Article Index
Aune S1 Media Player
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Measured Performance
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Unlike most other players currently available, the Aune S1 places emphasis on playback from various forms of memory storage. The left side panel carries sockets able to accept two USB memory sticks, an SD card, an e-SATA input for an e-Sata equipped hard drive and a home network connection through the usual RJ45 ethernet socket. That’s far more inputs than most network players, most of which cater for USB only, and those sockets will appeal to various interests. SD card is the storage device of choice for hand held digital audio recorders used for live recording, and e-SATA (external serial ATA, a computer internal comms protocol externalised), gives direct connection to e-SATA storage.

Aune S1 media slots
The rear panel carries normal analogue audio outputs for connection to a stereo amplifier, plus optical and electrical S/PDIF digital outputs, like any CD player. The analogue outputs deliver no less than 2.8V, our measurements showed, so the S1 plays 3dB louder than a CD player.

There is also an electrical digital input that enables the player to be used as a DAC, in conjunction perhaps with a CD player acting as a transport.
Headphones can be used in conjunction with an on-board volume control and they connect on the rear panel too, through a 3.5mm jack. Pressing Up or Down volume buttons on the remote control brings up a volume level display.

Aune S1 rear
 An USB A ‘printer’ socket accepts software upgrade from a computer, about which no information was provided, and finally a power input socket from an external power supply sits on the rear panel also, using a 180 degree 5-pin DIN socket.

 A sturdy power supply comes with the unit, built into a heavy aluminium case carrying a mains power on/off rocker switch on the IEC input socket. This is left on, the player being switched on and off by remote control. Or that’s the idea. Mine hung up using software start and had to be switched off, then on, with the mains switch on the power supply. Then it booted in 25 seconds. Once on it would switch off from the remote control.

 The S1 is shaped like an original Mac Mini and is almost the same size, measuring 16cm x 16cm (the Mac Mini was 17 x 17cm). It is beautifully made from machined alloy.  A matching solid, machined alloy remote control measures 5cm x 9cm and is 1cm deep, so it fits easily n the hand and the small buttons have a solid feel. There is no light on the remote, but the few controls were easy enough to identify, even in low lighting. The front display is just 3cms high and 4cms wide. It is bright, clear and legible, but only within a few feet.

Once booted a Play Music screen appears by default, of four screens in total. Pressing an Enter button brings up the usual style of menu tree, showing folders and songs, identified in text by name. Songs in a folder can be played individually or in sequence. Pressing Stop also jumps back in the menu, an unusual action. Pause must be pressed to Stop so that a song can be restarted without re-selection.




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