Onkyo Singapore has launched three new products—The DP-X1A High-Resolution Audio Player, LS7200 3D Soundbar with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X, and the NCP-302 Wireless Speaker with multi-room support. The launch was held on 29 Mar at the Nigiro Cafe at the Esplanade.
The DP-X1A is Onkyo’s latest high-resolution digital audio player (DAP) which builds upon the previous DP-X1. It supports playback of up to 11.2MHz Direct Stream Digital (DSD) and up to 24-bit 384kHz FLAC/WAV files.Playback of MQA is also supported on the DP-X1A, and it has support for up to 464GB of music (64GB of internal memory + dual micro SD slots each supporting up to 200GB each.)
The player features dual SABRE ES9018K2M DACs and SABRE 9601K amps from ESS Technology for the highest possible sound quality and wide sound stage. Custom audio-grade capacitors from Nippon Chemicon (MELODIO) are used for improved audio quality.
In order to isolate the audio circuitry from digital noise, the individual sections of the player are completely separated, with their own independent power supply. One interesting new feature of the player is a “Standalone mode”, something similar to the Airplane Mode found on most smart devices today. This cuts off electromagnetic signals from reaching the player to give an improved audio quality.
Like most high-end players, the DP-X1A also has a balanced output for supported headphones. This is delivered via a 2.5mm 4-pole balanced headphone jack. Of course, there is also a regular 3.5mm stereo headphone jack for regular headphones as well.
The player is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and runs on the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, which will let you run apps like Spotify on it, in addition to your local music. The body feels sturdy and well-built, and has a minimalist design with just a rotary volume control on one side, and playback controls + micro SD slots on the other.
The top of the player features the 2 headphone jacks (balanced + unbalanced) while the bottom houses the micro USB port for charging and data transfer. It also supports USB On-The-Go (OTG) devices.
Onkyo Singapore provided a few of the players for the media to try out, each connected to different headphones. I tested one which was connected to a Sennheiser HD600, an audiophile favourite.
For some reason, the player doesn’t have enough juice to drive it to a decent volume even when maxed out. The Sennheiser HD600 being a pair of “open” headphones which doesn’t provide much isolation doesn’t help in the rather noisy cafe with all the various speaker demos going on.
So I tested again, with my Ultimate Ears UE900 In-Ear earphones which worked better. The selection of music on the player was rather limited and I ended up using my own micro SD card which had a small selection of High-resolution as well as regular music. The DP-X1A played them very well, with good clarity and detail, however the frequency balance was a little bit bright, possibly a signature of the ESS DACs.
Onkyo’s own default player on the DP-X1A (which also lets you control and stream music to their wireless speakers like the NCP-302) isn’t very intuitive in navigating the music library. On my micro SD card, it also displayed some of my music as separate tracks instead of one single album. Let’s hope Onkyo improves on this in a future update.
The DP-X1A will be available from authorised dealers for S$999.
LS7200 3D Soundbar System
The LS7200 is Onkyo’s latest 3D Soundbar System featuring Dolby Atmos and DTS:X technologies. It also supports other wireless technologies like DTS Play-Fi, AirPlay and FireConnect multi-room wireless technology.
Unlike most other soundbars, Onkyo’s LS7200 is connected to an AV Centre (a separate unit which somewhat looks like a slimline AV receiver) via a single proprietary cable. This allows it to be made into a very slim unit which fits in better with more homes.
The soundbar itself features a total of 8 drivers—2 each of the left, centre and right speakers, and 2 height speakers firing upwards. There is also a wireless subwoofer for bass duties. The main unit is powered by the AV Centre, which has 4 HDMI ports for connecting your various devices like Bluray players, game consoles, etc. The connection to the TV is a single 4K-capable HDMI output with Audio Return Channel.
Like many modern soundbars on the market, the Onkyo LS7200 has an automatic room calibration feature via the AccuEQ feature, which adjusts the sounds of the various speakers to suit your room and for the best possible surround effect.
It is hard to judge the sound quality of it in the rather noisy cafe, but overall the soundbar sounds pretty good and the surround effects are pretty well done too. Unlike many of the soundbars in the market today, the LS7200’s bass isn’t too boomy, which is a good thing. For some reason though, the dialog / centre channel on the demo wasn’t very clear, this could be a setting or an environmental issue.
The LS7200 will be available from authorised dealers for S$1,799.
NCP-302 Multi-room Wireless Speaker System
The NCP-302 is Onkyo’s latest multi-room wireless speaker system which can be linked to other compatible Onkyo products (like the LS7200 soundbar). It uses FireConnect, a network protocol based on Blackfire and provided by Blackfire Research USA, and operates over the 2.4GHz/5GHz Wi-Fi and provides 44.1kHz and 48kHz sampling.
It supports a variety of streaming services such as Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL and Tunein, as well as files stored on mobile or media servers inside the Onkyo Controller App. There is support for Google’s Chromecast as well, which allows you to cast any music from your smartphone, laptop easily.
Using the Onkyo Controller App, you can either setup multiple NCP-302s to either mirror your source music, or you can have different music playing to different speakers as well.
The largish speaker is made of a solid MDF enclosure with two 77mm woofers and a 26mm balanced dome tweeter. It’s rather elegantly designed, and will look right at home on your shelf or table. Two colours are available—Black, and brown/grey.
Onkyo has mentioned that the NCP-302 is tuned for a “pleasant, non-fatiguing sound” and this is evident during my brief testing. The speaker sounds full-bodied and warm, with none of the harshness/brightness found on most other wireless speakers.
The NCP-302 will be available from all authorised dealers for S$599.