When Belram Hifi proposed to us to test the new Atoll ST200 Signature streamer we were very excited. We don’t get the chance to test a streamer every day. Whether this streamer scores as well as the robust Atoll IN200 Signature integrated amplifier we tell you in this extensive review. Enjoy it!
The Atoll ST200 Signature was first presented at the High-end Munich 2018. It is in fact an improved version of its predecessor, the Atoll ST200se. The streamer fits in the new Signature series from Atoll in which we also find, besides the integrated amplifier, a CD player, preamplifier and power amplifier. With the Dutch and Flemish public Atoll is starting to gain more and more name and fame. The combination of quality and affordability will certainly have something to do with this. This streamer falls in a very interesting price segment.
What stands out again is the sober look and solid construction that is characteristic of all Atoll components. Rather than stand out with all kinds of ‘bling bling’, Atoll resolutely opts for discretion and subtlety. But with style and panache. This time we get an extra accent in the form of a beautiful color screen. The cover-art of the album, file type, resolution, time lapse, song title and name of the album will appear. Compared to the ST200, the screen of our M50 looks medieval.
The 5-inch LED screen is not a touch-screen, but personally we never saw the added value of it. From a distance of three meters the album cover is clearly visible and the title of the song remains clearly readable. In any case, the colour screen adds an extra touch to the music experience. To the left of the screen there are five buttons in cross shape and to the right a row of three. Nice and tight but whether those buttons will be used a lot is still to be seen. We prefer to stay with our greasy fingers on such a beautiful device.
All functions can be found on the perfectly sized remote control. It is wonderfully light and comes across as very intuitive after a few uses. It is a beautiful, complete remote control designed specifically for the streamer. A remote control for a streamer is in principle also superfluous were it not for the fact that this ST200 can also be used as a preamplifier! And then, among other things, controlling the volume is much more pleasant with the remote control.
Of course, most of this streamer will be controlled with an app. And here, too, the Atoll ST200 won’t let us down. Atoll developed their own Signature app, which features streaming services such as Tidal, Qobuz and Deezer. Spotify is missing, but we don’t find that insurmountable. Anyone buying a 2000 euro streamer will undoubtedly choose either Tidal or Qobuz and often both. In any case, we can’t go back to the mediocre display of Spotify now that we are used to the CD quality of Tidal. Not to mention the Master Series.
Lovers of Roon are unfortunately there for the effort. The Atoll ST200 Signature is not Roon Ready. But don’t let that spoil the fun. The layout of the Signature app is clear and recognizable with all options on the left and the album playing on the right. The colors this time are dark blue and yellow. A quiet combination that quickly gets used to. Just like on the screen of the streamer, we see all the necessary information. Although we are used to the excellent BluOS app, the Atoll app is definitely there.