Peter said: For me, for the time being, and especially when you factor in the xHD’s value for often bleeding-edge performance, I’d call it a “bargain and the best I ever had.”
The gist: Modularity adds value to this DAC.
Jeff said: You can insert an Auralic Vega G2 in your audio system and be confident that you’re hearing everything on your recordings -- as long as the rest of your system is up to the task. It’s not this DAC that will be the limiting factor, I can assure you.
The gist: Amazingly transparent DAC at a great price.
Gordon said: In short, while new features like support of AirPlay 2, Siri voice control, and two-way Bluetooth add to the Vault 2i’s appeal, what’s most impressive about the product is its unique functionality, and the overall excellence of the BluOS software platform.
The gist: The BluOS software is really the thing here.
Edgar said: While it may require a minor readjustment to accept yet another device into the signal chain, there’s no denying the performance payoff more than justifies it.
The gist: Add this to your Chord stack for even more performance.
Aron said: If you’re in the market for an all-in-one music player with exemplary build quality and an industry-leading résumé of features, Cocktail Audio’s X45Pro deserves to be on your shortlist.
The gist: A little cool sounding but hard to fault otherwise.
Price: AU$13,995 as reviewed
Barry said: For music lovers who are over (or never got into) constant tweaking it offers a level of performance that is frighteningly close to far more expensive (and space consuming) equipment, something I find very appealing.
The gist: Linn’s take on a great digital front end.
Gordon said: What you get is a superbly engineered product that will store your digital music files, let you organize them so they’re easy to find, and extract details from them that you may not have realized they contain.
The gist: Naim knows streamers.
Gordon said: Pro-Ject’s Stream Box S2 Ultra is a nifty little product with lots of applications. Pair it with a compact USB DAC like Pro-Ject’s Pre Box S2 and you have a very nice, small-footprint digital source for streamed and locally stored music.
The gist: A few software issues hamper an otherwise excellent product.