Cyrus Streamline2 Review

Cyrus Streamline2 Review

The Cyrus Streamline2 is an all in one hi-fi network streamer that includes a built in amplifier and its high quality and compact design means it can be presented in any room for a variety of solutions.

The built in 30W per channel amplifier can comfortably drive a decent pair of compact speakers with very accurate volume control available from the remote control that comes with the system or from the Cyrus Cadence App, which
compliments the Streamline series. You could also upgrade the system as you choose with one of the Cyrus CD transports, such as the CD XT SE2, to deliver a very high quality compact hifi solution in the room of your choice. In terms of the look of the system I have the quartz silver finish (shown above), which I like the look of a lot but there is a brushed black model as well.

The Streamline2 offers uPnP and DNLA network streamed music, an extremely easy to use free internet radio service (TuneIn), two optical digital inputs, 3 SPDIF digital inputs and a USB input at the back that you can plug an mp3 device or IPod into and then control it and its playlists from the Cadence App, this is a very neat feature and is arguably easier than Airplay, if you have a particular playlist you’re fond of; it even charges you iPod whilst it’s at it!

Connection to a wireless network is a very simple process that involves scanning the network, entering any password, the menu is very intuitive, picking your NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive and away you go. You could also choose to connect to your network, wired, using the Ethernet connection at the back.

In terms of files supported, the Cyrus Streamline2 supports the following file formats; MP3, WAV, AIFF, AAC, WMA and Apple Lossless (ALAC), and FLAC up to 24-bit/192KHz and uses the Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) or DNLA connectivity
that is common in these network attached storage devices. The addition of ALAC files being a significant improvement on the first Streamline.

There are a several stereo outputs from the system that include a pre-amp output, should you wish to upgrade your power output with other Cyrus power amp products, a fixed output and SPDIF Digital output. The speaker connectors chosen by Cyrus are the BFA plugs as opposed to the ‘banana’ plugs we are all used to however they are easier to
use and any self-respecting hi-fi dealer will help you out with the new set-up, mine did anyway. There is a 3.5 mm headphones jack at the back of the unit as well.

So what does it sound like? There is a huge amount of detail delivered from FLAC and ALAC files as you would want, just listen Ed Sheeran’s guitar and voice to hear all the detail you need.  Indeed with lower resolution files the DAC seems to adequately present data to the analogue source with enhanced results. I’m not clear of this is an interpretation by me or by the DAC.  The sound presentation is clear (hence the detail), deep and open. Put through my more powerful Roksan amp there is a dominant and powerful presentation and even through the less powerful in-built amp and with a compatible pair of speakers there is a very powerful deep sound presented by this package.  In respect of the presented range of this machine, certainly versus other streamers I have heard, there is no discernible loss of dynamics with this streamer. I use Maroon 5’s Secrets which, if you know it, will always signal dynamic deficiency and there is little here to speak of.

Associated with the Streamline2 is the Cadence App, available free on iTunes for iOS devices. This app allows you to control the system choosing sources, finding radio stations, selecting albums and all of the things you would like to do with a networked streamer. It is very intuitive, easy to use and connects without fuss. Because the
display on the device itself is not the best or most stylish, functional you’d call it (green backlit display), the Cadence App is a perfect companion and it may put paid to the extra £200 for the n-remote (not tested, or missed). I am advised indeed that the Streamline2 can only cope with one of the n-remote or the App not both at one time, though I think they are interchangeable. I wouldn’t change the Cadence App much though the ability to create queues and save playlists would add interest considerably.

In summary this Cyrus Streamline2 is a very high quality solution for any room. The sound quality delivered from lossless files is warm and precise and detailed. It is the detail in the music reproduced that, for me, conveys the
emotion from the artist. I have had no trouble from the wireless connection to the unit to either network or iOS
device so the Cadence App solution seems very stable and the unit robust. Supported by the Cadence App this is a very flexible hi quality music solution.

I have not had the opportunity of comparing this streamer with other competitors; however for twice the price you can buy the Naim Uniti2 which has a quality CD player and DAB/FM radio in addition to the features in the Streamline2. The Streamline2 is certainly comparable in terms of quality to the Naim Uniti2 and includes an internet radio, both products being award winning, high end streaming systems. I have put theStreamline2 output through my own more powerful Roksan K2 amplifier with its familiar signature (to me) driving floor standing KEF R700s and there is no discernible loss in quality or detail (as expected) by passing the signal through the K2, the resultant soundstage is very comprehensive and satisfying indeed. In all, at the retail price, this is a very comprehensive piece of equipment for music network streaming.

April 2013

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