When Harry met Sally. South Korea’s Aurender are on a product launch roll. After dropping the portable Flow DAC/headphone-amplifier (US$1299) into the market late last year (look for my review soon), they’re back a CES for another year with yet more new models: the N100 streamer (US$2499) and X725 DAC/amplifier (US$2495) stood out.
The N100 is a half-width Ethernet streaming device that dispatches digital audio to your DAC via its “ultra low noise linear regulated” USB port. PCM up to 32bit/384kHz and DSD64/128 are supported.
The 128Gb SSD internal storage might not sound like a lot – and it isn’t – but that’s to miss the point of the N100: it caches each album in its entirety on the SSD prior to playback. Lee intends the N100 to be used as a network streamer in tandem with an existing NAS/server or cloud-based libraries.
Aurender recently integrated Tidal’s lossless service very tightly into their already supremely elegant iPad app – one of the most gorgeous out there. This same app controls the N100 – a quick demo across the hallway in Aurender’s second room showed just how snappy Tidal library browsing and playback can be.
Lee adds that dealers can fit an additional 1TB SSD ($TBC) inside the N100 should any customer insist on it.
The X725 is a half-width DAC/amplifier combo that seems destined to be paired with the N100. It sports two digital inputs: USB and the all-important optical. Over USB and via the internal ESS Sabre 9018 DAC chip, the X725 can decode up to 24bit/192kHz PCM or DSD64/128 natively. The amplifier section punches 100 ICEPowered watts per channel into 8 Ohms and 250wpc into 4 Ohms.
If head-fi is more your vibe, know that the Aurender Flow’s transport control buttons can talk to both the X100L server and N100 streamer.
Further information: Aurender
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