Article Index
Aune S1 Media Player
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Measured Performance
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 Having multiple inputs, songs and folders stack in the option list; inputs do not have to be selected individually. I played from a fast LaCie Whizkey memory stick, but the S1 saw UPnP servers on both Macs and PCs on my home network and played music from them, including 24/192 WAV and AIFF files, something few media players are currently able to do. Aune list compatible file formats as APE, FLAC, TTA, MP3 and WAV. It played our FLAC, WAV and AIFF 24/192 test files without problem, but refused to see Ogg Vorbis.  There were some inconsistencies, such as MP4s playing through the home network, from a UPnP server, but not direct from memory stick, and AIFF files also refusing to play from a slow storage USB (with flashing LED) rather than the fast Whizkey, which has no flashing LED. This is perhaps why Aune do not quote AIFF as a supported format. The S1 crashed and had to be re-booted occasionally, but this didn’t happen often enough to be annoying. It isn’t, however, as stable as players from Cyrus, Naim etc.
    Alternative selection screens offer D/A Input and settings, but these were few.

To keep cost down Chinese manufacturers use freeware or low cost software and this player uses Linux in a Texas Instruments ARM based DSP, the 1808 based on their Sitara processor. As this reportedly has stability problems I wonder whether it explains my experiences with it. An AK4390 32-bit DAC is used, but  I'm unaware of commercially available music downloads at this resolution, and I would have thought 24bit was enough, but perhaps not!

The Aune was easy sounding, open and silky smooth. Playing 24/96 files it revealed lovely depth perspectives behind the Minnesota Orchestra playing Rimsky Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden, timpani thundering away to give plenty of weight. Cymbal crashes were sudden and powerful, but not hard and lacerative as is so common with CD. Bass sounded large and sturdy, without being bloated. With Benjamin Britten’s Boisterous Bourree in 24/192 WAV strings did not have quite the sawing edge to them as they do from the 2L Blu-ray and here lies the main difference between quality downloads and silver discs, from CD through to Blu-ray it appears.  
    The Aune S1 made clear the improvement 24bit resolution brings over CD’s miserable 16bits, a greater depth and intensity to detail banishing the sparse quality of CD. The S1 also possessed no digital glare or sterility, sounding creamy smooth to the point of being mild mannered up top. From a wide variety of Rock recordings through to Classical, this player gave powerful dynamics from an easy delivery that was almost laconic. I used it with my 300B World Audio Design valve amplifier and the Yamaha RX-A3010 receiver reviewed this month and both happily conveyed the extra shove the S1 brought to music.




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