Channel 5

Cocktail Audio X10 review

Monday 09 January 2012

G-Rating

Rating of 4

The basics

The Cocktail Audio X10 is a fantastic way to store all you music and audio files in one place and have easy remote control access to them at the touch of a button.

Essentially, this media streamer is a 500GB mechanical hard drive in a box that readily hooks up to your Hi-Fi, as well as your home network, via Ethernet, allowing you to play music anywhere in the house. With a built-in CD-player too it means you can rip discs and not worry about learning the CD in the car.

Available in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB flavours, the Cocktail Audio X10 can rip music in MP3, OGG, FLAC or WAV formats, you can store in a variety of bit-rates to suit your needs and personal preferences. As it’s network enabled, iPhone and Android smartphone users can access it remotely using the EyeconnTroller app, available as a free download.

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The good

The Cocktail Audio X10 has a simple but classy design. The gun metal grey box has a 3.5-inch TFT screen with an easy-to-read interface and a row of eight buttons on the top of the box that allow you to access, setup and manage files with ease.

Connections on the back are fully comprehensive, with USB 2.0, Ethernet, Audio in, Audio Out, optical out and headphone ports all covered, as well as speaker sockets so you can feed it directly to a set of speakers. We found the audio quality to be more than satisfactory. The Cocktail Audio X10 comes with a 60 Watt amp built-in, so you’ll find that once you rig it up to speakers there is plenty of sound to be had from the unit.

What really makes the Cocktail Audio X10 a pleasure to use, is how simple it is. Sure, the remote control looks a little daunting but music playback is simple, anyone in the family will be able to make the most of it.

It’s not just music of your own you can have access to, as the built-in internet radio means you can listen to hundreds of stations online. However, you’re limited to the non-HD versions with the current firmware model.

The bad

Being built around a mechanical hard drive, you will find that things take a little time to boot-up and run initially. There is also the issue of ambient noise from the hard drive, which thankfully isn’t too noticeable in the modern living room.

The Cocktail Audio X10 lacks a touchscreen display, even though the six-box user-interface looks as though bit was initially designed with touchscreen in mind. This means you need to rely on the buttons on the top of the unit, which slows things down but isn’t too problematic.

One of the niggles we found when using the unit was album art tended to be a little hit and miss. Sure, when importing files from the laptop or even from iTunes, you’ll find they appear but when you rip the disc from the player itself, you may find it a different matter. It’s a minor complaint but one that some users may well find distracting.

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The bottom line

Audiophiles will adore the Cocktail Audio X10, as it offers everything you need in one convenient box. Given that there is also easy access to the hard drive itself, it may well be possible to upgrade without too much hassle in the future. Overall, it’s a great device that works incredibly well and, most importantly, is easy to set up and use!

Buy now on Currys

Cocktail Audio X10 review is tagged with Cocktail Audio X10, Cocktail and music streamer. Select a tag (Cocktail Audio X10, for example) to find everything on The Gadget Show about the subject.

User comments (42)

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Marco Leone

I also recently bought the new Cocktail Audio X10, after owning a Brennan JB7, What I can say is that Cocktail Audio X10 is a lot better, more reliable, more features, very good sound. I bought it from Italy: http://www.cocktailaudio.it because I’m in Milan. The most important features for me are: - CD Ripping in FLAC; - Playlist creating; - Discography View (very useful!!); - IRadio: you can listen and also register tons of free high quality internet radios! I’m very happy with my new toy! Marco

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Eleanor boyd

How do you set up the wireless function. Asking for a password.

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Aviator007

Had my X10 for a while now. The kit is getting better with every firmware upgrade. I like the ID3 fixes and webinterface (create dynamic internet radio stations, album art and bulb editing). The unit supports HD music files and the UK sellers/distributors run a good support forum on http://www.cocktailaudio.co.uk/Forum. Great purchase, not a waste of money.

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Carol Miller

Today we have set up the cocktail audio X10. It is working but the manual is terrible - very poorly translated to English. Perhaps teenagers don't need to read the manual but we are senior citizens and don't find these machines intuitive. Surely someone could write a decent manual with correct grammar and less jargon.

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Bill Wilkinson

I found your review comprehensive and it helps me to make the decision on whether or not to buy. I forsee using your reviews in future purchase decisions. Thankyou.

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John Maughan

I have had my Cocktail Audio 10 now for 6 months and have to say I am very happy with the product. The new firmware updates have added to ability to add Album art work direct from the web and the database picks up 99% of the albums, even some obscure ones purchased from around the world. The sound quality is very good, mine is coupled with Q Acoustics speakers.

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 talisman0

I require a simple system to store and play my collection of 5000lps and 4000 cds and that seems to me to be a choice between a Brennan jb7 or a Cocktail x10. I have read so many contradictory reviews of both of them and am now completely confused about which to buy. It seems to be a choice of space versus mechanical noise and I have no idea just how good they are at their job. Can anyone help me to decide which one to spend my money on or even recommend a different make altogether?

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Leon Sealey

Love my audio x10 great box of hardware .

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