Wednesday, 20 February 2013 09:04

Marantz Consolette: upmarket iPhone dock and network speakers Featured

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Marantz has a long tradition in the hi-fi market - indeed, the company is celebrating its 60th anniversary. Where the original Marantz Audio Consolette was designed to get the best from mono LPs, the company claims the new Consolette does the same for digital formats.

The Marantz Consolette combines the functions of a traditional (30-pin) iPod dock with Wi-Fi and Ethernet connectivity for network playback (including Internet radio) as well as a USB interface to play files from storage devices and line-in to connect analogue sources. AirPlay streaming is also supported.

On the audio side, the specifications include a pair of 25W amplifiers for the balanced mode radiator (BMR) drivers, plus dual 50W amps for the woofers. The BMR design is said to give a wide and stable stereo image.

Standby power consumption is only 0.5W, so you needn't feel guilty about leaving it switched on at the wall socket.

Operation is via the front panel, an included remote control, or the downloadable iOS and Android apps.

Stylistically, the Consolette is an interesting mix of old and new with a contemporary aluminium case holding the electronics and the walnut-finished wooden back of the speaker section. Other retro features include the three feet and the 'gyro' knob seen on earlier Marantz products.

The 'silver white' model is now available, with the 'silk black' version to follow by the autumn.

The price is a fairly hefty $1650 (we thought the Sonos wireless audio products were expensive), so let your ears be your guide.


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Stephen Withers

Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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