Arcam rLink review

7.7

Well, think on a name for a new product. On Arcam, they succeeded after a long reflection. The rLink is a ‘Digital to Analog Converter’, according to the brief instructions included in the designed black package box. In any case it explains exactly what this little box was made for. The input is a digital audio signal, and an analog audio signal is provided to the amplifier, with the aid of RCA connectors. There are two ways to input the digital signal, via coaxial or optical. It is no more and no less. Or is it…?

Pimping MP3′s
It will be no news for most, that there is an ever-increasing flow of digital audio signal circulating on the internet. Most of us also know that this is compressed information, which doesn’t benefit the sound. If you listen to it using a laptop, tablet or your computer, there is no major problem. These speakers usually do not have a high fidelity sound, so the low quality will hardly be noticeable. Who, on the contrary, wants to play this digitally stored music on a more professional installation can certainly hear that the spectrum is not complete. With the rLink, Arcam has made a device that tries to restore the lost information, thus creating a more complete sound. This is to be connected between a computer and an amplifier, but can also be used to improve the signals of for example older CD players, MP3 players, a Smart TV or set-top box.

An affordable upgrade
Under the motto “better sound for more people” Arcam has developed the rLink as an affordable alternative for much more expensive systems. It must be said: who wants to keep the investment limited, has a perfect solution with this invention. Making the connection is very easy, and indeed, it does produce a better sound. It is a pity that the connection cables are not included. So make sure you have an optical or coaxial cable at hand. After listening to a track on LP, on CD and on MP3, the rLink sounds warm and reasonably complete. Taking into account its price, it is simply a must for those who are annoyed at how the average digitally stored music sounds. True purists must still look a little further, or still use the LP, but having more than realistic expectations is somehow silly for a device in this price range.

Good Things

  • Easy plug & play
  • Real improvement of the audio signal
  • Compact
  • Good value for money

Bad Things

  • Only optical and coaxial digital inputs
  • No on/off switch

The Breakdown


Performance
8
Functionality
6
Price-Quality ratio
9
Building quality
7
Design
8




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