Auralic Aries II Music Streamer

MSRP: $1,599

From great OpenHome / DLNA support to AirPlay to top notch Tidal HiFi integration to super sound quality to outstanding upgradability, Auralic has hit a home run with the Aries. – Computeraudiophile.com

Product Description

Auralic Aries II Specifications

Streaming ServicesLocal uPnP Library Media Playback
Tidal Audio
Qobuz and WiMP Online Streaming Services
Internet Radio
Songcast and AirPlay
USB Hard Drive Media Payback
Supported FilesAAC, AIFF, ALAC, APE, DIFF, DSF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, WV and WMA
Sampling RatesPCM in 44.1KHz – 384KHz at 16 - 24bits
DSD 2.8224MHz and 5.6448MHz
Control SoftwareAURALiC Lightning DS App on iOS, Android, OS X and Windows OpenHome compatible software like BubbleDS, Kinsky uPnP AV 1.0 control points
Server ProtocolCompatible with uPnP media Servers
On-Device Display3” 256*64px OLED
InputsRJ45 Gigabit Ethernet
Dual-Band 802.11ac Wireless Connection
USB 2.0 High-Speed for external storage
OutputsUSB 2.0 High-Speed for compatible USB DAC, AES/EBU, COAXICAL, TOSLINK
Internal ClockDual 240fs Femto-Clocks For USB and Digital Outputs
Power SupplyPurer-Power Internal Design 10uV Low Noise external PSU
Dimensions10" x 8" x 2.75" (L x D x H)
Weight4 pounds without external power supply

Analog Audio's Review of the Auralic Aries II Music Streamer

We first heard of the Auralic Aries at the CES 2014 show. The product seemed to offer everything us old-timers have been asking for: Ease of use, flexibility and  great sound. While it was still in pre-production, the  design and engineering was impressive. It was clear Auralic very much understood what the audiophile market was asking for and was prepared to deliver.

We monitored developments of the Auralic Aries and were very pleased when we received our unit last summer. Not only did it check every box on our original wish list, it also incorporated features like Tidal Audio streaming service and support for DSD, Double DSD and DXD playback. Needless to say, we are very excited about the Aries II and feel it is a true game-changer in the rapidly growing computer audio market.

detail_2-webThe product excels in three areas: technology, user interface and sound quality. Without going into lengthy discussions about the technical features  (For more details, I recommend the ComputerAudiophile.com review found here), we will simply say that the product has elegantly handled all the network and computer issues we have thrown at it. From high speed wireless communication to massive music files, the Aries has breezed through them with ease.

The User Interface is where the rubber meets the road. Without an easy way to use the Aries, technological features are useless. Auralic has gone out of its way to make software that is both extremely easy to use and yet flexible enough to allow you to set up your system to meet your needs. Further, switching between your music library and online streaming sites is so simple that you quickly forget where the music is coming from, and that is the point of this whole product. The Lightning DS software operates on the iOS operating system (iPads, iPhones) and is downloaded from the App Store. We have never used a product designed for audiophiles that was so easy to install and use.

artwork_4-webNone of this matters if the Aries messes with the quality of the music. It is easy to assume that any product that gets between your music server and your DAC is going to degrade sound quality. Quite to the contrary, we felt the Aries produced a more open and musical soundstage than our Mac Mini system. Perhaps it is the elimination of a full computer in the delivery chain or maybe that the Aries is such a streamlined process specific product, the results were clear: the Aries sounded better than our reference system.

The Auralic Aries II Music Streamer is the real deal. Outstanding design and execution, wonderful control software and top shelf sound quality makes this a must have product in your rack. If you are like us and primarily a vinyl user, the Aries is an easy way to utilize streaming music services without the need of being a computer scientist. For those who are experienced digital connoisseurs, the Aries provides top-notch technical benefits that will allow you to take your system to a new level.

Make a point of auditioning this product. It is not a matter of if you will like it, but when you will order one. It is that good.

 

 

About Analog Audio of Minnesota

Analog Audio of Minnesota offers world class stereo equipment to the Minneapolis/St. Paul and greater Minnesota area. Located in Maple Grove, Analog Audio of Minnesota provides a unique environment to audition home audio equipment and the latest record releases. Come visit us for all of your home audio and two channel stereo system needs.

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Analog Audio of Minnesota prides itself in its service. We offer in-home consultations in the greater Twin Cities area to learn about your goals and provide expertise to guide you through the purchase process. Of course, your stereo equipment will be expertly set up and optimized in your home by our service technicians. Questions with your audio equipment? Not to worry, our service staff is available to assist you.

To learn more about Analog Audio of Minnesota, please visit our About Us page. Ready to set up an appointment to audition a component or learn about our products and services?  Give us a call at (612)808-0709 or drop us a note. We look forward to hearing from you.