iFi has finalised the Aurora wireless music system (£1,399) first seen in Munich earlier this year. Clad in bamboo and elevated by a aluminium frame, the Aurora’s aesthetic was created by French product designer Julien Haziza. Six drive units nestle behind the bamboo fins that curve around the Aurora’s sides, with a further two bass radiators underneath. The system’s control panel sits front and centre, with touch-sensitive controls and an OLED display.
The Aurora connects to a home Wi-Fi network, enabling users to stream music via their favourite apps, or play audio files stored on networked devices such as computers and NAS drives. The Aurora supports data up to 32-bit/192kHz without conversion or down- sampling via Wi-Fi, USB or Ethernet cable. Bluetooth streaming also delivers much better sound quality than is typically the case, engineered by iFi to be less ‘lossy’ than off-the-shelf Bluetooth solutions. All the latest 24-bit Bluetooth codecs are supported, including aptX Adaptive, aptX HD, LDAC and HWA.
Linkplay’s MUZO Player app – or any UPnP/DLNA streaming app – may be used to configure the system and control music. AirPlay and Spotify Connect are also supported. Several Auroras may be linked together on a Wi-Fi network to make a seamless multi-room system, playing in sync or controlled individually. Whether streaming music from services such as Spotify or Tidal, or surfing internet radio.
The decision to build the Aurora’s cabinet from bamboo was not simply based on its aesthetic properties and environmental sustainability, although these are important considerations. It is also a natural sound absorber, which brings significant acoustic benefits. The hand-built cabinet is stiff and well-braced, with strategically placed damping material to ensure the speaker drivers operate without vibrations and other forms of distortion sullying the sound.