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Digital Music Systems

PS Audio’s AirLens Music Streamer is DSD & Roon Ready Without a DAC

Audiophile purist solution for digital music streaming supports DSD, 32-bit/352.8kHz PCM and is Roon Ready. The absence of a DAC at $1,999 is notable.

PS Audio AirLens Music Streamer Silver

PS Audio is now shipping its AirLens music streamer, designed to deliver the ultimate in sound quality from streaming audio sources. The new AirLens ($1,999 USD) offers high-resolution streaming via Roon and services such as TIDAL, Qobuz, Spotify, JRiver, and Audirvana, as well as from an NAS storage device or any DLNA-compatible server.

Not to pick a fight with PS Audio, but it seems strange in 2023 to not include a DAC and analog outputs for $1,999 USD; especially when you look at what is available from NAD, Bluesound, Cambridge Audio, Innuos, HiFi Rose, and others below $2,000.

The PS Audio AirLens might be a terrific sounding streamer and we understand that they want potential users to buy one of their integrated amplifiers or DACs as well to maximize the sonic performance — but why not make it easier and more economical for people?

Galvanic Isolation

“The secret of the AirLens’ exceptional sound quality is its galvanic isolation,” noted Paul McGowan, PS Audio CEO. “Removing the physical connection between input and output stages eliminates the unwanted noise that can be introduced by USB, Ethernet or Wi-Fi. The AirLens also perfectly re-clocks the digital signal. The result is a remarkable improvement in resolution, timbral realism, and dynamics.”

PS Audio AirLens Music Streamer Silver Rear

The PS Audio AirLens connects to a network via Ethernet or Wi-Fi, and provides I2S and coaxial digital outputs to connect to a DAC. Typically, noise from any number of sources including a computer, long runs of Ethernet cable, EMI interference via Wi-Fi, and modems and routers all contribute to increased jitter and a loss of fidelity.

PS Audio’s galvanic isolation claims to remove such sonic degradation by eliminating the electrical connection between the input and output stages, using only air as the interface. This ensures 100 percent isolation and noise-free delivery of the digital audio signals. In addition, the signal is re-clocked at the output stage for jitter-free, pure digital audio.

Available in silver and black, the AirLens offers PCM decoding up to 32-bit/352.8 kHz, and DSD to 256 (4x). Its compact size (10″ x 7″ x 1.5″) and sleek design make it easy to integrate into any audio system. Like every PS Audio product, the AirLens is manufactured using premium-quality parts and construction.

PS Audio AirLens Music Streamer Black Left Angle

Features:

  • Galvanically isolated from input to output to eliminate network and Wi-Fi noise and offer extraordinary signal purity and sound quality
  • Connects to a network via 10/100/1000 Ethernet or 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
  • I2S and coaxial digital outputs
  • Offers PCM up to 352.8 kHz/32-bit and native DSD up to 256 (4x, up to DSD 128 via coax output)
  • DoP (DSD over PCM) operation
  • Roon-ready
  • DLNA-ready
  • Compatible with TIDAL Connect (via Roon), Spotify Connect, mconnect, Qobuz (via Roon and mconnect), Dropbox (via Roon), MQA, DLNA 1.5 and UPnP A/V 1.0 Digital Media Renderer
  • Available in silver or black
  • 10″ x 7″ x 1.5″, 4.8 lbs.

Specifications

Unit Weight4.8 lbs [2.2 kg]
Unit Dimensions10” x 7” x 1.5” [ 25.4cm x 17.8cm x 3.8cm]
Shipping Weight6.8 lbs [3.1 kg]
Shipping Dimensions5.8” x 13.6” x 11.6” [14.6 cm x 34.6 cm x 29.4 cm]
Color OptionsBlack, Silver
Voltage OptionsUniversal
Mains Power Input100-240VAC 50-60Hz
Power Consumption5W Typical/10W max
Accessories IncludedPower cord
Input10/100/1000 Ethernet or 2.4 & 5GHz WIFI
Audio Outputs12s, S/PDIF Coax
Audio Interface• PCM: Up to 352.8kHz/32
• Native DSD up to DSD256 (I2S output)
• DoP (DSD over PCM) up to DSD128 (Coax output)
Network Support• WiFi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5GHz dual band)
• 10/100/1000 Ethernet
WiFi Setup• WPS
Connectivity• DLNA 1.5 & UPnP AV 1.0 Digital Media Renderer
• Spotify Connect
• Roon Ready
• TIDAL Connect
• mconnect
• Qobuz (through Roon and mconnect)
• Dropbox (through Roon)
• MQA

Price and Availability

The PS Audio AirLens is available now for $1,999 (USD) in silver or black through PS Audio dealers.

For more information: psaudio.com/products/airlens

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5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Mike Cornell

    September 13, 2023 at 12:39 pm

    Notably, no DAC but also no AirPlay or Chromecast, so not my cup of tea.

    • Ian White

      September 13, 2023 at 3:30 pm

      Mike,

      Seems like it’s missing a lot considering the price. It feels obsolete even before it arrives.

      Best,

      Ian White

  2. Richard

    September 13, 2023 at 7:36 pm

    Mike,

    other streamers are just as expensive so no issue there. My issue is no USB output even though PS themselves love the USB input on their new DAC. Seems like limiting it market by not having USB output.

  3. Chris Boylan

    September 14, 2023 at 6:04 pm

    I keep waiting for one of the streaming companies to handle immersive sound formats. I’ve been listening to a ton of Dolby Atmos and 360RA music mixes in the past year and many of them sound fantastic. This one has an HDMI output but apparently no support for multi-channel. Very odd choice for a $2,000 streamer, IMHO.

    • Ian White

      September 14, 2023 at 6:09 pm

      Chief,

      It’s rather telling to be honest. Perhaps they don’t see it a viable long-term thing.

      IW

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