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Olive 03HD Music Server Preview

Olive 03HD

Olive 03HD


  • Product Name: 03HD Music Server
  • Manufacturer: Olive
  • Review Date: November 30, 2010 06:15
  • MSRP: $999
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

High quality Digital Analog Converter (DAC)

  • High-resolution Cirrus Logic DAC

Hard Drive

  • Ultra-quiet 500GB AV hard drive
  • Holds almost 5,000 HD tracks or
    1,500 CDs in original quality
  • Cushioned in 4 layers of noise cancelling

  • High fidelity TEAC CDRW mechanism
  • Import: Audio CDs
  • Burn: Audio CDs, MP3 CDs, Data CDs


Audio Connectors

  • Analog Output: 1x RCA

Supported Audio Formats

  • Bit rate: 16-bit, 20-bit, 24-bit

  • Sampling Frequency: 10kHz up to 200kHz

  • WAV, FLAC, MP3 (128 and 320 kbit/s), AAC (128 kbit/s)


  • 1x Wired Gigabit Ethernet

Other Ports

  • 1 x USB 1.1/2.0


  • Passive cooling without noisy fan

  • Ultra-quiet operations


  • Width 17.38"

  • Height 2.63"

  • Depth 12.25"

  • Weight 10.7 lb


  • Mineral Silver or Mocha Black

Executive Overview

HD Music Server manufacturer Olive Media Inc. today announced the Olive O3HD music server for home stereo systems. Based on the award-winning Olive O4HD, which Sound + Vision Magazine calls “a revolutionary step for the music server category,” the O3HD brings the best blend of simplicity and quality. Now, music lovers can enjoy their digital music collection at home at a price point well below other comparable solutions. Designed as a hassle-free, standalone solution, the O3HD requires no software installation, networking setup or virus protection. It features a dedicated storage and color touchscreen navigation, allowing you to store and access your complete music collection right at your stereo system. A 24-bit/192 kHz DAC delivers your music with superior sound quality. All this comes at a breakthrough price of just $999.

"Olive wants music lovers to enjoy the convenience of digital music without having to sacrifice audio quality. The new Olive O3HD is the first dedicated music server with full HD capability to sell for only $999. Now more people can enjoy this outstanding music experience than ever before."

- Dr. Oliver Bergmann, co-founder and CEO of Olive

Music lovers also no longer need to worry about the headaches that are inherent with most digital audio solutions that stream music from a PC, Mac or NAS. The new Olive O3HD stores your music collection right at your stereo system, so networking problems are a concern of the past. The 24-bit DAC with 192 kHz up-sampling delivers your music in a quality that has never been heard before on a product in this price category. Olive even has a free mobile application that will turn your iPhone™ or iPad™ into an Olive remote control.

03HD Back

Olive 03HD Back Panel

Looking to consolidate your entire CD collection?  Look no further than the Olive 03HD Music Server.  Rather than leaving your CD collection scattered in draws or lost somewhere in your car, you could instead burn your entire collection bit for bit accurate on the 500GB internal HD of the 03HD. The Olive O3HD is powered by Olive's revolutionary Music Engine™, that seamlessly integrates innovative touch-screen technology with intelligent software.  The O3HD is designed for people who collect music and care to hear it in original quality. With a 500GB internal HD, the 03HD can store up to  1,200 CDs uncompressed and bit for bit identical. The built-in CD database recognizes more than 2.7 million CDs. When you insert your CD, the O3HD automatically recognizes, labels and imports your CDs at the touch of a button. Each one conveniently categorized by genre, artist, composer, album and track.  The 03HD uses premium Cirrus Logic DAC's that support full 192kHz/24bit resolution for HD audio recording and can store up to 5,000 HD tracks.

Purists need not worry as the 03HD is built with a very quite Teac transport and the HD is cushioned into 4 layers of padding to drop the mechanical noise to a deadening level.  The unit is passively cooled with no internal noisy cooling fans.

Additional highlights of the new Olive O3HD include:

  • Color Touchscreen Simplicity: Once the O3HD is plugged into your home stereo system, you can easily start navigating through your entire music collection using Olive's revolutionary touchscreen technology. The intuitive user interface allows you to conveniently browse your music collection, create playlists of your favorite tracks, or search specific music. An innovative album cover view sorts all your albums with a flick of your finger.
  • Ample Music Storage: Designed for music lovers with large music collections, the O3HD stores up to 1,500 CDs or 5,000 HD songs in a box no bigger than a standard CD player. To ease the transition, Olive offers a convenient CD Loading Service to load your entire music collection on your O3HD for instant enjoyment. Olive uploads the first hundred of your CDs for free.
  • HD Sound Meets Luxury Design: The new O3HD stores and plays music with lossless compression (FLAC) to deliver an amazing sound quality far greater than MP3 files. It supports playback of 24-bit HD music tracks, featuring a premium 24-bit DAC with 192kHz up-sampling for superior sound quality. The O3HDʼs beautiful design has been optimized for sonic performance, featuring fan-less cooling and ultra-quiet hard drives with multi-layer cushioning.
  • Over 3,000 Radio Stations: Olive World Radio delivers instant access to the best internet radio stations from around the world. All stations are hand-selected and groomed by Olive to deliver accurate station information, allowing you to quickly browse and find stations with a wide range of search criteria. The internet radio comes free on all Olive HD Music Servers and Multi-Room Players.
  • Free Apple iPhone/iPad Remote Control App: The Olive App turns your iPhone/iPad into a touchscreen remote control. Conveniently browse your music collection, create playlists or access different rooms, all from the comfort of your couch.

Pricing & Availability

The Olive O3HD Music Server is available in the US directly from Olive (www.olive.us; 1.877.296.5483) for $999. Olive is available worldwide through a network of authorized distributors.

For more information, visit the Olive 03HD Product Page

About Olive Media Products
Based in San Francisco, Olive brings the ease and accessibility of digital music to your home stereo system, without sacrificing sound quality. Led by a team of music lovers, Olive makes the world's toprated HD Music Servers and Multi-Room Players that deliver a music experience without compromise. Engineered for High Definition audio Olive employs state-of-the-art 24-bit DAC designs and only the best in high-performance analog audio components. Adding a convenient touchscreen interface, a beautiful industrial design, and a compelling value has resulted in several hundred press awards since the launch of the first Olive music server in 2005. For more information, please visit www.olive.us.

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About the author:

Gene manages this organization, establishes relations with manufacturers and keeps Audioholics a well oiled machine. His goal is to educate about home theater and develop more standards in the industry to eliminate consumer confusion clouded by industry snake oil.

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Recent Forum Posts:

bikemig posts on April 06, 2011 19:27
I suspect someone would buy this over some of the other options because it hopefully is fairly seamless for someone who is not comfortable with computer based audio. Other than that, I agree a PC makes a lot of sense. I use a macmine but the dell zino cube is obviously a good choice as well. The advantage of a PC is that in addition to being a platform for streaming music, it also streams video which is great if you hook it up to your TV. For the price difference between the olive and a PC, you can buy a heck of an outboard dac or simply use the dacs in your AV receiver if you have one. The SB touch is a great choice as well and the sound is better than from the analog out of a computer.
jmjensen posts on February 17, 2011 04:45
“Dell Zino cube computer, with 1TB storage”

Looks like a nice option. When i was looking for a music server, I looked at PC based solutions, hybrid and standalone solutions.

My criteria where; Good sound quality, good value and simple. I wanted an out of the box solution without clutter i.e. keyboards and monitors. I did not find a perfect solution the Olive was just the best fit for me.

If money was not a consideration my solution would have been different.
burbis posts on February 16, 2011 16:19
Why would I choose this over a Dell Zino cube computer, with 1TB storage, USB and S/P DIF outs, HDMI out, remote control, Blu-ray player and CD/DVD burner, built-in wireless networking, currently selling for $599?
jp_over posts on January 23, 2011 03:00
cschang, post: 785184
I would like to read opinions on why someone would purchase something like this over a Squeezebox or Sonos.
As would I.

We always have a PC + laptop in the family (expensive enough as is without buying additional components that do the same thing with less functionality). I really want a good solution to integrate our network with my receiver. My research is just beginning, so I'm not quite familiar with all the products yet. Squeezebox & Sonos are two that keep popping up as is the option of a network AVR.
jmjensen posts on January 21, 2011 21:18
Just a clarification, I am referring to the Olive 3HD onboard library. not the online Olive music Data Base. Hence my point it is not really a standalone device.

Once I had internet access in my media room I was able to rip the balance of my CDs without any difficulty.
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