Onkyo DS-A5 lacks key features and it is priced too high
17 December 2012
Summary: I have an Onkyo TX-SR805 (non-networked) receiver and I use an Apple TV to stream music from my iPhone. However, I can't turn the receiver on or off or control it remotely from my iPhone. So, I've been thinking about replacing it by a new networked receiver. And yet, the TX-SR805 is a very good and powerful receiver, and I'd rather keep it if ONKYO offered a device which added networking functionality comparable to the new ONKYO receivers at the right price.
Summary: Bought this with the hope that my wife could use her ipad/iphone in the kitchen to control the stereo which she said was too complicated. The Airplay system works well with iTunes and almost as well with Pandora. Pandora does not have a screen volume button-have to use hardware volume on side of your device. System does work although occasionally wifi bandwidth seems to be an issue. Setting up the device was easy.
Summary: overal construction well, nice as dock even it does not on screen control from the video output... nice to have digital output for my high end amp, very sharp and detailed sound. highest quality sound out of my ipod. the bad. The network connection is very poor, the Airplay works poorly, can only stay 1 min. or so... then goes away. I even tried connecting using the ethernet cable and does not work either... this might have been a deffective unti.
Summary: This is a good piece. It has an optical audio output and regular stereo left right outputs plus a video output. I use it when the goal is more about sound than video output. The Airplay option is good (works with i-phone 5). It turns on my Onkyo receiver and automatically chooses the correct input. While the optical audio is fed to my surround receiver the regular audio output feeds my whole-house audio system.
Summary: When I learned that Airplay uses lossless encoding to digitally transmit it's music signal, I figured i would try to incorporate Airplay into a client's $20k Audiophile Sitting Room. Thanks to this dock having a true digital output, I could use the Optical output and run it into a HiFi D/A converter. I chose the Parasound ZDAC as it has Optical in and Balanced XLR out. Works great!
Summary: This is a must have addition to an Onkyo that doesn't have AirPlay built in. It allows me to stream my iTunes library and control playback with an attached iOS device. Only complaint is that the price is higher than what I expected for a dock and a feature that really should have been built in, but I'm pleased overall.
Summary: I've been excited about this piece of gear since I first read about in in September. We were going to purchase a new receiver mainly to get the airplay feature but this little device does the job very well and updated our Onkyo. Setup was simple and it works great. I can now play music from my ipad through the audio system no matter where it is in the house. I highly recommend the DS-A5 to bring some higher tech to an older piece of gear.