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Digital Music Systems

Arylic Network Players Review: A Family Affair

Looking for a versatile and affordable wireless streamer? The Arylic Network Players are affordable, reliable, and support Spotify Connect.

Arylic Network Player Trio

Our recent coverage of the Wiim Mini Network Player created a lot of excitement; EIC Ian White has been listening to it and plans on writing up his thoughts by the end of next week. I don’t get the impression so far that the Wiim Mini is blowing his socks off.

“Definitely needs to be used from the optical output with a pretty good DAC and it’s not all that spectacular otherwise,” was his rather curt reply to my query while listening to the trio of Arylic Network Players.

While a lot of receivers and integrated amplifiers now ship with some form of Bluetooth support, there are still a lot of older systems in use that offer zero support for it and many require an additional Bluetooth dongle for it to work.

Not everyone wants to add an external network player or streamer like the Andover Audio Songbird (which is super affordable) or Bluesound NODE and really just want a simple way to stream from their smartphone via Bluetooth and be done with it.

For that reason, there are a lot of devices designed to add these services to those legacy devices. Most are little more than a Bluetooth receiver with a pair of RCA outputs for connecting to an available line level input.  

Some of the better ones incorporate DNLA support, Apple AirPlay, and support for other streaming services.

With each new feature, one should expect additional costs.

The DIY crowd have wisely chosen to build their own Roon endpoints using Raspberry Pi-based devices; the money they save does have to be spent elsewhere because there is a $130 annual cost or one-time $700 lifetime licensing fee.

Allo have also done a terrific job with their Raspberry Pi players and they represent excellent value for the money.

Arylic is a company that started out catering to the DIY crowd, but their angle was converting existing speakers to wireless models. The company offers seven different DIY amp/receiver modules for converting full range speakers and subwoofers or building your own from scratch.   

These models allow adding a Bluetooth receiver to an existing powered speaker, adding both Bluetooth and amplification to passive speakers, and a kit to create a 2.1 system.

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Arylic Board

There’s definitely something for everyone with their products.

As useful as the little receiver boards are, the area where Arylic really has an advantage on other DIY companies is with their 4Stream app. 

When paired with their boards, the 4Stream app on an Android tablet or IPad allows users to stream Spotify, TIDAL, Qobuz, Deezer, Napster, TuneIn, IHeartRadio, the QQ Services, and Amazon Music if based in America.

4stream music services
4stream music streaming services
4stream services

In addition, Mac users can stream directly from ITunes and Windows users can use Foobar, Serviio, and Musicbee to stream their local collections. Remember that these are all the services that are supported natively which means that you don’t need a Bluetooth connection from your control device as the streams are sourced over wireless networking for a more reliable, and faster connection speed.      

If you want to use additional streaming services, you always have the option of using the Arylic board as a Bluetooth receiver and streaming directly from a tablet or phone.   

This has given those with a DIY mindset the ability to create multi-room systems by using the Arylic 4Stream app and a variety of project boards to configure systems for each room.

If you’re not interested in a DIY project, Arylic has you covered with a new lineup of ready-to-use preamplifiers and streaming amplifiers.

One new feature that applies to all 3 products is support for Spotify Connect.

S10 Preamplifier

Arylic S10 Kit

The Arylic S10 preamplifier is the smallest and least expensive model and currently on sale for $79 USD which is a real bargain as I discovered. The S10 will not take up too much space in your rack or on your desktop; the unit is only 5″ x 1″ x 3″ deep.

It offers wired or wireless Ethernet connectivity as well as Bluetooth 5.0. It has a USB input for connecting a HDD directly to the unit, and a single 3.5mm stereo jack for output to powered speakers or an amplifier. 

Arylic S10 Front
Arylic S10 Rear Preamplifier
Arylic S10 Preamplifier

This is the simplest and least expensive model for those who simply want to add streaming to a home stereo or maybe the backyard setup. It comes with a 3.5mm to RCA cable for connection to speakers or amplifiers and a micro-USB cable for powering it up. 

I found the setup to be straight forward and once connected to an unused input in my system, it did well streaming TIDAL and Qobuz to my home system.   

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I did find that connectivity was a bit better wired than wireless as one might expect. I also discovered that wireless performance improved with the latest firmware on the device, so be certain to check on the app and make sure that all of your devices have the latest versions.  

As long as your device with the app has internet access, device updates should be handled automatically in the background, but it pays to make sure they are working when setting up a new install. Overall, I was impressed with its ability to handle DLNA, AirPlay, Bluetooth, and TIDAL/Qobuz over Wi-Fi.

Where to buy: $79.99 at Amazon

Arylic S50 Pro+

Arylic S10 Pro

The more expensive Arylic S50 Pro+ operates as both a streamer and preamplifier, but with more connectivity options including a subwoofer output, single-ended RCA output, Coaxial and Optical Toslink outputs as well. The unit also features a 12V trigger system for integration in systems that support auto power on/off functionality.

I tested the unit using a set of powered speakers and subwoofer and found that it worked particularly well in this scenario. The S50 Pro+ operates in the same way as its less expensive sibling; the more I used the 4stream app, the more I liked how simple it was to use.

But why do you need to spend the extra money on the S50 Pro+?

Arylic S50 Rear New
Arylic S50 Pro+

The S50 Pro+ does have a distinct advantage over its smaller sibling when Bluetooth is used for streaming platforms that you can’t stream natively through the 4stream app. This is because the S50 Pro+ supports aptX HD while the S10 only offers SBC and AAC support.  

The Bluetooth signal was consistently strong and reliable through the S50 Pro+ and I felt that it was superior to the S10 in that regard when using my smartphones.

Where to buy: $219.99 at Amazon

Arylic A50+

The third member of the trio from Arylic is the A50+ which combines most of the features of the S50+ preamp, but adds a 50 watts per channel Class D amplifier for those who want a network amplifier. 

Arylic A50+

Because of the increased power demand created by integrating the power amplifier, a 24V power supply is provided with the unit. The power supply uses a standard PC style power cable between the wall and the unit which makes it easy to change connectors for different environments.  

I tested the unit with a pair of JBL Studio 220 speakers and a 550P subwoofer; it worked flawlessly with the 4stream app and content from TIDAL, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

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Arylic A50+ Rear
Arylic A50+

The Bluetooth in the A50+ is the same module used in the S10 which means that it is limited to AAC and SBC, and it did demonstrate a tendency to cut in and out more easily than the S50 Pro+.

I also tested the A50+ with both DLNA support for my NAS setup and with a USB stick with roughly 500 tracks; both scenarios worked flawlessly.

If you’re looking for AirPlay support, the A50+ worked perfectly with my iPad and I did not have to use the 4stream app with any music streaming platform.

Where to buy: $199.99 at Amazon


With the S10 and S50 Pro+ both being preamps, the sound was very dependent on the chain of devices that I used with them.

I found that both had good linearity in their own right with the S50 Pro+ having a bit higher voltage output that translated into a slightly higher output level when attached to the same amplifier.   

Neither of the preamps exhibited any audible non-linearity and both offer a very clean, but slightly lean sounding tonal balance. The app does offer EQ that is the digital equivalent of the treble and bass knobs on older stereo receivers.   

The good news is that I didn’t feel the need for EQ, but for those who find the tonal balance and presentation to be slightly on the lean side, you’ll have to compensate somewhere else (amplifier or loudspeakers).

The A50+ integrates a class D amplifier and depending on the power supply used can output up to 50 watts per channel. The unit ships with a 24V power supply and should provide full output power using that supply.   

The A50+ will operate on a 12V supply for use in automotive (RV, 5th wheel) or marine applications; I’m leaning towards houseboat and not a fishing boat because none of the products will survive getting wet.

If powered with a 12V supply, the output is closer to 22 watts and the speakers need to be adjusted to get the best output. I found the A50+ to be slightly cool and dry sounding which is often (but not always) the case with class D amplifiers.

The A50+ delivered solid bass impact, but did not deliver much warmth and is best paired with a warmer sounding speaker.  

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4stream scanning
4Strearm Device List
4stream now playing

On the low end, I tried the A50+ with the Dayton B652 Air, Kantu YU Passive 4, and the JBL Arena 120 loudspeakers. None of these sell for more than $200 a pair and would be make a solid budget system with the Arylic A50+.

The Dayton B652 felt a little underpowered and I’d suggest the Dayton 452 Air as a a better fit. The 6-inch driver on the B652 did give better bass response but sounded strained in the process. Of the three budget models, the JBL sounded best and was more at ease with the power levels provided by the A50+.

I also tried a couple of more expensive speakers just to see how the A50+ would perform with more difficult and higher resolution models; I tried my KEF Q350s from my office system and a pair of borrowed SVS Prime bookshelf speakers.

Both systems were a step-up from the budget systems; better resolution and transparency, but the KEF was obviously happier with the power output of the A50+. The SVS Prime are very clean and dynamic sounding loudspeakers but felt entirely underpowered by the A50+; in comparison to my NAD 7175PE Receiver which had zero difficulty driving the Prime and exhibited far greater control in the low end and had a much warmer tonal balance.

Arylic Network Player Trio


As much as I like the hardware in all 3 scenarios, the main reason to purchase any of these network preamplifiers or amplifiers is the 4stream app. It may not be as slick as Sonos S2, but it offers far more features and access to almost every major music streaming platform. I loved being able to connect USB drives or my network with the DLNA support.

If you’re looking for a single system or multi-room network player solution, the Arylic Network Players are versatile, affordable, and strong performers.

Where to buy: Arylic at Amazon |

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