As a further supplement to the minimized two component rig movement that was surprisingly gaining steam throughout RMAF, the Auralic room featured its upcoming Aries Mini ($549) paired to two separate active speaker setups. The first and most prominent was two Dynaudio Xeo 4 active loudspeakers paired wirelessly to their Connect interlink attached to the Mini as a source.
The second setup featured the Mini connected to another pair of Audioengine A5+ near the door.
The Aries Mini is a simplified budget version of the high end Aries streaming bridge (the original even includes a USB output to connect directly to an Auralic VEGA or your favorite DAC of choice). The Mini does allow for straight RCA analog outputs so a simple two piece setup into active speakers will be a step up in the right direction over an Apple TV, especially now that the company will be removing the optical output from the device in its next iteration.
This of course, is all controlled by the Auralic’s own Lighting DS app from the original Aries streamer. In addition to a host of music streaming services (including Tidal), the new Mini can still stream all major file types include quad rate DSD and DXD and even includes a USB connection to attach an external drive to, very convenient. The upgraded external power supply that was an option for the original Aries will also be an option for its little brother. As an added bonus, each Mini purchase includes a complementary subscription to Tidal for a year.
Expect the new Aries Mini to hit the US market within a few months.