New Gear: Olive One Music Player

Sound+Vision has enthusiastically reviewed nearly every music server put out by Olive since it first launched. But the company’s newest offering, the One music player, looks to be its most interesting product yet. The Frisbee-like One’s surface is covered with a 7-inch touchscreen interface that’s used to browse music (supported file formats include FLAC, ALAC, WAV, AIFF, and MP3/AAC) either stored on a networked computer or NAS drive or on the One’s optional built-in hard disk. You can stream Spotify, Pandora, and cloud music services via Wi-Fi, or tap Wi-Fi Direct or Bluetooth to beam audio directly from a portable device. 

Though its qualifications as a standalone media-streamer are formidable, the One was also designed to serve as a high-quality all-in-one music system. It contains 32-bit/384kHz Burr-Brown DACs, and has 32-watt (8 ohms) dual-mono amps to drive your choice of speakers. Olive has also designated the One as its first “crowdfunded” product (via the indiegogo platform). According to the company, this approach has enabled it to sell the One at an affordable $399 price point, and also allowed for early adopters/funders to determine its features and design via an online voting system. Cool, eh? Needless to say, we look forward to getting our hands on One. — Al Griffin