One music player to rule them all?

Are you searching for:

…The elegance of Bang and Olufsen without the exorbitant pricing?

…Apple-like user friendliness without a closed, proprietary system?

…The audio quality of HD music servers without the hefty hardware?

Then you’ll have to wait, but the Olive ONE promises to deliver all of that and more.  How well it can deliver remains to be seen, but we know how it plans to do so: crowdfunding.  The campaign went public today after a few days in stealth-mode, and as of this writing has reached $41,629 of its $200,000 goal, with 51 days left.

We first featured the Olive 6HD in our 2010 Holiday Gift Guide.  While the 06HD still starts at $4,999, a 1 TB Olive ONE can be had for $499, and the entry-level unit is $399.  Estimated delivery is July, 2013, and here’s what they have planned:

Enjoy all your music. From Spotify to Pandora to YouTube.

Wireless HD Docking Station
Play music from your smartphone, PC or Mac

Stunning touch-screen interface
Swipe and tap your way through your entire
music collection

Amazing sound
High Definition DAC and dual HD amplifiers

Your personal Home Cloud
Built-in hard disk drive (optional) stores
up to 6,000 albums

Multi-room music
Play the same or different songs

Hand-built in the USA
With the finest aluminium and glass materials

I can get most of that today (sadly, not the made in USA part) through a combination of my Apple TV, Cambridge iPod dock, iPhones, iPads, Macs, and stereo system.  But the ONE should be able to consolidate and simplify the home music listening experience.

Unless you have a DLNA-compatible amp, one thing (and it’s an important ONE) that it doesn’t do well as currently specified is integrate with your stereo system.  The only wired outputs are for stereo speakers.  The ONE includes 2 Class D amplifiers driving 32W per channel, which makes it an excellent addition to a space without an existing system.

But the lack of analog and digital outputs makes it a bit of an oddball in most main listening rooms. And given the availability of some excellent-sounding powered speakers, you may wonder why the amplifiers are needed at all.

Olive responded to comments about the lack of outputs on the campaign site as follows: “The ONE currently only has speaker outputs. However the board has been designed in a way that we can add analog and digital outputs, we would however need to provide a special adapter. We will think about it and put it up for vote later in the campaign.”

I asked about MOG integration and received a similar response: “It depends on what the crowd says.  We have it high on our priority list, but will do a poll with our supporters and ask them what we should implement next.”  So let’s hear it crowd — what do you want in a home music player?


HD Digital-Analog-Converter
Burr-Brown PCM5142
• 32-bit/384kHz
• Dynamic Range / SNR: 112 dB
• THD+N: – 93 dB @ – 1 dBFS
• 8X oversampling

Dual HD amplifiers and DSP
• 2x 32W/channel into 8 Ohm, high-efficiency (92%)
• 1 amp per channel, perfect channel separation
• DSP with patent-pending PRISM technology

Audio Output
• Analog: Speaker out (24k gold-plated)
• Digital: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast ™
• Bluetooth (A2DP)
• Wi-Fi Direct™

Digital Audio Input
• Bluetooth (A2DP)
• Wi-Fi: Miracast™, Direct™, DLNA/UPnP
Graphical User Interface
• Built-in 7.0 inch LCD with capacitive touch-screen
• TV interface via Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™
• Free Apple® iPhone®, iPad® and Android App

Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
• Supports Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS)
• DLNA Certified®
• Play music from Mac, PC, NAS (UPnP)
• Multi-room music (requires ONE for each room)

Bluetooth/Wi-Fi Direct™
• Stream music from portable devices
• Connect wireless headphones or speakers

Built-in AV hard drive
• 2.5” AV hard drive or SSD drive
• From 500GB to 2.5TB

Olive Home Cloud Service
• Access your music anywhere in the world.
• Dynamic compression: Stream up to full HD quality (24-bit/192kHz)

• Power: Meets EUP (0.5W in Standby)
• RoHS compliant
• Recyclable (aluminum and glass)

Dimensions & Weight
• Diameter: 9.0 inch (22.9 cm)
• Height: 1.61 inch (4.1 cm) max
• Weight: ~6 lb. (2.7 kg, without HDD)