Amplifiers, DACs, headphone amplifiers, and speakers; all expertly crafted around a natural and cohesive sound. The Auris Audio components stand-out from the pack for challenging the conventions of both industrial design and sound. After hearing two systems from Auris at Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, more than a few of Auris’ stable of products should be added to your auditioning short list.
Auris Audio may be an unfamiliar name to many of you, and rightly so as it was recently founded in 2013 by a Milomir Trosic. The company’s focus has to been to delight the visual and auditory senses of audiophiles simultaneously through a combination of advanced audio engineering and material artistry. Lofty goals as they are, I think Mr. Trosic and Auris have done well so far, from what I’ve seen and heard firsthand. Milomir’s dedication to keeping his audio engineers engaged with his craftsmen has paid off. This joint effort in sound and commitment to beauty has produced an alluring collection of luxury audio components from Eastern Europe that are as visually seductive as they are sonically captivating.
Starting in the tower, I made my way to the Auris room, ready to hear what I only had a glimpse of during my previous encounter with Auris Audio in the Axpona Expo Hall, which can be read HERE. Now with Auris in a dedicated room I can wrap my attention around the sonic signature that I first heard over headphones in the spring of 2018.
First off, the Auris Poison 8’s which are 4-way towers — which also I first heard in the Axpona expo hall — from the front is vertically inverted driver plate upon which a ribbon tweeter and custom Italian mid-driver are loaded. The mid-driver is made exclusively made for Auris by Fountek. Finally each tower receives a Beyma 8-inch bass driver, which lives on either side of the cabinet, it is totally up to your discretion. However, every time I’ve heard the Auris in-room systems, the bass drivers are facing outward toward the room boundaries.
Feeding the speakers were a tandem of Auris components; the Fortissimo integrated and D2D DAC. The Fortissimo is Auris’ flagship push-pull integrated which features up to 100 watts of tube power available in either class-A or class-AB mode. The tube compliment is four KT-120’s, and four ECC-99’s. The amplifier section is 8-ohm or 4-ohm stable per channel. Around back are three RCA inputs, and one pair of XLR inputs. On either side of the integrated’s enclosure, a slab of wood yet unidentified. Beautiful to look at, the wood also serves to insulate the chassis from outward vibration. In my opinion, more companies should do this. Bring back the wood!
Notable is that the integrated itself does not contain a built in DAC or phonostage. Auris makes single chassis components for those duties. On hand for RMAF was the D2D High-End DAC. The D2D is the biggest brother of their two DAC lineup. It features PCM 32Bit/384Khz and DSD Native codecs. On the top, power and source control toggles, around back three coax, three optical, and one Amanero USB input; output is to one stereo pair of RCA jacks. There is a small antenna on the back, and for the life of me I don’t know what it does. But I believe it has something to do with the Amanero USB.
In the Can Jam I had a chance to see Auris’ newest headphone amplifier, the Nirvana. The Auris Nirvana made its American debut at RMAF, and I was excited to see it. 6.5 watts of tube power, coming from ECC99’s and EL34’s — what is not to like? The unit is also powerful enough to drive high-efficiency speakers, and because of that, Auris constructed a combo version labeled the Nirvana C. Futhermore, front facing VU meters, and four line level inputs around back. I’m sold.
The upstairs room sound is what I will focus on for now. Balance and imaging are the story to tell. Across the spectrum I heard and felt a steady balance in output, even as we climbed the volume scale. The Poison 8’s are capable of presenting a massive soundstage, and in tandem with the Fortissimo, are capable of filling that soundstage with lively dynamics. Imaging of the Poison 8’s are what I think most will find to be initially shocking. With a slender front baffle, the Auris’ do well to disappear and paint a detail picture of instrument and vocal placement, without forgetting about depth either. Tonally smooth mid-range, I credit the tube topology for rendering string textures and leading attacks with detailed and fluid motions. Overall, I’m quite impressed with the one-brand offering and synergy delivered by Auris.
– Fortissimo Integrated Amplifier – $10,999 USD
– D2D High End DAC – $2,499 USD
– Poison 8 Loudspeakers – $9,899 USD
Cables by ZenSati
Can Jam #31
– Hedonia Headphone Amplifier – $7,399 USD
– HA2 Headphone Amplifier – $1,999 USD
– Nirvana Headphone Amplifier – $5,799 USD
– D1D High End DAC – $1,999 USD