Qsonix may not be a familiar name to the mass consumer market, but the company has assembled a very nice music server that is receiving high performance marks around the industry. When it comes right down to it, a music server's success or failure hinges on the quality of its user interface, and Qsonix has put a lot of thought into designing an intuitive interface, with drag-and-drop functionality that makes it fun to browse content and create playlists. Because of the drag-and-drop nature of the system, Qsonix bundles the server with a 15-inch touchscreen controller (a 17-inch model is also available), but the system is also compatible with controllers from Crestron, AMX, etc.
The Q110 is available in several hard-drive configurations, ranging in size from 250GB to 1.5TB. Load CDs directly via the front-panel disc drive, and import them to the hard drive at one of four sound-quality options: uncompressed WAV, CD quality (WMA Lossless), high quality (320Kbps WMA), and normal quality (128Kbps WMA). The Q110 automatically retrieves metadata using the AMG service. You can also transfer MP3, WMA, or FLAC files from a USB drive or over the network from a PC or separate server. The back panel sports one coaxial digital audio output for connection to your primary audio system, plus four stereo analog outputs through which you can distribute audio to up to four independent zones. There's also a VGA output for connection to a video monitor, plus a specialized RS-232 serial connection to link the server to the touchpanel controller. In addition to four USB 2.0 ports and an Ethernet port, the Q110 offers both an IR input and RS-232 port for integration into an advanced control system.
The Q110 offers a number of worthwhile features. For one, the drive also has CD-burning capabilities, so you can make create new mix CDs to your heart's content. Also, you can transfer content from the server to a connected iPod (but not vice versa); the Q110 handles the necessary file conversion automatically, based on which type of file you've designated for iPod transfer (MP3 256, MP3 128, or WAV). A recent software upgrade now allows you to stream content from the Q110 to compatible digital media receivers. The server has a built-in interface to directly access the MusicGiants online music store, where you can purchase full-resolution music. A handy backup feature lets you transfer files to an external hard drive via USB, and you can even control the Q110 via a Web-browser interface.
The Qsonix system is also available as an all-in-one jukebox, the QJB110. You get the nostalgic charm of an old-school jukebox, with an integrated drag-and-drop touchscreen, 350-watt amp, speakers, and subwoofer.
Read The High Points, Low Points and Conclusion on Page 2