Auralic Aries users

Interested in replacing my EAR Acute CDP and Squeezebox Touch with a one box solution. I've been researching this a long time, but really want a wireless solution that improves upon the sound quality I'm getting out of my SB Touch for listening to Pandora and possibly Spotify, while matching the sound of my EAR cdp when streaming downloads (assuming I get a respectable DAC).  The Auralic Aries looks to be a potentially good fit, as the price is right and it's wireless.

I use AT&T U-Verse for cable & internet service. Wireless via AT&T provided router located in the same room as my listening system in 18' x 26' room... so wireless connectivity should not be an issue.

1. I have my CD's ripped to I tunes in AIFF via I-Mac i, but I did not use any special ripping software. I only have 160 CD's... so if it would be better from a SQ standpoint, I can re-ripp using something like DBpoweramp to my MacPro laptop. Do you think this is recommended... or will the Aries view the AIFF files on my I-tunes the same as if I re-rip using DBPoweramp?

2. I'm not interested in paying $20 monthly subscription for TIDAL, but listen to Pandora a lot and want to try Spotify Premium ($10 monthly), but understand I'd have to use Airplay (?) to stream these services thru the Aries, correct.  Having not used Airplay before, can I assume it's relatively seamless interacting with the Aries?

3. Can I assume the sound quality of Pandora thru the Aries with a decent DAC will trump what I'm currently hearing thru my SB Touch?

4. Any benefit getting the latest version of I Pad vs. older, less expensive versions with regards to sound quality and/or compatibility with the Aries?

Hundreds of comments on this topic as well as the usability of the Auralic Lightning DS app which is what you control it with via Ipad (later iphone app coming. Android support abandoned). Find them all on computeraudiophile. Cheers,
I'm not one to get into all the technical details, but I'm very happy with my Aries. I do use Tidal, and the music selection and quality when played wirelessly thru Chrome on my Macbook is incredible. I have also been successful with an iPad to the Aries, but I don't recall what generation iPad. It's probably about two years old.

I have played ripped CD's that are on my Macbook, and I can't hear the difference between those CD's and Tidal. The Aries / Tidal  combo is all about music selection, convenience of freeing up my Macbook, and relatively good quality. That's a good combination for a mid-level system.

I can't help with a comparison to any other arrangement like Squeezebox, but I have no regrets related to the Aries.

I just pulled the trigger on an Aries & Luxman DA-06 DAC linked by a Wireworld Platinum Starlight USB cable.
I have been using Auralic Aries since March 2015. Initially, I had to struggle to get it worked. I have been consulting with Auralic team which I find very responsive and great attitude.

For the best sounding, I strongly suggest other users to use Wireless connection. I used wired for almost 8 month and Auralic informed me to try wireless. I was reluctant and ignorant.

But one day, I changed that and OMG..I regretted why I didn't listen to them earlier.

For other upgrade, try replacing its linear power supply. I am using hoer-wege PS which I find, amazing product. It goes hand in hand with Auralic Aries.
After almost two frustrating weeks of working through bugs and waiting for the support team to get back to me, I threw in the towel and returned the Aries.  

I've since moved on to a Music Vault Diamond music server.  Outstanding sound, outstanding personalized service at setup and trouble-free operation.   I highly recommend Music Vault and it's proprietor, Neal at Sound Science.