Arylic 2.1 amplifier review – Pros and Cons
Arylic Up2steam 2.1 amp review
The Arylic 2.1 amplifier is a flashy mini amp. Why flashy? Because it has too many features. And, to be honest, I don’t know if that is a positive or a negative. You might be tempted to say it’s a pro, but the problem is, as you start to add different features, the price goes up as well. By having too many bells and whistles means that you are most likely not going to use the amp at it’s full potential, you’re just going to use some of its functions. So, are you going to pay extra for functions which you will never use, but have the possibility to use later on, or just get something that suits your needs at the right price?
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For what this is, a mini amp board, the specs are quite impressive.
Let’s talk about the power first. Here are the numbers :
- 2x50W@4Ω + 100W@2Ω at 24V
- 2x30W@8Ω + 75W@4Ω at 24V
- 2x22W@8Ω + 48W@4Ω 19V
- 2x15W@8Ω + 30W@4Ω at 15V
If you add those numbers you get a combined 200 W of power if you got the right impedance speakers. However, take note that this amp does not include a power supply. You have to buy it separately. They do offer one, which is a 24V 4.16 A. The voltage can be between 12-24V and the amperage, the more the merrier. If you choose to buy their power brick, you cannot push past 100 W and if you want to reach the maximum power capabilities of this amp you will need a 24V 9.2A amp power supply. Those are quite expensive, but maybe you will hook up high impedance drivers and you don’t need a high amp power brick anyway.
Prices and optional stuff
This Arylic 2.1 amplifier comes with a lot of optional stuff that you can buy. You might need it or you might not. Here are a list of things you can buy for this amp and also the prices for each one. First, here are some links from where you can buy the amp (prices might vary over time) :
- [EU] SoundImports – Arylic Up2Stream 2.1 – 100 EUR (affiliate paid link)
- [US] Amazon – Arylic Up2Stream 2.1 – 100 USD (affiliate paid link)
Now here is a list of expansion boards and other compatible stuff with this mini amplifier :
- 24V 4.16A Power brick – 25$
- Remote control – 10$
- Acrylic case – 8$
- External antenna – 5$
- Software package – 20$
- Button board – 15$
- SPDIF IN board – 15$
- SPDIF OUT board – 15$
- IR Extension board – 15$
As you can see, things start to add up if you really want to deck this amp out. The only mandatory item you need to buy is the power supply, if you don’t have something lying around the house.
Knobs and buttons
The Arylic 2.1 amplifier has a bunch of knobs an buttons. And they are not that straightforward, as you can turn the knobs, press them and also long-press them to access various functions.
You got 3 dials at the front : Volume on the right side, Treble in the middle and Bass on the left side. Besides the obvious function of turning the dials, here’s what they do if you press them:
- Short press : Change the source (Wi-fi, Bluetooth, Aux-in and USB)
- Short press : Reset the treble setting
- Long press : Increase the crossover frequency by 10 Hz
- Short press : Reset the bass setting
- Long press : Decrease the crossover frequency by 10 Hz
This is a real crossover, not just a low pass filter for the subwoofer. You get a LPF for the sub and a HPF for the other 2 speakers. The frequency can be changed from 80 Hz all they up to 200 Hz. If you don’t have a subwoofer, the crossover can be bypassed, but only if you buy the optional software package.
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There is another button on the back of the board which is basically an on/off button. If you long-press it, it terminates the wireless connection you are on (BT or Wi-fi). Problem with this button is the placement. If you front panel mount this mini amp board, with the knobs to the exterior, the button will be out of reach. You can solve this by soldering any momentary switch to the terminals of this button. No need for series resistors or something like that.
This 2.1 amp board features 2 apps. One for you phone, and one for your computer. The phone app is used to stream music via Wi-fi. It’s called 4STREAM. You can listen to music from your phone, from internet radio and most of the music streaming apps on the market : Spotify, Pandora, Deezer, Tidal etc. This can be done all though the app. You can also change the source or do Bass/Treble adjustments from the app. The knobs on the board can be turned indefinitely. As a result, it doesn’t matter if you change setting physically on the board, from the app or from the remote. The app works great in my opinion.
Regarding the optional software package, this may or may not be for you. Besides some pointless stuff you can do with this software, there are some things which might peak your interest. Like one of these:
- Crossover adjustment for each channel individually
- Crossover deactivation if no subwoofer is present
- 10 band parametric EQ for each channel
- 10 band parametric EQ for the whole system
- Gain adjustments for each channel
- Gain adjustment for each sound source
If you want to use the parametric EQ then you definitely need this software package. Otherwise, I don’t see much point in buying it.
The sound quality is fine. You can’t rant about, nor praise it. It’s a mini amplifier board, you get what you expect. The power capabilities are there, and you get what you hoped for. Also, make sure to have the appropriate power supply, to not be disappointed.
One thing I want to mention is that the there is some weird clicking noise when Bluetooth source is selected. It’s only noticeable when there is no music playing and you have to be really close to the speakers. If you don’t play music for like 10 seconds the amp goes in some idle mode and the clicking goes away completely. This doesn’t bother me, but I had to mention it. It might be a nuisance if you have very efficient speakers (91+ dB 1W/1m).
This amp is not for everybody. It has a respectful price tag and only some projects will consider it. Most likely if you want to EQ, then this is the amp for you. However, bear in mind that you need the amp, the power brick and the software to purchase. So, make sure you add everything up before you decide. In conclusion, this is not your typical Chinese amp. This Arylic 2.1 amplifier has so many functions that only a few will wish to pay extra for them. If you are interested in what I’m going to use it for? I’m going to make a 2.1 home boombox. Stay tuned!