Streamer of the Year: AURALiC ARIES wireless streaming bridge
The disarmingly simple looking AURALiC ARIES is in fact a hyper-versatile digital audio content delivery system. In simple terms, ARIES can locate, catalogue, and then transfer high-res digital audio content from just about anywhere (for example, from NAS drives, network-attached uPnP/DLNA-compatible computers, Internet Radio stations, subscription-based streaming services such as Qobuz or TIDAL, AirPlay or Songcast-compatible sources, or even from a local USB music library drive) to whatever DAC or digital playback device you might choose. Importantly, though, ARIES is not just a digital audio ‘router’-type device; rather, it is a sophisticated yet surprisingly intuitive digital audio playback control system that gives fingertip access to entire worlds of digital audio content, while letting users control the proceedings from their iPads. Better still, ARIES sounds so good that to surpass its performance one should expect to spend several times what the ARIES system costs, and possibly more. (Reviewed in Issue 130).