A little more exploration shows that Ares II can't detect incoming power voltage on its own like its bigger siblings. Appropriate voltage needs to be set via switch on the bottom to avoid disastrous effects. It also doesn't provide an easy button to turn oversampling on/off like the models from Pontus on up. Now toggling oversampling requires multiple steps in the menu to make adjustment from recording to recording more challenging. All in all, Denafrips' decision and compromises to reduce price still place Ares II at the front of its peer group for build quality and features. The rest of this review will have to explore how those decisions impact sound quality; or not.

Moving up to Pontus takes the same basic recipe with some highly significant changes in critical spots, some of them trade secrets.

Going from Ares II to Pontus delivers the following upgrades:

What stays the same going from Ares II to Pontus: