ConclusionThe Sonnet Audio Hermes is a beautiful streamer. It is well built, now has a display, numerous connection possibilities and can also run other software than ROON. So why four stars?
Simple: the step up from the Ambre is not really audible and the market has not stood still. We see more and more competitors who also deliver beautiful products in this class. This does not alter the fact that the combination of the Hermes with the Morpheus is unprecedentedly good. Especially with the I2S-coupling! Who already has an Ambre... don't worry... The Hermes is not directly an upgrade.
Who is this Sonnet Hermes for? Well… especially for those who have a Metrum dac or Sonnet dac with I2S input. Because it is precisely then that this Sonnet Hermes excels. The I2S link is really better than optical and coaxial. The difference with AES is audible, but subtle. Then it is mainly about air and finesse in the ‘atmosphere’ of the music. For 1200 euros you get a very good streamer with the Sonnet Audio Hermes. A streamer that seems to add or take away little to nothing. However, know that you still need a – high quality – dac and preferably a Metrum or Sonnet variant with I2S.