Earlier this year, Colorado-based Ayre Acoustics previewed its new ‘8 series’ of hifi components at the Munich High-End Show and the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest. Now, the first product in the series, the EX-8 integrated ‘hub’ amplifier, arrives on the market and comes to the UK via a new distribution agreement with Decent Audio.

The new entry-level 8 series joins Ayre’s existing ‘R’ and ‘5’ series, customers can expect technology and craftsmanship to trickle down from the upper end of the range into the 8 series. First to launch, the EX-8 is a 100-watt per channel (into 8 ohms) integrated amplifier with many inputs and options. Hence Ayre’s use of the term ‘integrated hub’.

Like all Ayre components, the EX-8 features fully balanced circuits with all discrete components and zero negative feedback. Unique technologies developed by Ayre that have filtered down from the award-winning (and higher priced) ‘R’ and ‘5’ series include an Equilock gain stage, Variable Gain (VGT) volume circuit and Ayre’s patent-pending Asynchronous S/PDIF interface. The EX-8 has three analogue inputs (one balanced) and up to six digital inputs (Ethernet, USB, AES/EBU, S/PDIF and two Toslink). With the Ethernet module installed, it is Roon-ready and pre-configured to stream Spotify, Qobuz, and Tidal. What’s more, it’s designed to be upgradeable for inevitable future technologies. Ayre’s Double-Diamond output stage and pure linear analogue power supplies produce 100 watts of power, allowing the EX-8 to partner effortlessly with your favourite loudspeakers. There’s also a dedicated built-in headphone amplifier.

The Ayre Acoustics EX-8 integrated ‘hub’ amplifier is available now, priced as follows (incl. VAT).

Analogue inputs only                                                       £5,750

Digital base (analogue & S/PDIF inputs)                         £6,750

USB (digital base plus asynchronous USB)                    £7,250

Net (digital base plus Ethernet)                                       £7,500

Full (digital base plus asynchronous USB Ethernet)       £7,750

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