Sony NAC-SV10i Review

We just can’t get over the fact that, for $50 more, you can get yourself the same dock with built-in speakers.
We just can’t get over the fact that, for $50 more, you can get yourself the same dock with built-in speakers.
We just can’t get over the fact that, for $50 more, you can get yourself the same dock with built-in speakers.

Highs

  • Accesses internet radio, network music and anything on iPod/iPhone
  • Analog input
  • Wired or wireless interenet access

Lows

  • Dated look and feel
  • Display supports only three B&W lines
  • No video output
  • Buggy network access

DT Editors' Rating

Check out our overview of the Sony HomeShare system for more information, and links to reviews of other HomeShare components. The NAC-SV10i is designed as a stand-alone iPod dock and music server. Think of it as the hub of your wireless music operation. It comes with a power adapter and a slim, full-function remote control. The NAC-SV10i is the lower priced option between Sony’s two iPod docks because, unlike the costlier version, it has no built-in speaker. This model is intended to function as a component of a larger system or a server for wireless network speakers. Though it looks pretty dated, the NAC-SV10i combines modern day elements such as Internet radio access, network music streaming and wireless audio streaming into a small component that adds in everyday convenience features like a clock, timer and remote control. Sony-NAC-SV10i-rear-dock On the back of the unit, you’ll find an Ethernet port for wired Internet connection, a ⅛-inch aux. input jack and a pair of stereo RCA output plugs. The front “deck” of the dock offers basic, touch-sensitive controls for commands like play/pause, track advance, options, function and enter.

Performance

The NAC-SV10i worked great with our iPhone attached and providing the content. Here, we had the option to control our iPhone by touch, or allow the NAC-SC10i to provide the user interface. Given the limited display on the dock, we chose to operate the iPhone directly. Be sure to check out our section on Sony’s touchscreen remote, though, because we found it provided an excellent interface. The DAC built into the dock isn’t likely to win any audiophile awards, but its output sounded clean and well resolved on our reference audio system. We also liked that the variable analog output allows the user to connect directly to an amplifier and speakers, without necessarily involving a pre-amp or receiver. With our iPhone disengaged from the dock, we were able to use Sony’s free Network Audio Remote app, available for both iOS and Android devices. This app (or the RMN-U1 remote) is definitely the way to control the dock and access Internet radio or networked music. Without the app, you’re stuck using the small, three-line LCD display on the dock itself, which is nearly impossible if you have more than just a few songs on your network. The limited LCD display could be left to serve as a clock or provide basic track information, were there some sort of video output and graphic user interface, but there’s no such feature. Sony-NAC-SV10i-front-dock We also wirelessly streamed our music to the NA-S300 network speaker that Sony provided. In theory, if we had more than one wireless speaker around, we could have chosen to send the music signal to just one or all of them with the push of the “Party Stream” button. Party Stream is a system that links to and activates all HomeShare compliant devices. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get sound out of the wireless speaker unless we used Party Stream. After 20 minutes spent verifying settings and trying different synching techniques, we let it go. We hope our situation was isolated because, frankly, a system like this needs to be plug and play. Otherwise, less technically inclined users are likely to jump ship. With Party Stream activated, we were able to play WAV, MP3, LPCM and AAC files of varying bitrates with no compatibility problems.

Conclusion

We just can’t get over the fact that, for $50 more, you can get yourself the same dock with built-in speakers. That being the case, we’re not sure why anyone would choose to get the “component” version. If just a few bucks more buys the convenience of on-board sound along with all the other great features, the choice seems like no-brainer. For this reason, we had to knock our rating down a half-point and suggest, instead, checking out the NAS-SV20i.

Highs:

  • Accesses Internet radio, network music and anything on iPod/iPhone
  • Analog input
  • Wired or wireless Internet access

Lows:

  • Dated look and feel
  • Display supports only three B&W lines
  • No video output
  • Buggy network access
Home Theater

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2019, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR and much more.
Mobile

The Best iPhone 7 battery cases to give your phone some extra juice

The iPhone 7 doesn't have terrible battery life, but you never know when you'll need to juice up on the go. To help, here are the best iPhone 7 battery cases that can keep your smartphone charged and ready for long-term use.
Computing

Here's how you can download the best free music players for your Mac

Tired of your Mac's default music player? Take a look at our picks for the best free music players available for your Apple rig. Whether you're a casual listener or an audiophile, you're sure to find something that fits your needs here.
Trash

These awesome A/V receivers will swarm you with surround sound at any budget

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to shopping for a receiver, so we assembled our favorites for 2018, at multiple price points and all loaded with features, from Dolby Atmos to 4K HDR, and much more.
Home Theater

These TVs might cost less than $1,000, but they certainly don’t perform like it

Check out our picks for the best TVs under $1,000 to enjoy top-shelf features like 4K Ultra HD, High Dynamic Range, and gorgeous image processing. Park yourself here to find the absolute best values in TV land.
Home Theater

FiOS problems: The potholes in Verizon's fiber internet and how to fix them

Verizon FiOS offers no just fiber internet, but TV and home phone service as well. See what kind of problems, issues, and trouble other Verizon FiOS users have reported before you decide to sign up for the service.
Product Review

Microsoft’s $350 Surface Headphones are a good first try, but not good enough

Microsoft’s Surface Headphones are stylish, comfortable, and have great noise-canceling, but at $350 a pair, they’ll have a hard time matching the industry leaders like Sony and Bose.
Home Theater

Bose QuietComfort 35 II wireless headphones get a $93 price cut

Good head-fi is expensive, but a premium set of headphones is worth it. The excellent Bose Quietcomfort 35 Series II is on sale right now from Rakuten with a two-day coupon code that can save you more than 90 bucks.
Mobile

Weird Galaxy View 2 is a TV-style tablet to take your mind off the Galaxy Fold

Samsung may be about to resurrect a product line that last saw an entry three years ago. Renders of the Galaxy View 2 show it's sticking to the tablet-that-thinks-it's-a-TV formula.
Home Theater

Don't need sports or local channels? Philo can save you some cash

Philo is an affordable live TV streaming service, with an impressive channel list and feature set. With more hardware support, unlimited DVR, and greatly improved TV Everywhere features, the service is now even easier to recommend.
Mobile

The best Bluetooth headsets of 2019, from Sennheiser to Jabra

Quality headsets are rare. Here are our picks for the best Bluetooth headsets available, whether you need something modest, cheap, or loaded with features. We highlight the best Bluetooth headsets you can get for different situations.
Home Theater

From game consoles to 4K UHD spinners, these are the best Blu-ray players

Streaming may be popular, but the disc isn't dead yet. To get the very best picture and sound quality from your system, you need to be watching Blu-ray or 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray discs, and these are the best Blu-ray players you can buy.
Home Theater

Wireless headphones are finally awesome, and these are our favorites

With sleek forms, prime audio quality, and the freedom of untethered listening, there has never been a better time to pick up a pair of wireless headphones. These are the best ones currently available.
Home Theater

Looking to cut cable? Here’s everything you need to know about Pluto TV

Pluto TV offers plenty of entertainment in a fashion similar to live internet TV services, only at no cost — you don’t even need to register. Too good to be true? Here’s everything you need to know.