Music Streamers Awards – Q1 2013 (Part 2) : Cyrus Stream XP2-Qx, Netgear N600, XiVA musicm8

3/9/2013 9:07:36 AM

Cyrus Stream XP2-Qx

Price: $3,450

Cyrus is on a roll. Not content with bagging two Awards for the Cyrus XP and Cyrus Streamline streaming products last year, it’s decided to increase its haul with some significant upgrades to its existing products.

The new flagship XP2-Qx contains updates to the software, internal circuitry and power supply, and now comes with the high-end Qx DAC module, Apple Lossless support and 24-bit/192kHz playback. It’s a move that’s paid off in spades.

Subtle shifts of tonal gradation and every nuance of vocals are rendered with a remarkable degree of clarity and elegance

More than a streamer: the XP2-Qx is a DAC and preamp in its own right, so it can form a base for a system aside from its streaming abilities

More than a streamer: the XP2-Qx is a DAC and preamp in its own right, so it can form a base for a system aside from its streaming abilities

Impeccable rhythmic ability

Radiohead’s album In Rainbows is always a good option when we want to test product to its limits, and the Cyrus is only too happy to rise to the challenge. 15 Step’s complex instrumental arrangement can make even the most accomplished Hi-Fi product falter, but the XP2-Qx takes it all in its stride.

It has impeccable rhythmic ability a familiar trait of the Cyrus sound and this injects every song with an energetic and refreshing rhythm that makes you want to listen to your music collection in its entirety.

The Cyrus lets nothing go to waste: subtle shifts of tonal gradation and every nuance of vocals are rendered with remarkable clarity and elegance. Its organic-sounding dynamics and impressive stereo imaging make it an insightful listen, and it also stays remarkably controlled at high volumes, never feeling like it’s breaking a sweat when the going gets tough.

The XP2-Qx doesn’t just sound like a quality product – it feels like one, too. The chassis is the familiar Cyrus die-cast aluminum design, but it’s a weighty, solid build that aims to reduce unwanted internal resonance. Round the back are two optical and three coaxial digital inputs, as well as pre-outs, fixed outs for using with conventional amps, and a socket for hooking up an optional PSX-R off board power supply.

To control the streamer, Cyrus has provided the ‘n-remote’, a glossy black motion-sensing wand that comes with its own charging cradle. While a smartphone app would be more intuitive to use, the Cyrus remote does have a handy colored display that’s easy enough to read.

Would we spend over $3000 for such a talented music streamer? We certainly would. The best has just gotten even better, and this Cyrus streamer is a worthy winner.

Streaming system essentials


Netgear N600

Price: $195

Every network needs a router. Netgear’s N600 is dual band, so wireless ‘g’ and ‘n’ are available separately, keeping interference between the two to a minimum. In a basic system, you’ll connect your NAS and your streamer to the router.

Netgear N600: $195

Netgear N600: $195

Ethernet switch

Netgear FS605

Price: $27

Instead of hooking everything straight up to the router, many manufacturers suggest you plug your components into an Ethernet switch first. This way, you isolate the key audio components from any possible interference generated by your router.

Netgear FS605: $27

Netgear FS605: $27

Adapter kit

Netgear Powerline AV+ 500

Price: $210

If your router is located miles away from the streamer and/or NAS device, consider buying a set of Powerline plugs. These turn your home mains circuit into an extension of your network. For the best sound, we always recommend a wired connection above Wi-Fi possible.

Netgear Powerline AV+ 500: $210

Netgear Powerline AV+ 500: $210

Network storage

XiVA musicm8

Price: $1,200

This sophisticated box of trick scan rip discs and has 1TB of storage. Load a CD and you can set the musicm8 to make two rips of a track a high-quality, metadata-toting FLAC collection for home use and a more compressed archive for a portable.

XiVA musicm8: $1,200

Video tutorials
- How To Install Windows 8

- How To Install Windows Server 2012

- How To Install Windows Server 2012 On VirtualBox

- How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

- How To Install Windows Store Apps From Windows 8 Classic Desktop

- How To Disable Windows Update in Windows 8

- How To Disable Windows 8 Metro UI

- How To Add Widgets To Windows 8 Lock Screen

- How to create your first Swimlane Diagram or Cross-Functional Flowchart Diagram by using Microsoft Visio 2010
programming4us programming4us