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Auralic Readies Wireless DSD, DXD

Vancouver, Wash. – High-end audio newcomer Auralic will go to International CES with a wireless DAC “bridge” that enables high-end DACs to stream high-resolution music files wirelessly over a home’s Wi-Fi 802.11ac network from a PC or NAS drive .

The Aries bridge, available in May at suggested retails starting at $999, is promoted as the first product that streams DSD, double-rate DSD, and Digital eXtreme Definition (DXD) music files wirelessly in native format from networked sources.

The product will be demonstrated at the Venetian Hotel suite 30-212.

To control the Aries and music playback, the company will offer a Lightning app that lets users browse their music library, select songs, and choose hardware settings. The Lightning App will also feature built-in cloud-based music services such as Spotify.

The Lightning App will be available for Apple iOS and Android mobile devices, Windows PCs, Mac OS X and Linux OS.

Aries uses the OpenHome network standard but is backward-compatible with UPnP and DLNA PCs and NAS drives, though with more limited functionality, said president/CEO Wang Xuanqian. Aries is also compatible with streaming programs such as Kinsky and BubbleDS.

Aries features a USB Host output to output DSD, double-rate DSD and DXD at 2.8224 and 5.6448MHz rates in a bit-perfect way to a USB-equipped DAC, the president/CEO told TWICE. To a DAC, the Aries’ USB output also sends PCM in sampling rates from 44.1kHz to 384kHz at 16-, 24- and 32-bit resolutions.

Also via USB, the bridge outputs such audio formats as AAC, AIFF, ALAC, APE, DIFF, DSF, FLAC, MP3, OGG, WAV, WV and WMA

Aries also comes with legacy digital audio outputs such as AES/EBU, coax, and Toslink. If a DAC does not support high-res formats, the Lightning app will let users downsample files from, for example, DSD to PCM, he said.

The company entered the U.S. market in early 2013 with hand-built computer- and headphone-oriented audio components. Beijing-based Auralic was founded in 2009 and last year set up Auralic Americas in Vancouver, Wash., to handle U.S. sales and marketing.