Earlier this month, we wondered why HDTV had become the standard, while people were still satisfied with listening to lossy, diluted digital music. Since then, we’ve showcased several products that can help you beef up your tunes, and now it looks like Krell has another one that’s worth a look.
The Krell Connect Stream Player is a boxy, bold-looking digital music player that claims to be capable of delivering 192kHz/24-bit audio, with nothing lost in translation from the studio mastering session. The Wi-Fi-enabled unit is available as a standalone digital player, or, with a DAC built-in. Both can play just about every digital audio file under the sun, including FLAC, WAV and OGG.
Both models offer a 3.5-inch QVGA LCD screen, iOS and Android apps that control the action, and gapless playback for smooth transitions between tracks ( a feature few, if any, other digital media streamers can lay claim to). Naturally, connectivity options differ between the two. While the digital-only version employs coaxial and Toslink digital outputs, the DAC version boasts direct-coupled analog output via both RCA and balanced audio jacks.
The DAC-equipped model distinguishes itself by providing superior analog output for high-resolution digital music, while also giving a shot in the arm to less than stellar digital files. In addition, it gives the same treatment to Internet radio stations – a valuable feature, considering the ubiquity of web-based streaming in today’s world.
Both Krell Connect Stream Players will be available in March 2013. The digital-only version is expected to retail for $2500, while the DAC-equipped model is a significant step up, at an expected retail price of $3500.