the only actual industry standard is used. In addition, it also offers Apple AirPlay, is Roon-ready and is one of the first partners of the French software company Audirvāna SAS to support the new partner programme “Plāys with Audirvāna”.
The first contact
Setting up the Métronome Le Streamer is as easy as can be, especially if you do without WiFi and actually trust the connection via cable. Then there is nothing at all to do to get started with the fine piece from France.
Once the connection is established and the device is switched on, the LED on the front flashes quickly for a few seconds, then a little more slowly, until after a short time it lights up constantly, indicating that the Métronome Le Streamer is ready for use.
mConnect for Apple iOS and Google Android
With the market launch of the new Métronome Le Streamer, the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer deliberately refrains from offering its own app. They don’t want to get bogged down with false emphases, the clear statement is, there are enough fine software solutions on the market so that users can choose the ideal solution for them.
In any case, Métronome Technologie recommends the mConnect solution, a UPnP-based app for Apple iOS and Google Android, which is constantly being developed and has proven itself to be reliable and easy to use for years.
By the way, this app is also helpful if you want to integrate the Métronome Le Streamer into a wireless network; this can be done easily with mConnect within a few minutes, even without specialist knowledge.
With the help of the app, various streaming services are directly available, such as TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer and Internet Radio via vTuner.
From the practice
First of all, it should be emphasised once again how impressive it always is that Métronome Technologie pays attention to every conceivable detail, even in a solution such as a pure streaming transport, in order to achieve the best possible quality. The solid housing, the sophisticated power supply, all of this is missing in many even very renowned manufacturers in this product class.
But this is exactly what hi-fi enthusiasts who trust in solutions from Métronome Technologie appreciate so much about the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer. No compromises are made here, rather everything is done to eliminate any source of error that could negatively influence the sound.
And yes, this is indeed reflected in the quality, even though with a so-called streaming transport, other components are ultimately “sound-determining”, first and foremost, of course, the D/A converter used. A classic sound assessment of the Métronome Le Streamer is therefore not possible.
But what can be clearly stated is that such sophisticated and optimised solutions like the Métronome Le Streamer guarantee that the basis is right. The Métronome Le Streamer delivers a data stream that offers the external D/A converter optimal conditions so that it too can exploit its full potential.
A streaming transport of the calibre of the Métronome Le Streamer allows every D/A converter to play in the best quality, thus really eliciting all the details from the music. You have to experience for yourself how striking this difference can be…
Prices and availability
The new Métronome Le Streamer will celebrate its premiere at the High End 2023 and will be available in stores immediately afterwards, as Métronome Technologie assured us. The recommended retail price for the Métronome Le Streamer is € 4.990,-.
Getting to the point
A solution has to be perfect, making compromises is simply not part of the corporate philosophy of the French high-end hi-fi manufacturer Métronome Technologie. This is demonstrated once again by the new Métronome Le Streamer of the Métronome Classica Series, which now extends this product range with a Streaming Transport. Streaming transport means that the Métronome Le Streamer actually only takes care of the data traffic from the network, leaving the signal conversion to analogue to other special satellites. But Métronome Technologie devotes itself to this task alone with such passion and love for even the most inconspicuous details that it once again presents a reference solution in this class.
|MÉTRONOME LE STREAMER
|Audio Exclusive GmbH
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
It is indicative of the high standards that Métronome technology sets for its solutions when, even in a pure streaming transport such as the new Métronome Le Streamer from the Métronome Classica Series, attention is paid to every detail to achieve nothing less than perfection.
- virtually solid housing
- elegant design
- focuses on one task, which it fulfils perfectly
- Besides Apple AirPlay, Google Chromecast would have been desirable
- NUCLEUS+ by Roon
- TIDAL HiFi
- Apple MacBook Pro
- Apple iTunes with Apple Music
- AUDIRVĀNA STUDIO 2.3
- Technics SU-R1000
- KEF Blade 2
- Cables from Nordost for Speaker
- Cables from Audioquest for Interconnect