Auralic Aries Mini Music Streamer
Auralic Aries Mini
Streaming up to Double DSD wirelessly AND affordably!
The Aries Mini is the latest member of Auralic's lightning product line. The Aries Mini is a wireless streaming node designed for your existing audio system connection. It enables your home stereo with wireless high-resolution streaming capability at an affordable price.
No DAC Necessary with Analog Outputs
The Aries Mini shares all existing software and hardware functions of our original popular streaming bridge: ARIES, In addition, The Aries Mini has a pair of high quality analog outputs powered by ESS Sabre DAC chip: ES9018K2M. The built-in storage slot accepts any 2.5-inch hard drive or solid-state drive, which can be used to build your personal music library.
Stream Almost Any Audio Format Wirelessly. Up to Quad DSD!
The Aries Mini can stream high-resolution music extremely fast over WiFi signal at virtually any sampling rate, even for the latest Quad-Rate DSD and DXD. It is powered by AURALiC's proprietary Tesla hardware platform including a Quad-Core ARM Coretex-A9 processor running at 1GHz, 512MB DDR3 onboard memory and 4GB internal data storage. The Tesla platform has a calculation ability of 25,000 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.
Through Lightning DS, AURALiC’s control software, The Aries Mini can stream music stored on network attached storage, USB disk and optional internal storage. It also supports TIDAL, Qobuz and WiMP lossless streaming services. The other streaming sources are vTuner Internet Radio, AirPlay from Apple devices and Songcast for Windows and Mac system.
The input of the Aries Mini includes: Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11ac dual-band WiFi, USB input and optional internal storage such as 2.5’ hard disk or solid-state drive. The digital audio outputs include: Coaxial and Toslink with maximum supported sampling rate up to 24Bit/192k. The single-ended analog output drive by internal DAC supports all sampling rate up to Quad-Rate DSD and DXD.
The dimension of ARIES MINI is 13.5*13.5*2.8cm (W*D*H), weight at about 800 grams depends on different internal storage options. It is available in two colours: white and black.
excellent music server
Posted by michael on 13th Sep 2016
I really like my Aires Mini music server. It offers audiophile sound at an amazing price point. in a very compact package. It serves thousands of Internet radio stations, Tidal cd quality or better streaming, and your own music library stored on an external or even internal SSD or HD. I put a 1TB SSD in it and copied about 500 CDs to it. It includes a dac that even decodes hi res files. It's versatile, cheap, and so small it's portable.
Great sound and a great value
Posted by Unknown on 17th Feb 2016
What Auralic has managed to squeeze into this tiny unit is phenomenal. I have been using a Sonos system for over 10 years now, waiting for them to come out with a high resolution solution.
I have a decent collection of ripped DVD-Audio disks, as well as some music from HDtracks. I also just sent in 42 SACD's to be archived to disk so that I can stream them as well. I also stream from TIDAL, and am looking forward to MQA streaming in the near future.
I downloaded a bunch of test tracks from 2l.no to test out the unit. There is a noticeable difference between CD quality (uncompressed) and all of the higher-resolution formats. My ears can't tell the difference between the highest-bitrate formats, but I thought the DSD64 and 192/24 sounded slightly better than the 48/24 and 96/24 versions. I am going to do a blind test with my wife at the controls some time and see if it is really as noticeable as I think.
I also streamed TIDAL through the system, and it sounded about the same as the 10-year-old Sonos.
BUT - and here is where the value is - it has a terrific DAC. The Sonos is going through a very nice DAC in my Emotiva XMC-1, and I can tell no difference between the two. In addition, the Auralic DAC gives me a couple settings for the DAC, which the Emotiva does not. I will probably get a second Aries for my downstairs system, which is a mostly-analog system with a Peachtree DAC. This would clear out the Peachtree and Sonos with a smaller unit that does it all, and plays the hi-res formats as well.
This little device almost completely replaces my Sonos. But not quite. The real issue is that only Apple products are supported for control. You need an iPad to set this up. Nothing else will do (maybe the new iPhone app, didn't have an iPhone to try). I had to dig a 1st-generation iPad out of a box of old tech to get the system up and running. Fairly intuitive UI, considering the amount of options. More difficult than Sonos, but Sonos doesn't have the ability to read from an internal hard drive or external USB drive!
Where Sonos wins hands-down is the music browsing experience. If you have a large music library, or use multiple streaming services, Sonos is quicker and easier. It is also easier to add to (and locate) the queue, and to create/save playlists. I imagine this is something Auralic will get better at over time.
Overall I am very impressed, and excited to finally have a way to stream hi-res audio. Without breaking the bank.