Do you like simple? I like simple. Let’s make a system hardware checklist: Ayre EX-8, DeVore Fidelity gibbon X, sonic Transporter i5 (Roon Core), NAS (music storage), iPad remote (Roon), and a router. Check.
Add in the Tellurium Q Black II speaker cable, AudioQuest Ethernet cable, and a power cord and you’re done. On one hand, that may sound like a long list compared to a smartphone or Bluetooth speaker, but this setup can fill a Barn-sized space with music streamed from my music library and Tidal HiFi. Try that with this.
Compared to the hifi I own, the Ayre EX-8 replaces: Leben CS-600, dCS Network Bridge, totaldac d1-Seven, and a bunch of power cords and cables. That’s a lot of stuff and a lot of scratch.
The big question is—how does the all-in-one Ayre fare? I’ll tell you all about in the full review but I can say that first impressions suggest the Ayre is a bit more of a bass control freak as compared to the Leben. Put on your dancin’ shoes!