10 August 2015
Low(er) Priced Network
Since the 1970s, the Marantz name has been attached to high quality
equipment prized by audiophiles, and
although Saul Marantz shut down the
Kew Gardens, NY production facility long
ago, the brand still produces some top-shelf receivers, Blu-ray players, and other
Hi-Fi components in Japan. As physical
media are being replaced by networked
audio files, one would correctly expect the company to offer some high-end network players such as
the NA-11S1, which is priced at a hefty $3,499 and is beyond most budgets. However, the good
news is the new NA6005, will run you "only" $649. It features both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology,
as well as proprietary Marantz audio technologies to offer advanced connectivity and sound
Through built-in Wi-Fi or an Ethernet port, the NA6005 connects to a home network to access
Internet radio stations and streaming services like Spotify Connect®. It's also equipped with Apple's
Airplay® so users can stream their i Tunes® music (from a Mac or PC), as well as directly from an
iPhone®, iPad®, or iPod Touch®.
Users can also access local file libraries on a network attached storage (NAS) device or a
computer media server, and play audio file types including WAV, WMA, MP3, and AAC. Moreover,
the NA6005 can play back high resolution audio files including DSD 2. 8 MHz/5.6 MHz, FLAC
192/24, WAV 192/24, AIFF, and ALAC. Of course, you'll also need to pick up a PM6005 integrated
amplifier ($699) and a CD6005 CD player ($499) to complete the system. ▲
■ The Marantz NA6005 network audio player.
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Let There Be Light
The lighting industry has brought forth many changes in recent years, including the widely despised CFLs, various arrangements of LEDs, and
(perhaps soon) graphene bulbs. One of the latest introductions is the Hue Go
lamp from Royal Philips ( www.usa.philips.com). At first glance, a portable
lamp seems pretty mundane, but it won an iF International Forum Design
award and features five new patented light effects that "enrich special
moments." It also offers interaction with more than 200 third-party apps.
According to Philips' Sridhar Kumaraswamy, "We envisage all lights to be
connected. Put simply, lighting is now central to the Internet of Things, and
we see Philips Hue as the go-to lighting brand for the home."
Among its attributes is portability, and the Hue Go can be used
throughout the home; when unplugged from the power supply, it becomes a
portable centerpiece that operates for up to three hours in battery mode. The
bowl-shaped device can be positioned in different ways, so you can use it for
an intimate dinner, to light up a wall, or whatever.
More interesting is that you can choose from seven different lighting
effects ranging from warm white to bright daylight, or one of the five effects
called cozy candle, Sunday coffee, meditation, enchanted forest, and night
adventure. With the Hue app, you can choose from more than 16 million
colors. Finally, the Hue Go can provide "light notifications" if you receive a
new email or a weather alert, or something else of interest occurs.
One might wonder: Is this glowing bowl a bona fide contribution to the modern lifestyle or just an overhyped
reincarnation of the lava lamp? For $99.95 (US pricing yet to be announced), you can judge for yourself. ▲
CIRCUITS and DEVICES
■ Hue Go: Lifestyle enhancement
or just a glowing bowl?