Following AURALiC’s CES 2014 introduction of its Lightning Streaming technology, the industry’s first whole-house, high-resolution streaming solution that supports both Double-Rate DSD and DXD, the company is now debuting its first product in the Lightning family — ARIES — here at the Munich High-End show..
The ARIES serves as a “bridge” between music files on network storage or high quality online streaming services and the consumers’ DAC — enabling DACs to stream high-resolution music quickly and wirelessly in virtually any sampling rate, including DSD, Double-Rate DSD and DXD.
ARIES is powered by AURALiC’s proprietary Telsa hardware platform that includes a Quad-Core ARM Coretex-A9 processor running at 1GHz, 1GB DDR3 onboard memory and 4GB internal storage. The Telsa 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.
The inputs of ARIES include Dual-Band high-speed WiFi, Gigabit Ethernet and USB 2.0 port. The outputs are USB audio host buffered by AURALiC’s patented ActiveUSB™ technology; low jitter digital audio outputs: AES/EBU, Coaxial and TOSLINK. The USB audio host can deliver PCM from 44.1 to 384 KHz at 16-, 24- and 32-bit resolutions as well as DSD, Double-Rate DSD for compatible USB DAC. The other digital outputs are limited to 192 KHz at 24-bit in maximum according to S/PDIF standard.
ARIES is bundled with AURALiC’s Lightning DS App. The App has the capability to fully control ARIES to browse your music libraries on your network-attached storage (NAS), to steam high quality music content from service providers like Qobuz and WiMP, to control the playback and to select the hardware settings such as output channel and WiFi network, etc. The App also supports Songcast, a music distribution service that allows users to map computer’s sound to any Lightning-equipped system and to map sound between different Lightning systems in the house and streaming sound though Apple AirPlay.
“ARIES will begin a new era in the Hi-Fi industry,” said Xuanqian Wang, the President and CEO of AURALIC LIMITED. “We intentionally set the retail price starting at $999, an extremely affordable entry point, to offer everyone an opportunity to get onboard and enjoy the convenience and high quality music that modern technology can bring to all. AURALiC has invested and budgeted more than $1,000,000 to develop the Lightning Streaming system. We are committed to providing continuous, free online upgrades to improve the performance and compatibility for our solution, as well as to add new exciting functions support in the near future such as local storage playback, DSD upsampling, room acoustics correction and multi-channel.”
The ARIES Streamer Bridge will be available in two models, with shipments starting in June:
ARIES LE: The standard model with low-phase noise crystal and standard external PSU. [$999/€999]
ARIES: The set-up model with two individual Femto Clocks for both USB audio host and digital outputs, low noise internal design to eliminate jitter and AURALiC Purer-Power™ based 10uV low noise external linear PSU. [$1,599/€1,499]