Having been mightily impressed by the ALTAIR not too long ago, I am excited to get a chance to review the POLARIS.
In terms of its appearance, the POLARIS can be mistaken for the ALTAIR’s twin brother. In fact, they share the same front-panel design, chassis, and finishes. But the POLARIS can serve more purpose than the ALTAIR.
Except for the headphone control, the POLARIS can pretty much assume all the other functions of the ALTAIR, which means it can serve as a DAC, a Bluetooth streamer, and a high-resolution network streamer. Interestingly, AURALiC also manages to pack a powerful stereo class-D power amplifier module in the POLARIS chassis, which can deliver 120 W/channel into 8 ohm or 180 W/channel into 4 ohm loads.
Moreover, with two pairs of analog connectors that can be configured as a line-stage input, phono-stage input, or preamplifier outputs, the POLARIS can be considered a super integrated amplifier. AURALiC also includes Hybrid Volume Control feature in the POLARIS, which uses both analog and digital volume control together for optimum audio performance at all volume levels. So, the POLARIS seems to carry a lot of bang for the buck. To know more, stay tuned for my full review on this $3799 product from AURALiC!