Having recently released its Gemini 1000 and 2000 headphone amplifier/stand/DACs, AURALiC’s took a big step forward at CES 2014 by announcing (or at least previewing) its versatile new $999 Aries wireless streaming DAC bridge and proprietary Lightning software package. The Aries/Lightning package enables virtually any DAC to wirelessly stream DSD, double DSD, DXD, and high-res PCM audio files with minimal fuss and bother. Anyone for a bolt-on, high-res, wireless streaming solution?
Note: At CES, the Aries pre-production demo unit was housed within the repurposed enclosure of AURALiC’s famous Vega digital audio processor. However, company founder Xuanqian Wang emphasized that the production Aries will have a much smaller and simpler enclosure finished in an understated shade of black. The train of thought, he said, is that people who already own luxurious, statement-class DACs might want to use the Aries to add high-res wireless streaming capabilities to their existing equipment, but might not necessarily wish to place the Aries front-and-center in their equipment racks. (Besides, the simpler case should help hold the price down…).
At CES the venerable German headphone manufacturer celebrated its 90th (!) anniversary whilst rolling out two new headphone amplifiers: the A200p portable amp/DAC ($299), which was developed in conjunction with Astell & Kern.
Another strong new offering was the A20 high-performance desktop headphone amplifier ($749).
In addition to the new amps Beyerdynamic also rolled out a handful of affordably priced earphones: namely, the DX160e ($109) and DX120ie ($79).