Debuting earlier in 2022, the audiolab 9000 series exempliﬁes audiolab’s reputation for delivering class-leading ampliﬁers and, more recently, CD playback. Having forayed into entry-level streaming with the wildly successful, multi-award-winning 6000N Play and, more recently, the 7000N Play, the more high-end 9000N has been eagerly anticipated!
The 9000N answers the 9000 series and its natural progression towards a more premium hi-ﬁ solution while answering overwhelming customer demand for a solidly built and impeccably ﬁnished streaming component.
Flexible and Capable
The format of the 9000N reﬂects the crisp elegance of the 9000A and matching CDT. Equipped with rotary controls and an absence of buttons (except for the power switch), the 9000N also implements the 4.3in colour screen, as found in the rest of the series – the perfect window for presentation for your digital music ﬁles… including full-colour album artwork!
The screen displays a variety of information in a more visually appealing way than most other streaming devices, many of which have traditionally relied upon the accompanying app for operational feedback and user control and interface. The 9000N’s display oﬀers full menu controls, an array of options, and user settings, including multi-language selection and general display options.
Most impressively, the 9000N display presents details of format data, playback information and, as mentioned above, full-colour album artwork display. Album artwork is visible in the default playback screen but can also be expanded for an artwork-emphasised playback screen. The display can even be set to display a VU meter in ‘analogue’ or ‘digital’ form, showing real-time decibel levels for the left and right channels – a satisfying graphical representation of the music as it plays. For a more minimalistic option, the display can be dimmed or turned oﬀ completely, as the user prefers.
Stream Like a Dream
Proudly developed to combine an incredibly capable and equally stable streaming platform with audiolab’s digital know-how, world-beating DAC implementation and signal ﬂow, and the intuitive 9000 series general user interface, for the ultimate streaming solution.
The audiolab 9000N app oﬀers immediate access to Qobuz and Tidal, with full access to hi-res and MQA content, as well as Spotify, TuneIn internet radio and UPnP music server systems and digital audio ﬁles stored on USB HDD devices.
The app oﬀers intelligent search functionality and full access to, control of and even the creation of user-deﬁned playlists, folders and album grouping functions. File information, track detail and app-in-app search, select, and compilation functions are easily accessible. Qobuz and Tidal users will be pleased to know that, unlike some other apps and platforms, the hi-res and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) tracks can be easily identiﬁed with icons within the app itself, with no need to hop between the service and device apps to ﬁnd such content.
Unlike comparable technology from other manufacturers, the 9000N oﬀers wireless playback over a Wi-Fi connection, not solely dependent on the albeit sometimes preferable wired /ethernet connection. This, along with the full album artwork and ESS9038Pro DAC chipset integration, represents several advanced features for the 9000N to boast.
Yet, it is also not limited to the audiolab 9000N app; the 9000N also oﬀers playback via Airplay II as well as Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect for those who prefer the proprietary streaming service app.
And to add to the impressive list of digital audio platform compatibility, the 9000N is Roon Ready. Roon Ready devices are network players with Roon’s own streaming technology built right in, connected over your ethernet or WiFi network. These devices make bit-perfect high-resolution audio simple because they require no conﬁguration, they give you access to the best audio quality and they provide stable, reliable playback.
The hardware is based upon a Quad Arm® Cortex®-A53 core MCU with 1.8 GHz per Core. This powerful ‘brain’ behind the system ensures seamless, rock-steady operation and additional beneﬁts such as album artwork caching; for faster loading of the accompanying artwork ﬁles, thus enhancing the user experience and visual aesthetic.
Eight Channel DAC Chip
Ever since the much-admired M-DAC launched more than a decade ago, Audiolab has been famed for the performance of its DAC circuitry. The 9000N incorporates the ES9038PRO – an eight-channel DAC chip representing the pinnacle of ESS Technology’s current Sabre range. This is accompanied by proprietary circuitry to make the most of the chip’s HyperStream II architecture and Time Domain Jitter Eliminator technology for unprecedented dynamic range and ultra-low distortion.
No company knows more about making the most of Sabre DAC technology than Audiolab, having worked with it for years through several product generations. Although consistently technically excellent, these DAC chips are also challenging to implement to maximum eﬀect and must be integrated into a product’s circuit design with care to extract their full sonic potential. The post-DAC active ﬁlter is a critical element, and Audiolab has developed a new circuit that is perfectly tailored to make the most of the ES9038PRO.
The 9000N also delivers full decoding of , the hi-res streaming technology. This means that the complete ‘three unfold’ decoding process is performed internally, as opposed to just the ﬁnal unfold in the manner of an MQA ‘renderer’, making the 9000A an excellent ampliﬁer for subscribers to Tidal’s ‘HiFi Plus’ tier where Tidal Masters (MQA) content can be found. It is oﬃcially Roon Tested, too, ensuring it works seamlessly in a Roon audio environment.
As any audiolab fan would expect, the 9000N incorporates state-of-the-art digital-to-analogue signal conversion. The 9000N oﬀers connectivity via analogue XLR or RCA outputs. As a standalone MQA full decoder, it can be used with any ampliﬁer or secondary pre-amp system that oﬀers analogue connections. Further magic is employed through the digital output and option ‘MQA Pass through functionality’. For users who may employ an equally powerful DAC (9000A owners, for instance), the 9000N can stream and throughput an untouched MQA signal (from Tidal or Qobuz, for example) which that secondary DAC can then decode. This oﬀers further functionality and versatility, not to mention a totally unadulterated signal ﬂow – a beneﬁt for the
High-end audio that shoots for the stars but doesn’t cost the Earth
The 9000 series enters the streaming realms with a view of bringing the epitome of aﬀordable high-end audio – build quality to be proud of, versatile functionality without a hint of compromise, and a performance that delivers every detail of the music and brings it to life in captivating style. It provides remarkable sonic consistency across all manner of digital and analogue sources, always musically engaging yet also reﬁned.
Design Philosophy And Core Technology
ESS Sabre ES9038Pro 32bit DAC
Quad Arm® Cortex®-A53 core,1.8GHz per Core
Audiolab 9000N Streaming technology (IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac,2.4/5GHz)
UPnP AV protocol with audio streaming extension (Open Home)
Built-in Certified MQA Full decoder (via streaming & PC USB)
Native support for Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect, MQA, Qobuz and TuneIn Radio
High-resolution album artwork display
USB storage / flash drive / USB hard disk (Single-partition FAT32, exFAT and NTFS) playback
4.3" (800 x 480px) IPS LCD screen
iOS (11.0 or later) / Android (Android 4.0 or later) required for App control
The audiolab 9000N App Features
Native support for TIDAL, MQA, Qobuz and TuneIn Radio
Tidal MQA icons to easily identify high-res music
Qobuz high-res icons to identify high-res music
High-resolution album artwork display
Intelligent search functionality
Multiple Playlist complications & functionality
Multiple tag handling
Composer tag support
Album-grouping in playlist
Automatic internet links to artists / album / songs
Saving and restoring of playlists (including Tidal and Qobuz)
1 x Network Streaming
1 x PC USB (USB Type-B)
1 x Ethernet 10/100 / 1000 Base-T Ethernet
1 x 12V Trigger
1 x RCA (pair)
1 x XLR (pair)
1 x Optical
1 x Coaxial
1 x 12V Trigger (Link)
Supported File Formats
DSD Lossless: DSF (DSD), DIFF (DSD), DoP (DSD)
PCM Lossless: FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF
Compressed (lossy) Audio: MP3 MQA
PCM: 44.1kHz-768kHz (705.6kHz / 768kHz Fixed-point supported via Audiolab 9000N App streaming)
DSD: DSD64, DSD128, DSD256, DSD512 (Native)
Digital Output Voltage 500mV +/- 50mVpp
Output Impedance 75Ω
Frequency Response -0.01dB (20Hz - 20kHz, ref.1kHz)
Max. Sampling Frequency 192kHz / 24bit
Digital Outputs 1 x Coaxial , 1 x Optical
D to A Converter
Variable Output Voltage 0 – 2.05V
Frequency Response +/-0.5dB (20Hz - 20kHz, ref.1kHz)
Total Harmonic Distortion <0.001% (1kHz @ 2.05Vrms)
Max. Sampling Frequency 768kHz / 32bit
Signal-to-noise ratio (A-weighted) >116dB(RCA), >120dB(XLR)
Output Impedance 120Ω
Standby Power Consumption <0.5W
Net Weight 6.2kg
Gross Weight 8kg
Dimensions (mm)(W x H x D) 444 x 89 x 333
Carton Size (mm)(W x H x D) 514 x 470 x 161
Finish Black / Silver
(depending on region) 220-240V ~ 50/ 60Hz
100-120V ~ 50/ 60Hz
Safety Regulation Conformity
Standard Accessories Power Cord, Remote Control, User Manual