Pros: Value, Clear, Deep & Wide Presentation, Power, Build Quality, Inputs, DSD
Cons: Absolutely none at this price!
Headphones Used: Denon D5000, MM400
Iems Used: Final Audio Design Heaven V, VIII
I am a simple reviewer: more interested in the sound than the spec.s This is the first Aune product I have listened to though I have
done my fair share of reading about it (like the rest of us).
The AUNE X1S arrived in a fairly large box surrounded in 2" black styrofoam. Accessories included a usb cable, an adapter for smaller
iem size connectors and a large separate power supply. I received a black version. They are also available in silver. They both look good!
I used the Aune directly from my MacBook Pro USB out through a basic software music player called "Cog".
Cog will play mp3s all the way up to flac. I am just going to focus on several songs for impressions:
The opening 2 minutes of Hotel California began with the guitar on the right side of the soundstage. I could hear where the guitar notes
originated from but also that the notes filled the whole right side of the soundstage.The background was quiet allowing me to pay attention
to the strings, the notes and the harmonics. This was easy and entertaining to follow! I definitely heard more details when the drums (bongo?)
started. The drums were full, deep and controlled. The soundstage was very wide from left to right with plenty of separation between the instruments.
I had no problems following whatever I choose to.
Listening to Maria Mena was a treat. Her voice took center stage complimented by acoustic guitar. Everything was clear and detailed but
emotional (not analytical)…just the way a sad song is supposed to be!
Clare de Lune again filled the soundstage. The background was quiet enough to notice a good front to back soundstage. It was clear enough
to distinguish harps and oboes without confusing them for other instruments.
For fun, playing tunes by The Darkness or electronic music by Alcatraz showed me that the Aune can have fun when It wants to. Lots of bass depth
and rhythm and toe-tappin'
The Denon headphones I used were great for rock and electronica while the iems by Final Design Audio excelled with vocal, acoustics and classical.
i have no hesitation In using either phones or buds with this amp. It provides way more power than I will ever use, even with full size headphones
like the Denons.
The volume pot is of high quality and has a smooth and slow progression when changing the volume. No sudden volume surges! It has just the
right amount of resistance to give it a weighty fill that gives the impression of something costing significantly more.
Some people have mentioned that the power wart is too big. Personally, I appreciate it, having had some very high end preamps that all had
separate power supplies. It usually means a quieter background and less outside interference.
In finishing my review, I found the quality of construction and performance surprisingly good BUT I never thought that it could be achieved at this
price point! Who doesn't love a bargain?
The AUNE X1S is a KEEPER!!!