The highly affordable ARIES MINI offers advanced wireless streaming, including Quad-Rate DSD/DXD, a built-in DAC, plus new and effortless connectivity to a much broader market of consumers — the millions of music lovers with stereo & A/V receiver-based or powered speaker-based audio systems — not just Audiophiles. The highly compact unit, with its built-in DAC and analog/digital outputs, shares most software and hardware functions with the original ARIES, plus Bluetooth, at a fraction of the latter’s cost.
Priced at only $549, the ARIES MINI also comes with a free one-year subscription to TIDAL HiFi’s® Lossless music library of 35 million tracks — a $240 value. (U.S. and Canada sales, only)
Other potential applications include a higher-quality, multi-room system when paired with quality, powered speakers. The ARIES MINI offers superior performance, plus increased connectivity and functionality over popular (so-called “hi-fi”) wireless multi-room systems.
Music may live on a computer, on the Internet or in the Cloud — even an SSD/HDD installable inside the ARIES MINI. A USB input allows playing from HDDs and thumbdrives. No matter where, the ARIES MINI will discover and stream music easily to an existing audio system at the highest quality.
“The ARIES MINI begins a new and evolutionary era for the future of the audio industry,” said Xuanqian Wang, President and CEO of AURALIC LIMITED. “We intentionally set the retail price at an extremely affordable entry point to offer everyone an opportunity to enjoy the convenience and Studio Quality music that modern technology can bring to all.
“Digital audio is changing very fast. The digital audio component is becoming a software-driven product, rather than a static piece of hardware out of a box. Manufactures can add new features, functionalities, ease of use and improve the sound quality by software updates — and it will be almost transparent and extremely beneficial for customers. In the future, you will no longer be buying a “box” or static piece of hardware.
Ease of Operation & Use
Set-up is extremely easy and uncomplicated, and with its built-in ESS Sabre DAC chip, analog and digital outputs, and optional 2.5” hard drive slot for anyone who doesn’t want to invest in a dedicated DSD DAC and/or NAS drive, it represents an extremely simple way of adding high-resolution music, or accessing one’s own music library, for the millions of existing stereo and AV receiver-based audio systems. Or high quality powered speakers. Even those Audiophiles with a USB DAC.
For those users wishing to access music stored on their PC/Mac or NAS, AURALiC’s Lightning app uniquely offers simple, step-by-step setup directions on iPad. (iPhone app to come very soon.) The App also supports Songcast, a music distribution service that allows users to map computer’s sound to any Lightning-equipped system and to map sound between different Lightning systems in the house and streaming sound though AirPlay. AURALiC also added Bluetooth support to ARIES MINI, enabling it to access other streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora, and SoundCloud from mobile device or PC/Mac.
Small, Sleek, Powerful + Free TIDAL
The ARIES MINI is an elegantly sleek, minimalist device, befitting its usage by the average music lover or “Lifestyle” customer, measuring a mere 5.3” W x 5.3” D and 1.1” H (13.5cm x 13.5cm x 2.8cm), and weights 1.1 lbs. (without HD). Despite its very compact size, there is also internal space for storage. This is user-installable, and AURALiC may also offer the ARIES MINI with a factory-installed SSD at additional cost.
It is available in both white and black finishes. The ARIES MINI’s small profile and simplicity of operation belies its being the single most powerful wireless High-Resolution music streamer in the world.
As an added convenience, appropriate for a broader spectrum of music lovers, when consumers activate their ARIES MINI through the Lightning DS, they are automatically enrolled in the free TIDAL subscription! (At the end of one year, the user can continue their TIDAL HiFi’s subscription, downgrade to the cheaper $9.99/month service, or discontinue it.)
The Next Generation of Music Systems
The ARIES MINI is an “Evolutionary System”: You are not buying just a “box” — you are investing in an evolving system (For Example: just like an iPhone.) Numerous new features and functionalities have been seamlessly added to the original AURELiC’s streaming system since it was introduced last year. Whenever a new update is available, ARIES MINI will download and install it automatically. For free.
The ARIES MINI can stream Studio Quality music wirelessly via Tri-Band WiFi in virtually any sampling rate, even for the latest Quad-Rate DSD and DXD. It is powered by AURALiC's proprietary Tesla hardware platform that includes a Quad-Core ARM Coretex-A9 processor running at 1GHz, 512MB DDR3 onboard memory and 4GB internal 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.
By using OpenHome structure which is adopted by U.K.-based streaming solution manufacturer Linn, the ARIES MINI, as well as all other Lightning based products, supports 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 Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) and Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA).
The ARIES MINI is also compatible with other OpenHome and uPnP AV based control software such as Linn Kinsky and BubbleDS, although those software do not support most of Lightning DS App’s advanced functions such as the online streaming and hardware settings.
Outputs are: high quality analog RCA jacks, Coaxial and TOSLINK, and USB 2.0 High-Speed for compatible DACs. Inputs are: RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet, High-Speed USB 2.0, and Tri-Band WiFi.
The USB and analog outputs can deliver PCM from 44.1 to 384 KHz at 16-, 24- and 32-bit resolutions as well as the latest Quad-Rate DSD and DXD for compatible USB DACs. The other digital outputs are limited to 192 KHz at 24-bit in maximum according to S/PDIF standard.
The Bottom Line: The average consumer now has many music source choices besides having to connect to a NAS system...
ARIES MINI will be available for pre-order starting by October 9th on AURALiC’s website and selected dealers. The pre-orders will be delivered by the end of the month.