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Beam me up… to the highest price

Much like digital cameras have, in the opinion of some, now reached beyond the quality of their forebears, Slim Devices — a pioneer of the audio-focused digital media receiver — is attempting to surpass the finest of compact disc players with the Transporter. At nearly $2,000, the “no compromises” receiver is the first component rack form factor since Turtle Beach’s once best-in-class but now discontinued AudioTron. (Slim Devices has bought the Google AdWord “AudioTron.”) My favorite feature, at least on paper, is its “clever knob,” which sounds a bit like a British schoolboy insult.

It’s good to see nimble Slim Devices continuing to innovate now that the category has attracted the likes of Sony and its CPF-IX001 2.1 wireless streaming system. The Wi-Fi streamer lacks the expansive display of the Squeezebox, but integrates some powerful compact speakers. There’s also low-end competition from Philips’ SLA 5520, its’ $99 digital audio adapter.