FLOW Review - Headfonia


If I were a DAC, I’d want to be designed and built in Korea by a Aurender. Why? HAL9000 design cues are never populace enough. Nicely unintelligible UIs, however, are. Aurender could have worked their UI better. The good part is that FLOW forces one to spend time with product literature.

I’d like to be the FLOW.

It sounds great, works with every bloody USB device you can throw at it, packs in a Vessel screwdriver, and has enough power to punch most every headphone, and most ears, into orbit around Saturn. And that punch: poised attack, coupled with softening hi-end decay, and filters aplenty, really hits home. And never, ever, does it give way to hard-to-drive earphones or headphones. Plug it into your favorite HiFi. Plug it into your favorite earphone. Plug it into your favorite headphone. The zero load you heard from the HiFi is what you’ll hear from your favorite earphones.

It is a damn fine machine.

It could be that the FLOW’s amp section is held back, at least numerically, by its DAC. I would argue that that it is intentional. Aurender targeted a specific sound, and honed that target to near perfection. As unintelligible as its interface may be; as much as you may need to pour over its manual; as much as you may mistake it for a HAL9000—powered vending machine in miniature, FLOW is something awesome, something else.

Which is all I think any conscious, or unconscious, entity can ever hope to be.

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