AURALiC Altair Wireless Streaming DAC $1899 Review

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“I remember being blown away by the AURALiC Vega playing DSD files. I can’t be positive because the Vega left my sound room many months ago, but I wasn’t as impressed with the Altair on DSD. Don’t get me wrong, DSD sounded great but just not as great as I remembered with the Vega. With DSD I had more of a sensation of listening to musicians playing in a definable space rather than in a studio. There was more air and separation more often on DSD than on .flac. ”

OPPO Digital Sonica DAC Review

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“The Sonica DAC on really well-recorded material can hold its own with any format with bass reproduction. Having said that, I must mention that with at least 75% of the digital recordings I have, the bass still seemed to have a one-note quality and lacked in air compared to my vinyl system. Admittedly, my vinyl system cost over $30,000 compared to $800 for the Sonica DAC. Still, this is no reflection on the Sonica DAC but the sad state of many digital recordings.”

Simaudio Nēo Ace Moon Review

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” I spent many weeks over months listening to Ace, the company recommends 400 hours of playing before taking Ace too seriously, so it got to pass all kinds of music from Hoagy Carmichael to Acid Mothers Temple…, from Current 93 to Golijov, and from The Bug/Earth to Patsy Cline. And everything in between. And I always liked what I heard. If I try to imagine a person having purchased Ace and being unhappy about their purchase, I come up blank.”

Essence Audio Hdacc Review

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“In a day and age where even a portable DAC / Preamp & headphone system can sound quite amazing in it’s own right while taking up less space than ever (even in the breast pocket of a suit—see my upcoming review of the ifi iMicro iDSD DAC from AMR Co.), I find this HDACC DAC / Preamp control center (with headphone amp output) just as miniature (produced by Bob Rapoport’s Essence For Hi Res Audio) a welcome change from the typical large scale monstrosities of the Big Box stores and decorating the interior of the internet en-mass. ”

OPPO Digital Sonica DAC Review

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” Musically the Sonica does not disappoint, although it required a few days of break-in to sound its best–especially in musical highs, where it initially sounded harsh. I listened to DSD, 24/96, and 24/192 sources, as well as Red Book titles in 16/44.1 via Tidal Hi-Fi. As I refer to my listening notes to describe the Sonica’s signature characteristics, I repeatedly wrote that it possesses a sweetness in the midrange and midbass, and it presents a more accurate soundstage than many other DACs I can think of”

AURALIC ALTAIR WIRELESS STREAMING DAC REVIEW

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” The AURALiC ALTAIR Wireless Streaming DAC is sonically a fast and musical DAC that offers unprecedented versatility. It handles almost every digital format currently in use including Quad DSD and DXD and wrings the most out of even the most humble recordings. Switchable digital filters means that you can tailor the sound to your own taste and a phase reversal switch means you can correct what was broken by the recording process (or possibly your streaming service). And they take the concept of streaming music seriously, not only giving you access to streaming services, but letting you stream from a NAS or uPnP/DLNA media server or Bluetooth device, and by allowing you to connect directly to an external hard drive, it renders the concept of a USB DAC obsolete, removing the computer from the signal processing entirely, guaranteeing the best possible performance.”

Chord 2Qute $1299 Review

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” As a reviewer I get to listen to products in all different price ranges from the affordable to the ultra expensive statement products. Never with any Chord product that has been in my listening room have I ever been disappointed. The Chord team continues to build world-class products that shake up the digital order of what is possible. The award winning Hugo opened many an eye to what was possible in transportable audio and the Mojo pushed the envelope higher with a much more affordable price and opened up thousands more to the realm of digital audio. Upon reviewing the DAVE I knew music listening would never be the same once it left so much so I had to purchase it.”

Bryston BDA-3 DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) Review

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” Bryston’s flagship DAC rendered Mosshart’s vocals with a stunning clarity and a knife-edged tension that was both captivating and, at times, un-nerving. With songs like ‘Hang You from the Heavens’, ‘I Cut like a Buffalo’, ‘Treat Me like your Mother’, ‘Pony’, and ‘Will there be Enough Water?’, the BDA-3 created an immense amount of sonic detail across the entire frequency spectrum. And, thankfully, this detail was harmonically accurate, while not causing the typical ringing high-band listening fatigue which most solid state DACs induce.”

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