Esoteric N-01 network audio player Specifications

Sidebar 1: Specifications

Description: Network media server-player with integrated digital-to-analog converter. Formats supported: DSF, DSDIFF (DIFF), DoP, FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF, MP3, AAC (M4A container). Roon-certified. No internal storage. Resolutions supported: PCM to 32-bit/768kHz, MQA, DSD to 22.5MHz (USB port only); otherwise, PCM to 24/192, MQA, DSD to 2.8MHz via DoP. Inputs: XLR, RCA, optical, USB Type A (front, rear), USB Type B, Ethernet, BNC clock (44.1kHz–24.576MHz). Analog outputs: balanced (XLR), single-ended (RCA), Input impedance: 50 ohms. Frequency response (PCM 192kHz): 5Hz–70kHz, –3dB. Signal/noise: 120dB. Distortion: 0.0007% (1kHz). Output impedances: 20 ohms (XLR), 23.5 ohms (RCA). Power consumption: 33W.
Dimensions: 17.5" (445mm) W by 6.4" (162mm) H by 17.25" (438mm) D. Weight: 56.7 lb (25.7kg).
Finish: Aluminum (silver).
Serial number of unit reviewed: 0020007.
Price: $20,000. Approximate number of dealers: 30 (US & Canada). Warranty: 3 years, parts & labor.
Manufacturer: Esoteric Company, 1-47 Ochiai, Tama-shi, Tokyo 206-8530, Japan. Tel: (81) 42-356-9156. US distributor: Integra USA, Division of Onkyo USA, 18 Park Way, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458. Tel: (201) 818-9200. Web:

Esoteric Company
US distributor: Integra USA, Division of Onkyo USA
18 Park Way, Upper Saddle River
NJ 07458
(201) 818-9200

Ortofan's picture

... match the levels as closely as possible in a vain attempt to ensure a level playing field was simply insufficient.
The levels must be matched electrically (at the speaker input terminals) to a precision of within +/-0.2dB - which is equivalent to about +/-50mV relative to a 2V signal.
So, sadly, the outcome of your A/B comparison is of no value.

CG's picture

I'm not sure it's of no value. After all, unless one's head is in the proverbial vise at the listening position, there will be variations of at least 0.2 dB. And, the variations will not be uniform across the audio band. This is but one detail of A/B testing that gets lost in the dogma.

But... Using a wide-enough bandwidth true RMS meter to measure the applied voltage to the speakers is a pretty good practice. If a reviewer wants to make A/B comparisons, I don't think it's unreasonable for them to buy and use some variant of the Fluke 87 multimeter. Its bandwidth is around 20 KHz and it has been available for around three decades. You can buy refurbed meters for a very reasonable price online. Of course, there's other usable meters but the Fluke is pretty widely used and available.

ok's picture

Esoteric’s default digital specs and even crucial measurements seem suspiciously close to Kalista’s recently much maligned ones, while their sonic character appears more like a Yang-Yin opposite thing. Don't really know who to trust these days anymore..

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Police quote: In God we trust. All others are suspects :-) ............

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

we are all manifestations of God. We also have ears. Some of us trust them.

dumbo's picture

Price: $20,000

respectable measured performance

possible 120Hz hum on the DAC chip's voltage reference pin

It sure looks pretty though...Sigh