I’ve heard all manner of horror stories. High-End is huge. Jammed with people. I’d never cover it all, especially if I had to wait in lines. So, natch, I collected my badge early. Unlike CES, however, the goon squad was not present day-before, so wandering the pre-completed show floor was as simple as doing.
One of the things I found, that day-before, was a new streamer from AURALiC.
Xuanqian Wang, AURALiC’s head wizard, laughed and shook his head. “You can’t talk about this until Thursday!” I assured him that I was nowhere near that organized, upon which he then sent me the press release that he planned to bomb out at some point over the weekend. I’ve included it here. Highlights: unlike the Aries Streamer, the Mini is actually a DAC too. And the price? $399 US. Shazam. Availability will be this summer. Darko has much more over at Digital Audio Review.
Munich HIGHEND show, 14th May 2015 – AURALiC launches ARIES MINI, a new member of its lightning product line. ARIES MINI is a wireless streaming node designed for your existing audio system connection. It enables your home stereo with wireless high-resolution streaming capability at an affordable price.
ARIES MINI shares all existing software and hardware functions of our original popular streaming bridge: ARIES, which launched last year on the HighEnd Munich show. In additional, ARIES MINI has a pair of high quality analog output powered by ESS Sabre DAC chip: ES9018K2M. The built-in storage slot accepts any 2.5-inch hard drive or solid- state drive, which can be used to build your personal music library.
ARIES MINI can stream high-resolution music extremely fast over WiFi signal at virtually any sampling rate, even for the latest Quad-Rate DSD and DXD. It is powered by AURALiC’s proprietary Tesla hardware platform including a Quad-Core ARM Coretex-A9 processor running at 1GHz, 512MB DDR3 onboard memory and 4GB internal data storage. The Tesla platform has a calculation ability of 25,000 MIPS, more than enough
to decode a vast spectrum of audio formats, including AAC, AIFF, ALAC, APE, DIFF, DSF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, WV and WMA.
‘We are trying to create something that is affordable for most music lover, not just audiophile,’ said Xuanqian Wang, the CEO of AURALiC. ‘ARIES MINI is exactly the right product for anyone who is eager to experience the wireless high-resolution streaming technology but don’t want to spend a lot of budget on a dedicate DSD DAC or a NAS drive. It is the real DSD streamer for everyone.’
Through Lightning DS, AURALiC’s control software, ARIES MINI can stream music stored on network attached storage, USB disk and optional internal storage. It also supports TIDAL, Qobuz and WiMP lossless streaming services. The other streaming sources are vTuner Internet Radio, AirPlay from Apple devices and Songcast for Windows and Mac system.
The input of ARIES MINI includes Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac dual-band WiFi, USB input and optional internal storage such as 2.5’ hard disk or solid-state drive. The outputs are USB audio that is compatible with DACs, which do not required drive to work on Mac system. The digital audio outputs include Coaxial and Toslink with maximum supported sampling rate up to 24Bit/192k. The single-ended analog output drive by internal DAC supports all sampling rate up to Quad-Rate DSD and DXD.
The dimension of ARIES MINI is 13.5*13.5*2.8cm (W*D*H), weight at about 800 grams depends on different internal storage options. It is available in two colours: white and black.
AURALiC and its Europe partners are accepting pre-order right now. The company will start shipping these pre-orders by the end of July in Europe first. The Retail price of ARIES MINI is EUR 459 or USD 399 in U.S.
ARIES MINI Specifications
- Local uPnP/DLNA library content
- TIDAL, Qobuz and WiMP online streaming vTuner Internet Radio
- AirPlay and Songcast
- USB and internal hard drive files
Supported File Types: AAC, AIFF, ALAC, APE, DIFF, DSF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, WV and WMA
Sampling Rates: PCM in 44.1Khz – 384Khz at 16 – 32bits DSD64, DSD128, DSD256
Processor: 1GHz Quad-Core ARM cortex A9 512MB DDR3 SDRAM
Memory: 512MB DDR3 SDRAM
Data Storage: 4GB MLC SSD
Built-In DAC: ESS Sabre ES9018K2M
- Gigabit Ethernet
- 2.4/5GHz 802.11ac dual-band WiFi External USB storage
- Optional Internal Storage
Digital Outputs: USB Audio Class 2 Coaxial, TOSLINK
Analog Outputs: Single-ended RCA
Dimensions: Weight: 13.5cm x 13.5cm x2.8cm (W x L x H) About 800g