by Rafe Arnott
Wood and leather smell good. That’s why I like Chris-Craft boats, Eames loungers, and mid-century furniture. Oh, and you can add Auris electronics, and transducers to that list too.
These nifty little speakers (I mean little) were producing a very decent approximation of a much larger transducer when I heard them at CES last weekend. While there’s no way to make up for internal volume of a speaker cabinet for weight to the lower frequencies, and true-sized body to voices, and wooden instruments in particular (and piano!), the tiny Auris Poison 3 speakers from Serbia were playing their hearts out trying to convince anyone listening that they could go big.
The 86 dB, three-way floor standers are rated at 28Hz – 22kHz with a four-Ohm nominal impedance, so they’ll need some power behind them to sound their best. In this case the Poison 3 was being driven by the Auris DC-125 power amplifier (Class-D, 125w into four Ohms), the Auris Piano pre-amplifier (Single-Ended Class-A with 2xE88CC valve compliment), and the Auris D1D DAC (Bluetooth 4 connectivity, PCM 32-bit/384kHz, and DSD). FLAC files were being streamed via smart phone while I was listening, and the sound was smooth, had pleasing tonal color, was very quick on transients, and had superb dynamics.
Auris is a company that believes in utilizing natural materials for its designs, so their electronics, and transducers are manufactured with genuine leather, real walnut, and in the case of the speakers, natural wool for acoustic damping inside the cabinets.
This Auris system in particular came from a desire in the company to produce a system with a small footprint but big sound that could still fit in a modern, urban apartment and not necessarily look like “hi-fi” but rather fit into modern decor, and lifestyle tastes.
This is a design pursuit I can get behind. I know a number of young people who ask me for advice on putting together an entry-level system for their apartments. Size, design, and form factor play a key role in their decisions (if they are couples, looks definitely play a big part) because the hi-fi is occupying a shared space, and must be user-friendly. While the Auris system on display at CES featured a number of higher-end components, and tipped the scales at over $11,000 USD all-in, Auris offers a DDH-1 integrated amp/DAC/headphone amp, and a smaller bookshelf-sized loudspeaker in the Poison 1 for $4,000. A price, and footprint within reason for even a studio space. Definitely a company worth checking out.