The Flow’s sound quality seems to scale upward dramatically

FLOW Review - Hifiplus

FIRST LISTEN: AURENDER FLOW PORTABLE HEADPHONE AMP/DAC/PREAMP

by Chris Martens

The Flow is drop dead gorgeous to look at and a tactile delight in day-to-day use. If you are the sort of listener who likes products that combine refined aesthetics and fine sound quality in one package, the Flow might be ideal for you. But more importantly, it is versatile, easy to use, technically sophisticated, and sounds very good.

How does it sound? Well, I’ll save detail comments for the full-length Hi-Fi+ review that will follow in a few weeks’ time, but I’ll give you my general first impressions for now.  First off, I would say that in comparison to some devices I’ve heard that use the ESS 9018K2M DAC, the Flow manages to achieve a more natural and organic sound (as apposed to a detailed but perhaps slightly ‘clinical’ sound) than most. Since this is also a characteristic I associated with the wonderful Chord Hugo, I consider it a worthy accomplishment on Aurender’s part.

Second, I would say that the Flow really let’s you hear and savour the differences in resolution and musical nuance that today’s better high-res digital audio files afford. In a sense, then, the Flow’s sound quality seems to scale upward dramatically as you provide source materials that have increasing levels of musical ‘data density’. This characteristic, as you can imagine, make the Flow exciting to listen through because, at its best, it seems geared toward helping listeners tap all that higher-res recordings have to offer.

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