PS Audio AirLens

Can you demonstrate HQ player to me? I have gear that can utilize it. But descriptions of it remind me of the three year process I went through to learn how to correctly setup Exact Audio Copy. I cannot go through anything like that again. Gosh no.

It is also reminiscent of running Foobar 2000 the first time. It’s like a DOS prompt. Yikes. No clues.

Or is it easy?

Two words.
Not. Easy. :exploding_head:

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See that was my guess. I figured at the very least you would have to keep a list of customized settings for each and every song you listen to, with optional settings to adjust for your current mood. And each change would be worth it.

Even with all the reboots.

I would say it’s like trying to learn the Chinese alphabet in one day and then having to write a book in Chinese before you can listen to the stereo again.

Not impossible but close.

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HQPlayer filter and upsampling settings aren’t too hard, and once you’ve found the filter you like, you don’t much need to fuss.

But it’s the initial setup that causes ulcers.


and then at some point, after futzing with IP addresses and zones in the roon audio tab and settings on the Pi’s web interface, whatever conflict you had is mysteriously resolved and you have sound, and it sounds good, but you don’t really know how you got there.

(You do need to know what your DAC/cables/connections can handle, tho… like, if you’re going AES/EBU, DSD 256 ain’t gonna happen.)


That’s my nightmare scenario (of which I got a small taste when setting up my Holo Red DDC/streamer, which is winging its way to PSA as my trade-in for the AirLens later today).

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I am glad to see some of these comments by you guys who appear to have some experience with servers and streamers. I started this stuff less than a year ago. I sort of have my server working, but I am really fearful of trying to get a streamer working. Streaming makes installing a cartridge on a tonearm look like child’s play.


We are long term HQPlayer users, and really like what it did, once we put BACCH4MAC in our system we haven’t looked back ever.

HQPlayer offered us some sonic improvement, but BACCH is considerably better in every way.

Just our thoughts,


Funny enough I’m just doing that and it’s a minor pain.

Streaming is logically so different from audio flows, and the way it is marketed so fragmented in terms of ecosystems I’m not surprised it mystifies so many. Doesn’t help that the manufacturers use multiple terms interchangeably either.
It all depends on previous experience and I am just lucky to have had lots of (work-based) experience that has placed me well for streaming.

So don’t be fearful, folks here will help, myself included if I can :slight_smile:


As a matter of fact the $1K BACCH4MAC Into is so good we are having a hard time justifying upgrading from the Intro version (I am sure one day we will)!


Found that was the case for me after putting in the Eversolo DMP-A6… doesn’t support HQPlayer, but it has its own filters/upsampling, and sounds fab without HQP.

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Why is the Enable MQA core decoder set to NO?

My system is almost entirely PS Audio. I’m using the Stellar Strata as my amp. I have the DirectStream Dac with the Bridge !!. I also have the DirectStream Memory Player and the Power Plant 3. In my never ending quest to tweak the system I purchased a Lumin U1 mini about a year ago. Thought it sounded better than the Bridge II. Then decided to tweak it somemore with a Matrix X-SPDIF 3. Could now have the Lumin connected to the I2S port and get DSD 256 playback. I was still waiting for release of the AirLens to totally get away from the USB connection. Got tired of waiting and jumped at the new Matrix Element S which went on sale in April of this year and was advertised as Roon Ready. Was totally disappointed when I got it and found out it had not been Roon Certified. Five months went by and it has still not been Roon Certified. I was too lazy to reconnect the Lumin and went back to using the Bridge II which is still a great product. Then the AirLens was finally released and Roon Certified. I jumped at it and my Matrix Element S is now in Colorado. The AirLens is fabulous. I cannot believe the increased sound stage, clarity and brilliant sound quality.


I’m VERY impressed with the Airlens, at greater than 400 hours of playing music here; it absolutely has improved with more hours. My streaming chain at the moment is wired ethernet to Uptone EtherRegen (Farad Super3,12v) to LHY SW8 switch feeding a Nucleus+ (powered by a “dedicated” HDPlex 300), and the Airlens.

AirLens to Directstream Mk2 i2S with a 0.3m Wireworld Platinum 7 HDMI cable - (the Airlens sits on top of the DAC to be able to use the short cable length.)

The sound is very dynamic, with a wide and deep layered soundstage; as has been noted by others, bass quality is outstanding - deep, articulate, very fast with impressive impact when on the recording.

Associated gear is a Directstream 2 DAC (with upgraded jkr transformers), Parasound JC1+ amps driving SoundLab M-1 ESLs, and supported by a pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers.


Wow - Soundlab M1’s. Would love to hear those. A friend used to own U1’s.

If by “streaming“ you mean using Tidal or Qobuz, it’s really easy. Get an AirLens and hook it up. Install a UPNP controller on a tablet or a phone. (M connect control is specifically designed to work with the AirLens, but there are others.) In your control point, select Qobuz, enter your login credentials and you are all set to go. It really was that easy for me.

If you want to play files stored on your local network, things are a little more complicated. But there are plenty of people here to help. I don’t know your exact server set up, so I can’t give more detailed directions at this point.


Because the airlens does the core decoding, so I dont need or want the pc to do it.

Very nice and thanks for the follow up.

I would like to make an unsolicited suggestion for an adjustment to your signal chain.

Once the AirLens has settled in nicely and you believe you have a really good handle on how it sounds, you might try connecting the B-Port output of the EtherRegen to the AirLens as opposed to having the LHY SW8 Switch feed the AirLens.

My general experience leads me to believe you might hear a (favorable) difference. Should be a fun experiment, in any event. Of course, I can see why you might prefer the bang for the buck you get with how you are currently using he EtherRegen and the LHY switch.



Amen brother!

Whew! That was a long journey! Thanks for sharing with us. Glad the AirLens got you where you were hoping to go.

Having felt the pain of getting that unit Roon certified in any time less than a year I can sympathize with the folks at Matrix.