Off with the saddle blankets first.

Here come the guts.

Sharing layout and chassis, Pro then adds a flying PCB above the motherboard to relocate its RCA outputs and add XLR. Its four black capacitors next to the blue power transformer are bigger. The headfi area between trafo and front panel sports a plate engraved 'ultra-low THD DC balance headphone amp'. Here Soundaware don't want us to see more. Both share the smaller black PCB at the end of the ribbon cable, the same central Altera Cyclone IV processor core, the same voltage regulators and hooded power entry with global voltage selector switch.

With headfi-fitted Pro doubling X's ask, parts-counting punters will wonder. Where did the extra coin burn up? Buyers into the single slice will ask where their X went. That's because unlike the proper 'Pro' suffix on the dearer A1's front panel, no X marks the other's front. Are Soundaware recycling older fascias?

On the tail end, both have the same coax/optical outputs while Pro adds one of each to the digital inputs of twin USB-A, RJ45, wireless and USB-B.