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A1Pro flagship Streamer Officially released!

Soundaware A1Pro Flagship Streamer Officially Released!

Some are familiar with the A1 & A280C streamers by Soundaware. A lot of fans have been waiting for this new release. Significant delays have prevented the company from launching the product. But, Soundaware surprised everyone by suddenly launching the new model. The new Soundaware A1 Pro is a substantial upgrade over the previous models.

Since the A1's release in the first half of 2019, it has been recognized and supported by many music lovers and fans all over the world. It is small in size, powerful, HIFI player. However, as a multi-functional product, the purpose of A1 is to let many music lovers understand HIFI, feel HIFI, and experience the beauty of high-reduced sound quality. 

The small size and powerful functions make it have more usage scenarios. However, although A1 has received a lot of recognition and support, it does not mean that it meets all sincere music lovers' precise needs. 

The new flagship A1Pro is based on the A1 and uses 70% of the analog filtering and amplification circuits of the A300. At the same time, it draws many experiences from the official development board of the AKM flagship. 

Soundaware A1Pro Upgrades:

  • Lower noise floor to prevent hissing noise in highly sensitive in-ear Monitors.
  • Lower Total Harmonic Distortion + noise (THD+N)
  • Improvements to the analog and digital outputs.
  • Redesigned DA and amp circuits.
  • Performance exceeding A300.
  • Higher power output.


Totally Redesigned DAC Circuit :

Extremely high-precision filtering and full DC circuit make the distortion of line-level output reach a staggering 0.0005x%! This extremely low number exceeds the output specifications of many DACs using the same AKM4497 chip.

It may be unclear to many fans that the AKM chip distortion indicators are difficult to achieve. Even with the voltage output flagship AKM4497 chip, the line-level distortion (THD+N) is rarely less than 0.0005%, let alone the AKM4490 used in the Soundaware A1Pro.

The main reason is that the AKM chip has extremely high requirements on peripheral circuits so that the official development circuit does not necessarily reach this target. The company researched the AKM official flagship development board in 2016, and deeply understood many official documents relating to the AKM chip. Furthermore, many more details not mentioned in the manuals. Soundaware even surpassed some of the specs of the official chip.

A1Pro's filtering and amplifying circuits are discrete, and no official reference circuit was used. The official reference circuit has a prominent problem. It all uses a coupling circuit to isolate the DC output. This is a significant loss of information that also causes significant phase distortion. 

Flagship Level Engineering:

As the flagship of this series, A1Pro couldn't use this circuit. Generally speaking, this problem is usually solved through a zero adjustment circuit with a potentiometer or a high-grade isolated output. This is a costly way to remove DC. The zero-adjusting circuit is amplified by twice the symmetrical positive and negative, and symmetrically eliminated by the same voltage.

Because of the accuracy of the components, it is necessary to adjust each unit's zero resistance. The price of other high-end export cattle is also very high, but the indicators have not always been ideal. A1Pro is developed based on the experience of A300. By using the instrument-level reference level high-precision four times fully symmetrical amplifier circuit to eliminate positive and negative DC, no additional zero-adjusting circuit is required. The desired output effect can be obtained. The DC output is much lower than most coupling circuits so that the most original and real Sound can be obtained.

The Soundaware A1Pro has a significantly improved decoding ability, 192khz coaxial, and fiber input, and fully balanced XLR output has been added. The output level voltage has also increased. XLR 4.8VRMS, and RCA 2.4V RMS. 

Thanks to the redesign of the internal amplifier circuit, the RCA performance has been upgraded to a higher level. The analog power supply of A1Pro increased by 30%. The power supply of the whole machine is also more luxurious, and the capacity of the analog filter capacitor is increased by nearly 10 times compared with A1!


Ultra-low Distortion Sound :

With all these designs and long-term tuning and adjustments, the Sound of the Soundaware A1Pro is completely reborn compared to A1. Sound density and control are greatly improved. The sound style is full and accurate.

The A1Pro amp version integrates the amp circuit of the next-generation flagship product. It adopts a fully shielded circuit with full DC, fully symmetrical, multi-tube parallel current, Ultra-Low distortion, and load distortion reaches 0.0007x%, and the noise floor is extremely low. The single-ended output is far superior to A280, and the 4.4 fully balanced output performance is very close to A300 (provide 4.4 to XLR connector).

Roon Ready:

A1Pro has all the functions of A1, and the firmware part also continues the latest A1 firmware. Support DLNA remote control, Airplay, Roonready, NAS, etc., support the latest stable firmware global loop, sound source memory, memory playback, seamless playback, and other new features that A1 users like to use.

A1Pro is available in a standard version and a true balanced amp version. The colors are black, silver, and blue. The three colors' prices are the same, but the blue color is limited to 50 units and will be sold to previous buyers. 


Soundaware A1Pro Tech Specs:

Front interface

  1. 4.4mm fully balanced headphone output        
  2. 6.35mm single-ended headphone output

Side interface

SD*1: theoretical support maximum 2TB, actual measurement 512GB, support FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS

Rear interface

  1. USB*2 (power supply 500ma*2): support USB1.0, USB1.1, USB2.0, compatible with USB3.0, support hard disks higher than 2TB (single partition capacity needs to be less than 2TB) 
  2. LAN interface: 100Mbps full-duplex, support network NAS (Samba), UPNP/DLNA, ROON, etc.
  3. HIFI Bluetooth: Based on the FPGA active input clock to the Bluetooth module to synthesize IIS, the Sound is significantly more stable and true, almost consistent with lossless playback, and the Sound can be better optimized on mobile phones that support APTX.
  4. USB interface/DAC: FPGA-based USB high-performance interface/DAC, supporting 32~192khz, DSD 64~dsd128
  5.  RCA coaxial input: 0.5V pp, support 16-24bit, 44.1khz-192khz PCM input
  6. Optical fiber input: support 16-24bit, 44.1khz-96khz PCM input
  7. RCA coaxial output: 0.5V pp, support 16-24bit, 44.1khz-192khz PCM, DSD64 DOP output
  8. Optical fiber output: support 16-24bit, 44.1khz-96khz PCM output
  9. RCA*2: 2.4VRMS with volume control 
  10. XLR*2: 4.8VRMS with volume control
  11.  Power supply

A1Pro (XLR line output):

Distortion (THD+N): 0.0005x%

Frequency response: 20~20khz (+-0.2dB)

Dynamic ratio: 117dB

A1Pro amp output

Distortion (THD+N): 0.0007x%

  • Output Power (6.35mm)
  • 16Ω 305mw*2
  • 32Ω 693mw*2
  • 100Ω 500mw*2
  • 300Ω 188mw*2
  • Output Power (4.4mm)
  • 16Ω 308mw*2
  • 32Ω 627mw*2
  • 100Ω 2000mw*2
  • 300Ω 750mw*2


Software Optimization:

In terms of software functions, A1Pro is also rich. Enjoy the Sound and XMOS based on the FPGA optimized clock USB input interface; the sound effect is very close to the live performance; the highest can support DSD256 and 384khz.

Enjoy Sound is based on FPGA, actively inputting the clock to the Bluetooth module to synthesize IIS. When using the HIFI Bluetooth function, the Sound is significantly more stable and true, almost consistent with lossless playback, and the Sound can be optimized on APTX-enabled mobile phones.

As a webcast, the network interface is of great significance to A1Pro. Can support network NAS, DLNA LAN, and WAN push and control, such as foobar, 8player, BubbleUPnP, and other software, also supports Apple's Airplay. Besides, it also fully supports Roon ready, PCM384khz, and DSD256, so that whether offline music management or online Qobuz, HQplayery, and Tidal can be supported.


A1Pro's firmware is optimized based on the latest version of A1's firmware, seamless playback on the same frequency, memory function for sound source selection, etc. have been installed, and you can switch between various features to enjoy the best experience!

The Soundaware A1pro is a professional high-end HIFI product that will meet the demands of the most sophisticated audiophiles. It truly reflects the product concept of "simple, extreme, and enjoyable sound" that Soundaware pursues.

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Stefan Andersson - February 24, 2021

As I think, Matrix Mini-i Pro 3 and Soundaware A1Pro are very similar; Networked DAC, HP amp, RCA and balanced outputs. But A1Pro can handle DLNA, USB mass storage, SD memory, NAS via samba; Matrix cannot do that; LAN is for Roon (not yet certified). Is that correct thoughts? (But Matrix is more beautiful)

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