Altair reviews wanted

Considering this for my system to pair with a Rogue Sphinx 2 integrated amp and a pair of KEF LS50s.

Looking for reviews of this with Roon sound quality, etc. Currently using a Pi-Allo DigiOne-Emotiva DC1.

I had one for a few weeks, sounded fine but the network functionality would shut off after about 2-3 minutes of listening every time. This was both with RAAT and via their software. Had to hard power cycle the device to get the network to work again.

I talked with support and they passive aggressively told me to return the unit because “Auralic products aren’t for everyone”. Wouldn’t even bother trying to send me a replacement. Uh huh. So I won’t be buying this brand again.


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That is really amazing given the price.

I have one. It is a fantastic unit. You need to have a good, stable, wireless network though. I stream everything via wireless as recommended by Auralic for the best sound quality. I have a NAS with all my music. A Skull Canyon NUC as my Roon Core and the Altair as my endpoint. Roon works flawlessly with the Altair and I can stream everything from MP3 to 24/192 FLAC and DSD to it flawlessly. It really does help to have some understanding of your home network and have some decent network equipment so you can have some control over your traffic. I have my audio system on a separate VLAN and I have wireless access points placed in my environment so that I have 100% coverage everywhere.
I have the Altair set up as a lightning server but I never use it that way. I think that it is far too limiting for all except the most basic playback. Thank goodness for Roon so I don’t have to use it.
The Altair sounds very good. I use it as a streamer as well as a DAC for my CD player. I have a hard time describing sound but I truly don’t think that you will be disappointed. It is very natural and not at all artificial or digital sounding.
The Altair eliminated a lot of clutter for me. I used to have a streamer, a DAC, and a media converter (because I used fiber optic networking) and all of the associated cabling. The Altair condensed this down to one box with a power plug and cabling to my integrated amp. Overall I couldn’t recommend the Altair more. It sounds great and once set up works flawlessly and simply. I love it!

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What do you think of how it handles MQA files?

Sorry, but I have never tried MQA. I don’t have any MQA files locally nor do I subscribe to any streaming service that offers it. If Roon eventually offers MQA decoding the Altair has an MQA pass through setting. Right now MQA is not that important to me. At least if I need to buy a DAC that decodes MQA in the future I can. You can just use the Altair as a streamer and use an external DAC.

The ALTAIR works great for me.
I’ve upgraded from a Bluesound NODE 2, two different worlds in sound.

The ALTAIR has a clarity and soundstage, I’ve never experienced before.
The headphone amplifier is okay, but for high impedance headphones (like my Sennheiser HD 800S) you should look for separate amplifier to drive them.
I love my ALTAIR especially with balanced connections to my AURALIC TAURUS headphone amplifier…

With firmware 5.x you can do the initial setup using a web browser (in the case, you are not using iOS).

Network is wireless @5GHz, fed by a SonicTransporter i5, no dropouts.
You can upsample using the ALTAIR or ROON, I’m doing it in ROON up to DSD 128 and stream DSD directly.
Regarding MQA: AURALIC is going another way dealing with MQA, but MQA is not my business

Regarding the experience of Mike and some other users, please read in AURALICs forum, there were definitely hardware issues with the wireless cards. But things seem to be more stable right now.

It’s a great piece of audio hardware, I love it

My experience was both with wifi and hardwired ethernet. It locked up in both instances. The RaspberryPi serving the DAC directly has had exactly zero problems streaming in a year of ownership.

Also the fact that they didn’t even want to troubleshoot it was surprising.

Bumping this up for other reviews.