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Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

High-performance network music player (Black)

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  • Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

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  • Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

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  • Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

    iPad® app (iPad not included)

  • Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

    iPhone® app (iPhone not included)

  • Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

    iPhone® app (iPhone not included)

Item #: 779NP30B
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

by James Ralston
Cambridge Audio

Feast on an endless buffet of music

A network music player presents you with virtually unlimited ways to play your favorites or discover new music. Access your computer's music library, Internet radio stations, and online music services through your wireless home network.

A hi-fi player for today's digital music sources

Before the MP3 revolution and the rise of the Internet, the phrase "hi-fi digital music" meant your CD collection, plus the occasional Super Audio CD or DVD-Audio disc. Nowadays, audiophiles know that streaming digital music files can offer fantastic sound, while being infinitely easier to manage than juggling through a stack of shiny discs. Cambridge Audio's Sonata NP30 is a high-fidelity gateway for piping the music stored on your computers or networked hard drives into your home stereo system, along with lots more streaming content available via the Internet.

Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30

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High-res audio

Impeccable sound, plus support for high-res music files

Cambridge Audio has a strong reputation for making great-sounding gear, and the NP30 is no exception. It lets you enjoy better-than-CD-quality sound with high-resolution music files up to 24-bit/96kHz — a detail we love in this type of music player. Plus, it uses a high-quality Wolfson DAC to ensure that all your digital music sounds its best. The brushed-metal front faceplate and sturdy metal chassis are nice touches, too. Connections for your home stereo include analog RCA, plus optical and coaxial digital.

Cambridge NP30's Stream Magic control app

Download a free control app for your tablet or smartphone.

Use your iPhone®, iPad®, or Android™ as the controller

While the NP30 features a large, easy-to-grab control knob on the front for navigating through your music options, you'll have more fun if you get your smartphone or tablet into the act. Cambridge offers a free Stream Magic app for your favorite Apple or Android device, which integrates all your music choices into a single simple interface. From the music stored on your home network devices, to thousands of Internet radio stations, to streaming services like Rhapsody® and Pandora® Internet radio, this app puts it all at your fingertips.

Highlights:

  • plays music from your computers, networked hard drives, and the Internet
  • supported music formats: WAV (up to 24-bit/96 kHz), FLAC (up to 24-bit/96 KHz), AIFF, MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, and WMA
  • free downloadable Stream Magic app lets you use your iPhone, iPad, or Android device as a music controller
  • access thousands of Internet radio stations plus digital music services including AUPEO!, Rhapsody, Pandora® Internet radio, MP3 Tunes, Live 365, and more
  • high-performance Wolfson WM8728 24-bit/96kHz-capable DAC
  • Ethernet port for wired connection to your network (required for 24-bit files)
  • built-in Wi-Fi® for wireless connection to your home network
  • accepts optional BT-100 Bluetooth adapter for wireless audio streaming from a mobile phone, tablet, or computer
  • uses uPnP (universal plug-and-play) networking protocol
  • front- and rear-panel USB inputs for plugging in thumb drives or portable hard drives
  • optical and coaxial digital audio outputs
  • stereo RCA analog audio output
  • 12-volt trigger input for custom installations
  • remote control
  • detachable power cord
  • 10-5/8"W x 2-11/16"H x 13-7/16"D
  • warranty: 3 years
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • Network music player
  • 69" AC power cord
  • IR remote control (RC-NP30)
  • WLAN antenna
  • 15" Minijack cable
  • Three "AAA" batteries
  • User's Manual
  • Quick Start Guide

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Network Music Player Features
Wired & Wireless Connections
Front-Panel & Remote Controls

Network Music Player Features

Overview: The Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30 network music player lets you access Internet Radio, select online music services, and your computer's stored music files on your home entertainment system. The Cambridge Audio NP30 offers wired (Ethernet) and wireless (WiFi) connectivity to your home network, and provides both analog and digital connections to your integrated amplifier or A/V receiver. The NP30 network music player includes an IR remote control and supports the Stream Magic Remote App for Apple iOS and Android devices.

Audiophile Performance for Outstanding Reproduction: The Cambridge Audio NP30 network music player provides audiophile performance for outstanding reproduction of your streaming music files. The NP30 incorporates a Wolfson digital-to-analog converter with bit-perfect signal path and jitter suppression.

  • Wolfson Digital-to-Analog Converter: The Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30 employs a Wolfson WM8728 DAC capable of 24-bit/96kHz for exceptional music reproduction with a frequency response of 20-20kHz, THD+N of 0.003% @1kHz, and signal-to-Noise ratio of less than 95dB.
  • Bit-Perfect Signal Path w/ Jitter Suppression: Music stored on computers and other hard drives inherently suffers from jitter, so the NP30 implements a host of enhancements such as bit-perfect signal path and jitter suppression to vastly improve the quality of digital music playback. Total correlated jitter is less than 200ps.

Supported Audio Formats: Cambridge Audio's NP30 network music player supports all the most popular formats via Network, UPnP, and USB connection.

  • Flac containing losslessly compressed PCM 16-24-bit/32-96kHz. *An Ethernet connection (not WiFi) is required for 24-bit files.
  • WAV containing uncompressed PCM 16-24-bit/32-96kHz. *An Ethernet connection (not WiFi) is required for 24-bit files.
  • AIF containing uncompressed PCM 16-bit/32-48kHz.
  • Microsoft Windows Media Audio (WMA 9 standard) with bit-rate of 32-320 kbps
  • MP3 (CBR or VBR) with bit-rate of 16-320 kbps
  • AAC, HE AAC, and AAC+ (CBR or VBR) with bit-rate of 16-320 kbps
  • Ogg Vorbis with bit-rate of 32-320 kbps

Note: 88.2 kHz sampling frequency not supported. The NP30 does support ALAC, WMA pro, WMA lossless, RAW, AU, or other music file types not mentioned.

Stream Magic Music Services: With Stream Magic, powered by the Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30, you can enjoy your favorite music streaming services through your home stereo system. Stream Magic allows you to access many of the world's favorite music streaming services for direct access through the NP30 network music player. Here's a quick overview of each of the supported services.

 
Supported Services

Description

Internet Radio

These are radio stations from around the world broadcast over the internet. Currently, the NP30 can access about 20,000 internet radio stations all sorted by Location, Language, and Genre. The list of available stations is constantly maintained and automatically updated to the unit via the internet. If you register on the Stream Magic website (www.stream-magic.com) you will also be able to browse the stations and set presets on your units from your PC. You can also add stations to your units that are currently not in the Stream Magic's Radio database, suggest new stations to us, and more.

Aupeo! Aupeo! is a personal streaming radio station that lets you create your own individual music station or can recommend a station that matches your mood. Two subscription levels are available. A totally free service lets you experience the wonder of Aupeo! and listen to music you want, when you want. Or for just $4.95 per month ($49.95 annual subscription) you can enjoy higher quality, ad free music.
Pandora Pandora radio is the personalized internet radio service that helps you find new music based on your old and current favorite music selections. You can explore Pandora's vast music collection for Free. Simply drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and it will create a custom internet radio station for you. It will quickly scan its entire collection of analyzed music (almost a century of popular recordings) to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. You can create up to 100 personalized stations.
Rhapsody Rhapsody is an online music subscription service which lets you listen to anything and everything in their catalog (over 10 million songs). With subscriptions starting as low as $9.99 per month, you don't have to worry about paying for individual songs, ripping CDs, or managing files any longer.
SiriusXM SiriusXM Internet Radio delivers a variety of commercial-free music including Pop, Rock, Country, R&B, Hip-Hop, Jazz, Classical and much more, plus expert sports talk and analysis. You also get exclusive entertainment, talk, comedy, family programming, local traffic and weather and news from your most trusted sources. To listen to SiriusXM Internet Radio, you'll need to subscribe to SiriusXM Internet Radio service and obtain a username and password. SiriusXM Internet Radio is only available to residents of the United States and Canada.
BBC iPlayer Radio BBC iPlayer Radio lets you Listen to live BBC Radio or catch up on the last 7 days of BBC programming from across the UK and World Service.
MP3 Tunes MP3tunes offers a Free online music Locker (2GB) which can store up to 400 songs from your computer's music library. Once you have uploaded your MP3 music files to the online music Locker, you can access it directly on your Apple iOS or Android network device. You can also increase your Locker size, up to 50/100/200 GB with a monthly or yearly subscription.
Live 365 You can listen to thousands of internet radio stations featuring online music in every genre, including hip hop, jazz, new age, rock, classical, oldies, and more. You can choose between a Free commercial-interrupted subscription or a $7.95 per-month commercial-free subscription.
Podcasts The Podcast services in your area will be available for access through the NP30.

Note: Internet Radio, Podcasts, Aupeo!, BBC iPlayer Radio, MP3 Tunes, and Live 365 is available worldwide. Pandora, Rhapsody, and SiriusXM are only available in the USA and Canada.

20 Presets: The NP30 supports up to 20 presets. These can be Internet Radio stations or streams from most online music streaming services. UPnP/Local media cannot be set as a preset.

Firmware/Software Updates: The Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30 will offer firmware/software updates through its wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi) connection. Check cambridgeaudio.com for the latest firmware/software updates.

Note: An initial firmware/software update is required for advance features; such as Stream Magic online music services, Stream Magic Remote App, and Bluetooth Audio Streaming (also requires BT100 adapter).

Wired & Wireless Connections

Wired or Wireless Network Connectivity: The Cambridge Audio NP30 offers a wired or wireless connection to your home network.

  • Ethernet (LAN): The Sonata NP30 network music player is fitted with an Ethernet (R-J45) port to connect directly to your home's network hub. Only connect the LAN port of the player to an Ethernet port that supports 10BASE-T or 100BASE-TX.
  • WiFi: The NP30 features built-in Wi-Fi (with a WLAN aerial antenna) to wirelessly connect to your home network. The NP30 supports 802.11 b/g/n (in 2.4GHz only) with WEP, WPA, WPA2 encryption. The unit has a wireless range of 30-98'.

Note: It is not recommended to use a Wi-Fi connection for content above 16 bits, 44.1/48kHz (if lossless/uncompressed).

UPnP Compatible: The NP30 network music player is a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) AV Client. Being a UPnP Client means the it can connect to UPnP AV servers on a network and browse and playback their music content. A connection to the internet is not strictly needed for this. The NP30 just needs to be able to connect to the server to access its content. Most operating systems and/or music playback software now feature UPnP server facilities built-in. This allow you to share the music on the computer's hard-drive with Clients, such as the NP30. Your music library can include digital music located anywhere on your home network such as shared folders on your own computer (Windows or Mac), shared folders on another computer on your network, or music stored on a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) device on your network. Using UPnP, the NP30 can connect to these devices and play back, or 'stream' non-DRM music files via the network to your home entertainment system.

Note: Not all servers support serving of all audio formats. Always make sure the server you choose also supports your formats of choice. For example, Windows Media Server does not currently serve FLAC format.

Dual USB Ports: The Cambridge Audio NP30 features two USB type-A (1.1) inputs for music playback from a USB flash memory device or portable hard drive. One USB port is on the front-panel, while the other is on the rear-panel. Your USB device must be formatted in FAT32 format with non-DRM music files. The NP30 cannot supply greater than 500mA from the USB socket, itself.

Note: Good practice is to create folders for Artists within which you should have sub folders for each Album which then contain the tracks for that Album. Libraries with thousands of tracks in one folder will progressively slow down the Stream Magic product's media browsing.

Bluetooth Audio Streaming (optional): The Sonata NP30 will support Bluetooth audio streaming. All you need is Cambridge Audio's plug & play BT100 wireless audio receiver (779BT100, sold separately) to stream music from your Apple iPod touch, iPhone, iPad; or other Bluetooth enabled smartphone tablet, laptop or MacBook to the NP30. Simply plug in the Cambridge Audio BT100 Bluetooth Audio Receiver into the NP30's rear-panel USB (type-A) port for wireless music streaming. The Cambridge Audio BT100 supports Bluetooth A2DP wireless audio streaming.

Note: The Cambridge Audio BT100 does not support Bluetooth AVRCP (Audio/Video Remote Control Profile) or HFP (Hands Free Profile).

Analog & Digital Outputs: The Cambridge Audio NP30 is equipped with both analog & digital audio outputs to connect to your home entertainment system.

  • Analog Outputs: The NP30 network music player features a set of gold-plated stereo RCA outputs to connect to your home entertainment system.
  • Digital Outputs: The NP30 features a Coaxial (RCA) & Optical (Toslink) digital audio output capable of supporting 16-24-bit/32-96kHz. The digital outputs can be used to connect a separate DAC or home theater A/V receiver.

Trigger In: The Sonata NP30 can be turned on and off (brought in and out of Standby mode) by a trigger voltage connected to the Trigger (3.5mm) Input. A transition from or to 5-12 DC will turn the Sonata NP30 on. Another transition from or to 5-12 DC will put the Sonata NP30 into Standby mode.

Front-Panel & Remote Controls

Front-Panel Controls: The Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30 network music player features easy-to-use front-panel controls with various push-buttons and a rotary-dial.

Slim-Line Remote: The Cambridge Audio NP30 includes a slim-line IR remote control for wireless operation of the unit.

Stream Magic Remote App: The NP30 can also be controlled using the free Stream Magic Remote App for Apple iOS and Android. The new Stream Magic Remote App gives you full control of the Cambridge Audio NP30 from your Apple iOS or Android device. From the palm of your hand you can access music stored across your home network, control streaming music services, browse Internet radio stations and USB media using your Apple iOS or Android device. For added convenience, track information and album art is retrieved and displayed automatically on your mobile device's touchscreen. You can also edit preset stations and streaming services, while setting up a queue of your favorite tracks which will continue to play even if your Apple iOS or Android device is switched off or loses its network connection. In addition, the Stream Magic Remote App supports volume control, digital input selection, and powering off/idle; all from your compatible mobile device.

  • Apple iOS Compatibility: The Stream Magic Remote App is compatible with the Apple iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad (requires iOS 4.0 or later).
  • Android Compatibility: The Stream Magic Remote App is compatible with the Android 2.3 and up.

Note: Your Apple iOS or Android device must be connected to the same network as the NP30.

 
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Cambridge Audio Sonata NP30 Reviews

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3 out of 5

Okay When it Works!

Written By BillH, Westminster, SC on Friday, January 10, 2014
 
When it works, it works well. However, it tends to lose the Wi-Fi signal every 15 minutes or so. In addition, it somewhat difficult to set up and use. See another person's review.
Pros:
When it works, it works great.
Cons:
Complicated as well as it loses it's signal often, which means that I have to turn it off and then on again. Starting up takes several minutes.
1 out of 3 people found this helpful
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3 out of 5

Needs to Sync

Written By DLee, Millbrae, CA on Tuesday, February 05, 2013
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
See pros and cons for a summary.
Pros:
Good sound quality Good form factor
Cons:
Stream Magic App for web control needs to be upgraded to allow synchronization of multiple units to allow multi-room listening without a delay/echo effect. Squeezebox and Sonos both have this. The startup time is slow More internet radio memory presets should be allowed There should be a better searching function for local internet radio stations. Squeezebox detects your location and gives a list of stations in the area. With the NP30 you can only narrow things down by country .
22 out of 24 people found this helpful
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