BROWSE high-end manufacturers’ websites and you’ll see a growing number beginning to take audio streaming very seriously indeed. Krell Industries adds itself to this list with the Connect high-resolution Stream Player, set to go into production in March.
The Wi-Fi-equipped Connect will play FLAC, WAV, MP3, Ogg and WMA files at up to 24-bit/192kHz resolution; Internet radio is included and the player is UPnP/DLNA-compliant.
Two versions of Connect will be made – with an onboard digital-to-analogue converter (DAC) module and in digital-only guise (necessitating an outboard DAC). The first is armed with a 32-bit ESS Sabre chipset and discrete, direct-coupled analogue circuitry that outputs via RCA or XLR connectors; on the latter, coaxial and optical digital outs are provided.
The Connect’s front panel has a 3.5-inch LCD screen, enabling quick navigation of audio libraries; users can also download iOS and Android apps for a full range of controls.
Krell says gapless playback is possible, which means no breaks between tracks. Internet radio gets the same conversion as high-resolution files (on the DAC-equipped model), providing the best possible sound quality from online streaming content.
The Connect is expected to retail from US$2,500… not such an impossible aspiration, right?