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I've been watching this company Simple Audio for awhile, and I've been looking to pick them up as a vendor (I'm an AV Brick & Morter retailer and custom install store). They've only been available in Europe, but they're releasing in the US In April. They're kind of a higher fidelity answer to Sonos, as the price-points, sizes and models are similar, but the concept is a bit higher in focus. Instead of relying on the Sonos-type wireless infrastructure, the Simple system needs to be wired. In order to do this simply where there is no Cat5 in the walls, they've built into every unit a Ethernet over Powerline system, so it can get its info that way. That way it can stream hi-res stuff up to 24/192 (For the US Release, currently the Euro ones are only 24/96 I think).

 

I just got one of these units (The amplified version) pre-release for my store's private audition, and I have to say I'm pretty impressed. Sonically, it's really good, and it does stream my hi-res FLAC files perfectly over the EoP system. I compared the amp section to a better Marantz Amp, and as expected the smaller digital 50W per channel Simple amp was a little more flat, not as much life in it, but really, not bad for a fairly inexpensive all-in-one unit.

 

The Streaming services are a little thin, right now confined to TuneIn and Deezer, but with the promise of Rhapsody and Pandora on the horizon. Hopefully Spotify and Beats too, but I haven't heard on those.

 

The iPad app is really good. It's way more visual than the heinous Sonos app, and allows multiple users each with separate or mixed libraries. It also has a nice desktop interface, which actually has more ability than the Tablet app. Right now it's only iOS, but Android is suppose to be available in April.

 

Just thought I'd give a brief synopsis of this product in case anybody is interested. Also, if any of our European friends would like to chime in with their experiences, I'd love to hear them. If anyone has any questions, or anything you'd like me to try, let me know.

 

The system I tested with the most is a Krell 222 Preamp, With a Krell 2250 amp, and Wilson Sashas. I have Transparent Wave200 Interconnect, and a Transparent Powerwave power cord, and the wilsons are using Audioquest Go4 speaker cable. My amp comparison was against a Marantz MM7055 running a pair of Totem Hawks.

Audio Artisans

Saving the World from Inferior Audio

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the Simple system needs to be wired. In order to do this simply where there is no Cat5 in the walls, they've built into every unit a Ethernet over Powerline system, so it can get its info that way.

 

Are you obligated to use EoP, or is ethernet also an option? (This would interfere with my solar panel data collection).

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You're not Required to use EoP. It's simply the way to get the device to locations that may not have an Ethernet port. I've used it both ways.

 

I've been talking to them, and they're getting me a second one to try some multi-zone. I should have it by the weekend.

Audio Artisans

Saving the World from Inferior Audio

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