AURAliC has another winner on their hands with their new ALTAIR streaming DAC ($1899). This incredibly easy-to-use Home Music Center can handle more than 15 input sources such as Network Shared Folder (NAS), USB drive, internal music storage (optional), uPnP/DLNA media server, TIDAL and Qobuz streaming, Internet Radio, AirPlay, Bluetooth, Songcast and RoonReady. Digital inputs include AES/EBU, coaxial, TosLink optical, USB device to computer, two USB host for storage and DAC, RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet and 802.11b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi.
The ALTAIR Streaming DAC includes the company's highly desirable and award-winning Lightning technology that was first launched in 2014. So what is it and why is it so desirable? Lightning is the audio industry's first streaming technology that supports DXD and Quad-Rate DSD playback through a WiFi network. In addition, it provides several advanced features such as Gapless Playback, On-Device Playlist and Multiple-Room functions. This is simply all in a day's work for AURALiC's ongoing program of offering regular upgrades that automatically download in the background.
As an example, AURALiC's Memory Playback, the latest feature added to the Lightning streaming technology, allows the ALTAIR to fetch and cache the entire track in its memory or system storage in advance to improve the sound quality, and also play locally without the need of network data transfer. Using Lightning DS, you can also stream TIDAL, Qobuz and listen to Internet Radio at any time. ALTAIR's AirPlay, Songcast and Bluetooth functions provide alternative ways to stream your favorite music from Apple Music, Spotify and other service providers through your smartphone or computer. You, or your dealer, can add an optional 2.5" HDD or SSD for internal music storage. There is a 512 x 64 pixels OLED display plus for personal audio lovers you also have a high quality headphone amplifier, with its corresponding jack located on the front panel.
For the digital spec geeks, a dual-frequency Femto Master Clock inside the ALTAIR is specially designed and optimized for its ESS Sabre DAC chip: with one frequency for playing music with a sampling rate which is the multiple of 44.1kHz and a second for multiples of 48kHz. AURALiC's Femto Master Clock is powered by a 9uV extremely low noise dedicated power supply plus it has a very low phase noise performance. AURALiC's ALTAIR has four built-in filter modes so that you may customize the sound that best befits your personal preference. Those filter modes were developed from AURALiC's well known Flexible Filter Mode as found within the company's VEGA Digital Audio Processor.
With so many digital audio input choices and extremely high quality digital audio playback and capabilities, Enjoy the Music.com gives AURALiC our AXPONA Top 10 Award for their new ALTAIR. AURALiC's ALTAIR is in incredibly impressive pieces of modern high-end audio gear.