Home Review Denafrips Ares II d/a converter

Review Denafrips Ares II d/a converter



  • Excellent sound
  • Balanced output
  • Versatility
  • Price


  • Changing filters is cumbersome
  • No remote control

Price: € 820

Build quality
Denafrips Ares II



Here we discuss the sound via oversampling with the slow filter because after a few days of switching back and forth, we decided to use it for the full duration of the review. A dac should have no sound but we have found out several times that each d/a converter has its own signature. The most important thing is that a dac does its job unobtrusively as much as possible. And that is exactly what this little Ares 2 does very well. Still, there are some things that stand out especially when we switch back and forth with the Benchmark 3B. In a transparent system you do hear differences between different dacs. Witness our multitest from a while back (and the video).

We put on a couple of reference tracks and start our listening session. The first thing we notice is the wider stereo image via the Denafrips Ares II. The soundstage is enormous via this little dac. The Benchmark is rather average in that regard. A second clear difference is that there is some extra low-end audible through the Ares II compared to the very linear Benchmark. Important to know when you build a system. In fact, these are the two most important differences.

Details come through nicely and timing is pretty good. Depending on the other components, the Ares II will easily integrate into your system. Details and insight are a bit better on the Benchmark which is even quieter but then you really need to listen carefully and have a serious hifi-system to hear this. The Denafrips Ares II delivers, especially considering its modest price tag. Well done.

For whom

The Denafrips Ares II is an affordable sounding d/a converter with plenty of connections that you can fine-tune depending on your set-up. It’s a nice upgrade for the many built-in dacs you find in budget amplifiers or receivers. This dac is a great starting point for those who want to dive into the wonderful world of d/a converters. It is well built and indestructible. The Ares II is also ideal to significantly improve the sound of your computer in a desktop setup.

Apart from Shiit Audio, few manufacturers have an affordable seperate dac in their range. Let alone one that has been developed in a unique way and doesn’t for once use the latest Sabre or AKM chip. You can always buy a dac that measures perfect but with the Ares II you have something special in your hands and the emotional value is much higher than average.

And that’s what hi-fi is all about. Emotion and exclusivity. Both in hardware and music. With the Ares II the total picture and the competitive price is the icing on the cake.

The only downside of the story is that you can only buy this device online and that there is no ‘try before you buy’ option. With the affordable Ares II this doesn’t have to be a problem, after all we buy our laptops and televisions online more and more often. But with the more expensive dacs that’s a different story. Fortunately, Vinshine Audio provides an extensive warranty policy should there be any problems. We haven’t turned off the Ares II during the entire test period and have never encountered any problems. The Ares II worked flawlessly and quietly. Really nothing to complain about.


The little Denafrips Ares II looks very cute but surprised us by its mature presentation and versatility. You can choose the setting that best suits your setup and there are enough connections to connect multiple sources. It is built like a tank and is full of quality components. is a unique device that charms and intrigues. The Denafrips Ares II is truly a divine d/a converter!