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Review and Measurements of Soundaware A1

WolfX-700

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#1
Last weekend, I received Soundaware A1 from my friend for measurement:

Photo.jpg



This is a multifunctional device, which can be found on the interface behind:

Photo2.jpg


Here are some of its features: (taken from the manufacturer's website)


Multifunctional streaming music player:
Support Roon Ready, Airplay, DLNA, Samba etc, sampling rate to PCM 384kHz and DSD256. Patented FPGA technology optimized LAN/WAN player with dual headphone output.

HIFI Bluetooth DAC/headphone amplifier
HIFI level Bluetooth dual headphone output processed by FPGA clock.

CD player and ripper
Connected to appointed USB driver, A1 can play and rip CD in high precision mode.

SD card/HDD music player
Large capacity SD card/HDD supported, high performance off-line music player.

IMO the main advantage is that it costs less than $ 450 on Taobao


This is my first review and measurement of a Multifunctional device.The concept of the required measurement is not complete. I will do more casually.

Anyway, look at the performance ... (but considering the price and features, please do not expect this to be a high-performance device)

Dashboard-Roon.jpg



Dashboard-SD.jpg



Dashboard-USB.jpg




It appears that the analog output performance of different signal sources is consistent.

So the following details of the analog output measurement will only be USB input.

Dynamic-Range---AES17.jpg

Linearity-(-20.jpg


THD+N-Ratio.jpg


SMPTE-Ratio.jpg


Multitone.jpg



Finally, another part: Consider that it has digital outputs. Let's look at the jitter of the digital output.

JitterDashboard.jpg


JitterFFT.jpg



Simple conclusion: the functions are very diverse and the analog output performance is average. Digital output performance is poor.
 
Last edited:

Tks

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#2
Honestly, that screen tho..

And all that functionality. Manufacturers, please compete on this sort of level. Performance of modern devices is really good, lets get some secondary and tertiary features going if possible? We're not scientists in lab coats collecting these things to put in our collections... We enjoy furnishing and functionality as well!
 

pozz

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#3
I'm happy to see product reviews like this. Over in Asia the tech niches produce very interesting combination products. I've seen only a few, and heard of more.
Honestly, that screen tho..

And all that functionality. Manufacturers, please compete on this sort of level. Performance of modern devices is really good, lets get some secondary and tertiary features going if possible? We're not scientists in lab coats collecting these things to put in our collections... We enjoy furnishing and functionality as well!
I dunno, I enjoy the black featureless box aesthetic very much:p
 

Tks

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#4
I'm happy to see product reviews like this. Over in Asia the tech niches produce very interesting combination products. I've seen only a few, and heard of more.

I dunno, I enjoy the black featureless box aesthetic very much:p
Honestly for amps, I do too. But if it's something a bit more complex with multiple features like streamers, I enjoy a nice screen with visualizers, or something that can display nice coverart of your collection :}

Since most of my music is on drives on computer/laptop, I'm very enthusiastic chasing down the best cover art I can find. You know, to make up for the loss in physical media like the complimentary sheets with little bits of history or visuals you would get when getting Vinyl or CD and such.

I enjoy how music always had a relationship with graphic design/art. Lots of downloadable music today comes with some cover art at best (rarely do I get things like PDF's with more content like coversheet and such). I wish the world wasn't this weird though. Let me explain what I mean by that. You know how back in the past, we used to get all these sorts of things, at a time when computers, logistics, technology, communications and ALLLL that was slow, and required more effort? Why is it in the present, we now can do all those things we used to be able to do in the past, but instead not only have we got it easier, but we double down on scummy behavior, and providing less value, by not even providing some form of those lost parts (like provide native resolution cover art, or PDF's that would have bee present in a CD or vinyl recorded on physical paper).

I really hate that, and that's the only instance where I agree with old timers that say "things were better back in the day". It honestly does feel like AT LEAST in the past (even when all aspects of life required more work to achieve the same thing we can do today so much easier) we were given more bang for our buck. It's really sad how everything that can be gotten away with, people tend to try and get away with at all costs most of the time.
 

pozz

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#5
I hear you about cover art and inserts. I collect CDs of fringe experimental and avant-garde music, where there's massive effort into creative unusual packaging and text (outside of the more-common-than-you'd-think blank approach: unicolor sleeve, unmarked CD, untitled track names). Big difference between these and netlabel releases.
 
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#8
Sad to see performance is not good. I’ve been looking for an attractive digital streamer with display and Roon + CD playback support to replace my Raspberry Pi. This one looks beautiful and checks all of the boxes.
Any other similar devices or manufacturers in China I should be aware of in my search? It seems like a lot of audio innovation is coming from China these days. Wish Matrix Audio would release a streamer with a display that can show album art.
 
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