Omnia music system aims to power streaming, digital and analog listening
UK hi-fi specialist Audiolab has leveraged its award-winning know-how to create a "just add speakers" music system called the Omnia, which features a Class AB amp, rocks a CD player, caters to streaming needs, and can even be cabled to a turntable.
The all-in-one music system brings together a CD transport, an integrated hi-fi amp, a wireless streaming player, digital-to-analog conversion, a dedicated headphone amp, an analog pre-amp, and a phono stage for cabling to a moving-magnet turntable, and wraps them all up in a stylish aluminum enclosure.
Front and center of the Omnia's face is a 4.3-inch color LCD IPS display that shows such things as system settings, format data and tracks details but can also rock a pair of real-time VU meters that pulse to the decibel levels of the left and right channels.
To its left sits the unit's CD drive, which the company says builds on the transport at the heart of the excellent 6000CDT model – a model that encouraged me to dust off my old collection and listen anew. Indeed, the music system's mechanism features a precision optical system that Audiolab says can even play the kind of scratched or damaged CDs that might now make up the majority of discs in your aging collection, and which could leave other players struggling.
If you prefer your music delivered over the air, the unit boasts 802.11ac Wi-Fi for streaming via DTS Play-Fi, making for app-controlled high resolution playback at up to 24-bit/192-kHz resolution, with services such as Amazon Music, Spotify, Tidal, Napster, Deezer, Qobuz and Pandora supported, together with internet radio. Or you can stream audio from a smartphone over Bluetooth 5.0 with support for aptX and aptX LL codecs. And the device is also compatible with synchronized multi-room setups.
At the heart of the digital circuitry is an ES9038Q2M 32-bit reference DAC for "ultra-low noise and high dynamic range" conversions at sampling rates of up to 768 kHz and native DSD512, and full MQA decoding via the USB DAC section, supporting a technology developed to deliver the sound quality of an original master recording in a file format small enough for streaming (as used by the likes of Tidal).
The Omnia is built around a Class AB integrated amplifier which benefits from short, direct signal paths to "preserve sonic purity," and can drive two 50-W speakers into 8 ohms, or two 75-W into 4 ohms. The analog pre-amp circuitry has its roots in the company's acclaimed 6000 series, and Audiolab has also included a dedicated headphone amp for "dynamic, detailed and engaging performance with all manner of headphone types."
The included MM phono stage features a low-noise, JFET-based circuit with RIAA equalization, and is cabled to your turntable of choice via stereo RCA inputs. A bunch of other analog and digital inputs can be found around back too, which all make use of the unit's DAC, pre-amp and integrated amp stages, along with three antennas, gold-plated speaker connections and an Ethernet port for more bandwidth potential than you might get over wireless. Should you wish to hook up the system to an external pre-amp or power amp though, Audiolab has included the ability to bypass the separate amp stages.
The Omnia music system is available now in black or silver for a suggested retail price of £1,599 (about US$2,125).
Product page: Omnia