Pioneer XW-NAC3 mini hi-fi
Pioneer XW-NAC3 review: A mini hi-fi stereo that has two iPod docks and good sound
- Dual iPod docks useful for shuffling between music on two iPods, great sound quality
- We're not sure how often you'd use both iPod docks, no Wi-Fi, no FM radio
Pioneer's XW-NAC3 mini hi-fi is full of innovative features. Even if you're not using the dual-iPod shuffle feature, the second dock might be useful for charging your iPhone while listening to music on an iPod. Internet radio is also available (although there's no wireless networking support) and Bluetooth streaming works well. We think that given the range of features on offer the Pioneer XW-NAC3 is worth its asking price.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The Pioneer XW-NAC3 is a mini hi-fi that takes the unusual step of incorporating two iPod docks — if two iPods or iPhones are plugged in, you're able to shuffle between music on both devices seamlessly. It's also got everything you'd expect in a $700 hi-fi system, apart from the baffling lack of FM radio and no Wi-Fi.
Pioneer XW-NAC3 mini hi-fi: Design and features
The Pioneer XW-NAC3 is well designed, as far as iPod docks go — we've seen far less conventional layouts before. The low placement of the XW-NAC3's screen on the front might be a minor concern if you plan to keep it on a low-slung coffee table or kitchen counter, though. All the buttons are arranged on the mini hi-fi's top around the two iPod docks and are clearly labelled. An input selector button switches between iPod playback, Bluetooth streaming, USB, and Internet radio (once it's set up).
Dual iPod playback is the XW-NAC3's defining feature. If you have two iPods or iPhones plugged in — in our testing we swapped between a iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and a 5th generation iPod Nano — you can play music off either, or press the centrally placed shuffle button to play music off both. Songs from both devices' music libraries are played: When a song finishes on the first device, the XW-NAC3 cross-fades into a song from the second. You can also use a smart shuffle feature that plays the first ten seconds of a song and then moves on, letting you quickly pick a song from either iPod.
USB playback is simple, with a top-mounted port that is hidden by a cap. The range of files played back by the Pioneer XW-NAC3 is impressive — as well as support for MP3, WMA, WAV and AAC formats, the FLAC format is supported, allowing high-quality lossless audio to be played on the XW-NAC3.
If you plug the Pioneer XW-NAC3 into your router via Ethernet — annoyingly, there's no integrated Wi-Fi — you're able to access tens of thousands of Internet streaming radio stations. We appreciate the inclusion — you've always got something to listen to — but in a $700 product we would have liked to see Wi-Fi included for ease of setup and use. We're also unsure why FM radio wasn't included.
Bluetooth audio streaming — we used an iPhone 4 — works well with no drop-outs in streaming while we were within around 8 metres of the Pioneer XW-NAC3. Sound quality isn't as good as directly connecting a device for music playback, but in a pinch it's OK. Pioneer has a range of equaliser and DSP settings that make compressed audio sound a little better — bass and treble are slightly tweaked to make tracks played over Bluetooth a little less muddy.
Pioneer XW-NAC3 mini hi-fi: Sound quality
The Pioneer XW-NAC3 has excellent sound quality for its size — we'd put it on par with the audio from the Sonos Zoneplayer S5 and Bowers & Wilkins Zeppelin, with warm and rich sound that could easily fill a medium-sized room. The XW-NAC3 doesn't have particularly strong bass, but treble is clear and mid-range tones are detailed and not at all muddy.
We were able to push the Pioneer XW-NAC3 all the way to its maximum volume without encountering any speaker distortion. The warm sound remains constant all the way to full volume, as well — it doesn't become harsh or booming. The Pioneer XW-NAC3 also presents a wide sound-stage, with good separation between its stereo speakers. Music sounds as if it's coming from a larger hi-fi system rather than a little single-cabinet speaker.
Pioneer XW-NAC3 mini hi-fi: Conclusion
If you're an iPod junkie, if you've got your digital music collection stored in a range of formats and devices, or even if you're looking for a convenient charging station for a couple of Apple devices at once, the XW-NAC3 makes a compelling argument for itself.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
cloudandco Smart Cane
Apple iPhone X
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Toys for Boys
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Xbox One X
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Foxtel Now's new streaming device launched weeks after TelstraTV
- Logitech announce new MX Sound speakers
- Telstra looks to solve 'Entertainment Exasperation' with new 4K Telstra TV
- Sonos reveals Sonos One, an Alexa-enabled speaker that will support AirPlay 2 and Google Assistant
- Bose Introduces Tiny New Bluetooth Speaker
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTManagement Consultant - ConsultancyOther
- CCLevel 1 Service deskNSW
- CCTechnical Team Lead/Application Developer Team Lead - Government OrganisationVIC
- CCSecurity/ Penetration Test AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Business Analyst (Infrastructure Projects)Other
- FTSecurity Solution ArchitectOther
- FTArchsight Delivery ConsultantVIC
- FTSharepoint DeveloperOther
- TPTest Automation EngineerQLD
- CCSecurity AnalystQLD
- FTSystem AnalystSA
- TPSenior .NET ContractNSW
- TPSenior Developer/Technical AnalystNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst (Finance/Grants)QLD
- TPWeb DeveloperACT
- TPDelivery Lead - IT Services Function - Day rateNSW
- TPTest AnalystSA
- CCTest ManagerVIC
- FTSenior DevOps LeadVIC
- FTNetwork Engineers- Transmission, IP Core and ITOther
- CCJanusgraph Consultant - Telco industryVIC
- TPApplication Support AdministratorVIC
- FTOperations Process Improvement ManagerOther
- FTBackend Java DevelopersNSW
- TPTechnical Project CoordinatorVIC