The new Pioneer N-30AE network player is that rare case when the sequel is better than the original: the list of functions alone already speaks volumes. The Pioneer N-30AE is capable of handling a variety of sources. The main innovations in the Pioneer N-30AE include integrated WI-FI and Bluetooth modules, as well as support for the DSD format. Support for the DLNA certificate makes it possible to connect via your home network to a variety of devices – from a NAS server to a smartphone. The USB Type A port allows you to play music from your iPod, iPhone, external hard drive or flash drive. The metal body of the Pioneer N-30AE looks very high quality. We love the clean and modern brushed aluminum front panel. The color LCD display on the previous Pionreer N-30 was too small; here it has increased to 3.5 inches.
The network model Pioneer N-30AE is a streamer with support for Google Cast and Tidal and Deezer services. It displays album art on a built-in color display and is capable of playing music from mobile devices and online services, including Hi-Res files and streams (DSD up to 11.2 MHz and PCM up to 24-bit/192 kHz in FLAC, WAV, AIFF, Apple lossless). The list of possible sources is not limited to smartphones and the network: the player is capable of playing files from USB drives. Subsequent updates will allow you to use the new product with USB file storage connected to it as a network server.
To integrate the Pioneer N-30AE into a home computer network, an RJ45 Ethernet port is provided. If necessary, you can connect wirelessly via Wi-Fi. Integrating the player into a home computer network, in addition to accessing the content of DLNA servers, provides several useful features. The Pioneer N-30AE is capable of working with Internet radio, which means broadcasts from hundreds of radio stations from the most remote corners of the planet become available to you. In addition, owners of Apple mobile gadgets will be pleased to be able to directly connect them to the Pioneer N-30AE using the Apple AirPlay wireless protocol. Simply select the Pioneer player as the output device in iTunes, and your music will sound through the speakers of your home system. And finally, by connecting the component to your home computer network, you can use the convenient free Pioneer ControlApp control utility, available for smartphones and tablets based on iOS and Android, to control and navigate your music library.
However, the included remote control quite successfully copes with the basic control functions of the Pioneer N-30AE. The keys on it are clearly divided into zones – separate large playback control buttons, asterisk keys for navigating through the system menu, and buttons for direct selection of operating modes, combined with an input selector. The only thing in which control using this remote control is inferior to working with a smartphone or tablet is the need to read information from the display on the front panel of the component, which can be located at a considerable distance from your favorite sofa or chair.
There’s also Spotify Connect and Internet radio; AirPlay will come in handy for owners of Apple devices. And if that’s not enough, there are digital optical and coaxial inputs. The list of formats is impressive: MP3, LPCM, WAV, WMA, AAC, Apple lossless, FLAC, AIFF and DSD. HD audio support extends to formats up to 32-bit/192 kHz (or 11.2 MHz for DSD). Whatever you throw at the Pioneer N-30AE, it can certainly handle it.
When a hard drive is connected to the tape drive, it can be used as a server, i.e. access to the file storage of such a HDD remains open when connected via a local network. The player provides the ability to select one of three types of digital filtering: SHARP with a high slope of the amplitude-frequency response curve, SLOW with a smooth slope of the frequency response and SHORT with a fast impulse response. If you have other Pioneer components (such as a CD player or amplifier), you can connect them here and control them all from the ControlApp.
Specifications Pioneer N-30AE
Digital filtering SHARP (high roll-off), SLOW (smooth roll-off), SHORT (fast impulse response)
Frequency range 4 Hz – 70 kHz (- 3 dB)
Signal-to-noise ratio 110 dB
Dynamic range 100 dB (24 bit, 32 bit)
Harmonic distortion 0.002%
Channel separation 100 dB (1 kHz)
Output voltage/impedance 2 V/500 ohms
Supported formats for playback via LAN (LAN connection) and USB for external drives MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), AIFF (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), FLAC (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), Apple Lossless (up to 24 bit/192 kHz), DSD up to 11.2 MHz
Support pause-free playback for WAV/FLAC/AIFF/ALAC formats
Wi-Fi 802.11.a/b/g/n/ac (2.4/5 GHz)
Supported web services Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, TuneIn
Apple AirPlay support yes
Support Chromecast yes
Supports multi-room platforms for wireless streaming FlareConnect and DTS Play-Fi yes
Control via the Pioneer Remote app supported for iOS and Android devices
Inputs 2 x USB ports (type A, front and rear panels, PCM up to 24 bit/192 kHz , DSD up to 11.2 MHz), Network port (LAN)
RCA line outputs
Other switching 2 jacks for Wi-Fi antennas, 2 x 3.5 mm Control Out jacks for connecting to Pioneer components to control all devices using one application Pioneer Remote App
LCD display, 3.5-inch, color
Remote control RC-944E
Power consumption 19 W, standby: 0.2 W
Dimensions (WxHxD) 435x103x300 mm
Weight 3.4 kg