Review: AirLens installed between Roon Nucleus and DS MK2

A couple of weeks ago I installed an AirLens between my Roon Nucleus and DS MK2. For the AL I’m using a Shunyata Venom V14 digital power cord, and I replaced the HDMI cable the AL came with with an Audioquest ThunderBird eARC HDMI Cable. With the exception of the Roon Nucleus, electrical components are PS Audio: DS PowerPlant 12, DS MK2 DAC, BHK preamp, M1200 monoblocs. Speakers are Salk Song3 Encores and dual REL subs.

I burned everything in for more than 200 hours before I did much critical listening.

The Results, Short Version
The system sounds better with the AirLens.

The longer version:
Very early in the burn in process the bass changed a lot: flabby, then much too strong, then not as strong and tighter. After burn in I had to re-eq my REL subs and turn the volume down about three clicks on each sub. The end result for the bass is that it’s better overall. Other changes include blacker background and more detail. The soundstage improved, not dramatically but it did get better. I hesitate to make additional claims, as I’m skeptical about my ability to precisely recall how the system sounded prior to putting in the AirLens. Also note that the addition of the Shunyata power cord and the AudioQuest HDMI cable raised the cost of adding the AirLens by roughly $900.



Interesting to know that you’re using AQ eARC HDMI instead of their 48 version. I always thought eARC doesn’t work as a I2S cable. Are you able to play DSD and AIFF music?

Duh. I’m streaming TidalFLAC files. Did I goof with the AQ eARC HDMI?

If it works in your system then it’s fine. I don’t know how much difference in SQ between the two, and I am not sure if DSD256 (I listen to the most) will be able to pass through either. You may find out for us in future.:slightly_smiling_face:

That was my understanding also. I just ordered the 48 version even though it’s more expensive. Be nice to find out for sure.

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The eRC cables are designed to carry digital audio over standard HDMI fewer wires. Whereas i2S PS audio in out ises more conductors i.e wires. Therefore Audioquest uses cheaper metallurgy on HDMI video signal wires. They don’t recommend eARC for i2s since your digital audio signals are not using same more expensive materials for conducyors and shielding.

They used to explain it in their catalog. The sales person at TMR also explained that when I bought a Dragon 48. Whether you can hear the difference is dependent on your systems fidelity and your ears.


Thanks, appreciate the clarification!

I think I goofed & you did it correctly. Duh. I guess we all have our moments …

Maybe you can still return and swap. If not you have a great cable for Home Theater. My Dragon 48 now does home theater great icture and realistic sound. after dumping i2s for better sounding USB and Bacch4MAC into DS MK2.

I’ll try to return and swap … thanks.

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