You may think that Sonnet Digital Audio is a new name in the world of the true Hi-Fidelity and the digital technology, but it is only partially so. For sure, Sonnet it is a new brand, but it includes all the previously built-up know-how in Metrum Acoustics, with the most recent technological/product optimizations developed since mid-2018, when Cees Ruijtemberg left Metrum Acoustics to start Sonnet Digital Audio.
Who is Cees Ruijtemberg (Ed.)
Cees Ruijtenberg is the Dutch digital genius. After founded and developed Metrum Acoustics and after having produced some of the best DAC available today at extremely competitive prices, gifted with the most complete, balanced and deeply natural sound, today Cees presents with the top DAC Sonnet Morpheus the design of a further refined Metrum Pavane Level 3. You can hear the difference.
And not only: other device is being designed and built, and within the others, today available, the exceptional "Hermes" digital streamer.
The HERMES Digital Bridge is using high quality components and combines it with the user-friendly interface from Roon Labs.
Recognized for its perfect timing there hardly is another streamer product available which adds so much detail to music. The HERMES out of the box comes as a ROON certified digital end point, however because of its architecture it is also capable of running different platforms such as GentooPlayer ( one of the best with respect to the sonic quality!) DietPi, PiCorePlayer and Volumio.
This allows for even more possibilities such as playing Qobuz or Logitech Media Server content, or even being discovered in a network using UPnP.
Sonnet Digital Audio do not believe in “taking prisoners”, hence the choice to provide the clients with an open platform. Using HERMES, a client could swap the SD card installed, and open up a whole new world with content from different providers, such as Qobuz.
Adding web radio and play it throughout your house, office, wherever you wish to enjoy music, installing Logitech Media Server might be the solution. As for warranty we are OK with you choosing freedom, however as long as the changes apply to the software.
The HERMES comes with a dedicated I2S output which is based on impedance matching. This approach makes it possible to use standard UTP cable over lengts of 30 meters without loss or interference.
Standard ouputs like AES/EBU, Coax and Toslink are available as well. The hardware platform in HERMES enables you to stream high res music files from network attached storage, online streaming services through the powerful ROON platform or others, outputting bit perfect audio direct to your DAC.
The HERMES By Sonnet Digital Audio comes with all the connections an audiophile can wish for, and when hooking it up to your network it is a plug and play device.
LAN (local area network) input: Connect an UTP cable with your local network. The Hermes is made as a Roon end point and will only work in conjunction with a digital to analog converter. The Hermes expects a working Roon music server on the same local network.
Coaxial Output: A 75 Ohm coaxial cable should be used to connect the Hermes to other digital audio equipment like a dac for instance. The coaxial output has a galvanic isolation and can handle a maximum sample rates up to192 kHz.
AES/EBU digital output: When using the AES /EBU digital output a special 110 Ohms XLR cable should be used to connect the Hermes to other digital audio equipment. The AES/EBU interface has a galvanic isolation and can handle a maximum sampling rates up to 192 kHz.
Optical output: A standard Toslink cable can be used to connect the Hermes to other digital audio equipment. The max. sampling rate of the Toslink interface is limited to 96kHz.
I2S output: The I2S connection is probably the best way to connect digital audio equipment over short distances without intervention of all kind of interfaces like AES/EBU , Spdif or Toslink. However still I2S is no international standard in terms of ruggedising the format or the connectors used. The I2S standard is optimized as an interconnection between Sonnet products but will work in most cases in conjunction with other gear. If your Sonnet product has the I2S option installed you can use a simple UTP cable.
Working principle: Linux based ROON end point using precision clocks
Power supply: 10 VA. Power consumption: Standby < 1 Watt. Full operation max 6 Watts
Power requirement: 110-230 V AC 60/50Hz
Inputs: Lan (local area network) max. 100 Mbps
Outputs: 1x optical Toslink, 1x RCA coax, 1x AES/EBU and I2S.
Optical : 44.1 – 96 kHz sampling.
Coaxial: 44.1 – 192 kHz sampling.
I2S: 44.1- 192 kHz sampling. Max cable length in case of UTP CAT5e 20 meters.
Dimensions: hxwxd: 19x6x25 cm. Weight: 2500 gram.