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Best sub £500 micro system with networking

Discussion in 'audio' started by windhoek, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    My kitchen upgrade is nearly complete, but even when the builders are finished it won't be complete without a decent micro hi-fi. Please looks at my requirements below and recommend the best £500 or less micro hi-fi.

    - networking and internet streaming, preferably via an ethernet port
    - FLAC compatible, preferably 24/96 or greater
    - USB Input, preferably support for 256GB sticks
    - remote control
    - AUX Input (3.5mm and/or RCA)
    - CD
    - Tape (I've got three cassettes of sentimental value I play from time to time)
    - slick UI, nothing clunky or obtuse
    - tone controls, I might need to trim the bass to keep the neighbours happy
    - pending (I'm sure I've forgotten something)

    The following features are what I consider optional:

    - grunt, it's a microsystem for my kitchen, not Wembley Arena
    - aesthetics, it'll be getting housed in a cupboard so looks don't matter too much
    - pending (I'm sure I've forgotten something)

    What you got?
     
  2. Moonbuggy

    Moonbuggy Active Member

    Onkyo CR-N775D
    Ticks all your boxes and has native MQA decoding.
     
  3. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    It looks like it does indeed tick all the boxes except for cassette. If I dispose of my current dumb microsystem I'll lose cassette playback, so I'd want to be sure I'm really ready to let go of the '80s before buying something without cassette. Some thinking to do on that one.
     
  4. guey

    guey pfm Member

    Digitise those few cassettes, and you're good to let go of the 80s.
     
  5. JensenHealey

    JensenHealey pfm Member

    Cassette AND 24/96 FLAC? Not asking much then!
     
  6. peter bj

    peter bj pfm Member

    You would probably have to have a separate cassette deck as very few models have that facility these days especially those with flac capability
     
  7. Weiss-Man

    Weiss-Man pfm Member

    I’m not sure such a device that caters to all your needs exists, but will stand corrected.
     
  8. Whatsisnaim

    Whatsisnaim pfm Member

    Cassette and streaming in the same unit seems unlikely to say the least. I would look for a cassette unit and add something like a Sonos Connect for streaming, or better, buy a streamer/amp and add a cassette to an analogue input. Yamaha WXA-50, for example. As you have just 3 cassettes, digitising them would make your choice much easier.
     
  9. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    I think I've found a micro hi-fi that meets most of my functionality needs and will fit in the space I've allocated for it: the Sony SRS-ZR7.

    It doesn't have a cassette deck, play CDs, or even have an onboard FM/DAB tuner, but the smart speaker does have a USB input and an ethernet port, as well as Chromecast Audio Built-In, so I can either play my music directly from a USB drive or from my NAS via ethernet (it has wi-fi too, of course), and play internet radio from the, er, internet.

    It doesn't have a remote control, but I guess that's where my phone comes in. As for my three cassettes, I suppose I'll either digitise them or keep them and move my old micro hi-fi into my bedroom or something.
     
  10. AKG

    AKG pfm Member

    ARCAM SOLO NEO .....or its smaller brother......SOLO MINI
     
  11. Jason P

    Jason P pfm Member

    Denon DM 41 and then buy my Sony Pro Walkman for cassette heaven... ;-)
     
  12. manicatel

    manicatel pfm Member

    The DM41 is very good for the money but doesn’t have a usb input, only Bluetooth. The dm40, ie last years model did have a usb socket on the front panel, but no Bluetooth.
    How about the Marantz m-cr611?
    Bluetooth AND USB inputs & 24/192 hi-res streaming.
    No cassette player, but it’s pretty safe to say you will struggle with that, especially for the sake of a few pre-recorded tapes.
     
  13. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    The Arcam doesn't do networking as far as I can tell. The Marantz looks good but the things worked out with the kitchen upgrade, I've got less space to play with when it comes to finding somewhere for a micro hi-fi so the super slim Sony SRS-ZR7 might just have to be it. I'm going to pop into town tomorrow to see if Currys have one on display/demo.
     
  14. linnfomaniac83

    linnfomaniac83 Expert in sheep worrying.

    I’m pretty sure that micro systems that have cassette and networking don’t exist... but if you want some retro cassette coolness, how about this and a chrome cast audio? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Bang-Olu...388422?hash=item1a393c1486:g:SgUAAOSwBkRZ~ffH

    I’ve just read your OP in full so this probably doesn’t cover it but I still think these things look cool when playing a cassette, especially with the warm lighting!
     
  15. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    Yeah, I'm beginning to think an all-in-one micro hi-fi with networking and cassette might be pie in the sky stuff myself. That B&O looks retro or futuristic in style, I can't make up my mind which, though :)
     
  16. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

  17. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

  18. Ptah

    Ptah pfm Member

  19. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    I think I'll be giving the Sony SRS-ZR7 a miss as its reputation for smooth, reliable operation isn't on par with that of a similar Sonos product, apparently, and what's more, Sony has pulled support for similar devices that rely on their Music Centre app (formerly known as Songpal) for basic and advanced functionality, so I'd be extremely disappointed to buy a Sony box only for software support to be pulled for it in the not too distant future leaving me with a brick-shaped box as about as useful as a brick-shaped brick - if I want a brick, I'll just buy one from B&Q for twenty pence or whatever a brick costs these days.

    I think I might as well just buy a Sonos Play:1 for my kitchen as apparently, it does what it does, what I'd need it to do - internet radio and network streaming - with smooth, reliable aplomb. The only downsides of using a Sonos as far as I can tell is that it doesn't have a USB input or support hi-res. I think my NAS can downsample on the fly so that shouldn't be a problem, but I guess I won't know for sure until I try it out. As for it not having USB playback, that could be inconvenient if my network ever decides to go all flaky on me.

    I won't be buying the Sonos Play:1, or whatever music player I decide to go for, before Black Friday in case it suddenly becomes available at a greatly reduced price. If it doesn't, I guess I'll just have to buy something and give it a go.
     
  20. Strictly Stereo

    Strictly Stereo Trade: Strictly Stereo

    Maybe have a look at Bluesound before you plump for the Sonos? Better sound, high res support, a nice app plus some basic physical control buttons and an analogue input for your tape deck.

    https://www.strictlystereo.com/bluesound/
     

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