I've had an Aries Mini for a few years now and love the Lightning DS app. I find it very intuitive and easy to use. Make sure to sign on as a Beta user that way you get all the updates automatically.
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The lightning app is about the best app to control an Auralic product with although I do dislike IOS software in general.
You can also control it with Bubbleupnp from android devices if you do not like Apple devices.
Not quite as intuitive but still gets the job done.
I used both for an Aries Mini until I sold and went with a super integrated and had no need of a separate streaming unit any longer.
One point to bear in mind the Lightning app will NOT work on anything below ios11. So this rules out all older ipads, iPods and iPhones.
I had to buy an ipad mini2 just to run the darn app!
Actually no surprise at all as when Apple rolled out ios11 and declared a huge number of devices would not be capable of updating to it, they made them near obsolete overnight.
Well, I just bought the Auralic Aries G2 - my priority was sound quality. I’m still auditioning it but can now comment on the app. I own an Aurender N100H, Bluesound Node 2 and previously auditioned a Lumin U1 mini. I haven’t used Roon but am thinking if I keep the Auralic, I’ll need Roon. I’d personally rank them as follows:
1 - Aurender Conductor - is easily the best of the ones I have used. It’s the most intuitive and organized.
2 - Bluesound
3 - Lumin - some things I like, but the interface seems less polished.
4 - Auralic Lighting DS.
A) No easy ability to adjust settings on the unit (for instance, I can’t turn on/off digital outputs. I’d need to do a complete reset of the unit and start over on these outputs. Really?
B) Adding a music library from a NAS is clunky in comparison too. Bluesound was as well, but still better than Auralic.
C) Search functions (whether in Tidal or library) is not intuitive in comparison. Aurender conductor is terrific.
D) Lack of Spotify as a streaming service. It’s possible this is device specific but it isn’t supported on the G2. I stream Tidal primarily but also have a Spotify premium account as there is more content there. Not available on my G2 as far as I can tell.
As I also have an Aurender - let me throw a few criticisms their way too. Aurender doesn’t support Roon. As I’ve said, their Conductor app is the best I’ve used, so this is less problematic - except that Conductor also can only be operated from an iPad. If Roon was supported, that wouldn’t be problematic as Roon can run on multiple devices. I have a system in a remote location where our adult children use it. As i don’t want to dedicate an iPad to control the unit, this is a severe limitation.
In that regard, Bluesound might be the best of all. It supports Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify, etc. and is a Roon endpoint. Bluesound can be driven on an iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. Lumin is similarly flexible.