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Olive O2M Multi-Room Media Player Preview

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Olive O2M Multi-Room Player

Olive O2M Multi-Room Player

Summary

  • Product Name: O2M
  • Manufacturer: Olive
  • Review Date: February 15, 2011 01:25
  • MSRP: $599
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool
  • Buy Now

Audio Connectors

  • Analog Output: 1x RCA
  • Digital Output: 1x digital output S/P DIF
  • Optical Toslink, 1x digital output S/P DIF
  • Coaxial cinch

Supported Audio Formats

  • Bit rate: 16bits, 20bit, 24bits
  • Sampling Frequency: 10kHz up to 96kHz
  • WAV, FLAC, MP3 (128 and 320 kbit/s), AAC (128 kbit/s)

Networking

  • Wireless, 802.11g
  • Encryption: WEP, WPA, WPA2, 64- and 128-bit
  • 1x Wired Gigabit Ethernet

Other Ports

  • 1 x USB 1.1/2.0

Color touch-screen

  • 4.3" wide-aspect ratio
  • High-resolution (480 x 272 pixels)
  • Touch-screen technology

Design

  • Anodized fine-grade aluminum shell
  • Passive cooling without noisy fan
  • Ultra-quiet operations

Measurements

  • Width 11"
  • Height 3.5"
  • Depth 6.5"
  • Weight 6.5lb

Color

  • Silver or Black

Box also includes

  • User manual
  • Olive remote control w/ battery
  • WiFi-antenna
  • Power supply

If you are like us, you long ago moved your entire library of music onto a computer or drive. Maybe more than one. Maybe you started with Windows Media Center, switched to iTunes when you got an iPhone, and then offloaded the entire monstrosity onto an external drive. Music can be like that. You think have plenty of hard drive space and then suddenly you don't. Because you don't want to sacrifice quality, you've encoded everything in WAV or maybe one of the lossless formats like FLAC. So now you've got all this music on an external drive and have to stream it from your computer. If you were smart you got an NAS drive so that you can access the music from any computer on the network. But then you see devices that are designed to both store your music and provide high quality output. And you become envious.

It would have been easy for Olive to put out a device that is nothing but a multi-room streaming portal for their own servers. And they probably would have sold. If you've got one of Olive's media players in your home theater, how much would you like to have access to that content in a second or even third room? Probably a lot. But what if you don't have an Olive server but instead have all your music on a drive or computer somewhere? You don't want to buy yet another device to store your music. You want to use what you have, not add more.

The Olive O2M Multi-room player is pretty much everything you need except for the amp and speakers. The O2M can access Olive servers, your networked computers, and your networked drives. This means if you've never owned and never plan on owning another Olive product, you can still use the O2M to access your music. 

o2_silver_back

The Olive O2M has everything we've come to expect from an Olive product. it supports not only MP3 (128 and 320 kbit/s) but also WAV, FLAC, and AAC (128 kbit/s). The O2M supports 16, 20, and 24 bitrates along with sampling frequencies from 10kHz up to 96kHz. It is networked (obviously) and can connect via a wired Gigabit Ethernet connection or a built in 802.11g wireless connection. There is a single 1.1/2.0 USB port on the back along with a set of stereo RCA outputs and both optical and coaxial digital outputs.

As you'd expect from an Olive product, they've included a high quality DAC that will put out a maximum of 150bit/96kHz on the analogue outputs and 24-bit/96kHz on the digital. As has become the standard with Olive the O2M has a touchscreen interface on the slanted front panel with a few buttons for those that prefer something more tactile. You can also control the unit through the included remote or, better yet, the free iPhone app. The Olive O2M is 11" wide, 3.5" high, and 6.5" deep and weighs in at a slight 6.5 pounds.

Along with streaming your musical content, the O2M can also access Internet radio stations. Olive uses its own proprietary Internet radio database that cleverly categorizes thousands of stations so you can quickly find what you are looking for. Plus, all the stations are pre-evaluated for quality reception by Olive so you're guaranteed to get all relevant information and only stations that work. If you decide to place the O2M in the bedroom there is an alarm/snooze function that you can use with your playlists.

Conclusion

As we said, the only things missing from the Olive O2M are speakers and an amp. We can easily picture this unit in an office, bedroom, games room, or dining room flanked by a couple of decent bookshelf speakers and a small tube amp. While $600 certainly isn't cheap, we applaud Olive for allowing this unit to be used without another one of Olive's servers in the mix. Wired or wireless, this is a great solution for those that want an elegant interface to their networked music and access to Internet radio. With the ability to use up to 15 of these at the same time, you are only limited by the number of rooms and your budget.

For more information, please visit www.olive.us.

Unless otherwise indicated, this is a preview article for the featured product. A formal review may or may not follow in the future.

About the author:
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As Associate Editor at Audioholics, Tom promises to the best of his ability to give each review the same amount of attention, consideration, and thoughtfulness as possible and keep his writings free from undue bias and preconceptions. Any indication, either internally or from another, that bias has entered into his review will be immediately investigated. Substantiation of mistakes or bias will be immediately corrected regardless of personal stake, feelings, or ego.

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