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OSD Nero Stream XD Review (streaming amplifier)

Anthony T

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There is a rotary control for volume and input selection. Naturally with no display, you don't know the volume level.

No indication of volume level:rolleyes:
A display I can do without but I like a visual indication of the volume level, call me picky.
Seems a ridiculous omission that’s as poor a decision as the performance. Next please.
 

vkvedam

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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.

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As always, questions, comments, recommendations, etc. are welcome.
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I pity you @amirm for ruining part of your weekend with this :D
 

Hugh Jass

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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.
It's not all digital. There are analogue inputs and digital inputs and speaker outputs. So there must be at least a DAC and an amp. Lot's of places you can do a crappy job and introduce distortion.
 

VintageFlanker

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Well, this should be some proof that not all amps sound the same...

index.php


What a piece of trash. Obviously, this didn't pass any basic testing before production. Not only measurements, I can't believe they even listened to it or they should have heard this mess.

Hopefully, Amazon customers should be mostly deaf (for these reviews which aren't fakes)...
Screenshot_20210627-114636.png
 

Offler

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It clearly looks like there is a Volume Limiter and Bass Boost equalization in effect.

If its a product made specifically for small speakers which lacks bass and ... will not be used with at least average sound quality source most people wont notice.
 
OP
amirm

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Why would you waste your time testing something like this?
You could tell by just looking at it that it would have these issues???
 

AndreaT

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The perils of lack of knowledge in consumers are many. For the same price you could get a good Loxjie amp/DAC/BT and have some spare change for a Hidizs AP80. Once you have about $ 60 more saved you complete the purchase of the AP80 and you have a source + amp never to be ashamed of.
 

digicidal

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Reviews of broken gear are as important as review of stars. Thank you @amirm
This. Amen.

Arguably significantly more important IMO... If ASR had nothing but stellar reviews of great gear - it would be easy to believe that all gear was true to it's marketing and specifications. Bad reviews demonstrate this is not always (often? almost never?) the case in reality. That's the real problem with all the subjective reviewers that are basically giving glowing recommendations to just about everything they get their hands on.

Unfortunately the number of bad/failed/deceptive products outnumbers the available hours in a year and @amirm needs to eat, sleep, garden, and a few other things as well. :rolleyes:
 

Aperiodic

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Perfect component for those who choose their equipment by looking at it, which is unfortunately most of the public. The remainder chooses based on 'opinion' based reviews- 'this got x likes on Amazon so it must be good- or 'golden ear' no-data-just-opinion reviews.
 
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KxDx

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Well, this should be some proof that not all amps sound the same...

index.php


What a piece of trash. Obviously, this didn't pass any basic testing before production. Not only measurements, I can't believe they even listened to it or they should have heard this mess.

Hopefully, Amazon customers should be mostly deaf (for these reviews which aren't fakes)...View attachment 137698
Rule of thumb:

Amazon aggregate score, subtract 1.5 stars for a realistic assessment.

Audioreview score, everything is 5 stars, so just roll a 6 sided die and subtract 1.
 

fordiebianco

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Raspberry Pi with HIFIberry DAC and Volumio. Works for me in 4 rooms across the house.
 

earthtodan

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I wonder if the owner still wants to have it back now
Good question. No.

I was a headphone and car audiophile hobbyist about 10 years ago, but I never got into home audio because it was too big and involved and I had no money. When I moved into my current apartment at the beginning of 2020 and set up a new system, I wanted to believe that amps are a mature technology that basically just work, so I bought this unit to hide behind my TV and just get the job done. Immediately when I turned it on I was disappointed, and basically never listened to music. To be fair, the speakers were also lacking, but being in a wooden apartment building, I already had bass resonance problems from the floor that no speakers could solve, and now I can see that this OSD thingamajig with its undisclosed bass boost was only exacerbating it.

Then I discovered ASR, replaced my whole system with good quality stuff, bought a miniDSP with Dirac room correction, and I'm now happily streaming Groovesalad in clear hifi as I sit and write this post. :p

However, I wanted to make sure I wasn't imagining the low quality of the OSD piece, so I sent it to Amir. I have no reason to ask for it back.
 
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