Arylic Brings Whole Home Audio To Your Favorite Speakers
- Product Name: A50 Amp, S10 and S50Pro Streaming Preamp
- Manufacturer: Arylic
- Review Date: October 19, 2020 00:05
- MSRP: $169 - A50 Amp, $69 - S10, $199 - S50Pro
- First Impression: Gotta Have It!
We've seen some pretty cool ways of linking every room in your home with ear fulfilling audio bliss. Many receivers have their own streaming options for whole-home audio, but they’re very brand specific. Denon and Marantz have HEOS, Pioneer has Fireconnect, Yamaha has MusicCast, but only streaming speakers that are made by those companies can connect with your receiver.
Arylic was founded by a group of expert people with different skills from home audio, lifestyle, and new technology products. With more than 10 years of experience designing products behind the scenes, we made the decision to make some products of our own.
The Arylic website sells everything from remote controls, RCA cables, and in-ceiling speakers, to amplifiers and streaming preamps all at reasonable prices. We were able to try out two of their streaming preamplifiers, the S10 and S50Pro, and a small amplifier, the A50, to see if they were a good deal or just cheap garbage.
Arylic A50 Streaming Amplifier YouTube Review
Ok, so the $169 A50 amplifier with 50 watts per channel is not going to power Gene’s old Status 8T speakers, but it is a cool little device. You simply hook a pair of passive speakers up to the box and you’re ready to go. With the A50 you can stream your audio to your speakers using your phone or tablet as an interface. The A50 can use Wifi, Bluetooth 5.0, Apple Airplay, DLNA and Universal Plug and Play devices to get your music playing OR you can go wired through USB or RCA. There’s no 3.5 mm AUX in, but they do include a 3.5mm to RCA converter cable which is a pleasant surprise.
All their amps and streaming preamps can run on either the 4stream or Muzo App which are available on Google, IOS, and Android devices. Both apps received mixed reviews by users. I tried the Muzo App. Most reviews said they had trouble switching music from one device to another in their home, but I thought the app worked fine. Most of the time I was using Qobuz in the app to stream music to my Arylic devices so most of the functionality relied on Qobuz rather than Muzo.
The A50 amp, S10 preamp, and S50Pro preamp all come with Bluetooth 5.0, but the ability to stream 24bit/192kHz music will most likely have most users running the system through wifi. The margin between wifi and Bluetooth is narrowing with every new version of Bluetooth. WiFi still coming out on top, but just barely.
So what’s so cool about the A50? If you’re an audiophile like me, you might have a pair of older bookshelf speakers laying around that you want to set up in a home office or smaller listening room without setting up an entire receiver. You can take a pair of passive bookshelf speakers and with minimal time and very minimal space get them powered with the ability to stream high-resolution music all over your house.
The A50 does come with a pretty decent DAC with the STA326. To give you an idea of how good it is, go to the Qobuz store online and look at their recommendations for full digital amplifiers. Two out of four of them use the STA326 DAC.
If you need budget-minded speakers to match the A50 and you’re not sure where to begin, Audioholics posted a great article on our six favorite bookshelf speakers for under $100/pair written by James Larson. He’s heard and made detailed measurements on a ton of speakers over the years so if he says they’re good, chances are they’re great.
S10 and S50Pro Streaming Pre-Amplifiers
Both the S10 and S50pro are designed to take a signal: usually through wifi and send it to an amplifier or a powered pair of speakers using your phone or tablet as a controller using the 4Stream or Muzo App and then running one of your favorite streaming services such as Qobuz, Spotify, and Pandora. Just like the A50 amplifier, if you have several of these Arylic products throughout the house, you can link them all together to play the same music or different music in each area.
The major difference between the $70 S10 and the $200 S50Pro are the inputs and the DAC. The S50Pro has the ESS Sabre DAC (110dB SNR) which is a much better DAC than what comes with the S10 (91dB SNR). I would recommend the S50Pro for critical listening applications or when you wish to connect multiple source devices and the S10 for applications involving streaming background music or zones of audio that just aren't as focused about hi-fidelity.
The inputs in the S50Pro allow you to hook up a variety of devices that you would normally input directly into your receiver. The coax and optical out then allows you to have a digital output so you can run the DAC from your receiver instead of the DAC inside the Arylic S50Pro.
If you already have receivers in every room in your house and you don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on the newest whole-home audio system, you can put a $69 Arylic S10 on any extra receivers you own, a $169 A50 on any speakers you have at your house not hooked up to a receiver, and a $200 S50Pro on your main system to push things like CDs and Vinyl to every room in your home using your existing hardware. This allows you to purchase from several different companies and choose whatever speakers or receivers you like.
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jborchel, post: 1451842, member: 93728
Tony, could you write an article explaining the data flow design of the application where you are trying to take a stream from Tidal, for instance, and playing it lossless using wi-fi through an AVR to existing speakers. The Tidal app can be found on a phone, a tablet, and a device like a Firestick or Roku. I, hopefully we, would like to understand which part of the design actually acquires the lossless stream from Tidal and how does it get to the AVR for playback. For instance, is my phone receiving the stream and relaying it to the receiver via AirPlay or wi-fi? Or is it just telling Tidal to send it straight to the receiver via wi-fi or Ethernet, if its hardwired like my receiver? I know Im probably over analyzing the application but Im concerned about tools like AirPlay are downgrading the stream quality while Im paying for the hi-rez streaming.
I think AirPlay over WiFi is usually 16 bit audio, but “lossless”, so if the source file is 16 bit you get a good quality transmission. If the source file is higher than 16 bit, then I think AirPlay downsamples to 16 bit audio before transmitting. I think most anything you stream over WiFi using AirPlay goes at 16 bit. I think that any app that is using AirPlay to transmit will end up with 16 bit at the end. Downsampling from a higher bitrate to 16 bit might still sound great but not everyone agrees about that!
If something like Tidal's app can stream over WiFi without using AirPlay maybe it streams at a higher bitrate but I don't know what it might do. Maybe network players that have Tidal functionality built-in use your phone just for control but the actual music content is streaming over the internet to the network player directly and bypassing the phone for example? That way they can do any bitrate and compression they want to use. I think that is what they can do but not sure.