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!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
cloudandco Smart Cane
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Apple iPhone X
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Bose SoundLink Micro
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Xbox One X
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 LG 65E7T Ultra HD OLED TV review: The South Korean thoroughbred is still first past the post
- 2 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 3 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 4 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 5 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
Latest News Articles
- JBL join smart speaker arena with the portable, waterproof and (Google-powered) JBL Link range
- BenQ Debuts True 4K UHD HDR Home Cinema Projector Designed for Modern Families
- 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
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
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
- CES 2018: Belkin go big on wearables accessories and wireless charging
- OPPO Load Up A73 Smartphone With Flagship Features
- CES 2018
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTFront-End DeveloperSA
- TPOBIEE/Java DeveloperACT
- FTSenior IT Project ManagerOther
- CCUser Experience DesignerACT
- CCSecurity SpecialistQLD
- FTTableau DeveloperOther
- FTCRM DeveloperACT
- FTIT Systems AnalystOther
- TPSenior Project Manager - Risk & ComplianceNSW
- FTSenior Consultant - .NET DeveloperQLD
- FTIT Contracting & Licensing AnalystOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTSenior Graphic DesignerACT
- CCDesktop EngineerQLD
- CCFull Stack Developer (Angular / .Net)NSW
- FTFrontend DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Business Analyst - Wealth & AgileOther
- FTWintel LeadOther
- FTIntegration LeadOther
- FTJunior Account Manager - Global Cloud OrganisationVIC
- FTAgile CoachOther
- FTApplication/Systems Support AnalystOther
- TPProgram ManagerACT
- CCNetwork Security SpecialistVIC