I often dabble in certain areas of personal audio as it is one of my (expensive) hobbies. Over the years numerous pairs of headphones (in-ear and full-size) and mp3 players have touched my hands and flooded my ear canals with sound. The modern age of smartphones and convenience, however, means less attention is paid to quality. Music quality in particular took a back seat for several years during the digital music revolution in the early 2000′s. But finally, it is coming back.
Hopping to cater to both digital junkies and more traditional audiophiles is the new Olive ONE All-in-One Home Music Player. The Olive ONE, according to Olive, isn’t your normal networked media hub. For starters, design is a very important aspect both in terms of software/UI and hardware. A great deal of thought has been put forth to make the Olive ONE look and function well. Touching on the quality aspect from above, the ONE makes audio quality a prime focus (as it should be) by using higher-end Burr-Brown DACs and HD amplifiers. Finally, the ONE is notable in that it is made right here in the U.S. of A. (San Francisco). The biggest selling point for Olive, however, is that the ONE will be built on an open architecture meaning 3rd parties can build into the ONE ecosystem thereby expanding the possibilities endlessly. The SDK for 3rd party developers to make use of will be released next summer.
On paper, the ONE looks like it has a lot of potential; upscale design, focus on audio quality and open source background touches most of the sectors of the market that consumers care about. Even in terms of price, the $399 asking price currently set as the baseline isn’t all that crazy these days with many other similar products meeting or exceeding the same price.
Starting today, interested parties can score either $50 or $100 towards the purchase of an Olive ONE or put down the full $399 over at Indiegogo for early access to the Olive ONE once it ships this coming spring.
Features of the Olive ONE include:
- Bluetooth 4.0, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n (with support for Direct/Miracast/DLNA/UPnP)
- ARM processor
- Burr-Brown PCM5142 DAC
- Dual HD amplifiers and DSP (2x 32W/channel @ 8ohm)
- Built-in 7-inch LCD
- Access to all your music through one simple touch-screen interface
- Navigate & play music on your TV via Wi-Fi Miracast or by way of the free iPhone/iPad or Android app.
- Built-in hard disk drive (optional 500 GB – 2.5 TB) that turns ONE into your own – subscription-free – Home Cloud. Access your music anywhere in the world.
- Open architecture for app developers and artists
- Customizable design with fine aluminum and glass materials
- Hand-built in San Francisco, USA
- Price: $399