Magnat MMS 730 Review • Gateway streamer for the up-and-coming audiophile
What about the average music lover who just wants convenience and ease of use, decent sound quality and access to the maximum number of content sources? Inexpensive streamers such as the Magnat MMS 730 were invented just that.
From afar Magnat MMS 730 resembles a typical CD or Blu-ray player, but upon closer examination it turns out that there is no optical disc loader in the model, so the external resemblance is deceiving. The player is designed to play music in an exclusively intangible form, that is, programs of terrestrial and Internet radio stations, content from streaming services, as well as audio files from network servers, or from external drives.
The front panel of the component is made of aluminum plate and has a textured surface. In the left part of the facade there is an information display, to the right of which there is a key to decrease the brightness of its glow. Under the display is a USB port for connecting flash drives with a capacity of no more than 8 GB.
On the right side, buttons for navigating the menu and switching signal sources are found. The main functions of the device can also be controlled using the small remote control included in the package, but the most convenient, of course, is to use the proprietary application for mobile gadgets MAGNAT Audio Stream, which gives full access to the extensive capabilities of the model. It includes support for music streaming services such as Tidal and Spotify, Internet radio stations, and functionality for including a streamer in a multi-room installation.
Network connection of Magnat MMS 730 is possible both wired via the Ethernet port and wireless Wi-Fi protocol. As befits a real streamer, the model is devoid of digital and analog inputs, but among the outputs are digital optical and coaxial ports, as well as a pair of analog outputs on RCA connectors. This means that there is a built-in DAC inside the streamer, in this case built on excellent Wolfson WM8740 chips that work for all signal sources. The player supports wireless music streaming via Bluetooth 5.0 with support for the aptX HD codec, which will improve the sound quality when streaming audio from your smartphone or tablet. The maximum resolution of digital content with which the streamer can work when playing files is 24 bit / 192 kHz.
On the rear panel, in addition to the listed connectors, an antenna input is found, which is necessary for receiving terrestrial programs both digital broadcasting DAB + and analog FM. The built-in tuner has 40 presets as well as station seek tuning for DAB and automatic tuning for FM.
The test system used during the listening included the Magnat MMS 730 network player itself, a hybrid stereo receiver Magnat MR 780, as well as two models of floor standing speakers – relatively budget Klipsch R-820F and more expensive four-lane Magnat Signature 707… As test material, we used both verified high-resolution files from network drives and compositions from music services.
Before proceeding to the description of our impressions, it should be noted that the presence of analog outputs does not mean the possibility of using Magnat MMS 730 as a preamplifier, and the keys with the “+” and “-” signs on the remote control are not intended for volume control, as you might think , and to switch between terrestrial or Internet radio stations.
So what can this inexpensive streamer do? We want to warn hardcore digital sound lovers right away that you will not find any support for DSD or PCM of ultra-high resolution 32 bit / 384 kHz in it, this device is intended for those who just want to listen to good music with maximum convenience and quality. And for this, it has all the possibilities, we especially liked the radio broadcast control using the proprietary application. Music streaming services work as expected with a subscription, but we still used files located on a server on a home computer network to critically assess the sound quality.
Of course, the best results were obtained when running high-resolution files, such as the remastered 24-bit / 96 kHz edition of Peter Gabriel’s So, or the rip DVD-Audio of Deep Purple’s classic Machine Head. Dynamic and rhythmic sound with good bass pleased with the coherence and emotionality, the depth of the bass, although slightly inferior to that used as a reference CD-player Lyngdorf CD-2 was pretty decent. Switching between files was instant, no serious lags were observed. So if you are wondering whether it makes sense to change your proven, but budget CD player for a modern network streamer, then in the person of Magnat MMS 730 you will get an excellent replacement, and at an adequate price.
Magnat MMS 730
Ease of use, built-in DAC for WM8740, FM tuner
The not so good
Not enough USB port on the back of the case
Maximum convenience, minimum audiophilia – this is how the credo of Magnat MMS 730 can be characterized. This device was intended to replace a mid-price CD-player in modern Hi-Fi systems, and it copes with this task brilliantly.