The Good: Fantastic-sounding integrated receiver in an unbelievably small case. This receiver is ideal if you're looking for a simple but flexible audio experience. There is no stereo component bloat here since it's smaller than most hardback books! It provides exceptional sound with anything you throw at it, especially if you pair it with a subwoofer. The on-board DAC works wonders with classic jazz. The Bad: The front panel should have corresponding identifiers (CD, TV, etc.) for the connected source instead of numbers. It lists the type of connections but I found myself constantly checking the back of the box to identify the exact inputs. The design of the remote also needs to be laid out differently. The volume and input selector are opposite of what they should be - volume control should be the vertical arrows (not left-to-right) and the inputs should be controlled with the horizontal arrows (similar to the front panel layout). Plus, there should be dedicated buttons for each input. The Ugly: The remote is a complete failure for controlling the volume. It's a motor-driven potentiometer, which is slower than a digital volume but this doesn't mean it shouldn't work. This was a show-stopper for me since I was using it for my TV. I got tired of pointing the remote in every other direction to get it to (sort of) work so I purchased a Harmony remote, which still didn't solve the problem so I had to return the receiver. Great audio defeated by its
Pros: - Fantastic Sound - Plenty of Inputs - Very Compact Size
Cons: - Performance of Remote Control Unit - Design of Remote Control Unit - Input Identifiers on Front Panel
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A good amp, but there's better options at this price point.
Pros: Sounds good but not incredible
Cons: Build quality is not as impressive as competitors at similar price point; felt light and almost flimsy
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A great little integrated amplifier. It's smaller than the NAD D3020 I was using previously, and has a lot more connections (particularly analog connections). The power rating is modest, but it's way more power than I was expecting (given that the NAD was rated for roughly the same number of watts). I have it in a bedroom with a pair of ML Motion 15's, and usually don't turn the volume dial more than 20% of the way from zero. And it has way more bass than the NAD; I actually took out the subwoofer from my setup as it only made a difference for the very bottom end of a few songs. I couldn't believe what it difference it made. The DAC seems quite good overall, very detailed. At first, it was a little thin with some treble "glare", but replacing my basic digital cables with some nicer ones filled it out. I think the only difference now is that music just sounds different than I'm used too. I've been really enjoying listening to all my favorite music again and hearing details I never heard before. The only issue I've found is that the digital inputs shut off when there's no incoming signal. With some devices (iPhone via USB, Apple TV via optical) this is never an issue. But with other sources, especially my CD player (Onkyo C7030), it means that you miss the first split-second of the disc if there's no lead in time on the track. Depending on your equipment, you might never notice this. And I'm hoping the issue will go away when I upgrade my player. Highly recommended!
Pros: Great sound (including solid, detailed bass) Very flexible inputs Small size, barely gets even slightly warm
Cons: Blue LEDs are bright! (But I like there's no display otherwise, a very clean look)
1 of 1 found this helpful
For the amplifier's size, it is nothing short of amazing. While I have not been the biggest supporter of digital amplifiers over the years, there is little that can be said against this little wonder. Immediately upon connecting it to my speakers, I noticed a smooth, clean, accurate and very high-end sound to its output. Plenty of volume as well, this little amp took the place of a Rotel integrated 70wpc class A/B conventional amplifier. As any of you that know Rotel, they are award winning and always punch well above their cost bracket. Switching from the Rotel to this little amp was very much like going from "It's so good and almost there" to "Aaah, what sweet sound it is." Imaging and soundstage were very, very good as well, but the tonality of this little amp; the smoothness of the voices and the timbre of box guitars and pianos, my gosh its amazing. Again compared to the Rotel, the only area I can say where the Rotel bests this little amp is in sheer power and, as is typical for digital amplification, bass output. While the S2 is by no means a slouch, Rotel took a lot of pride in building very high-current models in the 90's, and it was noticeable. Overall, the sweet sound of this digital amp reminded me of what I would describe as effortless and tube-like, but also a bit proud of itself with its own little signature sound (not a bad thing). For the money and the size/wattage, a beautiful little amp!
Pros: Small, runs cool, very attractive. Beautiful clean sound with "high-end" all over it. High-resolution capable make this a must audition for modern audiophiles in offices or dorms.
Cons: A lack of deep, cheat-pounding bass means a powered sub is needed to round out the sound. Remote small and cheap (credit card style), easy to lose.
3 of 3 found this helpful