– Alban Amouroux, qobuz.com
Translated from French
With the Omnia A300, NuPrime offers an integrated and connected amplifier, both compact and powerful. The brand is precisely a specialist in products with minimal bulk. The Omnia A300 is no exception to this rule. He does not try to show off by occupying space unnecessarily. On the contrary, it will give you maximum musical pleasure while being physically forgotten.
NuPrime is a fairly young brand in Hi-Fi. It has built its reputation around simple, efficient and reliable devices. They often do fewer things than competitors, but what they do, they do well. It can sometimes be difficult to find your way around the range with abstruse references and sometimes very different product designs from one series to another without knowing at first sight which is the entry level or the top of the line. In short, you don’t necessarily buy NuPrime products for the beauty of their case – the brand leaves that to its competitors.
The Omnia series brings together the brand’s Hi-Fi connected devices. Apart from the Omnia A300 which is therefore integrated, there is also the S1, a network audio player/server, the WR-1 simple streamer and the SW-8 network switch. All digital reading devices capable of accessing online music services like Qobuz go through a network connection. The computer switch can be a disruptive element. It is for this reason that NuPrime has developed a Hi-Fi switch that it advises to use with devices from the Omnia range such as the A300 integrated amplifier.
Overview of the Omnia A300
28 cm on the side, that’s not much for a device of this type integrating an amplification which goes up to 200 watts per channel under 4 ohms. This is the advantage of our time when the miniaturization of components continues to work miracles. The digital at the center of this device contributes to this result both for reading and for amplification.
The facade is stripped down, the controls are reduced to a single multifunction potentiometer. In the center, a monochrome OLED screen displays information on the current source, volume level and sound mode in a very aesthetic way. Unfortunately, despite its full network connectivity, the Omnia A300 does not give any information about the current playback, title, performer or elapsed time.
On the left are two headphone jacks: an unbalanced 6.35 mm format and a balanced 4.4 mm. If that’s not enough, the NuPrime is equipped with two-way Bluetooth. So you can use a wireless headset. It is still a rare endowment but which tends to become widespread little by little in Hi-Fi.
NuPrime provides a heavy and original metal remote control. It has a very classy side but it is at the same time impractical because all the keys are identical. It at least allows you to turn the A300 on and off with a click. Because once the device is in standby, it is not possible to turn it back on via the mobile application, there is no network standby. This further reduces its power consumption.
The back of the Omnia A300 is full as you might expect. Apart from the gold-plated speaker output sockets for banana plugs, the various sockets are divided into two areas. On the left are the outputs, two digital and one analog. This allows the device to be used either as an analog preamp for a subwoofer, or as a network player or digital preamp hooked up to an external DAC.
Digital inputs cover optical, USB and I2S in HDMI format. They are supplemented by an analog input, typically for a turntable, which represents the analog source of choice at the moment. Let’s finish with the Ethernet network socket and the two connectors for the mini-antennas dedicated to Bluetooth and wi-fi.
How the Omnia A300 works
Also at the back, a small switch allows you to select 4R or 8R. This corresponds to the impedance of the speakers that will be connected, 4 ohms or 8 ohms. But you also have to experiment because the 4R mode can be adapted to 8 ohm speakers. It depends on your tastes. NuPrime states that the 8R mode is more neutral while the 4R mode will provide more dynamics.
Between the power supply, the digital/analog card, the amplification modules and the large filtering capacities, the interior of the Omnia A300 is complete. The selected components are of audiophile quality. The conversion is entrusted to a Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC. The overall management of the device is based on a quad-core 64-bit ARM processor. While the amplification uses class D, which we had no doubts about given the limited space available in the device.
The control application in the colors (blue) of the Omnia range is based on the Linkplay engine that we know well. It has the particularity of managing Hi-Res audio and natively integrating Qobuz. The installation is almost automatic because the device is immediately recognized on the network.
All you have to do is enter your Qobuz account information. Then, all the usual content is present with a segmentation mainly centered on recommendations: latest releases, Qobuz playlists, most listened to, etc. The menu at the top left gives access to your personal content, i.e. your playlists, your favorites and your purchases. This is also where the search engine is located.
In playback, the screen displays the image of the album which rotates like a vinyl record. The information on the quality of the listened file is present. The contextual menu next to each title allows you to add them to favorites or to a playlist. This corresponds to Qobuz playlists and not to playlists internal to the player.
For listening, we simply connected our usual Dynaudio reference speakers to the Omnia A300. We started by navigating between funk and acid jazz with the title Rhythm in Your Mind from the album Aspects of the British group STR4TA. The rhythm section is essentially centered, as for a listening in small committee. Nevertheless, this does not prevent the NuPrime from distinguishing the drums, which are quite wide in the background, from the bass highlighted and ultra-centered as well as the percussion on the left. Everything is compact and outlined at the same time. The Omnia A300 knows how to do what is necessary to highlight without ever attenuating the characteristics of each instrument. We take advantage of a tight-playing bass with a speed and dynamics that are not lacking.
On the L’Impératrice’s latest album, of which all the tracks are now available, Submarine is a characteristic title to determine the quality of the seat in the bass. The layers that follow the impact of the drums fill the room without trailing, offering very good performance to the woofers of our loudspeakers. The power delivered by this amplifier perfectly meets our expectations for the reproduction of this type of excellently produced modern recording. In addition, the Omnia A300 knows how to recreate a stage as wide as it is deep, with elements in front and behind the speakers. There is also a real height effect with the bass which supports the other instruments. While the voice multiplies in echo on the sides during the refrains to open up the sound space even more.
The Omnia A300 is not only a device dedicated to modern and dynamic music. He also does well with classical music. Listening to the work A Night in the Tropics by the composer Gottschalk and more particularly the title Souvenir de Porto Rico , the sound stage extends admirably. The different planes and desks are easy to place in the space as soon as you close your eyes. We believe we are sitting on the first balcony fully enjoying the show thanks to an effect of veracity supported by the feeling of atmosphere bringing down the walls.
We find this ability of the Omnia A300 to make us completely forget the speakers with Melody Gardot singing Ninguem, Ninguem. His warm voice takes on height with a resonance in the background offering depth to the restitution. The instruments that accompany it are spread out from left to right, each in a precise way with respect for timbres over the entire range of registers. Everything is in its place, nothing sticks out. As such, the NuPrime offers different sound modes starting with a loudness on three levels. There are also rock, jazz and classical type equalizations. They allow you to adapt the rendering to your tastes by focusing more on the bass or on the voices. But we found in all cases the default “flat” mode the most natural, the most balanced.
- All-in-one compact size
- Qobuz integrated in Hi-Res
- Stable and natural sound image
- Respect for stamps
- Limitless Power
- Audio modes to find the sound you like
The – :
- The screen could show more information
- Inconvenient remote control
The NuPrime Omnia A300 is a convenient all-in-one device that faces little competition. It only needs a pair of speakers. And to you the dematerialized music! We appreciate the presence of Qobuz in Hi-Res to enjoy its favorite titles and recommendations that are perfectly integrated into the Omnia mobile application. You can of course link other sources, the number of inputs should suffice for most systems. The Omnia A300 stands out for its sound quality with an amplification that is both punchy and zen. That is to say capable of the greatest flights without ever becoming aggressive thanks to an exemplary respect for timbres. The feeling of air between the instruments and the different planes is the main feature of the Omnia which immediately jumps out at the ears.