Auralic Aries Mini: The (Streaming) Star of The Show?

People either love the Auralic Aries Mini or they really, really want to. I want to review it which will happen...shortly. In order to drive home a major raison d'être for the Mini's existence, Auralic is including one full year of Tidal Hi-Fi with every Mini sold for US customers (the rest of the world is already hip to Hi-Fi). This new deal brings the Mini's price up (or down depending on how you look at it) to $549. Since one year of Tidal Hi-Fi will normally run you $239.88, the Mini's original price announced in Munich of $399 would make the combo $638.88. You can say you're getting the Mini for $309.12 or feel free to be thrilled about getting a year of Tidal Hi-Fi for $150.

I went through the ins and outs of the Mini in my Munich report so just go there to get the skinny. I'll add that the clever folks at Auralic have left room inside the Mini for you to add your own internal storage and you control playback using Auralic's Lightning DS app.

At RMAF 2015, Auralic was showing a lovely, simple system pairing the Mini with the Dynaudio XEO 4 ($2,100/pair see review). Do you see a theme developing? I see a theme developing.

COMMENTS
BradleyP's picture

I love these minimalist systems for lots of reasons. Chief among them is that imaging is subjectively better when there's no visual clutter. Most of the effect is psychological, but it's not called "psychoacoustics" for nothing. I have an easier time "seeing" an instrument at a particular point between and behind the plane of the speakers if there's not a rack full of boxes, lights, and wires in the way. (On a related note, imaging is most effective for me with lights down low but not off. Off is worse than bright. Call me crazy.)

Michael Lavorgna's picture
...you are crazy ;-)

I like to close my eyes at hi-fi shows.

Venere 2's picture

Anyone else notice that the Aries mini has what looks like the generic "throw away" RCA cables attached? The cables included in the box with every 99$ DVD or Blu Ray player! Too funny!

I strongly believe, scratch that KNOW that cables make a difference. I am surprised the exhibitor would not maximize his demo by using decent cables.

Michael Lavorgna's picture
They chose to use non-audiophile cables to send a message. The only music source in use was Tidal Hi-Fi.
e2mweb's picture

OK Michael, so 'including' means 'in addition to'? So I'll pay $549 for a $399 piece of hardware? I already enjoy a Tidal subscription, like many I suspect but what If I didn't care for Tidal? Bundling and bouquets are the reason I dumped AT&T and the Cable Co's content packages. This is simply a ridiculous move. I was on the fence between Bluesound Node 2 and the Mini - I'm going Node 2. Thanks for nothing Auralic.

solo2's picture

I might have bought it despite the $150 price jump, but I'm not going to also buy an iPad to control it. I'm disappointed that Auralic has stopped all further work on an android version of the Lightning DS app.

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