Auris Amplify BT DAC/AMP Review
Auris was founded in 2013 and is a team of friends, engineers, audio geeks, designers and explorers that are bound together with one purpose in mind to create wireless audio solutions that can do simplify and enhance your modern lifestyle.
Auris Webpage: https://theauris.com/
The Amplify is a Hi-Res Bluetooth receiver with compact design that features AKM’s 32-bit AK4377ECB Digital-Analogue Converter and Qualcomm’s CSR8675 BT SoC which supports Bluetooth codes such like LDAC, aptX HD, aptX, AAC, SBC and many more.
I would like to thank Auris for providing me the Amplify as review sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Auris beyond this review and my words reflect the true and unaltered impressions about the product.
The MSRP price for the Auris Amplify is $89.00 USD and can be purchased under the link below;
- Product Web Page: Auris Amplify
Package and Accessories:
The Auris Amplify came in a cardboard box in black color that sports some brandings and the illustration of the product.
The box contains the following items;
- 1 x Auris Amplify Bluetooth Receiver & DAC/Amplifier
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB A Charging Cable
- 1 x Hands-free Clip Mount
- 1 x User Guide
Design, Buttons and Build Quality:
The Auris Amplify is a portable Wireless BT DAC/AMP that is available in black and silver color options. The dimensions of de device are about 66mm*33mm*11mm and it weight only 28 grams which makes it to a pretty lightweight BT DAC/AMP.
The body material is made of Anodized Aluminum Alloy, while the bottom where the USB-Type-C connector is located is made of plastic material.
On the top of the Amplify is the 3.5mm (1/8”) headphone output, a microphone with Qualcomm’s cVc technology and a LED indicator.
On the front of the device is the auris logo and branding.
At the bottom is the USB Type-C port to charge the device.
On the right surface are the Multi Functional buttons with a 3-Button Design which do offer a good response.
The sides of the device are curved and do offer a nice grip.
At the rear side of the Auris Amplify are some product specific brandings and industrial certifications printed in white color.
The Amplify came with a Hands-free clip mount that can be attached to the rear side of the device.
When it comes to the overall build quality of the device I can say that is pretty good at this price point.
- Model : Auris Amplify
- DAC : AKM AK3377ECB
- PCM Support : 768kHz / 32bit
- Audio Input : Bluetooth 5.0
- Supported Codec’s : AAC, SBC, aptX, aptX Low Latency, aptX HD, LDAC and LHDC
- Bluetooth chip : Qualcomm CR8675
- Headphone Amplifier : Ground-reference Class-G Stereo Headphone AMP
- Output Power : 60mW@16 Ohm
- Output Noise Level : -129dBV
- SNR : 128dB
- THD+N : -109dB
- Frequency Response : 20～20kHz
- Battery : 300mAH
- Battery Life : about 12 hours
- Charging Time : ≤2 h
- USB Port : USB Type C
- Size : 66×33×11mm
- Weight : 28 g
Hardware and Functionality:
The Auris Amplify is equipped with some remarkable hardware solutions like Qualcomm’s CR8675 Bluetooth Chip and AKM’s AK4377ECB DAC chips that features an integrated amplifier.
a) Bluetooth Chip:
The Auris Amplify comes with Qualcomm’s CR8675 Bluetooth chip which is a premium low-power solution designed for enhanced audio applications with support for 24-bit transmission and processing, thanks to its 120MHz DSP. This chip is also much more stable in signal strength than other competing chips, especially in situations with lots of interference.
b) DAC and AMP Section:
The Auris Amplify is equipped with the stereo advanced 32-bit AKM AK4377ECB Digital-Analogue Converter (DAC) with an integrated headphone amplifier that supports up to 768 kHz PCM and native DSD256 encoding. With an impressively high 128dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and AKM’s unique VELVET SOUND low-distortion architecture, amplify delivers flawless, unfiltered sound in all the glories of the original performance in full-range.
The integrated Class-G Stereo amplifier offers an output power of 60mW @ 16 Ohm and shows a noise level of -129dBv.
- Please note that the Auris Amplify doesn’t function as a USB DAC.
The paring process of the Auris Amplify is quite easy and once you have paired the Amplify with your phone, tablet, pc, etc. it will automatically connect to your device.
- Press and hold the Multi-functional (MF) button for 2secs to power ON. ORANGE LED blinks once and “Power ON” sound plays when it is on. The Amplify will automatically go into pairing mode. The GREEN LED will start flashing every 0.5secs to indicate the unit is now in discoverable mode and ready to be paired.
- Now you need to scan listed Bluetooth devices and select “Auris amplify” to pair and connect. The GREEN LED indicator will flash twice every 2secs after the “Connection sound”.
- The music on your smart device will now play through your Headphone! The LED indicator should turn solid.
The Auris Amplify will automatically connect to your device that has been connected before.
The Auris Amplify features a built-in microphone that supports voice calls enabling you to receive calls when using your normal wired headphones without a microphone. The microphone is equipped with Qualcomm’s cVc™ noise cancellation technology that automatically adjusts the microphone and actively suppresses background noise allowing you make and take loud, clear calls, even on the move.
e) Battery Life:
The Auris Amplify is equipped with an integrated 300 mAh battery and offers about 11 – 11.5 hours of playback time. I have set the volume to %40 and have use the AAC codec with my iPad Air2 device. A full charge of the Amplify takes around 2 hours.
The overall battery performance is pretty good for such a small portable device.
The Auris Amplify shows a low amount of hissing with some of my sensitive IEM’s like the DUNU DK3001 Pro and BGVP ArtMagic VG4.
g) Supported Audio Formats:
The Ausris Amplify features Sony’s Hi-Res wireless audio coding technology LDAC that provides an enhanced wireless listening experience for all your music via Bluetooth. LDAC maintains maximum bit depth and a frequency range of 96 kHz/24-bit during transmission and is capable of high compression efficiency and reproduction.
The Auris Amplify also supports aptX HD which is an enhanced audio codec that allows you to receive 48KHz/24-bit audio via Bluetooth and has been engineered to improve the signal-to-noise ratio, resulting in lower background noise. It preserves sound data through the audio transmission, resulting in a ‘better-than-CD’ listening experience.
Other supported Bluetooth codec’s are aptX, aptX Low Latency, AAC and SBC.
Equipments used for this review:
- BT DAC/APM’s : Auris Amplify, FiiO BTR3K
- IEM’s/Earbuds : Akoustyx R220, BGVP ArtMagic VG4, iBasso IT00, FiiO FD1, Ourat ACG
- Headphones : SIVGA Phoenix, Audio-Technica ATH-M50
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Spotify)
- London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Spotify)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Leonard Cohen – You Wnt it Darker (Spotify)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kpbs)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory “Album” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
The Auris Amplify is a BT DAC/AMP that shows a neutral tonality with a hint of warmth.
The general presentation is balanced with a slightly amount of brightness, while the sound midbass, the vocals and upper midrange is a bit more highlighted compared to the rest of the sound spectrum.
The subbass region of the Auris Amplify has an average level of depth and extension, while the tonality is soft and slightly warmish. It doesn’t show much intensity when I use it with IEM’s like the BQEYZ Spring1 or ArtMagic VG4 and won’t maybe satisfy does who want a source that can add additional subbass response.
The good thing about the subbass region is the control and transparency which is on a pretty good for such a portable device. The subbass quantity/rumble was on an sufficient level when I have listen to genres like EDM or Trance paired with the FiiO FD1 and iBasso IT00.
The Auris Amplify shows a good midbass intensity and impact especially when paired with the iBasso IT00 and FiiO FD1. The midbass region of the Amplify has more intensity/quantity compare to the subbass area.
The Auris Amplify shows in general with all paired headphones and earphones a fast, tight and controlled bass response, while good amount of detail retrieval for the price.
The midrange of the Auris Amplify is pretty detailed and shows a fairly neutral, slightly bright and transparent tonality with a tad of warmth. The Amplify is a good choice if you like an intimate vocal presentation and is successful with both female and male vocals.
The lower midrange of the Amplify shows a good level of depth with fairly neutral IEM’s like the Akoustyx R-220, while it is les pronounce compared to the upper midrange. Male vocals do sound pretty detailed and transparent and do show an average level of body.
The upper midrange of the Auris Amplify is more highlighted compared to the lower midrange and sound in general quite transparent and detailed. This tuning is the main reason why female vocal do sound clear, airy and detailed with IEM’s from the iBasso IT00 up to the ArtMagic VG4 and R-220.
The tonality of female vocals is a bit warmish while I didn’t notice any remarkable sibilance or sharpness.
The instrument tonality of the Auris Amplify is quite neutral, slightly bright and shows a tad of warmth. The general instrument presentation is quite detailed and clear and shows a good amount of air between the instruments.
Upper Midrange and Treble:
The Auris Amplify has a strong upper midrange intensity that shows a close to neutral tonality. This frequency range sounds quite airy and offers a good level of clarity and extension, while the transitions are in general fairly controlled without to show any remarkable sibilance or sharpness.
Instruments like violins do have a good level of extension with both the ArtMagic VG4 and the Akoustyx R-220 and do show a slightly bright tonality.
The treble range of the Auris Amplify is accented, airy and do show a nice level of sparkle that is not overdone. A remarkable plus point of the treble range is the overall control in this area. The focal point of the treble range is the presence (lower treble region), while the upper treble region shows less emphasis compared to the lower treble area that decreases in a controlled manner.
The treble range sounds fairly controlled with all IEM’s I have tested with it. For example, cymbals in metal music are controlled and highlighted, while the hits of the hi-hats are coming slightly from the background. The Auris Amplify offers in general a fairly bright, airy detailed treble presentation which shows and sufficient performance from genres like jazz up to metal music with the earphones I have listen to it.
The soundstage of the Auris Amplify shows a sufficient performance in terms of separation of instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the Amplify is quite airy with good level and offers a good level of width and average depth.
Auris Amplify versus FiiO BTR3K (with 3.5mm TRS):
The FiiO BTR3K is a smaller and a more premium looking device compared to the Auris Amplify. The BTR3K is also cheaper and offers both analog (3.5mm single ended and 2.5mm Balanced) and Digital output (USB DAC) options.
When it comes to the sound, I can say that the FiiO BTR3K has a slightly warmer tonality compared to the Auris Amplify which sounds more neutral. The subbass region of the BTR3K shows more depth and extension, while both are pretty similar in performance in the midbass region that is strong and accented.
The midrange of the FiiO BTR3K has a warmer and smother tonality in direct comparison to the Auris Amplify that offers a more neutral and slightly less bodied midrange character. The general midrange tuning makes the BTR3K more successful with both male and female vocals. The upper midrange and treble region of both BT DAC/AMP’s is successful, while the treble range of the Auris Amplify is brighter and sharper in its presentation.
The Amplify is slightly better in terms of soundstage wideness, while the BTR3K is superior in terms of soundstage depth.
The Auris Amplify is a small portable Wireless BT DAC/AMP which offers access to a wide variety of Bluetooth Audio codec’s and shows a pretty good sound performance with its fairly linear bass response, neutral and detailed midrange and a treble region that shows a good level of sparkle and extension. What it can’t offers is a 2.5mm balanced output and USB DAC functionality which do become more and more to the new norms in this product category.
Pos and Cons:
- + Linear & Controlled Bass Response
- + Upper Midrange Clarity & Detail
- + Treble Extension / Brightness
- + Good Build Quality
- – Lower Midrange Depth
- – No USB DAC Function
- – No 2.5mm Balanced Output
- – Maybe too Neutral and Bright (Subjective)