The Audiophile Apartment

Vera-Link: The most fun you can have for $199!

Some of you may remember Mark Schifter for all the fun products he came up with during his tenure at Audio Alchemy. They made some incredible products that had cutting edge performance, in tiny enclosures, with tiny price tags to match.

Many an audiophile started their journey with one or more Audio Alchemy components. Well, you can’t take the fun out of the boy, and his latest product, the Vera-Link is a 50 watt-per-channel class D amplifier and streamer, built into a box about the size of a deck of playing cards. While this may not sound super “audiophile-y,” because you can only get so much for 200 bucks, but the Vera-Link does sound pretty damn good for what it is. Certainly, better than a $300-$500 vintage 70s receiver that needs to have all the caps refreshed, that still needs a streamer. And, you can control up to five zones from your phone, so put those surplus speakers to work!

Substitute the word audiophile for fun

Now you’ve got it. I’ll bet you’ve got a great pair of older vintage speakers lying about that you’d love to press into service, or perhaps make more mobile – i.e. take em’ out on the porch/patio when you’re grilling, maybe even throw in the back of your truck for a trip to your favorite camping spot. But how to power them? If you’ve got any kind of inverter, you can run the Vera-Links that way. To try a mobile battery solution I used the two supplied wall warts with a 1400W Yeti battery supply with excellent results. All that’s left is to pair the amps with your Bluetooth streaming device. Vera-Fi even provides the Velcro to attach these babies to the back of your speakers. After the better part of an afternoon, the Yeti went from 100% capacity to 96%, so the current drain from these is minimal.


While I tried the Vera-Link with a couple of speakers that are way more expensive than what you’d choose to pair them with, it does reveal the engineering prowess at work. Even connected to the Eggleston Nicos that were on the cover of issue 102, listening to the strings at work with Al DiMeola, Jean-Luc Ponty, and Stanley Clarke’s Live at Montreux 1994, is highly enjoyable. No, it’s not a pair of Pass Class-A monoblocks enjoyable, but it’s way better than my neighbor’s crappy $800 Alexa speaker.

To make things more equitable for the little amplifiers, the next choice is a pair of vintage A/D/S L400 speakers. Thanks to the magic of Velcro, an older pair of Cerwin-Vega speakers are brought into play as well as a really old pair of Dynaco speakers. (Remember those?) Think thrift store fun here. Upping the budget a bit, the XSA Vanguards were also brought out for a test drive with excellent results making for a great portable system as well. However, I’m just so enamored with the simplicity and low-budget ethos of the Vera-Link, I like the lower priced speakers. An iPhone 14 was used as a source, and files streamed to the Vera-Link with Roon (16/44) and Spotify (320kb/sec).

The Vera-Link certainly has enough resolution to hear the difference between CD quality and 320kb files, but it’s not enough to discourage you from using your favorite $100-$200 pair of speakers and not being able to enjoy music. Perhaps the most amazing aspect of these tiny, non-distinct amplifiers is how far Class-D amplification has come. The A/D/S are my favorite budget/vintage speaker, with great midrange and smooth highs. They make a wonderful match with the Vera-Fi’s. And while we don’t do measurements, they certainly can play loud with these amplifiers, easily as loud as my vintage Marantz 2275.

When listening to heavier rock selections, as well as some of my favorite fusion tracks (lots of Stanley Clarke and Herbie Hancock) the Vera-Link’s ability to play complex music really shines through. Go back to that Montreux album and listen to Stanley Clarke’s bass solo. Yow. These amplifiers not only deliver robust bass extension, but good bass control.

Short and sweet

Other than the fact that these amplifiers are very musical, play loud without distortion, and have much less grunge than you would ever expect from a $200 pair of monoblocks (albeit Barbie Dream House sized monoblocks) there’s not much more to tell. They sound great, are unobtrusive, and offer no-fuss, no muss setup. If the audiophile bug still won’t let you go, plug the Vera-Fi’s into a linear power supply for even better sound – but you lose some of the portability.

Seriously, I’m buying a pair for my tool box. Why wouldn’t I? You never know when that vintage receiver is going to take a dump, or a friend in need has the same problem. They are going to go right next to my battery jump box. These would make great stocking stuffers, or even a great way to get your favorite budding audiophile one step further down the path. As I mentioned earlier, these are also a great way to have portable high-end sound anywhere. This is such a cool product, I think everyone should have a pair of these.

Here is the website for more info.

Should you be so excited that you need one RIGHT NOW, here’s a direct purchase link:

PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT a paid, “affiliate” link. We reserve NO compensation for you purchasing this product via the TONE site. Just trying to make your shopping easier, and save you a few minutes in your busy day. :)