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ESOTERIC N-05 Network Audio Player
N-05 Network Audio Player

To the Future of Musical Reproduction

Total sound quality without compromise.
This has been Esoteric's core philosophy since its birth in 1987.
Now this zeal for excellence extends to the highest quality in music streaming,
pushing Esoteric to develop a new network audio player -
one that offers listeners supreme ease in their musical enjoyment.
From DSD high-resolution masters to reacquaintances with old classics lying hidden
for years in a corner of your CD library, all can be instantly accessed from your
giant music library, and all from the comfort of your listening seat.
Passion and pride invested in advanced technology and exquisite craftsmanship
support high quality you can rely on.
Let the N-05 bring you closer still to the music you love, and lead you to a more
complete sense of musical enjoyment.
Onward to the future of musical reproduction.

The absolute sound "Editors' Choice Awards 2018"    The absolute sound "Editors' Choice Awards 2018"
Best Buy Components 2017->2018    Stereo Sound "Best Buy Components 2017->2018"
Digital file player category
HiVi "Best Buy 2017 Winter"    HiVi "Best Buy 2017 Winter"
Network player category II (above 500,000Yen)
The fourth prize
the absolute sound "Editor's Choice Awards 2017"    the absolute sound "Editor's Choice Awards 2017"
HiVi "Best Buy 2017 Summer"    HiVi "Best Buy 2017 Summer"
Network player category II (above 500,000Yen)
The fourth prize
Best Buy Components 2016->2017    Stereo Sound "Best Buy Components 2016->2017"
Digital file player category
The first prize
Ongen Publishing "Audio Excellence Award 2017"Silver Prize    Ongen Publishing "Audio Excellence Award 2017"
"Silver Prize"
HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Winter"    HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Winter"
Network player category (above 500,000Yen)
The third prize
Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2017" Gold Prize    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2017"
Network audio player category (500,000 - 1,000,000Yen)
"Gold Prize"
Best Buy (Meilleur Achat)    Haute Fidélité (France)
"Meilleur Achat (Best Buy)"

  • Stereo "Best Buy Component 2016"
    Digital player category (350,000 - 700,000Yen)

HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Summer"    HiVi "Best Buy 2016 Summer"
Digital file player category (above 500,000Yen)
Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016 Summer" Special award    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016 Summer"
"Special Prize"
Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016 Summer"    Ongen Publishing "Visual Grand-Prix 2016 Summer"
Network audio player category (above 500,000Yen)

Network Audio

Access any music you like and play it back with the finest in sound quality, all without moving from the comfort of your listening seat - the N-05 makes this luxurious dream a reality. Enjoy the vivid musical experience of DSD master sound sources. Convert giant CD collections to a digital library for quick and easy access. Actively seek out new encounters in music with streaming services available in your area. Use your home network environment to make your relationship with music ever closer.
Besides your home audio components, all you need are a standard domestic LAN connection (w/ wireless router) and an iPad/iPhone. A large-capacity NAS* device can hold your entire music library. With these few items, a comfortable life of high-quality musical enjoyment without compromise can soon be yours.

*NAS: Network Attached Storage. Recommended server software: MinimServer.
 Updated information regarding NAS compatibility can be found on our home page.

Network Audio

Compatible With a Variety of Audio Sources

A thorough infusion of select high-end specifications ensures the N-05 delivers superb sound quality. Compatible with 2.8/5.6MHz DSD, 192kHz/24-bit PCM and a host of other formats (DSF, DSDIFF, FLAC, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF, MP3, and AAC),* gapless playback capability is also offered in all lossless formats, permitting full enjoyment of live or opera recordings with no interruptions between musical tracks.

*384kHz/24-bit PCM native playback in USB DAC mode and down-converted playback in network mode also provided.

Esoteric Sound Stream

Esoteric Sound Stream is an Apple iOS application for the iPad/iPhone* designed with an emphasis on both sound quality and network playback operating ease. Its basic operation simply entails selecting musical tracks using the iPad/iPhone, creating customized personal playlists, and playing the selections or playlists. All screens for key operation, playlists, library, etc. are arranged for easy viewing, enabling even users unfamiliar with the app to operate it with intuitive ease. Its high degree of refinement even meets the rigorous demands of advanced and experienced users.
Key to this achievement is the app's excellent search and retrieval performance, which takes full advantage of tag information. Since images are also cached in the app, album artwork can be instantly scrolled through and libraries can be freely sorted into such classifications as artist, year of recording, composer or category. This use of tag information even allows musical numbers of the same name which differ in format to be easily identified on the screen.

*Apps for use with Android currently under development.

ESOTERIC Sound Stream

Music Server Function

Music Server Function The N-05 can also be used as a simplified music server integrating both player and library by connecting a large-capacity storage device to the USB port on its rear panel. With the ability to be used as a secondary music server, even users new to the NAS directory structure can easily get started.

Streaming Services / Audio Codecs Support



Begin your encounters with new music through TIDAL, a high-end music streaming service that has officially partnered with ESOTERIC. TIDAL's lossless music distribution service operates on a fixed rate basis. Offering instant access to its enormous sound library, TIDAL enables users to enjoy their favorite music online with excellent sound quality. TIDAL



ESOTERIC is an official partner of Qobuz, the leading Hi-Res music streaming and download service in Europe. Benefit from 1 month Free Qobuz Hi-Fi trial (worth = 」19,99) by visiting Qobuz.


Roon (will be available on ESOTERIC around June 2017)

Roon is the most engaging, enjoyable way to browse your music.
Being Roon Ready means that ESOTERIC network players transparently discover and connect to Roon, with no network configuration, with bitperfect delivery of audio to your dac.
Together, Roon and ESOTERIC deliver the power, flexibility, and performance benefits of networked audio, with the easiest setup and highest reliability available.
Learn more here:


MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) (will be available on ESOTERIC around July 2017)

MQA is an award-winning technology that delivers master quality audio in a file that's small enough to stream or download. Using pioneering scientific research into how people hear, MQA captures and authenticates the sound of the original studio performance. Visit for more information. MQA

Dual Mono D/A Converters

Dual Mono D/A Converters A feature of its Super Audio CD players, Esoteric's D/A converters and analog circuitry have won accolades for total sound quality. Employing Asahi Kasei Microdevices' AK4490 chip set, the converter is configured in four parallel and differential circuits (8 outputs) driving each channel to achieve superb sound quality with remarkable linearity and low distortion. Its discreet dual mono configuration also provides excellent channel separation.
Technology developed for the Grandioso C1 is also employed in the DAC's power supply, which features EDLC* super capacitors. This regulated power supply boasts a total capacity of 500,000μF per channel for exceptional low-frequency sound reproduction.

*EDLC = Electronic Double-Layer Capacitors

34-Bit D/A Processing

The N-05 uses a 34-bit D/A processing algorithm to convert the high-resolution 34-bit PCM signal to analog. This 34-bit encoding resolution is an astounding 1,024 times more detailed than that of 24-bit encoding. In the digital range, full advantage is also taken of this processor's high-bit data gradation to minimize calculation errors and provide faithful analog conversion for outstanding and highly sensitive powers of expression.

34-Bit D/A Processing

Esoteric-HCLD* Type 2 Buffer Amplifier

The N-05's Esoteric-HCLD Type 2 buffer amplifier was developed with know-how derived from such high-end models as the Grandioso C1 preamplifier, and boasts excellent direct current transmission capability, as well as a powerful drive output. Two of these buffer amplifier circuits are installed per channel and configured differentially to drive the XLR outputs, and in parallel to drive the RCA outputs. The strong drive provided to connected equipment ensures that the source's full dynamic range is recreated with a breathtaking sense of realism.

*HCLD = High Current Line Driver

Robust Power Supply

Robust Power Supply A robust power supply is critical to the accurate reproduction of all the vibrant energy of music. The N-05 is equipped with a high-output power supply circuit that integrates an enormous, custom-designed toroidal transformer and an array of large capacitors to provide clean and steady power to each circuit block.

High-Precision VCXO Clock

High-Precision VCXO Clock A high-precision VCXO (voltage controlled crystal oscillator) supplies a highly accurate reference clock signal to the digital circuitry. The N-05's large, custom-designed VCXO was jointly developed with Nihon Dempa Kogyo (NDK), a leading manufacturer of crystal oscillators, exclusively for high-quality audio playback. The cornerstone of quality sound, its large crystal element realizes both excellent center accuracy (±0.5ppm, as shipped from the factory) and extremely low levels of phase noise to ensure exceptional sound playback quality.

External Clock Sync Function

External Clock Sync Function Connecting the N-05 to an external G-02X Master Clock Generator allows more accurate synchronization between internal digital circuits, thereby enabling significant improvements in system sound quality. The N-05 is compatible with 44.1/88.2/176.4kHz word clocks as well as both 10MHz and 22MHz direct master clock LINK.*

*The clock generator's master clock signal is used ‘as is’ by the D/A converter, bypassing its internal PLL circuit to allow straighter, more high-accuracy D/A conversion.

Versatile D/D Converter

The N-05 is equipped with a highly versatile D/D converter and digital filter. In addition to playback at the original sampling frequency, 2x, 4x and 8x up-conversion of the PCM digital signal, as well as cross-format conversion of PCM and DSD using a proprietary algorithm, are all freely selectable. Digital filtering (of both PCM and DSD) can also be enabled or disabled as desired.

A Multitude of Digital Inputs

The N-05's array of digital inputs include USB (x1), coaxial (x2) & optical (x1). The coaxial and optical inputs are compatible with both 192kHz/24-bit PCM and 2.8MHz DSD (DoP), while the USB port supports asynchronous transmission and native playback of 2.8/5.6/11.2MHz DSD and 384kHz/32-bit PCM.

A Multitude of Digital Inputs

Complete Noise Isolation

The analog circuit following the N-05's D/A converter is separated from its digital circuitry by an isolator that ensures complete noise reduction to maintain the purity of the analog sound output.

N-05 Block Diagram

Digital Audio Inputs RCA Connectors 2
Input Level 0.5Vp-p
Input Impedance 75Ω
Input Signal Formats 32 - 192kHz, 16 - 24-bit Linear PCM (IEC 60958), DSD (DoP)
Optical Digital
Input Level -24.0 to -14.5dBm (peak)
Input Signal Formats 32 - 192kHz, 16 - 24-bit Linear PCM (IEC 60958), DSD (DoP)
USB Port 1 (Type B)
Input Signal Formats 44.1 - 384kHz, 16 - 32-bit Linear PCM, 2.8/5.6/11.2MHz DSD
Ethernet Port 1000BASE-T
Input Signal Formats 44.1 - 384kHz, 16 - 32-bit Linear PCM, 2.8/5.6MHz DSD
Supported File
DSD Lossless: DSF, DSDIFF (DFF), DoP
PCM Lossless: FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF
Compressed Audio: MP3, AAC (m4a container)
USB Storage
Device Port
1 (Type A) FAT32, NTFS; USB 2.0 or faster recommended
Digital Audio Output RCA Connectors 1
Output Level 0.5Vp-p (into 75Ω load)
Output Impedance 75Ω
Output Signal Formats 44.1 - 192kHz, 16 - 24-bit Linear PCM (IEC 60958 format), DSD (DoP format)
Clock Sync Input BNC Connectors 1
Input Frequencies (±15 ppm) 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 10MHz, 22.5792MHz, 24.576MHz
Input Impedance 75Ω
Input Level Rectangle wave: TTL level equivalent
Sine wave: 0.5 to 1.0Vrms (50 - 75)
Clock Sync Output BNC Connectors 1
Output Level TTL level equivalent (into 75Ω)
Output Frequencies 44.1kHz, 88.2kHz, 176.4kHz, 48kHz, 96kHz, 192kHz, 22.5792MHz, 24.576MHz
Equivalent to input frequency (at through output)
Analog Audio Outputs XLR Connectors 1pair (L/R)
Output Impedance 20Ω
Maximum Output Level
(at 1kHz, 10kΩ load)
RCA Connectors 1pair (L/R)
Output Impedance 20Ω
Maximum Output Level
(at 1kHz, 10kΩ load)
Frequency Response (192kHz PCM) 5Hz - 70kHz (-3dB)
S/N Ratio 117dB
Distortion 0.0007% (1kHz)
General AC Power Supply 230V, 50Hz / 120V, 60Hz / 220V, 60Hz
Power Consumption 18W
External Dimensions
(W x H x D, including protrusions)
445mm x 107mm x 356mm
(17 5/8″ x 4 1/4″ x 14 1/8″)
Weight 11kg (24 3/8 lb)
Included Accessories Power cord x 1
Owner's manual x 1
Warranty card x 1
- This product is available in three different power supply variations shown in the chart above. Make sure that the voltage shown on the rear panel matches the AC line voltage in your area.
- The shape of the AC inlet and plug of the supplied power cord depends on the voltage rating and destination country.

N-05 N-05 N-05
N-05 N-05 G-02 ESOTERIC Sound Stream

International Distributors
Catalog Download
Driver Download
Firmware Release Note
Tested NAS
HR Audio Player
ESOTERIC Sound Stream