Media Streamer

Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player


Best of 2013 Awards

Introduction to the Pioneer Elite N-50 Network Audio Player

Pioneer currently offers two network audio players in their Elite product line. Both models are best described as media streamers since they do not store music within the player's chassis but rather acquire music from external music servers or devices. The first model is the N-30, which offers the ability to stream high-resolution digital music via Apple's AirPlay or from DLNA-compatible servers. The second model and subject of this review is the N-50 that builds upon the functionality of the N-30 by adding an asynchronous USB DAC as well as optical and coaxial digital inputs so the N-50 can be used as an outboard D/A converter.

Whether you have music stored on your iPod, iPhone, iPad, a Windows or Apple computer, a USB drive, or you just want to listen to music from the internet, the N-50 offers a solution to enjoy that music with your existing home entertainment system. This is no easy task given the wide array of components, file formats, networking challenges and computer software involved to deliver music over a home network. Let's take a closer look at the capabilities of the Pioneer Elite N-50 and see how well it performs as a network audio player.


  • Design: Network Audio Steamer / DAC
  • Codecs: FLAC, MP3, WMA, AAC, AIFF, ALAC, and WAV
  • DAC: AKM Semiconductor AK4480
  • MFR: 4 Hz – 80 kHz, -3 dB
  • THD (1 kHz): 0.002% @1 kHz (192 kHz)
  • Outputs: RCA Analog, Coax and Toslink Optical Digital
  • Inputs: Coax and Toslink Optical Digital, USB (2)
  • Dimensions: 3.9" H x 17.1" W x 13" D
  • Weight: 16.1 lbs.
  • MSRP: $699 USD
  • Pioneer
  • SECRETS Tags: Pioneer, N-50, Network, Audio, Streamers