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Review Metrum Acoustics Ambre Roon Endpoint

Pros

  • Amazing sound quality
  • Flexibility
  • i2S digital off
  • Roon

Cons

  • Dimensions (size) is not always convenient
  • I2s only possible with sacrificial USB input
  • Build quality
    Usability
    Sound
    Price

    De Sound

    We took our time to get an impression of the Ambre. And we can be very brief: the Metrum Ambre is an insane musical stream. Rhythmically, everything is just spot on. Drums, bass-kicks and high-hats are fast and tight. Vocals come out of both our Epicons and the Sopras extremely smoothly. No fringes, no harshness and an onset that we rarely hear. It makes the whole thing particularly easy to understand. In particular via AES or I2S.

    Finally, the soundstage. And this is where the Ambre excels. Especially if you have the possibility to use the I2S connection. We really hear a room-filling stereo image. So not only in width, but also in depth we hear information. And the focus? Spot-on. Frightening how three-dimensional the voices are projected. We can hear that on our reference set in the listening room. Because at home we don’t have this I2S connection to make a comparison with AES.

    Optical, coaxial, AES or I2S

    In this review we often talk about AES and I2S. But what about coax and optical? Well… the Ambre plays nicely through all the exits. But there is an audible difference between optical, coax, AES and I2S. Spdif via coaxial or optical is virtually the same. We use an Audioquest Diamond coax-interlink and a Vodka optical cable. And both sound neat and almost the same. If we make a step to AES with an interlink from Art Speak, we clearly hear a tighter layer and a law deeper and larger stereo image. There will be more space information and a tidier, more trackable low range. If you have the choice between coax, optical or AES, run via AES.

    Then the step to I2S. It’ll cost, but you’ll have some. In our case, the Step to I2S brings even more space in the display. And an even more real focus. All elements in the music are given their own place. As if the cast of a film set is placed a little tighter on the cross by the director. Bizarre.

    Sounds like the whole thing is a fraction more pure. There’s a very light curtain going away. Again, the layer in particular is slightly tighter than via AES, but it is subtle (though audible).

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