Pioneer XWNAS5 review: Pioneer XWNAS5

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Room-filling volume. Sounds great with the right material. FM radio. Component output. Great build quality. On-board DAC and digital amp.

The Bad High price. Some features are a bit naff. Can sound overly boomy. Remote control not so good.

The Bottom Line The Pioneer XWNAS5 boasts a premium fit and finish, and while it goes loud a slight tendency for boominess spoils its hi-fi credentials.

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It's difficult to know what the demand for "high-end" iPod docks is like. Though we've seen a couple come through these doors — most notably with the B&W Zeppelin , the majority of iPod docks that fly out of the doors are more of the ilk of the Soniq iM600K.

The NAS5 is a 2.1 channel speaker and comes with a digital amplifier. The dock is of a plastic/metal construction and comes in three different colours: silver (XWNAS5S), black (XWNAS5K) and red (XWNAS5R). Its shape resembles the B&W Panorama though it's a third of the price. The similarities continue as the Pioneer also features a red LED display; however, it's not as confusing as the one on the Panorama and also acts as a clock. The unit comes with a credit-card-style remote control, but unfortunately the layout is a bit cramped as it contains functionality not available from the main unit — like alarm settings.

As an iPod dock there aren't many features to speak of, though it does offer a couple of extra functions not offered by your run-of-the-mill unit. Firstly, the NAS5 includes its own digital-to-analog converter (DAC) which means it bypasses the on-board circuitry and replaces it with something Pioneer argues is of better quality. Secondly, it comes with both composite video for standard replay on a TV and a component connection for higher quality reproduction. Unfortunately, the component output won't work for DRM videos though, such as the Digital Copy from the Star Trek Blu-ray, but video quality was still very good via the composite output.

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Where to Buy

Pioneer XWNAS5

Part Number: CNETPioneer XWNAS5

Typical Price: $899.00

See manufacturer website for availability.