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Digital Music Server

Olive’s O3HD is designed as a modern music server for a less well-heeled audience.

The O3HD has a 500GB hard-disk and an integrated CD drive; it’s self-contained, and doesn’t require connection to a computer. Clearly, you can buy music servers (and PCs) with larger hard drives, but Olive argues that this isn’t a music server aimed at music hoarders, but music lovers.

It’s specifically designed to be plug-and-play simple: there’s an Ethernet port, but it’s also preloaded with a 2.7-million-strong CD database to provide suitable artist, title and track information whenever you load a disc.

A delightful interface
The touchscreen control interface is a delight, both in its simplicity and the speed of its response. Olive wrote its own control software to deliver the best user experience, and it shows. The standard remote is, by contrast, plain and utilitarian – although an iPhone/Touch app is also available. The specs are great, with Ethernet, a rear USB for connection to a suitable hard-disk for backing up your music, and preloaded internet radio access. The original model lacked a digital output to upgrade its sound quality with an external DAC, but now that’s been rectified and a digital out (via USB) is fitted as standard.

The O3HD can perform feats that would elude both the Marantz and many a dearer CD player, and it’s delightful to use. Now that it’s endowed with that digital output, it’s an even more competitive product and deserves recognition.



  • Design: Music Server (Music Servers have Storage Devices Built-in, while Music Streamers do not)
  • DAC: Cirrus Logic CS4351
  • Networking: 10/100/1000 Ethernet
  • File Format Support: MP3, FLAC, WAV, AAC
  • Sample Rates: Up to 24 bit, 192 kHz
  • Inputs: CD drive for Importing Music on Discs, Ethernet for Copying to Internal Drive or Playing from Another Music Server
  • Outputs: Analog Stereo RCA, USB for External HD Backup
  • Storage: 500 GB Hard Drive
  • Dimensions: 2.6″ H x 17.4″ W x 12.3″ D
  • Weight: 10.7 Pounds




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