Pro-Ject Audio Systems has unveiled the latest iteration of its super-flexible MaiA series of integrated amplifiers, with the compact new DS3 model bringing high-resolution Bluetooth connectivity to the party.
Describing the MaiA DS3 as “the Swiss army knife for your stereo system”, the Austrian audio specialist says the new amplifier has all the analog and digital basics for even the most demanding hi-fi fanatics, and the unit boasts a whopping nine separate inputs. .
Despite its deceptively small size, the latest MaiA (short for “My Audiophile Integrated Amplifier”) has a wide range of digital input options, with a coaxial S/PDIF, two optical S/PDIFs, and a USB input for the onboard 32-bit/192kHz Delta-Sigma DAC . Most importantly, there is now also Bluetooth 5.0 AptX HD support for connecting your mobile device for high-resolution audio streaming.
In the meantime, vinyl lovers will be pleased to see that the DS3 phono preamplifier supports both Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC) cartridges, allowing connection to any of the best turntables.
Another three additional analog line inputs make up the rest of the connectivity options.
The DS3 also boasts a more powerful output compared to previous iterations, with an amplifier capable of delivering a whopping 140 watts per channel into 4 ohms, making it the perfect match for many of the best stereo speakers, as well as a dedicated subwoofer output for those looking for an equal more intense down.
The front features a 6.3mm headphone jack for private listening with a minimalist control panel featuring a central analog volume control with a motorized potentiometer.
The MaiA DS3 is available now for £1,049/$1,599 (Australia pricing yet to be confirmed).
Pro-Ject also presented a new version of its entry-level Stereo Box integrated amplifier.
Priced at £359.00 / £499 and available later this month, the Stereo Box S3 BT is rated at 40 watts per channel into 4 ohms and allows you to connect two devices to the rear RCA sockets.
You can also stream your tunes from mobile device to device via a third AptX HD-capable Bluetooth input, while the adjustable 3.5mm jack on the back can be used to connect an active subwoofer.
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Lack of space is often not an issue for anyone building a deck-based hi-fi setup, but if your living room console table looks a bit tacky for a full-size amp when you set up a turntable, then these space-saving new Pro-Ject options should get you get audiophile sound without compromise.
Previous MaiA iterations have been generally well received, but have been criticized for perhaps lacking a bit of life and dynamism, so we’re looking forward to finding out if the boosted new 140-watt output solves these issues.