2020 Editors' Choice: All-In-One Electronics

Equipment report
Categories:
Solid-state power amplifiers,
Solid-state preamplifiers,
Integrated amplifiers,
Digital-to-analog converters,
Music servers and computer audio
2020 Editors' Choice: All-In-One Electronics

NAD M10
$2749
The beautiful extruded-aluminum chassis’d and Gorilla Glass-topped M10 all-in-one is compatible with Roon, Airplay2, Amazon, Spotify, Tidal, and Qobuz. The system is 24/192 PCM-compatible, supports FLAC, WAV, MP3, and AAC, and is Bluetooth aptX HD-compatible as well. It utilizes a Hypex nCore Class D amplifier to very good effect, and offers Dirac Live LE room correction. No matter the source, the Master Series M10 had toes tapping from the comfort of a listening chair with total control from a smartphone. What it is is attractive, luxurious, simple to set up and use, small, ridiculously well featured, and wonderfully enjoyable to listen to. 

Moon ACE
$3000
Moon breathes some sex appeal into the all-in-one segment. Its ACE sports grippy power and a potpourri of connectivity that spans analog, digital, and network platforms. Sonically, the ACE has vivid, midrange-centric, rich, uncolored tonality laden with impressive dynamic resolve, quicksilver speed, good low-level transparency, and nicely focused imaging. Bass response, both in extension and pitch control, is very good, although the ACE will soften impacts slightly depending on output demands and speaker sensitivity. Its well-executed Mind app for smart devices operated seamlessly with solid, intuitive graphics. All-in-one solutions are a deceptively complicated business, but the ACE makes it look easy. 


AVM Inspiration CS2.2 BT
$5990
This all-in-one component combines a CD player, network streamer (wired or wireless), FM tuner, DAC, phonostage, and a robust 110Wpc Class D output stage in one compact and beautifully built aluminum chassis. The German-made CS2.2 sounds more powerful than its rating would suggest, with a taut and robust bottom end and exceptional dynamics. The DAC section is superb. The large rechargeable remote can control an entire system. Optionally, the CS2.2 can also be controlled by an Android or iOS device. 

Naim Uniti Nova
$7495
The Naim Uniti Nova is an 80Wpc integrated amplifier/digital player for the 21st century. Connectivity options include every input imaginable plus wireless streaming via Chromecast, Airplay, Bluetooth (aptX HD), or Wi-Fi (2.4 or 5GHz), and UPnP streaming via its Ethernet connection. The Uniti is also a Roon endpoint. If you need a modern single-box solution that can play from Dad’s NAS drive or Sis’ smartphone (and be controlled by any smartphone in the house), the Naim Uniti Nova can make the transition from hair-shirt audiophilia to silk-shirt convenience as painless, musically expansive, and audiophile-approved as possible. 

AVM Ovation SD6.2
$11,490
The late Harry Pearson once described reviewing as “all about nuance.” The AVM Ovation SD6.2 is a superbly engineered unit in a Bauhaus “form follows function” sense. With a streaming DAC and full analog preamp capabilities, it can do everything a state-of-the-art streaming preamp should, although its display lacks glitz and—as is generally always the case—you will have to edit your music’s metadata to store a large collection on a NAS. What makes it truly exceptional, however, is its ability to resolve musical detail and provide full upper bass/lower midrange warmth without sacrificing anything in the top octaves. Superb dynamics and soundstaging, as well. 

AVM Ovation CS8.2 BT
$17,990
AVM’s CS8.2 is identical to the company’s CS6.2 but with a tube rather than a solid-state linestage. Reviewer Steven Stone’s time with the AVM 8.2 proved to be a refreshingly musical experience. When pitted against a separates’ system with approximately the same overall price tag, the AVM 8.2 could deliver equally impressive sonics while taking up far less real estate. If he retired from audio reviewing tomorrow, SS could be completely happy living with the AVM 8.2.