General Information

Technical Highlights

  • Proprietary R2R + DSD Architecture
  • True balanced 24BIT R2R + 6BIT DSD (32 steps FIR Filters)
  • Native DSD decoding with 0.01% precision resistors
  • FEMTO Crystal 45.1548MHz, 49.152Mhz
  • Low Noise Power Supply
  • FIFO Buffer
  • Digital Signal Processing via FPGA
  • DSD1024, PCM1536 Supports On USB Input
  • Proprietary USB Audio Solution via STM32F446 Advanced AMR Based MCU
  • Licensed Thesycon USB Driver For Windows Platform
  • Driverless On Mac & Linux


  • DSD64-DoP On All Input
  • DSD1024 On USB Input Only

  • 24bits / 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96, 176.4, 192KHz On All Input
  • 1536kHz On USB Input

Sampling Mode: Oversampling OS / Non-Oversampling NOS

Digital Input

  • Coax x 2
  • TOSLink x 2
  • USB

Analog Output

  • RCA at 2.2Vrms, 625 Ω
  • XLR at 4.4Vrms, 1250 Ω

Frequency Response: 20-70KHz -3dB

THD+N: 0.004%

S/N Ratio: 115dB

Dynamic Range: >119dB

Stereo Crosstalk: -124dB

AC Power Requirement: 100-240VAC, 50/60Hz (Worldwide Voltage, Manual Selector)

Power Consumption: ≤20W

Dimension: 215 x 230 x 45 mm

Package Dim: 375 x 330 x 115 mm

Package Content: DAC & Power Cord. No remote control.

Weight: 3.5 Kg

Color: Black

Warranty: 36 Months

EU (VAT Included): This option is removed due to long shipping time (16th June 2020). We are shipping to EU via DHL/Fedex courier right now.

Latest reviews


New Head-Fier
Pros: That Big Deep Smooth Sound
Cons: Nothing other than needs to be on for a while for the magic to happen
If your budget minded about your Hifi, and your on the fence weather you should upgrade your DAC (from for example from a Schiit Modi) after hearing all the hype of this Ares2, i say don't think about it just do it. Here Vinshine Audio has made the Ares2 intentionally cheap to get you to upgrade to their better DACs, like a gateway drug, so for us budget minded hifi heads this DAC is an absolute steal.

Its all about the music with the Ares2, no harsh detailed and analytical sound here, its just a big deep smooth relaxing sound. You get no listening fatigue with the Ares2, you can listen to it for hours. It has a deep punchy bass and a dark 3D sound with a rounded off upper end. You don't need to turn up the volume, at low listening levels it still has a very dynamic sound. and DSD mode sounds amazing on this DAC too.

Many nights I find my self saying how will the Ares2 sound with this track? and then i hear that smooth Ares2 sound kick in and end up listening to the whole album, this goes on for many albums to the early morning hours, it has a very addictive sound.

You need to have it on for a few hours for the sound to come good, but don't get me wrong its still very good from cold but it gets much better when it warms up.
Last edited:
Just got mine yesterday, paired it with Jotenheim 2 amp...sounds great, but I know it needs to warm up for a week or so.
Any idea how this might compare to the HiFiMan EF600?


100+ Head-Fier
Denafrips Ares II Review - By WaveTheory
Pros: R2R. NOS and OS modes. Class-leading spatial presentation. Energetic, lively sound with neutral-ish signature. 5(!) digital inputs. More-than-enough decoding options. Rugged construction.
Cons: Detail retrieval falls a touch behind competition. Needs to be left on round-the-clock for best performance (a reality of R2R DACs, unfortunately). Some ergonomic and build quirks. No remote control.
Note: This review was originally published on HiFiGuides Forum on 18 January, 2021.


It’s been almost a month since the Ares II was added to my collection and that means it’s review time! The Ares II is the second DAC in the ~$700USD range that I’ve had the privilege of spending time with. It’s current MSRP – mid-January 2021 – is a bit hard to nail down. Vinshine Audio ( lists its price as 1028.00 Singapore dollars, which Google tells me converts to 772.35 USD. As far as I know the Ares II is still in production but in a COVID world its availability might be a bit spotty for the time being.


The Ares II is very good DAC that offers lots of decoding options, 5 digital inputs, balanced outputs, excellent soundstaging, and a very energetic, engaging sound. It likely would have been a gamechanger – as I described the Schiit Bifrost 2 – had it reached my desk before the Bifrost 2.


The Ares II is a true R2R (discreet resistor-ladder) DAC. It can decode PCM up to 32-bit and 1536 KHz (which, is straight-up overkill) and up to DSD1024 (also overkill). It has one USB input, 2 coaxial spdif inputs with RCA connectors, and 2 TosLink optical spdif inputs. It has both unbalanced RCA and 3-pin XLR balanced analog outputs. The front panel has a standby button on the left side and a total of 7 buttons on the right side. There are dedicated buttons to select each of the 5 inputs, a phase button (which toggles between positive and negative phase in much the same way that Schiit’s Bifrost 2 does, to the best of my knowledge, I’ve never had to use it), and a mute button. There is also an array of small red LEDs to indicate which input is selected and what signal the DAC is receiving. Finally, the Ares II offers both oversampling and non-oversampling (NOS) conversion modes. They probably exist, but I don’t know of other DACs that offer a NOS mode at this price point [much later edit: Soekris dacs!].

The Ares II is surprisingly heavy. It has a fairly thick, rugged metal chassis and a beefy internal power supply. I was quite surprised how much heft it had as I was rearranging my desk to accommodate it.

I have two complaints about the Ares II’s build. The 7-button array on the front panel is the first. The buttons are small and black on a black chassis with small white lettering to label them. In a darkened room it can be a challenge to push the right button. There is also no remote control so if this DAC is for a 2-channel speaker system you’ll have to get your lazy keister out of the chair to switch inputs. The second complaint is the feet that are on the bottom of the chassis are sturdy, but surprisingly tall. I see no reason for the chassis to have this much clearance off the desktop – no ventilation holes on the bottom – and I’ve had more than a few pens/pencils roll underneath there and I had to find something to fish them out.


Test Gear

Headphone amps I’ve paired it with include Monolith Liquid Platinum, Cayin HA-1Amk2, Lake People G111, Schiit Asgard 3, Schiit Jotunheim 2, Schiit Magnius, iFi Zen CAN, Massdrop + Eddie Current ZDT Jr., and several budget models. It’s also been connected to my old Onkyo AVR that has a dead HDMI output and is now used as my desktop power amp to power a pair of Definitive Technology SM45 desktop speakers with a Polk PSW-505 sub connected via speaker-level connections. The Headphones I’ve used include HiFiMan Edition X V2, Audeze LCD-2 & LCD-3 (both prefazor), Audeze LCD-X, OG Audioquest Nighthawk, Massdrop + Fostex TH-X00 w/ Lawton Purpleheart chambers and driver mods, Massdrop + Sennheiser HD6XX, Beyerdynamic DT-880 600Ω, and Focal Elegia – oh, and Koss Porta Pros just for the heck of it. So, yeah, a lot of different stuff.

Sound Signature & Presentation

The Ares has a very neutral presentation. There really isn’t any frequency range emphasized or recessed. In oversampling mode, the presentation is a bit soft and relaxed. However, activating NOS mode really wakes it up. In NOS mode the Ares II has a very energetic presentation. I’ll use the word “fun” to describe this energy, but want to make sure that in this context “fun” is not to be confused with how “fun” is often used to describe a bassy sound signature. Here, it’s the liveliness of the presentation that adds an element of fun. This liveliness also makes the Ares II sound like it’s very detailed. It has good detail retrieval with nothing obviously missing from familiar tracks, but I think it comes across as more resolving than it actually is because of this energy. Timbre is solid. The timbre is not a standout feature like it is on many of Schiit’s amps and dacs, but nor is the timbre ever distracting or lacking. So to sum up this paragraph, the Ares II has a very neutral sound that can be somewhat soft and relaxed in OS mode and energetic and lively in NOS mode.

That’s No Moon, It’s a Space Station!

Where the Ares II really shines is with soundstaging. It creates a sense of space that can be absolutely enormous. Concert halls sound huge. Pipe organ recordings sound like they’re recorded in enormous cathedrals (because they usually are!), recordings of rock concerts sound like they’re in large arenas, etc. For the price point the Ares II also does an excellent job with soundstage depth. Moreso than any other DAC I’ve listened to the Ares II sound is not just wide and tall, it’s deep. The Ares II also images quite well, placing sonic images within its large soundstage quite well. The separation of those images is also good but maybe not be quite class-leading for $700ish DACs. Still, if you tell me that you have $700 for a DAC and soundstage is the most important thing to you, here it is!


The Ares II represents a large step up in performance from $250 or less DACs. It’s a very large step up, in fact. As I stated in my Schiit Bifrost 2 review, there is somewhat of a “DAC hole” between about $250 and $700, meaning that if you want to significantly improve performance from a $250 DAC you have to move up to this 700ish Ares II level (or Bifrost 2 or Soekris dac1321). It’s difficult to communicate in words how big of performance jump there is here, too. Many will balk at spending $700+ on a DAC, but that performance jump is huge and will be worth it for many.

At $699USD is the Schiit Bifrost 2. I already compared the BF2 and the Ares II in my BF2 review so I’ll basically just copy/paste that here and massage a few words to make it all fit together. The BF2 and Ares II are essentially equals from a technical standpoint. To say one is better than the other at any particular aspect of performance in no way means the other one is bad. They’re both really strong across the board. It’s really about preference between the two. I think BF2 has better bass control and slam, slightly more natural timbre, and while it takes time to tease it out, is slightly more resolving/has better detail retrieval. The Ares II has better staging, sounding both a little wider and deeper to my ear. A passage from Why So Serious? from the Dark Knight soundtrack beginning at about 3:27 has a deep, driving synthesized bassline with a softly played snare drum that sounds like the drum was recorded in a parking garage or empty gymnasium. Both DACs made that space sound huge and placed that drum seemingly several feet in front of me. The Ares II made that space seem just a bit more cavernous, placed that drum a little deeper into the soundfield, and I think the Ares’s imaging was a little sharper too. The BF2 made that synthesized bassline punishing and almost tactile. The Ares II, especially in non-oversampling mode, also has a more energetic presentation to it in every frequency region except the deep bass that can sound more engaging, or even fun, than BF2. This energy can present initially as being more detailed, however I think the BF2 actually draws more out of the recording than Ares II, it just does so with a more laidback presentation. From a features standpoint, the Ares II offers more decoding options than BF2. So, if you have 500 SACDs and native DSD decoding is important to you, that might be a deciding factor. Ares also has 2 optical and 2 coaxial inputs and to my ear less of a difference in sound quality between spdif and USB. However, for me on most material that I listen to BF2’s bass and timbre with still very good spatial performance make it my preferred DAC between these two. BF2 is the one I use for critical listening and exclusive modes more often. The Ares has become the DAC I lean to while working because its bigger sense of space fatigues me less quickly over longer periods of time; I just feel less claustrophobic with it after wearing headphones for hours. I want to emphasize though that neither BF2 or Ares II are bad at anything here and neither feel claustrophobic in sound, it’s a question of degree and the differences are slight.


I initially ‘borrowed’ the Ares II from the previous owner just to do a review. About two weeks into that borrowing I just said “Shut up and take my money!” and kept it around [thanks to that seller, btw, excellent deal!]. Right now the Ares is my primary long-listening-while-working DAC. It’s spaciousness is less fatiguing than my other DACs during those marathon sessions. It really is a fantastic DAC and should be on the short-list of DACs to check out if you’re using a $250 DAC right now and looking to breathe new life into your whole system. In my Bifrost 2 review, I referred to the BF2 as a gamechanger. The Ares II likely would have been too if it had made it to my system before the BF2. You can’t go wrong here, though. Ares II is an excellent DAC.

Hey, that was shorter than most of my reviews! Not as many quirky features to discuss in this one, I guess. Solid, solid DAC though. Enjoy the music, everyone!
Nice review. I have a renewed interest in the Ares II DAC, to use with an Raspberry Pi & HAT, ultimately feeding into a 2ch amp/setup.
Thank you for the feedback. I think the Ares II would do well in a 2 channel system, especially one with subwoofers. It's staging ability seems tailor-made to work in a room more than on a head. The subwoofer comment was because it can be a touch lean in the subbass. Having a sub to boost the subbass level a tad might be handy.
Ordered it...waiting for it to come. Also ordered the Jot 2 which will arrive next week. Just curious what interconnects you used? What is the synergy with Jot 2? Some people think it is too warm...


Galvanically isolated his brain
Great sounding R2R offering
Pros: thick 3D sound
Cons: no remote control
New to the DENAFRIPS DAC's, I'm currently playing around with their ARES II DAC borrowed from a friend.
Much coverage has been made already but I figured I might as well post my own review

As described by the other reviewer in here, there's no volume control and no remote control.

It never gets hots, doesn't do any clicking noise or auto-mute between tunes so that's great.

It also comes with a fuse, might seem normal but at least if it ever encounters a spike you can fix it easily and it ever malfunctions badly it'll instantly shutdown. I believe a fuse should be part of any serious CE/UL certification, yet many audio appliances don't provide one in order to save a buck I guess.

There is a literal army of caps inside so they do take a good while to settle in:


R2R, why when you can get a Sabre IC for a few bucks, huh???? Reinventing the wheel or something? This should shed some lights:
Some of us just used our ears and heard the much improved instrument realism

Story goes like D/S DAC's actually provide 5-6 bit resolution with a whole lot of dithering in order to improve performance and shape the extra noise, this link also explains it nicely:

ARES II runs FEMTO clocks for 44.1 & 48kHz multiples that ensure tight imaging and high details.

Installing the usual XMOS USB Windows drivers was as easy as it gets, a few clicks and you're playing music in WASAPI Exclusive as intended

Quite a few R2R DAC's don't do DSD but DSD over USB is fully supported this time, up to DSD1024.

You also get both RCA & XLR3 outputs together with 2x coax and 2x toslink inputs :

Attach01 (1).jpg

Unit comes with a 115/230V switch underneath so that's quite convenient but do double-check it upon receival, or else.

I've used it as a USB DAC fed to my LittleLabs Monotor headamp and HE500 headphone(headband's in bad shape so didn't warrant a full family picture):

Attach01 (2).jpg

After proper break-in, it's finally ready for audition

I've been using Soekris DAC's for years and was always thrilled by their thick 3D sound and ARES II certainly doesn't disappoint on that front.

I'm still in strong honeymoon with HE500 due to its great bass, natural SS & mids and harmless trebles and that matches perfectly ARES II's sound as the latter also comes with pretty much the exact same qualities. No shrillness, Very organic sounding mids and trebles, percussive bass, bluray movies appear very very real for that matter

You don't get the extreme digging for trebles informations and details you'd hear from say a Sabre chip, details are certainly there but it's more of a laid-back experience that's meant to suck you in and enjoy the ride with a big grin on your face.

Another nice touch is that you can switch between OS/NOS and OS filters as described on

Differences are pretty subtle but I ended up preferring NOS with 192kHz upsample from the PC, trebles seemed ever so slightly more to my taste on HE500.

All in all, it's hard to fault this DAC for the asking price and the 3 year warranty is a nice touch so I'll happily give it two thumbs up
Last edited:


There are no comments to display.