Olive delivers high-def hi-fi with the O4HD
By Jeff Salton
November 26, 2009
Olive, renowned maker of audiophile products including the Opus 4, has served up another addition to its impressive line of music servers with the Olive 4 HD, which the company says can play back your music at 250 times the resolution of CDs!
Custom-built in California, the Olive 4 HD can store up to 20,000 high-resolution HD tracks in 24-bit and lets you digitize all your music into one centralized library and access it from the one space – up to 6,000 CDs (2TB) in their original format.
Everything from 24-bit HD files to 16-bit converted CDs sit comfortably side-by-side in the music server that offers convenient storage, easy touchscreen access and the ability to play music in any room of your home. The HDMI interface lets listeners tune in from across the room. You can even turn your TV into a huge color display and use the Olive remote control to see music details or select songs, providing a useful alternative to navigating with the touchscreen or the iPhone App.
The server features a 4.3" high-resolution wide-screen color display with touch-screen functionality and browsing is by genre, artist or album. You can also quick search, combine your favorite tracks into playlists and flip through album artwork in color.
The Infra-red remote will operate your equipment even if its inside a media cabinet or behind closed doors. There’s also a free app and turn your iPhone or iPod touch into a remote control for your O4HD.
Olive says its proprietary high-resolution DAC featuring Texas Instruments' best-of-breed BurrBrown 1792A reproduces music in the same 24-bit, golden master quality that is captured in the original studio recording session.
The O4HD allows you to connect all your audio sources and your existing hi-fi system. The company says you can maximize your signal transfer with the 24k gold RCA connectors and use the O4HD as an outboard DAC. With 24-bit/192kHz oversampling, noise and distortion are ultra low resulting in exceptional purity in both high frequencies and low-level detail.
The unit also features ultra-quiet hard drives that are cushioned in eight layers of noise-canceling padding, and passive cooling to eliminate fan noise. Olive says you'll never hear anything like this on your computer, iPod or any other MP3 music player.
When you purchase an Olive 4HD, the company will import up to 100 of your CDs onto your new system for free, or if you want every CD you’ve ever owned loaded, the company will ship your new server fully loaded for a fee per CD.
Plug it in and play
Olive says setting up the O4HD is as simple as connecting a standard CD player. As a true stand alone solution it does not require a computer, software installation or virus protection to keep your music from harm.
The unit is equipped with premium quality analog and digital audio outputs and with 24-bit/192kHz oversampling, noise and distortion are ultra low resulting in purity in both high frequencies and low-level detail.
Just as easily as it hooks up to your stereo system, the Olive 4HD Hi-Fi Server also connects to your home network. It sports wireless (802.11n) as well as wired (Gigabit Ethernet) connectivity and supports WEP and WPA encryption (up to 128-bit).
The O4HD has a high-speed USB 2.0 interface for backup to an external hard drive (better safe than sorry).
The unit is available in silver or black, measures 17.1 inches (W) x 3.3 inches (H) x 11.4 inches (D) and weighs 13.2lb. It comes with a user manual, remote control, two Wi-Fi antennas, CD with recovery software and power cord.
Olive is so confident that you'll hear the difference, they'll give your money back within 60 days of your purchase if you're not completely satisfied. That’s a big call because, as you'd expect, these units aren’t cheap - prices start at US$1999.