When operating the CR-N755 using the front panel controls, the little menu control dial is quick and accurate, and to select an option you simply press it in. The front LED panel is easy to read, with enough space to display most menu options as full words, which is helpful. You can tweak Bass and Treble levels and search CDs or FM/AM radio stations easily enough.
But when it comes to entering search terms or passwords in services that require login details, it feels long-winded twiddling the knob back and forth through the alphabet.
Searching through tracks on USB, media server or Spotify is fiddly too. The LED panel can only display one line at a time and you have to wait for it to scroll in order to read the whole title. It’s best to just find an album or artist and let it play, rather than faff about finding specific tracks.
Likewise internet radio – there are loads of stations to choose from, so finding something specific can take quite a long time. That’s why we recommend using Onkyo’s free Remote Apps for iOS and Android, which make it so much simpler to control the unit using your device.
However, the physical remote is a doddle to use thanks to its simple, spacious button arrangement and clear labelling. The buttons are rubbery and nice to press, although the number keys at the bottom are a little too small. We like the brushed silver and black colour scheme, which will add a touch of panache to the coffee table.
Connecting to the network is a hassle free process. Plug your Ethernet cable in and you’re good to go. Setup obviously takes longer if you connect a wireless LAN adapter, as you have to scan for routers and enter a password, but we didn’t have one to test out.
We were, however, sent a UBT-1 Bluetooth adapter, which the unit detected immediately when plugged into the USB port. Subsequent song streaming was an absolute breeze from our Bluetooth equipped phone, and when hooked up to a pair of Dali Mentor Menuet speakers the sound quality is excellent, thanks to the combination of Bluetooth 3.0 and the apt-X codec.
Next we let it rip with The Sunburst Band’s The Secret Life Of Us on CD. Its sound quality is terrific, conveying the jazzy, uptempo soul with energy and dynamism without making high frequencies sounding harsh or bright. The 2 x 22W amp is more than capable of filling the room, belting out tunes at loud volumes without any signs of strain.
Bass response is superb too. The album’s funky live basslines lock tight to the rhythm and don’t drown out other parts of the music. This beautifully integrated bottom end lends a depth and solidity to the music without making it sound muddy or boomy, leaving you with a refined, well-balanced and detail-packed sound.
Vocal clarity is spot-on too, plus instruments that can so easily sound shrill in the wrong hands come across as rich and smooth. This great work continues when you switch to streamed music, provided the files are of a good standard. Our FLAC tracks sound crisp and full bodied, again with no harshness or muddiness to ruin the listening experience. That also applies to music streamed from Spotify. Internet radio depends on the quality of the stream but even low-bitrate stations are perfectly enjoyable through the CR-N755’s circuits.
Overall we’re highly impressed by what the CR-N755 has to offer. The generous functionality reads like a hi-fi glossary – AUPEO!, CD, DLNA, FM/AM radio, Last.fm, Spotify, USB, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as optional extras.
This formidable feature line-up is backed up by remarkably good sound quality and a classy, robust design. Only the fiddly menu system, which makes it tricky to find music (Remote Apps notwithstanding) and lack of DAB radio stop it from attaining top marks.