The Luxury Network Magazine
LIGHT UP YOUR LIFE WITH AURORA
music via their favourite apps, or play audio files stored on networked devices such as computers and NAS drives. Bluetooth is also included, so that users may stream directly from any smart device.
The Aurora is hi-res audio enabled, supporting data up to 32-bit/192kHz without conversion or down-sampling via Wi-Fi, USB or Ethernet cable. Bluetooth streaming also delivers much better sound quality than is typically the case,
engineered by iFi to be less ‘lossy’ than off-the-shelf Bluetooth solutions.
All the latest 24-bit-capable Bluetooth audio formats are supported, including Qualcomm’s aptX Adaptive and aptX HD, Sony’s LDAC and Huawei’s HWA. Other codecs covered include regular aptX and aptX Low Latency, AAC (the favoured format of Apple iOS devices) and SBC (the ‘plain vanilla’ Bluetooth codec).
Connecting to a Wi-Fi network couldn’t be simpler, with push-button WPS set-up. Linkplay’s MUZO Player app – or any UPnP/DLNA streaming app – may be used to configure the system and control music. AirPlay and Spotify Connect are also supported.
Several Auroras may be linked together on a Wi-Fi network to make a seamless multi-room system, playing in-sync or controlled individually. Whether streaming music from services such as Spotify or Tidal, or surfing the thousands of internet radio stations available from an app such as TuneIn, the Aurora has your digital audio lifestyle covered.
At the Aurora’s heart lies proprietary amp technology that iFi calls ‘PureEmotion’ – a hybrid circuit design comprising several key stages. The first of these – the preamp stage – incorporates a Russian 6N3P valve (visible through a window next to the OLED display). This takes the analogue audio signal delivered by the Aurora’s DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) circuitry – based around a chip from ESS Technology’s renowned 32-bit Sabre DAC family – and adds gain in preparation for further amplification, imbuing the sound with pure tonality, open imaging and natural fluidity.
The resulting low-level signal then passes to the power amp stage – iFi’s ‘current multiplier circuit’. This is a highly efficient switching power amplifier, a description it has in common with Class D amplification – but there the similarity ends.
Class D amp modules are often used in audio products because they are energy efficient and able to generate relatively high current from a small device. However, in terms of sound quality, typical ‘off-the shelf’ Class D amps leave a lot to be desired, not least because switching occurs at varying frequencies which may be within the audible range – the higher the power level, the lower the switching frequency.
iFi’s current multiplier circuit is entirely different because the switching frequency is fixed at an ultra-high level – around 1.5MHz, far beyond the audible frequency spectrum. This results in a high level of efficiency, multiplying the current supplied by the valve several thousand-fold, whilst maintaining far greater linearity and lower noise than typical switching amplifiers. Coupled to this is a low-pass circuit and a feedback loop, the latter ensuring the output frequency is ideal for the load, and everything is ‘clock-locked’ via iFi’s GMT (Global Master Timing) circuit to ensure unerring precision.
This ingenious fusion of amp technologies enables a sound that combines purity of tone with a high level of engagement, speed and dynamic gusto, ensuring the emotive quality of music is delivered in full effect.