Also consider Wyred4Sound upgraded Sonos
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Could someone PLEASE expand on this and provide a fuller answer. Auralic has great reviews but am I correct in understanding that Auralic only provides an iOS compatible controller via DS Lightening to control their products? Really? There is no way for folks like me who only have Android phones/tablets to control an Auralic product?
I have searched the crap out of this and still found nothing.
chrshanl37 - I recently purchased the Aries Mini and I really like it. This is the first streamer I've used so I can't comment on sound quality or functionality as compared to the other products you mentioned. But it was easy to set up, easy to use, and sounds great. I am using the digital output into a DAC. The set up and control software from Auralic is currently available for iPad from the Apple app store. You will not find it if you search on your iPhone. When I contacted the company they let me know it is currently in beta for iPhone. You have to contact them and they'll provide the link to download the beta.
1extreme - You are correct, support is currently iOS only. Auralic does a poor job of making this clear in their marketing information. Their website seems to have pretty scant details until you really dig into the q&a section. I contacted their customer support to figure out which systems & devices were being supported.
It's confusing because there are reviews and old posts on various audio forums which refer to iPhone and Android versions of their app. Auralic has since discontinued Android support entirely and iPhone temporarily. They told me they are working on a web interface for the controller as well, but no release date had been set yet.
Hope you find this info helpful.
Auralic is working on a web based interface to control it. Hopefully, it will work in Android Chrome Browser. Kind of a work-around for not having an Android App. When I spoke to them a few months ago, they told me that there were just too many problems in developing an Android App and they were going to focus on IOS. They would not go into detail about what problems with Android.
I so wanted to get an Aries Mini to replace my Squeezebox. Not only is it a streaming client, but it can also function as a server. This would have allowed me to get rid of my dedicated server. Oh well, guess I'll have to look elsewhere.
I've been keeping an eye on the Bluesound node 2. I've been waiting for the App to become more mature. I picked up a Definitive W-amp about a year ago and it took about 9 months for the App to hit the sweet spot. For the first 9 months or so, I was listening to my squeezebox two through the digital input on the W-Amp. Finally, after about 6 months, and many hours on the phone with Definitive and Play-Fi, they finally got the App to access my recorded music. About two months ago, they added the ability to switch inputs from the App. So, it's become a lot more usable. BTW, this is all stuff Sonos could do for years.
It's seams like everybody and their Uncle is coming coming out with a streaming player/speaker line. They're even building streaming clients into receivers and processors these days. For those looking to it on the cheap, the Google Chromecast gives you 90% of a Sonos Connect for $35.00. Have an older receiver, pre-amp, soundbar, powered speakers or anything with an audio input? Double-side sticky tape a Chromecast to the back of it and instantly it's a streaming client.
I'm on the fence for the moment for the resaons you state prpixel. With so many new choices out there right now I want to wait and see how it all shakes out. I'll stick with Sonos for now because the interface is unbeatable. Once all the other devices catch up in that regard I'll pull the trigger. Thanks for the responses guys.
My vote goes to the Aries Mini. The number one reason why I like it: it has an USB digital out which feeds right into my Halo Integrated. You may sarcastically say "big deal". But this allows full integration with the DAC as I now can feed the DAC with its highest supported formats (in PCM and DSD). Just in hardware alone the Aries shows itself superior:
-benchmark ESS DAC
-latest wireless AC protocol - connected to my AirPort Extreme 5Ghz band and it's as good as as a wired connection. In fact this is the primary connection type suggested by Auralic
-quad core CPU
-double the Node 2's ram
-ability to add a internal storage drive. Added a 512 Gb mechanical drive that I had laying around the house and it works flawlessly!
these factors alone are worth the $550 admission price! Throw in a free 1 year subscription ($240) on top of all that - sign me up!
The new iPhone interface looks beautiful and is extremely easy to setup and use.
You will not find anything close in terms of hardware and functionality at the Aries Mini's price point.
Sonos modified by W4S with linear power supply as an addition. Best interface and SQ tested.
It best the Auralic aries Premium by a large margin.
I only use Tidal hirez and it is on par with RBCD.
Auralic's Android app was a total let down and totally unuseable for me.
Boy was i surprised and was hoping that the Aries could replace the Sonos in terms of SQ!
If you are running a NAS or HDD storage, then i cannot comment as i do not stream files of my own.
Basically, you will find a few mod companies for the Sonos.
A power supply mod replaces the whole switch mode tiny PSU, which W4S does not do.
Look at fidelity audio which has the psu mod but not the upsampling portion.
Either get the W4S and have a custom psu connected, it runs 12v and also a 3.3v which can be tapped of the 12v, 2A psu will be fine.
Or, if you cannot have the PSU customed (seperate unit), you could go with offering with a linear PSU and add the W4S remedy reclocker. This option adds more in cables.
The works run into to an esoteric dac equals redbook cd's played by the esoteric transport, though very slight and negligable presentation differences.
This works if you are not into hi-rez music, i don't find many titles for hirez interesting. A lot is also hit and miss! Totally satisfied with cd quailty upsampled.
The reason why upsampling is important with the sonos is that it opens up the sound making music more transparent and have better separation (more hirez sounding, if you would) and you really need this option together with a good psu, like for any piece of equipment is critical.
I do run my router direct with wireless function off, power also by a linear psu.
Well I just sprang for an Auralic Aries Mini found a nearly new one here with an ssd drive installed for a good price it arrives tomorrow. No issues with my Sonos except for one, the 2.4ghz network here, downtown DC, is massively crowded leading to dropouts particularly on weekend and peak evening hours. The 5ghz band is relatively uncrowded and much faster and the Aries can run on 5ghz. So I'll see how it sounds vs Sonos and compare the functionality. I have an iphone to run the Lightning DS app any word on a web based controller?
FWIW, I purchased a Bluesound Node 2 about a month ago. It replaced my Mac mini (2012, i7, 256GB SSD, 16GB RAM) and I couldn't be happier. It has equaled, if not surpassed, the mini in every aspect, including sound quality. Even the onboard DAC is pretty nice if you care to use it that way. On the whole, it's a pretty nice package at its price point.
Just added the Sbooster power supply to the Aries mini what a nice upgrade! A little more $ than the Auralic Linear power supply picked mine up from Acoustic Sounds for $380, adds great flow and depth to the music. Also got my ipad mini another great product much better than using my phone. I have to say I am very happy all around better sound and better performance than my Sonos and I really like the Lightning DS controller app.
@jond Are you using the built-in DAC? If so, let me spend your money by saying that you have significant upgrade potential with most external DACs. That dac isn't really up to the quality of the server portion of the Mini, nor to the rest of your gear. So if it sounds great now using the built-in dac, even bluer skies are ahead. Cheers,
In looking to buy one this month but not sure when they may change the auralic mini. Which unit has the best sound quality in stock format blue sound or auralic mini, which has the best potential sound quality? I want to stream tidal through a streamer. My budget new or used is under $600. I have primaluna prologue 2 and omega 3xrs speakers. I have a Concero Jd and bel canto Dac 2. I love soundstage , imaging and resolution. Female vocals acoustic guitar and piano are the instruments I like. I don't listen to much complicated music.
You know, if Auralic just made a player that was compatible with Squeezelite we’d be done!
Squeezelite is an open source music player that runs on Linux and makes it behave like a Squeezebox. So many player appliances are based on Linux this is often rather easy to do.
It also makes it rather easy to turn a Rasbperry Pi 3 to an Asynch USB 2.0 source.
OP, are you stuck on Deezer Elite?
"Deezer Elite is only available on your Sonos system." So unless Deezer needs to update their website, there's that.
If not, I'd say Tidal opens up way more possibilities of compatible hardware. Cheers,
Just thought I would respond to this thread as I now own both of these streaming devices. I bought the Auralic Aries Mini first mainly for the DSD capabilities of the unit. Also for the free year of Tidal Hi-Fi that was included in the deal. A nice bonus is that I can now play full 24/192 Tidal MQA content using the USB output on the Aries Mini and the USB input on my MQA-ready Mytek Brooklyn DAC. Sounds fantastic. I recently bought a Node 2 as part of a Sonos replacement setup. The Node 2 is great, but lacks a pass-through MQA function that would allow my external DAC to fully process the MQA signal. I have contacted MQA, Mytek and Bluesound about this and all three companies acknowledge the problem and say they are looking into it. One more note - you cannot get Deezer Elite streaming on any device but Sonos. A rep from Bluesound told me it would work, but it doesn't. Let me know if you are interested in further info/thoughts on this....
I have them all, but not Mini. I have Altair and I have Paradigm Shift Power AMP too. Depend how is your setup.
Altair I run direct to mono block Vincent SP-998 to VR4j (Tidal MQA)
Sonos Magna Hifi mod with external DACmini to my Tube Preamp to Halo A21 to Opera Seconda (Deezer Elite)
Node 2 for desktop, Analog to Sony Amplifier UDA1 for Headphone (Tidal MQA) and UDA1 decode Hi Res DSD too
Paradigm Shift Power AMP I run Monitor Bronze 2 (Tidal Hifi)
I love them all