“The ultimate in networked audio playback”
We have spent the last few years researching streaming audio solutions and have come to a single conclusion.
With a few exceptions (at extreme prices) we found that ripped CDs or downloaded music purchased online from providers like Qobuz, played via a Network Audio Server, sound consistently better than music streamed directly from a provider.
A bold statement for sure, and just our opinion, but the inconsistency of streaming quality (even with ‘high-res’ recordings) has led us towards storage for quality and streaming for convenience and discovery.
The Fidata HFAS1-X20 Network Audio Server is the best we have found.
I-O Data, the parent company of Fidata, also manufacture Soundgenic Network Audio Servers as an entry level solution and this is a good starting point, but if you want their best then the HFAS1-X20 is the only show in town.
The HFAS1-XS20U builds on the basic design of the popular HFAS1-S10U by adding an X-Cluster SSD unit designed specifically to deliver high 2 TB storage capacity and the high level of quality required by audio applications.
This high-end Fidata network audio server also incorporates Diretta so, if like us you are advocates of this software, then the HFAS1-X20 acts as your Diretta host and connects directly to a Diretta target or network switch via LAN.
Everything is controlled is the Fidata APP both for operating and set up (desktop version).
The Absolute Sound here
6 Moons (Hifi Knights) here
Positive Feedback here
Developers interview here
Instead of simply utilising a single, large SSD, Fidata incorporates a new technology known as X-Cluster Storage Technology to deliver high storage capacity along with the high quality required of audio components. The X-Cluster SSD was developed specifically for the HFAS1-XS20U.
This cluster stores data uniformly across two SSDs. The resulting ability to access data uniformly across all SSDs in the cluster smooths the load on the power supply by limiting deviations in power consumption. In addition, the HFAS1-XS20U features a pair of dedicated linear power conditioners that provide clean power.
The HFAS1-XS20U incorporates two X-Cluster SSD units, one on the left and one on the right, for a total of four SSDs. The result is a significant 2 TB cluster of storage configured in a way that reduces power supply fluctuations caused by uneven data access.
In addition to the HFAS1 power supply circuit, which consists of a dedicated switching power supply for the storage subsystem and a dedicated power generation circuit that has been tuned with numerous capacitors, the HFAS1-XS20U adds a pair of linear power conditioners for its X-Cluster SSD units. This design contributes greatly to more stable power supply performance.
The HFAS1-XS20U uses a steel plate that is 3.2 mm thick to increase its chassis rigidity. Fidata revisited both the material and the surface finish of the base steel plate, which is 1.4 times thicker than the previous design. The new model’s hot-rolled steel features a black chromate finish, preserving the Fidata’s high end appearance while maximising its chassis rigidity.
Operating environment (computers) –
Supported browsers –
Operating environment (smart phones) –
Supported file formats (extensions) – wav, mp3 , wma , m4a , m4b , ogg , flac , aac , mp2 , ac3 , mpa , aif , aiff , dff , dsf
USB DAC supported file formats (extensions) – wav, aiff , aif , m4a , flac , dff, dsf , mp3 , aac , ogg
USB DAC output formats (sampling rates) –
USB DAC output formats (bit depth) –
|USB ports||Connectors||USB2.0 × 1|
|Networking||Standard compliance||UPnP AV, DLNA 1.5|
|Supply voltage||AC100V-240V 50 / 60Hz|
|Power connector||3-pin inlet IEC|
|Power consumption||Rated for 32 W|
|External dimensions||Approx. 350 (W) × 350 (D) × 65 (H) mm|
|Weight||Approx. 7.3 kg|
|Operating temperature range||5℃ to 35℃|
|Operating humidity range||20% to 85% (non-condensing)|
|Accessories||Power cords (3 types), user manual|
|Product warranty||2 years from date of purchase|
|Finish||Silver or Black|