As someone who has been creating different stereo & home theater systems for nearly 20 years, the biggest leap in the space has unequivocally to me has been casting technology.
The feeling when quickly AirPlay-ing to my main Marantz receiver, firing into an Echo Dot, or connecting to our Google Home Mini is a feeling of luxury. It just works. There is a connectivity and a feeling of security, that Bluetooth simply can’t match- and as a mainly Android user now, I was stoked to learn about the Onkyo CR-N575 Network System with in Chromecast built it. In addition to the Chromecast integration it also offers:
- 20 W x 20 W Stereo Power
- New Switching Amplification System
- Intuitive JOG Dial and Large LCD Screen
- 5 GHz/2.4 GHz Wi-Fi® & Bluetooth® (4.1 +LE)
- Supports Hi-Res Audio Playback
- Spotify®, TIDAL, TuneIn, Pandora®, and Deezer
- DTS Play-Fi & FlareConnect audio streaming
- Direct Mode for Original Sound Source Reproduction
- 8 7/16″ x 4 11/16″ x 13 1/16″
- 20 W + 20 W (8 Ohms, 1 kHz, 10% 2 channels driven FTC
The Onkyo CR-N575 is a traditional bookshelf system is unfortunately ordinary. That said, purest will like the simplicity of the sharp edges and familiar shapes. The display is remedial and features horizontal scrolling text to display the required information.
The remote is equally forgettable, but is the best way to control this device.
The main allure of this system to be was the built-in Chromecast. However, I had issues connecting from day one. My Google Pixel would connect 1 out of roughly 15 times and I furiously updated the firmware looking for resolutions. While my phone can always see the unit, it is a complete crap-shoot when it comes to connecting. I tested with multiple phones including the top-line Pixel 2’s to no avail. The firmware was updated via USB and over the network for the most recent versions and the Chromecast just doesn’t work.
Once I had completely given up on the Chromecast ever working, I decided that I could still make this usable via Bluetooth. This worked for a few weeks and then promptly stopped working after an update. Outside of a few $20 pair of headphones that I’ve bought, I never had an issue connecting to Bluetooth, until I meat the Onkyo CR-N575.
So where am I today? Right now I literally have a 3.5mm aux cable coming into the back of this system. I completely gave up. I still get mad every-time I plug my phone in.
The sound can be summed up with one word – suitable. The bass is suitable when set correctly, the mids are fine and the highs are good. All tuning controls have to be done via the remote which can be annoying to some. Overall, the sound output runs on the low level – definitely not what you’d expect for a mid-level unit like this.
Overall, this unit is slow. Every-time you fire the unit up, you’ll see a slow-loading blue bar, and you’ll feel like you are submerged in quicksand any time that you implement any updates, connections or restarts. This parlayed with he poor display really will disappoint.
If you are the type of persona that is looking for quick and simple connectivity and casting – don’t buy this unit. After struggling with this unit for months and months, I finally broke down and when back to the 3.5mm cable just to make this play sound. I can’t recall the last time that I’ve been this disappointed in a product – and I desperately wanted it to work.
After interfacing with the Onkyo CR-N575 I can honestly say that if casting was important, I’d hesitate to invest on any bookshelf that isn’t made by Google/Apple/Amazon. As a DIY audio fan, I can’t believe that I just wrote those words, but if Chromecasting is important, go with a Google Home Max and don’t think twice about it.
- Classic bookshelf look
- Good trebles
- No connectivity
- Average sound