After announcing its Pulse IV integrated amplifier and DAC with wireless support, British manufacturer Leema Acoustics now designed a CD player for the streaming age. The new Stream IV (£2,295) combines the convenience of Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz music streaming, with the sound qualities of CD playback in one space-saving "Welsh-made" chassis. Leema Acoustics as founded in 1998 by two ex-BBC sound engineers and is headquartered in Wales, where all the company's products are hand-assembled using UK- and European-sourced components.
Significantly, the new Stream IV, which has now entered production and is widely available following its prototype unveiling at the Bristol Hi-Fi Show in February 2019, brings the welcome return of a much-loved classic hi-fi partnership, the Stream and Pulse (CD player and stereo integrated amplifier), a perfectly synergistic combination which has been a stalwart of the Welsh company’s product range for almost two decades. The matching Pulse IV amplifier (launched late 2018) adds convenient Bluetooth connectivity and a high-quality phono preamp for direct connections to turntables.
Fully updated for the streaming age, the next-generation Stream IV offers Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz integration, plus vTuner Internet Radio, Deezer and the ability to read data from connected USB drives and Dropbox/OneDrive accounts. Fully UPnP/DLNA compliant, the Stream IV can access and playback from networked music devices (including Leema Acoustics’ own Sirius digital music library), and offers both wired and wireless operation with WPS integrated (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) for easy home set-up.
The Stream IV includes an advanced high-resolution 24-bit/192kHz streaming module, a Stream Unlimited CD mech and a high-quality ESS 9018 Sabre DAC which also benefits from coaxial and optical digital outputs for connection to pre-existing high-performance external DACs. Further audiophile touches include a high-quality Noratel linear power supply.
Remote control operation is available, plus stylish button-free front panel operation for CD playback. Control for streaming and general DLNA/UPnP playback is via the popular (free) mconnect control point app for both Android and Apple devices; mconnect’s volume control also enables the use of headless players and renderers.
The Pulse IV integrated amplifier (£2,295) and the Stream IV CD player (£2,295) are both are available now in black and silver finishes.