Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Price: $599

Website: www.arcam.co.uk

Al said: At $599, the rPlay costs 20 times as much as Google’s puck-like Chromecast Audio -- but when you use the Arcam to listen to Tidal or Spotify, or stream music from a media server on your computer or NAS, your ears will tell you that the difference is worth the money.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Hi-rez streaming the Arcam way.

Price: $7500

Website: www.audioresearch.com

Vade said: I know several audiophiles who spurn any prepackaged server/network player, preferring to optimize their systems’ sound by tweaking the system parameters; if that’s the way you feel, the DAC9’s very good sound quality and gorgeous looks make it an easy recommendation.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: The Linux limitation is the big issue with the DAC9.

Price: $3799

Website: www.auralic.com

Al said: At $3799, the Polaris is hardly a budget option. But if your expectations for an all-in-one audio component are high, it won’t disappoint you.

Read the SoundStage! Simplifi review.

The gist: Feature-rich streaming integrated at a reasonable price.

Award: Reviewers' Choice

Price: $5500

Website: www.aurender.com

Uday said: The Aurender A10 is a fantastic product that brings Aurender’s already proven and well-regarded server technology to a broader market, while including a high-quality preamp and DAC.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Now you get a DAC with the proven Aurender server.

Price: $8950

Website: www.ayre.com

Philip said: What I can say is that the QX-5 Twenty is a beautifully designed, well-built component that could easily anchor a state-of-the-art sound system for years to come.

Reviewers' Choice

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Classic Ayre sound in a modern digital source.

Price: $3495

Website: www.bryston.com

Philip said: A BCD-3 isn’t cheap, but if you’ve spent the last 25 or so years amassing a library of CDs, you’ll want to hear them sound their best. The Bryston BCD-3 can deliver that.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: Yep, they're still making these, and this is a good one.

Price: $25,000

Website: www.emmlabs.com

Doug said: EMM Labs’ DA2 Reference is exceptional: Rather than strike a balance between musicality and detail, it provides both without limitation or compromise.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: The best DAC Doug has heard.

Award: Reviewers' Choice

Price: $8000

Website: www.esoteric-usa.com

Garrett said: If you’re in the market for a new SACD/CD player, I urge you to audition the K-05X. Its excellent build quality, proprietary VRDS-Neo transport, powerful processing, sleekly sculpted looks, option to upgrade by adding an external clock, and, last but hardly least, its outstanding qualities of sound, confirm it as an absolutely solid choice.

Read the SoundStage! Ultra review.

The gist: This I gonna replace Garrett’s Cary player.

Price: $5000

Website: www.hegel.com

Garrett said: Hegel Music Systems has produced fine-sounding audio equipment at fairly moderate prices for many years now, and their new Mohican is no exception. It’s a wonderful player of Compact Discs that should be seriously considered by anyone with a large library of them who’s in the market for a dedicated player.

Read the SoundStage! Hi-Fi review.

The gist: A good candidate for your last CD player.

Price: $799

Website: www.oppodigital.com

Hans said: Oppo Digital’s Sonica DAC can serve as a lovely digital centerpiece for the systems of progressive audiophiles.

Read the SoundStage! Access review.

The gist: A ton of DAC for the money.

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