Yamaha introduces the entry-level network player Yamaha NP-S303. The times when the CD was the most popular, convenient and affordable means of storing music are gone and it seems that they are irrevocable. The Yamaha NP-S303 multifunctional harvester, which combines the functions of a classic network player, is designed to make the transition smooth and less painful. The device is designed traditionally, like a standard Hi-Fi component and will look natural in a rack with stereo or home theater components. The black or silver aluminum front panel is complemented by a single-line display and a full set of keys needed to control the player. The source selection is made in the form of a rotary regulator. The full-size remote control fits well in the hand and has an optimal configuration of well-differentiated keys.
The switching arsenal on the back of the case consists of a pair of high-quality gold-plated RCA connectors for connecting to an amplifier, as well as optical and coaxial digital outputs in case of using an external DAC. The RJ45 Ethernet port is used to integrate the Yamaha NP-S303 into a home computer network.
The player can receive music material both via Airplay, which is easy to implement and compatible with Apple gadgets and any computers with the iTunes application installed, and via the DLNA protocol. The latter not only ensures compatibility with any multimedia file formats, but also provides access to popular streaming services such as Spotify, as well as vTuner, through which you can listen to broadcasts from more than 20 thousand Internet radio stations around the world.
MusicCast technology allows you to broadcast music playing from any source connected, for example, to the Yamaha NP-S303, to different rooms of your home – even if the source itself does not support MusicCast technology. For example, it’s not at all difficult to organize a broadcast of a vinyl record being played in the living room to active speakers installed in the bedroom and office. MusicCast technology allows you to combine various audio devices for collaboration – multi-channel and stereo receivers, wireless speaker systems, sound bars, mini-systems, smartphones, tablets and computers.
Such integration makes it possible to organize a single music library within the system with central or distributed storage of audio files and centralized control using the proprietary MusicCast CONTROLLER application, installed on your smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android. MusicCast technology is fully compatible with high-resolution audio – not only FLAC, WAV formats with resolutions up to 24 bit / 192 kHz are supported, but also DSD. MusicCast technology can use not only a Wi-Fi network, but also Bluetooth as a wireless data transmission channel. In addition, you can connect system components with regular twisted pair cables via Ethernet.
You can integrate the Yamaha NP-S303 into your home computer network either wired via Ethernet or wirelessly – a Wi-Fi adapter that supports the 802.11n protocol is built into the player – you just need to connect the included antenna to the connector on the rear wall of the case. If the device is integrated into a computer network, then in addition to the ability to control from your smartphone or tablet, work in the distributed MusicCast system and play music from DLNA network servers, the player is capable of receiving broadcasts of Internet radio stations, of which there are already more than 20 thousand in all corners of the planet.
For ease of navigation, they can be organized by genres, titles, regions and other criteria. To work wirelessly with mobile gadgets, you can use not only Wi-Fi, but also Bluetooth, which significantly expands the list of compatible devices and removes the requirement for Wi-Fi coverage at the location where the player is installed.
You cannot ignore the proprietary application for mobile gadgets running iOS and Android Yamaha Controller NP, one of the functions of which is streaming music from your smartphone or tablet to a network player. The Yamaha NP-S303 uses a chip from Burr-Brown as a digital-to-analog converter, working with a digital stream of 32 bits / 192 kHz. Thus, the player is capable of playing studio-quality WAV and FLAC files.
Upsampling is not provided for CD playback; format decoding is limited to standard 16-bit / 44.1 kHz. This is hardly a serious cause for concern; unnecessary processing does not always benefit the sound quality. In this case, it is the Pure Direct mode that reveals the player’s capabilities in the best possible way.
The sound of the Yamaha NP-S303 is rich in subtle nuances and demonstrates an impressive airiness and breadth of stereo panorama for a relatively budget device. According to these parameters, it can compete on equal terms with very expensive equipment. The bass transmission has the accent characteristic of Yamaha components, and the clear images of the lower register will not leave rock lovers indifferent. The only thing you can criticize the device for (if you don’t take into account its price) is the slightly synthetic mid frequencies. Vocals can be perceived as a little dry. It should be noted that there is some potential for upgrades; for example, if desired, it is not difficult to add an external DAC of a higher class and thus improve the sound of the system.
Specifications Yamaha NP-S303
Supported audio streaming formats via LAN and USB MP3, WMA, MPEG4 AAC, WAV (24 bit/192 kHz), FLAC (24 bit/192 kHz), AIFF (24 bit/192 kHz), ALAC ( 24 bit/96 kHz), DSD (2.8 MHz/5.6 MHz)
Supports DLNA protocol version 1.5
Frequency range 2 Hz – 20 kHz (- 3 dB, with a file sampling rate of 44.1 kHz), 2 Hz – 24 kHz (- 3 dB, 48 kHz), 2 Hz – 48 kHz (- 3 dB, 96 kHz), 2 Hz – 96 kHz (- 3 dB, 192 kHz) THD less than 0.003
% (1 kHz, 0 dB , 44.1 kHz)
Dynamic range more than 100 dB (1 kHz, 0 dB, 44.1 kHz)
Signal-to-noise ratio more than 110 dB (1 kHz, 0 dB, 44.1 kHz)
Output voltage 2 V (± 0. 3 B)
Burr-Brown DSD1791 DAC (Texas Instruments)
Supports control via the MusicCast CONTROLLER application for iOS and Android yes
Supported online services Spotify, TIDAL, Deezer, Napster, Qobuz, Juke, airable (web radio), etc.
Wi- Fi IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Wireless Direct function is supported, used for direct connection of Wi-Fi devices to the streamer without the help of a router
Bluetooth version 2.1 + EDR, codecs: SBC/AAC
AirPlay support yes
Inputs Network port (LAN), USB -port for external drives (FAT/FAT32)
Outputs linear RCA, optical, coaxial
Other switching jack for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth antenna
Universal remote control
Eco mode supported
Network Standby mode is a type of standby mode, allows you to automatically activate the network player using commands from other network devices
Power consumption 12 W; in standby mode: 0.1 W; in Network Standby mode when connected to a local network: 1.6 W (wired connection), 1.5/1.7/1.7 W (Wi-Fi/Wireless Direct/Bluetooth)
Dimensions (WxHxD) 435x87x289 mm, 435x148x289 mm (with antenna raised)
Weight 2.7 kg