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OSD Nero Stream XD Review (streaming amplifier)

amirm

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the OSD Nero Stream-XD analog and digital streaming (wifi and Bluetooth) amplifier. It was kindly sent to me by a member for testing. It costs US $230 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

There is a bit of heft to this box considering its budget category:

OSD NERO STREAM-XD Review Streaming Amplifier.jpg


There is a rotary control for volume and input selection. Naturally with no display, you don't know the volume level. Various inputs are provided although USB is for storage device, not as a DAC:

OSD NERO STREAM-XD Review back panel Streaming Amplifier.jpg


I focused my testing on analog and Toslink inputs.

Like the inclusion of power supply in the unit which likely is the reason for some of its weight. In use, it got warm to touch but nothing concerning.

OSD Nero Stream-XD Measurements
Let's start with using the analog input and see how it does:

OSD NERO STREAM-XD Measurements Streaming Amplifier.png


Well, this is not good. There is strange/high noise floor plus plenty of distortion. Perhaps it digitizes the analog input? Let's test Toslink then:

OSD NERO STREAM-XD Measurements digital Streaming Amplifier.png


Same bad results. :( It ranks way at the bottom of our rankings:

Best streaming amplifier review.png


Can the news get worse? Yes, it can:

OSD NERO STREAM-XD Frequency Response Measurements Streaming Amplifier.png


There is a subwoofer output so maybe this is someone's idea of high pass filter! I looked in the manual and there are no tone controls that could be responsible for this.

Let me just post the rest of the graphs and not waste words on a failing design:

OSD NERO STREAM-XD SNR Measurements Streaming Amplifier.png


OSD NERO STREAM-XD Power into 8 ohm Measurements Streaming Amplifier.png


OSD NERO STREAM-XD Power into 4 ohm Measurements Streaming Amplifier.png


Conclusions
This is a prime example of what we in the industry call "phoned in design." You call up a shop in China, given them your wish list and out comes an amp. You do no testing yourself and put no requirements as far as performance on the shop that is "designing" it. Result is all the checklist items marketing wants with performance not even on the back of the priority list.

Does it sound better than a sound bar when paired with a couple of speakers? Should that frequency response not screw things up too bad, maybe. For me? I pass and get an AVR instead.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/
 

DavidMcRoy

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This is a review and detailed measurements of the OSD Nero Stream-XD analog and digital streaming (wifi and Bluetooth) amplifier. It was kindly sent to me by a member for testing. It costs US $230 from Amazon including Prime shipping.

There is a bit of heft to this box considering its budget category:

View attachment 137476

There is a rotary control for volume and input selection. Naturally with no display, you don't know the volume level. Various inputs are provided although USB is for storage device, not as a DAC:

View attachment 137477

I focused my testing on analog and Toslink inputs.

Like the inclusion of power supply in the unit which likely is the reason for some of its weight. In use, it got warm to touch but nothing concerning.

OSD Nero Stream-XD Measurements
Let's start with using the analog input and see how it does:

View attachment 137478

Well, this is not good. There is strange/high noise floor plus plenty of distortion. Perhaps it digitizes the analog input? Let's test Toslink then:

View attachment 137479

Same bad results. :( It ranks way at the bottom of our rankings:

View attachment 137480

Can the news get worse? Yes, it can:

View attachment 137481

There is a subwoofer output so maybe this is someone's idea of high pass filter! I looked in the manual and there are no tone controls that could be responsible for this.

Let me just post the rest of the graphs and not waste words on a failing design:

View attachment 137482

View attachment 137483

View attachment 137484

Conclusions
This is a prime example of what we in the industry call "phoned in design." You call up a shop in China, given them your wish list and out comes an amp. You do no testing yourself and put no requirements as far as performance on the shop that is "designing" it. Result is all the checklist items marketing wants with performance not even on the back of the priority list.

Does it sound better than a sound bar when paired with a couple of speakers? Should that frequency response not screw things up too bad, maybe. For me? I pass and get an AVR instead.

------------
As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
Appreciate any donations using: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/how-to-support-audio-science-review.8150/

Radio frequency interference from the Bluetooth transmitter getting into the audio?
 

restorer-john

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Thanks for the review Amir. That's one wonky frequency response.

It can only be deliberate IMO. Boost the mid bass and roll-off hard before you run completely out of power.

Plenty of vintage 1970s amplifiers in the budget category did just that. Very effective on the sales floor back then as a "warm sounding, giant killer at a bargain price".
 
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This is so bad it's laughable. On another note, I am going to get a streamer of some sort. My question is my best option if I plan on using an external DAC? It seems that all streamers are a mish-mash of features and they always seem to include a DAC of some sort. I envision the top of my stack as being the streamer, then DAC, amp. I will be using the streamer for both headphones and my bookshelf speakers and since I won't ever need both at the same time obviously, it's not important for it to be connected to both.
 

Angsty

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A very stupid question: It's all digital. Why is the sound so bad? :)

It’s bad because it does not have to be good. At this price point, they will sell lots of them globally to folks who never heard of ASR.
 

Rottmannash

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I'm confused. Isn't a streamer something like the Node 2i? How is this streaming anything except what one inputs to it?
 

Ralph_Cramden

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I'm confused. Isn't a streamer something like the Node 2i? How is this streaming anything except what one inputs to it?
It has the Linkplay A31 module, which, with its app, can stream from the major services.

BTW, OSD=Outdoor Speaker Depot, so…
 
Last edited:

PeteL

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I'm confused. Isn't a streamer something like the Node 2i? How is this streaming anything except what one inputs to it?
Yeah the term "streamer" in ALL cases seams like odd choice, but it seams to generally apply to a device that has network access to audio files and convert it to something that can be recognized by a DAC. In this case it has wifi so this definition can apply. That said, it's a loose definition, any digital audio transfer can be considered streaming yes.
 

Ralph_Cramden

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Streaming sources in their app. Also supports AirPlay, DLNA and your NAS. Too bad it performs so poorly.

8BC4466E-4D35-438E-8828-E97B519B936B.png
 
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