Pioneer N-50 in the Test

The pioneer N-50 is a solidly crafted network player that offers much comfort. Nevertheless, there is a shortcoming.

Pioneer seems forever to build the N-50. This first impression holds 7.3 kg live weight in the hands and appreciative note taking texture and processing this network player.

True to the motto “pads rather than make a mess” pioneer built a 192 kHz/32-bit D/A converter in the N50, which holds his talents not only for the music from the network, but has two digital inputs is sources other than external DAC available. For the direct connection of a PC/Mac offers ideally the N50 an asynchronous USB input – this jitter-free pleasure to work even up to word length of 192/32.

Front USB input is also this is however limited to 96/24 and is for connecting an iPod or external hard drive. The N-50 is the all-rounder, which is too bad for anything equipment-side. AirPlay? But love it! Even via Bluetooth can the close stream music, if you buy the corresponding dongle charges and put into the matching socket on the rear. Thanks to AirJam, a kind of musical Street ball, then up to four iPhone owners must contribute to the mix of music. Connection in the native Wi-FI network takes the N50 also only via an optional adapter. -LAN cable works ever more stable. Really miss could man only the gapless function and the also missing forward / rewind option.

The commissioning of the N50 is easy and goes fast thanks to the coloured, crisp-sharp display of the hand. Album cover displays on the screen via AirPlay. Sitting but slightly further away, it will be yet more difficult: the screen has been unfortunately but a little too small for everyday use. Solves the problem, how could it be otherwise, an Apple toys from the touch, Padoder phone family: A free pioneer ControlApp, installed on the Idevice, the operation of the N50 to become child’s play. The app is intelligently programmed and dealt with larger music archives without long waits or other bucks are clear and simple. It allows even the switching of the various inputs of the N50 and course provides access to countless radio stations, their discovery waiting about vTuner.

Hearing test

To discover it was the Sonic capabilities of the N50. With voltage were the first bars of Katie Meluas “Nine Million Bicycles” from the album “piece by piece” expected in the listening room. Free of any hardness and aggressiveness sounded the piece out of the KEF reference 207/2. The N50 accomplished the feat, the sharpening in the recording of this piece elegantly to the wrap – ideal for hours of hassle-free listening.

In comparison to the same price Cambridge Audio NP30, the pioneer sounded more elegant and gentle. Where he stood out Cambridge with authority and verve, wowed the pioneer flattering enchantment and musical grace. In the title track of the album “piece by piece” the N50 Katie Melua’s voice recited charming unexcited, strings diversified are pleasantly spacious.

Although Cambridge and pioneer to focus on purely priced exactly same target group seem, but any prospective buyer will know quickly which of the two players is rather his case. Cambridge makes quite sound to his British genes and can make because its sinewy crunchy vote clearly audible recording technical weaknesses, but also the greater potential of dynamics. The pioneer on the other – quite distinguished Asian – forgive more, can work but sometimes something to slow and soft. Well – especially given their low price – they both are.


Lots of comfort and value you would expect from a Japanese Networker, and the pioneer delivers both in large portions. Along with the solid processing becomes a great Hi-Fi with a single shortcoming: no gapless. After all, there is a loophole here: airplay is inherently gapless.


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