High-End Munich has surely earned the title as the ‘Mother of all High-end Audio Shows’ where the good news is that it showcases products from all over the globe, but the bad news is that it’s big—really big. What this means, inevitably, is that we can give you only a small ‘sampling taste’ of a handful of the hundreds of impressive new components on display at the show.
One of my coverage areas for the show included Digital Source components and in consultation with Editor Alan Sircom I have decided to offer a ‘Baker’s Dozen’ of the digital source components I saw at the show. This is not a ‘Top 13’ list or anything of the sort; rather it is an eclectic ‘sampler’ offered in hopes of conveying the sheer variety of digital components on exhibit.
Note: In keeping with the international character of this show, prices show may be quoted in euros, pounds, or dollars—depending on the manufacturer.
AudioQuest Jitterbug jitter reduction device
The modest-looking AudioQuest JitterBug ($49) is said to reduce jitter by cleaning up the USB voltage bus and filtering out noise on the USB data bus. The tiny device can be used in-line between the USB source and the USB signal cable, or can be used ‘in parallel’ by plugging the JitterBug into an adjacent USB port.
AURALiC ARIES MINI wireless streaming node/DAC
Following on the heels of AURALiC’s larger ARIES wireless streaming bridge, the new ARIES MINI offers many of the features of its bigger brother, but at the dramatically reduced price of $399 US—making ARIES MINI one of the least expensive high-res streaming solutions on the market. The ARIES MINI can pull digital audio files from an optional internal HDD/SSD memory or from attached USB drives, NAS drives, or other network resources, then play those files via USB, or coaxial/optical S/PDIF. The USB output supports PCM up to 383/32, DXD, and DSD up to DSD256). Basically, the cost of high-res streaming just got a lot more affordable.