One-box streaming solutions are becoming more popular and while the brand new Auralic ALTAIR G2.1 streamer may not include a power amplifier, it includes almost everything else that you would need to setup a stereo system in 2021 — including a phono preamp. We’ve been impressed with Auralic’s digital streaming products for many years and we suspect that the $5,489 ALTAIR G2.1 streamer is one serious bit of hardware.
One of the things that has separated Auralic from the rest of the pack over the years has been their deep investment on the software end of the equation.
It’s something that definitely separates the best from the pretenders on the streaming side. Don’t sell people a $5,000 or $500 streamer if the control app doesn’t work perfectly or offer the ability to integrate all of the major streaming platforms like Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, and even Apple Music.
Auralic’s Lighting DS platform will work with AirPlay; Apple’s solution for allowing you to stream any media from your iPhone, iPad, or Apple Computer, and also works as a source within the Auralic ecosystem. Simply pull down your AirPlay menu and select your network attached Auralic product to enjoy any audio from your Apple device on your Auralic streamer.
You can also stream Amazon Music HD through the ALTAIR G2.1 streamer.
Another advantage is that the Auralic ALTAIR G2.1 streamer can also be controlled via Roon. The Auralic ALTAIR G2.1 streamer can also handle the audiophile platforms and now includes support for Spotify Connect — another huge advantage as the world’s largest streaming platform is about to unleash Spotify HiFi and get ready for battle with Apple when they launch Apple Music Hi-Fi this year.
The final intriguing aspect of the Auralic ALTAIR G2.1 is the internal preamp which includes a quality MM phono stage.
According to Auralic:
As a G2.1 Series product, ALTAIR G2.1 has been developed with properties and features that ensure its performance is considered “next-level,” and allow for it to be used as a stand-alone preamplifier.
Analog Volume Control onboard, similar to that on the VEGA G2.1 and based on a resistive ladder design, provides ultra-quiet signal, no matter the input. Class A Orfeo Output Modules allow for an ultra-low-noise and low-distortion signal in the analog domain.
The Altair G2.1 also houses two separate all-analog inputs, completely bypassing the digital structure and maintaining a pure analog signal from input to out.
The first is a line-level analog input, including home theater bypass functionality, and the second is an in-house engineered moving-magnet phono stage for an elegant, direct, and quiet connection to a turntable.
The Auralic ALTAIR G2.1 will be available in May 2021 for their dealer network.
For more information: Auralic ALTAIR G2.1 Digital Network Streamer