The all new rPLAY from Arcam was demonstrated to us for the first time yesterday. Our first batch of them will be with us any day and orders are being taken now.
We've a sneaky feeling this is going to be a rather popular product!
The rPLAY is priced at £399.00 and is housed in the typical r Series casework, good build quality and a weighty feel to it.
What does it do?
Quite simply it's a streamer! Give it a network connection (wired is preferable, but it does offer wi-fi as well) and simply connect it to your amplifier via the RCA sockets or your DAC (via the coaxial output) and you are good to go.
It even offers a variable output so in theory you could connect it directly into a power amplifier.
It is controlled very easily using the DTS Play-Fi App, available for iOS, Android and Windows devices. From the App you can playback and control music stored on NAS drives and shared folders on computers, you also can login in to Tidal, Spotify, Amazon Music, Qobuz and Deezer (these are all subscription based services).
It also offers AirPlay so can playback music stored in iTunes libraries as well. With playback supported up to 24/192 it has the hi-res angle covered as well. Internet radio is also included! For £399.00 that is some feature set!
The Play-Fi is very clever in the sense you can have multiples of these connected to different things around the house and have different music playing in different rooms. Got an Amazon Echo? Watch this space as voice control is on the way via an update!
For us where it scores heavily is in performance terms and it is incredible value for money. A fully fledged music streamer with integrated music services for under £400.00 - Bargain!!
Combine one of these with a new Rega Brio 2017 and for just under £1000.00 you got arguably unbeatable combination for the money, simply add speakers and you've got a hi-res compatible streamer, a multi-input amplifier with a good quality phono stage built in!