Network Player: Yamaha CD-N500 in the Test

The Yamaha CD-N500 combines CD and network world. Under its pretty roof, the Japanese Internet radio, CD player, high-resolution streaming bundles with the Cosmos by Apple’s iDevices.

Something extraordinary is often only then, if two separate elements form a new unit. So what can we, the Yamaha team probably thought. Probably one of the engineers got a network player under the left arm and a CD player under the right – and as a result was then in the form of the Yamaha CD-N500 together, what was made for each other. Because has to combine a CD with a network player charm and benefits to do so.

One of them: A CD player just always works: disc in – ready. When the network player, however, some fear unnecessarily – now barely existing – problems of the Network World. Also pure streamer with the physical CD can begin now in nothing at all. Should so the network do not work, and otherwise no other source available, there is radio silence.

Yamaha CD-N500: networking

A duo CD and network players in the network – but is comparable to a parachute from major and minor screen: wrong can go here as good as nothing. The private music library on the local computer or a NAS is filed, the Yamaha via network cable picks up without interference and in maximum quality audio files themselves. A Wi-FI connection of the CD-N500 to the router may optionally (via adapter).

But that assumes, that rather will focus on such a device instead of data-reduced content in high-quality formats such as FLAC, WAV, ALAC, a Wi-FI connection limited makes sense. Fragile and limited in bandwidth, it is simply not equal the classic Cat5 network cable . No problem, however, is the Internet radio due to the low data rates. Here is Yamaha not slouch and offers the insane selection of over 20,000 radio stations from all over the world with vTuner.

Yamaha CD-N500: streaming

Also, it provides the ability to send music from iPhone or iPad wirelessly to the player or to “stream” (on neu). Music Play sounds while suspiciously like AirPlay, but what saves the license fees and works just as well may be ultimately only right the customer. All iDevices and USB sources such as z.B USB flash drive or hard drive find incidentally also traditionally and lightning fast front-using the USB cable connection.

This direct digital transfer per se ensures high-quality sound, because it saves detours through unnecessary A/D conversion (as it would be with the usual RCA / Jack). Whatever the network from smoke so for whatever reason, the CD inventory for unexplained reasons should not tangible – the Yamaha is still not mute.

Another delicacy of the network world is the control and operation of CD-N500 own Yamaha App on the iPhone / iPad (for Android). Easily, comfortably and quickly your own music library can be crawling or next to select radio stations from Kuala Lumpur who. Should be the cunning devices not at hand, can be the CD-N 500 also wonderfully controlled traditional manner either by hand or via supplied remote control . The single-line, easy to read display below the centrally-mounted CD tray is pleasantly welcome despite its small size. Also the front, making the right side jog wheel receives instructions.

Yamaha CD-N500: construction

Also the stable housing and the double cover testifies to the consistently large development care – which is visible even at the converter output stage: electrolytic capacitors of high origin rather than mass-produced goods. Who saves, not giving away good sound – Yamaha.

Also created the developers, intent on short routes, sophisticated signal paths inside, leaving the rest of the work the highly integrated D/A converter Burr Brown PCM 5101. Interesting and high-quality also the Network Board: the Blackfin DSP by analog devices does compute-intensive applications with links, while the Burr Brown PCM 9211 as digital signal box for PCM data.

Purist, however, the back of the Yamaha. Input side offered only a network socket . The output page is rounded off by an analog Cinch outputs and two S / PDIF colleagues (optical/coaxial). This makes sense, for example if, when one day a still higher-quality external DAC the conversion and if necessary also equal to the prepress function should accept.

Yamaha CD-N500: hearing test

In the subsequent hearing test, the Yamaha convinced first with its CD Part. Compared with the Yamaha CDS 700 painted an akurateres picture of the CD-N500 and sounded more details via KEF Reference 207/2. The Denon DCD-720 AE however, a quantum demonstrated more wealth and atmosphere, which in turn kept the Yamaha with openness and an almost tangible fleet of foot: a tie.

Switched to the Network player part of the Yamaha put a significant increase. Ben Weaver voice sunken in sinister suffering in “old mission” (“stories under nails”) materialized vivid and clear-cut. With an expressive intensity, she met the Auditorium along with the gloomy, japsenden after Apocalypse Instrumentation in the bone marrow.

Musical Fidelity M1 Clic for comparison painted, tonally regarded as expected something colorful and thundered the low notes with more ink from the membranes. Even more astonishing, as unstrained the significantly cheaper Yamaha put his virtues in the Pan: unexcitedly, with dezenterem performance in the bass, but nevertheless full of vitality and joy of playing that left out no detail and thus promises much audiophile pleasure .


Decide? Nö! Premium CD and an excellent network player: this is real added value. There’s a Gossamer fine sound, gapless factory and (in this price class almost a novelty) bred 192 kHz/24 bit playback.

Measuring laboratory

The frequency response of the Yamaha’s shows a straight course to 20 kilohertz. The noise of the CD-N 500 is excellent 107 decibels. The output voltage amounts to 2.1 volts, and the output resistance on 462 ohms. Excellent jitter values with 194ps (2) via network and 145ps via CD. absolute discreet results in the distortion amplitude measurement.