Streaming media is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean audiophiles have to sacrifice sound quality, as Technics shows from the latest in its “Grand Class” range.
It’s pretty clear that streaming services aren’t created equal in terms of quality, but that doesn’t mean people who love their sound have to sacrifice quality all the same.
While the world still waits for Spotify to get on-board with the lossless train, something the company hinted at years ago, there are other ways to get lossless audio streamed, whether you subscribe to Apple Music, Tidal HiFi wth MQA support, Amazon Music’s Ultra HD music, or even the most recent arrival of the bunch, Qobuz.
But while subscribing is one thing, playback is another entirely, and to get the music in the highest resolution typically requires a bit of extra hardware.
On a phone, that could be an external DAC, but if you’re after playback at home, it could also be an amplifier, which these days is seeing updates to support streaming technology.
In fact, Panasonic’s Technics brand is jumping into the category with a streaming amplifier, launching the GX70, an amp sporting an HDMI ARC connection for supported speakers, soundbars, and TVs, not to mention the ability to connect to a variety of streaming services and other platforms.
The streaming amplifier will cover Bluetooth, WiFi, Chromecast, AirPlay 2, USB ports, and even radio over DAB+, FM, and internet radio, while also including a way to connect a record player, essentially bundling every current major connection a listener might want.
While CD has largely taken a backseat, an amp that covers vinyl, radio, wireless sharing, and streaming media does seem very, very interesting, all while still being able to connect to Technics’ CD player offerings.
Granted, the Technics GX70 does come with a hefty price, targeting audiophiles with a $3199 price tag where it launches in July this year.
Mind you, it’s more affordable than the Technics R1000 reference class amplifier, which is a digital amp the company says is made for digital signals like streaming platforms, and hits a staggering price tag of $15,499. It matches some of the more expensive record players Technics offers, which are also very high priced.
That’ll likely leave the R1000 for only the audiophiles with deep pockets, while the GX70 covers many more, and arrives following the release of the Technics C600 Network CD Receiver.
“The new SU-GX70 streaming amplifier launches on the back of our successful SA-C600 and now boasts an HDMI ARC port, meeting demand for TV integration into the home hi-fi system and delivering impressive sound on top of a host of other features,” said Aaron Waters, Product Marketing Manager for Technics in Australia.
“Furthermore, as vinyl albums continue to grow in popularity, with these new announcements Technics can now offer four well-matched turntable and amp pairings in its lineup so music lovers can find a sweet spot to suit their budget,” he said.
Technics’ new gear looks set to arrive by July this year.