The Audiolab Omnia is a two-channel all-in-one of the “simply add speakers” variety, which has come to rule the market at most price points under $5,000. While the thought of methodically building a stack of components, each of which was chosen because it performed better than all the alternatives at the price, can make us misty-eyed and nostalgic, that’s not actually how most people view the process of getting amazing sound in their home. One box that fulfils all of their requirements will be quite appealing. you can buy this product from amazon.
And let’s be clear: the Omnia probably does the tasks you require. Its name, which is Latin for “everything,” provides a useful hint as to the strategy Audiolab used to create its first-ever all-in-one. There isn’t really any typical mode of use I can think of in which it cannot be used, thus the specification may well be the most comprehensive of any all-in-one I can recall testing.The Omnia’s built-in music streamer is a crucial feature, and Audiolab chose to use DTS Play-Fi for it.
However, Play-Fi has come in for some harsh criticism, with the biggest complaint being that it does not play music gapless. I’m sure most of you know what I mean, but in case you’re new to music streaming, this means that PlayFi would insert a pause between two tracks causing the music to stop even when it wasn’t supposed to, like with DJ mixes or perhaps live performances of musicals or classical pieces that are meant to be one continuous piece of music. It’s really upsetting when the music abruptly stops playing.
The problem with creating a product that everyone wants, though, is that all of your competitors will do the same. This is a crowded market that includes everything from amps with a little built-in streaming to a few options that almost match the Omnia’s specifications.
Audiolab Omnia review: Design and build
The Omnia’s construction and design immediately make the word “purposeful” come to mind. When you consider the amount of capability Audiolab has managed to fit inside the space of a typical old-school hi-fi “separate,” it’s not surprising that the box weights more than 9kg (you may choose between black or anodized silver). So, no, it’s not the most aesthetically pleasing electrical device you’ve ever seen. However, there is no doubt that it was put together with great care and is long-lasting.
Audiolab Omnia review: Features
The Audiolab Omnia takes home the award for having the highest specification and number of features of any streaming device we’ve yet to see. The Omnia can play music in both hard and streaming service formats, according on your preference.
Starting with streaming, you have access to Bluetooth, wired ethernet, and dual-band wi-fi. Although the three antennae linked to the rear may appear a little crowded, the trade-off is more stability, which is always preferred if you want to stream wirelessly frequently.
The network streaming portion of the Omnia is powered by DTS Play-Fi technology, which is also utilised by Audiolab’s award-winning 6000N Play and 6000A Play devices. You can access a variety of music services, such as Spotify, Tidal, Amazon Music, Deezer, Qobuz, and numerous internet radio stations, with this programme and the Play-Fi app.
The Play-Fi app can connect to and play music from your audio library on a DLNA-compatible NAS drive or media server, acting as a form of music butler. You can even combine all of your other Play-Fi-compatible items into a multi-room system using the app.
Although the third-party app is reliable and functional, we occasionally miss the personalised touches provided by the specialised apps utilised by Audiolab’s competitors, which help to further streamline the user experience.
Make sure the “Critical Listening Mode” is turned on in the app while listening high-resolution streams to ensure that music is played via ethernet or wi-fi at 24-bit/192kHz quality without any downsampling. The standard mode, which is more tuned for multi-room bandwidths, has a maximum resolution of only 16-bit/48kHz.
Audiolab Omnia review: Sound quality
Happily, the Audiolab appears to be largely unconcerned about the genre of music you enjoy. There are volume differences between, say, a TIDAL Masters stream via the DTS Play-Fi app and the same song played via a turntable through the Omnia’s phono input, but in terms of tonality and overall sonic attitude it’s unshakeable. It’s also remarkably consistent tonally across each of its numerous inputs. This entails that you receive a complete, accurate, and self-awarely “grown up” reading of your favourite music, and I mean that in a completely good sense.
From the bottom (which is deep, textured, and moderately quick) to the top (which is nicely sharp and assaulting), the frequency range is uniform and coherent. Even if, like me, you don’t understand Sanskrit, Alice Coltrane’s Rama Katha is alive with character and emotion thanks to the Audiolab’s gratifying level of midrange detail. The Audiolab is able to give this recording a feeling of scale and is attentive to the harmonic fluctuations in the droning organ, despite the fact that it is extremely sparse.
Switch to something that is more immediately recognised as “a song” (Andrew in Drag by The Magnetic Fields), and this all-in-one provides straight-edged and believable timing, integrating the various instrumental strands into a coherent whole and delivering them on a convincing and user-friendly soundstage.
Only when listening to The Stooges’ I Wanna Be Your Dog on vinyl does Omnia sound anything other than completely confident and in control throughout this test. Uninitiated listeners could describe this as a three-chord rampage lead by a nondescript vocal that metaphorically has the scent of cigarette smoke on its clothes and blood on its knuckles.
Audiolab Omnia review: Performance
When creating something as all-encompassing as the Omnia, one of the difficulties is that you can’t let anything slip in any of the various fields it operates in. This is also not a small detail. The Omnia must sound great over both digital and analogue sources, but it must also do a respectable job of interacting with your turntable as well.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise in some ways. Each component of Audiolab’s technical advancement that went into the Omnia is outstanding on its own. This is a really well-balanced demonstration of digital decoding and amplification. The Omnia provides essentially the same fundamentally excellent performance regardless of how you choose to listen to it.
The Omnia delivers any sense of decoding with an incredibly “light touch,” which is maybe its most remarkable feature. Some ESS implementations produce effects that are exact and realistic, but they have an etched quality to them that some people find grating. This is completely lacking in this. This is not limited to Hi-Res being fed in via the digital inputs or streamed over Play-Fi. The internal drive’s ability to play a well-mastered CD is a lovely reminder of how good this format can be, and this is made possible by the mechanism’s near-silent operation. When creating something as all-encompassing as the Omnia, one of the difficulties is that you can’t let anything slip in any of the various fields it operates in.
All things considered, the Audiolab Omnia All-in-One Music System, which retails for $229, is among the best-sounding and most affordable all-in-one products available. more so when you take into account the addition of one of the greatest affordable CD methods available. It’s incredible that Audiolab was able to offer such a reasonably priced, highly capable, and very compact device with almost all sources on board.
The Omnia is one of the better solutions available, especially if you like to spin CDs, despite a few peculiarities, which I have rectified. It is a versatile, high-quality audio device that can play almost any music source you throw at it. Alternatively, the NAD C700 is another choice to consider if you don’t care about CDs and want a streaming amp that’s even more adaptable.