From monos to streamers, Auralic has been slowly building an ecosystem to provide digital audiophiles with everything they need to listen to their collection of music at home. What started with the VEGA Digital Processor has turned into a custom control app interface and a product line of digital devices that stream to your rig with a variety of functionality, priced from the modest Aries Mini to the recently released DAC/Streamer Altair.
Now CEO and designer Xuanqian Wang has taken convenience and the idea of an “all-in-one” unit to the next level of for the company. The new Polaris offers the same functionality of the Altair, but also includes an integrated amplifier section to directly run your loudspeakers (120W/channel – 8ohm).
The Polaris uses Auralic’s custom Lightning streaming platform which runs many digital bells and whistles including quad-rate DSD and gapless playback. On the hardware end, the new streamer claims a hefty 17 sources of input including Tidal, Bluetooth, Airplay and connected drives. The internals are truly stuffed to the gills as you can see from our video below, Wang even went as far as to include a MM phono stage in the laundry list of features.
While the Polaris rig demanded much attention with the shiny and new, the recently release Altair was still doing a great job pulling some of the limelight away in a smaller room scenario just off the main room. There, Auralic had a dual mono rig with the Merek 400W amplifiers pushing a pair of bookshelves in a more nearfield setting. Both speaker systems were running the same playlist simultaneously to show of the Auralic’s Lighting streaming capabilities. The Lighting DS app that controls the platform is also getting another upgrade for the iPad, which should be ready in about a month. The new Polaris will retail for $3800 when its starts shipping in late November.
More info: http://www.auralic.com/