CNET First Look
Pioneer N-30As the first "affordable" hi-fi streamer, the Pioneer N-30 puts on a good performance, but the controls could be so much easier to use.
Hi. I'm (Tod Pilopre?) and this is a review of the Pioneer N30 Media Player. When it comes to buying and listening to music, we're at the crossroads right now. CDs and LPs are still selling but the apple store is the biggest music retailer on the planet. Then you have services like Spotify introducing an end to physical collections. Players like the Pioneer N30 are designed as an upgrade to the Ipod dock. No more leaning over the Ipod like you're trying to summon Alec Guinness. The Pioneer N30 uses a remote control or I phone app to sort through your music. The N30 is one of the new breed of hi fi streamers that reads high resolution formats and also looks quite nice next to the DVD player. It supports net radio but unlike the competition, doesn't have streaming services like Pandora or Spotify. However, it does have Apple's Air Play. So you can use these on your phone instead and stream it to the pioneer. Sound quality is good and the I phone app is sensibly arranged even it can only show you 4 titles at once and then have to buffer. If you don't choose to use the Iphone and apps for the remote control, one of the main problems is the screen. At 2.5 inches, it's smaller than most mobile phone screens and yet it's supposed to be read across the room. The Logitech Squeezebox touch is almost half the price but has twice the screen size of the N30 and also does streaming. Once other issue is that it doesn't come with wireless. You need to pay an extra $150 to get this propriety data. If you're serious about your streaming media, you have to stump up some cash. The N30 is $499, but we'd say either buy the Logitech and an Apple TV or pay more for the Marantz NA7004 or the Cambridge Audio MP30. I'm (Tom Pilopre?) and this is the review of the Pioneer N30