Auralic introduces its first product in the Lightning family. Aries serves as a bridge between music files on network storage or high quality online streaming services and the consumers' DAC - enabling DACs for the first time 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 Tesla hardware platform that includes a Quad-Core ARM Coretex-A9 processor running at 1 GHz, 1 GB DDR3 onboard memory and 4 GB internal storage. The Tesla platform has a calculation ability of 25000 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. By using OpenHome structure which is adopted by UK-based streaming solution manufacturer Linn, Aries as well as all other Lightning based products support several advanced functions such as on-device playlist that allow control software to turn off during play and complete supporting of multi-room, multiple control points - functions that are not part of the legacy standards of the UPnP and DLNA.
Aries also features a 3" OLED display to let users view playback status, and an RC-1 remote to control basic operations without needing to open the Lightning DS App. The Aries streamer bridge will be available in two models, with shipments starting in June. The first model is Aries LE - the standard model with low-phase noise crystal and standard external PSU ($999/€999). The second model is 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 low noise external linear PSU ($1599/€1499). The two models, in handsomely designed enclosures as futuristic as the technology inside, are identical in computing calculation ability, software function and upgrade support plan in the future. Photos by Auralic.