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Yamaha CD-N500 Network CD Player Preview

Yamaha CD-N500 Network CD Player Preview

Yamaha CD-N500 Network CD Player Preview


  • Product Name: CD-N500 Network CD Player
  • Manufacturer: Yamaha
  • Review Date: January 31, 2013 06:20
  • MSRP: $799.95
  • First Impression: Pretty Cool

DLNA Version1.5
File Format MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV, FLAC, Apple Lossless
Audio Sample Rate (MP3/WMA/AAC) 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48kHz (WAV/FLAC) 8, 11.025, 12, 16, 22.05, 24, 32, 44.1, 48, 64, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192 kHz (Apple Lossless) 44.1, 48 kHz
Bit Depths 16 bit, 24 bit (WAV/FLAC file only)
Support Media CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW
File Format MP3, WMA
Disc Compatibility CD-DA, CD-R, CD-RW (MP3, WMA)
Output Level 2.0 ± 0.3 V (1 kHz, 0 dB, Fs 44.1 kHz)
Signal-to-Noise Ratio 110 dB
Dynamic Range 100 dB
Harmonic Distortion 0.003%
Frequency Response (CD) 2 Hz-20 kHz, (Network; Fs 96 kHz) 2 Hz-96 kHz
Audio Digital Output Optical; 1, Coaxial; 1
Power Consumption 28 W
Dimensions (W x H x D) 435 x 96 x 313.3 mm; 17-1/8” x 3-3/4” x 12-3/8”
Weight 5.25 kg; 11.6 lbs.

Yamaha is continuing to expand its line of retro styled HiFi gear with the release of the CD-N500 Network CD Player. This is the first CD/network player combo that Yamaha has released in their HiFi lineup, and we think it fills a nice gap. They offer the NP-S2000 network music player, but it is a hefty $1,999 and lacks a CD drive. They also offer the CD-S300 CD player for $349, but for people who want something nicer, the next step is the $999 CD-S700. Obviously, the jump from $349 to $999 for a CD player is pretty huge, not to mention that neither unit features network connectivity. Here steps in the CD-N500, it is designed for people who want a high-end two-channel source that can handle both their existing CD collection and their newer digital music collection.

The front panel is constructed of aluminum and has a USB input for direct connection to an iOS device or other USB storage device. It also has a few simple operations buttons that allow you to navigate your music collection on the single line LED display. We understand the stylistic choice with a single line display, but it will almost certainly make for cumbersome browsing of a large music collection. Luckily, all of your music browsing can be done with Yamaha's NP Controller App, which also, like Apple Airplay, allows streaming directly from your portable device. The back of the unit has stereo RCA analog outputs, optical, and digital coax. It also has an RJ-45 jack and slot for the detachable power cord. The CD-N500 is not wireless, so it must be hardwired or have an external wireless adapter for connection to the internet. Once you have the CD-N500 connected to your network, it can pull music directly from a PC or NAS drive. If you want to listen to more than what is on your local network, it can also access vTuner Internet radio stations.

 Yamaha CD-N500 Internal Diagram

 Yamaha CD-N500 Internal Diagram

In order to guarantee the best sound quality possible, Yamaha employed a 192KHz/32-bit Burr-Brown DAC and left-right symmetrical audio circuitry. It also has two independent power supplies, one for the Network/USB circuity, and one for the CD/DAC/display components. Vibrations are eliminated by using two different vibration damper pads that keep the CD mechanism decoupled from the chassis. The CD-N500 also features gapless playback, so there is no pause when switching tracks.


We are glad to see the high-end market start to embrace digital audio, but it is a tough product category to master. You are stuck between the general AV market where convenience and value are huge driving factors, and the esoteric market where consumers value a lack of features in favor of higher quality parts. Strictly from a convenience standpoint, the CD-N500 is lacking WiFi, a large display, and rear USB input. From a high-end standpoint it's missing balanced outputs. As we said, it’s not easy to design a product that is convenient enough for the general consumer but not so feature rich you lose the high-end crowd.

Personally, we think the CD-N500 is a great addition to Yamaha’s lineup. When compared to the competition, it strikes a nice balance among features, price, and performance.

Let us know in the thread below what you think about the emerging high-end digital music player market. Are products like the CD-N500 worth it? What about other music players like the $2995 Bryston BDP-2 Digital Music Player (no DAC), $5,000 Cary Audio DMC-600 Digital Music Center, or $2,500 Krell Connect Media Streaming Player (no DAC)?

For more information visit Yamaha Electronics

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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Cliff, like many of us, has always loved home theater equipment. In high school he landed a job at Best Buy that started his path towards actual high quality audio. His first surround sound was a Klipsch 5.1 system. After that he was hooked, moving from Klipsch to Polk to Definitive Technology, and so on. Eventually, Cliff ended up doing custom installation work for Best Buy and then for a "Ma & Pa" shop in Mankato, MN.

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