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My Audiophile Integrated Amplifier, or Maia, represents all that is good about modern hi-fi. It’s compact, powerful, feature-rich, elegant and affordable. Building on many years of success in the micro hi-fi realm, it brings a DAC, a phono stage, a wireless receiver, a headphone amplifier and an integrated amplifier all into one compact chassis.
Boasting a massive nine inputs, Maia S2 is designed to accommodate any modern source, including turntables, CD players, network music players, computers and wireless devices. This is what starters with ambitious home audio systems need: A small integrated amplifier with ultimate input flexibility, future-proof technology and a core focus on uncompromising sound quality.
With a high-grade DAC chip capable of handling up to 24-bit / 192kHz digital audio files (Optical inputs are limited to 24-bit / 96kHz), Maia S2 easily handles most common digital audio formats. Additionally, working with aptX® technology in the A2DP pairing profile, Maia S2 is also capable of streaming high-quality audio wirelessly when the supplied Bluetooth antenna is connected.
As well as accommodating for modern and future audio technologies, Maia S2 is also equipped to support traditional hi-fi sources. The built-in Moving Magnet phono stage is based upon Pro-Ject’s iconic Phono Box designs and produces an impressive sound performance. There are also three analogue Line-level inputs – one mini-jack input and two unbalanced RCA pairs – so radios, CD players and Tape decks can also be easily connected.
On top of the extensive list of connection options, MaiA S2 is also designed to put sound quality first. Pro-Ject’s extensive knowledge of premium audio has produced a sound signature that is surprisingly analogue in its feel, thanks – in part – to the low-noise circuitry, featuring the coveted Flying Mole amplifier modules, and an improved layout compared to its predecessor. So when matched with a set of good-quality speakers Maia S2 will punch well above its diminutive weight in smaller listening rooms.
Maia S2 is finished off with a 6.3mm headphone socket, for when using speakers isn’t an option, and control is effortlessly simple, whether using the supplied remote control or the front-mounted buttons. With the S2 Series’ new all-aluminium casework, Maia S2 is a delight – both audibly and visually.
The integrated amplifier is tiny, which was important for me due to the size of my room, wherein it possesses a lot of options for connection, including 6.3 mm headphone socket and moving magnet phono stage. For about a year I have been using the amplifier with Pro-Ject Speaker Box 5 and Pro-Ject Debut 3 S Audiophile turntable purchased from A/S and the whole set-up demonstrates clear and detailed sound with deep basslines. The Bluetooth connection is also possible, I stream music using my smartphone without problem. Overall, great compact device with impressive capabilities!
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