I was hoping to get feedback on the Aurender N200. I have a Bluesound Vault 2i that honestly has been great but I am looking for a significant bump up in sound. Will be using with a LAB 12 DAC which accepts USB class 2 output and has coax also. I really like this DAC , although I do have the opportunity to trade up within a year so that's to be seen if I do that. I find myself mostly streaming and want a great sounding stand alone streamer that won't be outclassed if I upgrade the DAC. Any opinions of this unit would be appreciated
You cant even believe the difference! Must be heard to be understood. The Bluesound is a beginners streamer, Aurender makes the most beautiful sounding streamers and is a incredibly good place to start if you want a first class digital front end.
Thanks for the reply. I think I'm going to pull the trigger. I have the rest of my system well sorted out. The source is so important, I think it's time . I can still rip CDs with the Vault and move the files so with the amount of CDs I buy or copy its minimal hassle.
@oddiofylI’m an authorized Aurender dealer and am currently helping out two other A’goners decide on units, both are considering the N200.
The N200 is an incredible value for a standalone streamer. Not only does it easily eclipse the Bluesound. This past weekend I had a customer bring his Modwright-modded Cambridge CXN v2 to compare. While the modded CXN performs at the level of say a DirectStream DAC, the moment we connected the N200 to its DAC over using the CXN’s built-in streamer, everything just snapped into place, and within ten seconds of listening the customer said “Yeah, I’m getting one”.
There are reports online of the unit surpassing the performance of the N10, and I wouldn’t be surprised. While the N10 is not yet discontinued, it is already listed that way on Aurender’s site. This is significant as the N200 retails for $2K less than the N10.
I’m happy to work with you if you’re not already working with another dealer on this and can answer other questions you might have about what to expect, setup, platform and such.
Oddiofyl we seem to be in almost identical situations. I too have a very resolving system with the streamer (Node) currently the weak link. I'm also seriously considering the N200. Coincidently I'm one of the two people Juan mentions above. If you haven't already done so shoot him a PM. He's been very helpful to me and seems to be very knowledgeable in the Aurender line. Please let us know what you think if you decide to go the N200 route or whatever you decide. I'll plan to do the same once I decide. Good luck with whatever you choose.
Absolutely, big difference. I own a Aurrender N100, tested a N10, and now own a W20SE. These are real audiophile streamers and bring sound commensurate With there price. This difference in sound between budget streamers and this will be striking.
If you later upgrade your DAC, this streamer will be up the task of producing even better sound from your new DAC.
Hi thanks all for reaching out. I’m actually trading an item toward it. Going to do a little more homework but I think it’s a good fit for my system and any DAC I have now and might have in the future.
Congratulations and welcome to the Aurender family! TMR is also great to work with. Make sure you break the unit in for a few days before giving any initial impressions. You can just loop music or noise tracks nonstop for a few days and you’ll be good to go. I’d appreciate if you post your impressions once you’re ready to evaluate it.
Interesting that there are quite a number of Aurender listed for sale. What gives. Heard complaints about the app and connectivity. That is of huge importance to me. I would gladly rather give up a little in sound than having app/connectivity issues.
I keep music on the drives of my desktop computer. The minimserver app manages it. A selection from a drive or from the Internet goes out on our wi-fi to a receiver (one of several available in the $200-400 range), which feeds the DAC. I didn't see any specifics in the N200 product description that speak to any difference in sound quality.
We have both in our Listening Room. Is the Aurender better, sure. But the bigger improvement is the external DAC. One DAC is the one we manufacturer, the other is the Audio Note kit DAC that is around $5K. Plenty of great parts in the AN but the Blue Sound with our DAC is simply better sounding in every aspect.
@audiotroywas that Scotch or Zin speaking? Lol. It was like one of those test showing how your brain identifies patterns automatically allowing you to decipher info. I think Streamer is my next year move. IDK sometimes though, everything is sounding dang good with my BS Node 2i feeding a stand alone DAC.
Well the.Bluesound, while very good is far from perfect. I have often questioned what is going on in the digital domain with my Vault 2i with respect to volume and at what position is it truncated. I lose the app often, I have to close all apps and restart occasionally. Sort of a first world problem. I’ll use the Vault still
The Aurender should have a much better output through its digital outs.
I actually sent a product to TMR to sell. I didn’t need another product in that category as I am having one built. I asked about streamers and Mario offered me a generous trade in on my unit and the out of pocket wasn’t much so for me it was an easy choice.
Since I mostly stream I thought this would be a good solution and be a clean stable signal to my DACs
Since I have had my two Aurender streamers I have had no problems (a couple years). I use wall wart wifi extenders to plug in my streamers. You can choose the amount of buffering. My Aurenders work seamlessly when my iPad will not refresh a page from the New York Times. Worry not. They are fantastic streamers. I had an Aurlic Aries G2, before this… it was really unreliable.
That’s good to hear. I like the fact that it has bays that the end user can install SSD s in. I’m sure I will have to get one and move my music there. The Vault is a great way to get into streaming but I’m hoping this is a much better device all around.
I hear you but I want to use my android phone and the aurender conductor app has a horrendous 2.9 * rating. I hear it works well with an iPad, but is a mess with android. That many bad reviews can't be all wrong.
To my ears the N200 is definitely superior to the N10 and the Bluesound (i've owned all 3). With this said the bluesound is a great budget unit. I'm in the process of downsizing my system and will be trading in my W20SE to the TMR for an N200 plus cash . I agree with many of our members your DAC plays a big role. I came off a Berkeley Reference 3 sold that and now eyeing the Rockna to match with my N200.Good luck.
I was also considering Aurender, but after communicating with @blisshifi about Aurender having onboard storage for music I’m reconsidering. I have a Bluesound node with a linear power supply and a nas. I just put in the nas to replace playing my music thru my iMac. This along with the power supply mod elevated the sound and performance greatly. I’m very happy now! The problem I feel with Aurender is again being locked into a proprietary system that’s not nas friendly. I like to tweek and upgrade and Aurender doesnt seem the best in that area..I’m still open but looking more toward a Lumin u1 transport when and if I decide to upgrade. Until then I’m very happy with the upgraded node and nas.
... The problem I feel with Aurender is again being locked into a proprietary system that’s not nas friendly ...
That is exactly the problem with Aurender, and it's part of what led to my frustrations when I had an N100H. Aurender is like an Apple product, which is great for people who like that sort of self-contained, safe, turn-key solution. But like you @dinov, I'm more hands on. I don't want to be at the mercy of some tech to resolve every little issue.
@dinovand @cleeds- for clarification, Aurender does not require you to use the internal bays for storing your music library. It absolutely has the ability to connect to a NAS on your network if that is the route you prefer to go. But there are benefits to installing the drives in the Aurender unit as it then does not risk any noise being leaked while the files are transferring from your NAS over Ethernet.
Likewise, the internal drives on an Aurender also act like a NAS on your network. You can access the drives and the files on them from any other device that can access your network.
So if you really want to use a different system to manage the music, you can still do that, and you can still use Aurender Conductor to navigate that file system and play back the music on your NAS. I hope that clarifies things.
@blisshifi I understand all of this, but Aurender is built for using the internal storage, not the other way around. Therefore, the benefit, so to speak, of using Aurender is it’s built in storage. Aside from the tweaking, I live in Florida, and when I need to evacuate because of a hurricane, I can just grab my nas with all my music and not have to dismantle a component from my stereo. I’m not saying Aurender is not good, just proprietary, and I’ve been there and done that game. Cc: @cleeds
... for clarification, Aurender does not require you to use the internal bays for storing your music library. It absolutely has the ability to connect to a NAS ...
Quite so and thanks for clarifying. I just meant that Aurender is a closed, proprietary system, much like Apple products. For example, good luck trying to convert a standard playlist (such as a .pls or m3u file) for use with Aurender. Unless your filing structure is something Aurender "likes," the company says conversion is impossible. That's why I dumped Aurender. And good riddance.
“The problem I feel with Aurender is again being locked into a proprietary system that’s not nas friendly.”
I don’t know why anyone still consider external NAS when you have the flexibility of onboard storage? Aurender is built around the idea of simplicity. Set it and forget it! I never felt ‘locked’ out when I’m downloading or transferring files from my computer to Aurender internal drives. I enjoy the complete freedom to edit metadata, album art. I can perform all of the edits from my iPad. As @blisshifipointed out, there is a distinct advantage to store music on internal SSD drives.
@dinovI agree with you on where the value proposition is with Aurender. But if it were up to me, in the case of a hurricane, I'd rather take the N200 that has all of my NAS files in it! The N200's form factor isn't that much bigger than a typical robust NAS with a double-drive bay, and it has three cords to remove - an ethernet cable, power cable, and USB or coax, vs a NAS that may only have a power cable and ethernet cable. But hey, to each his own. :)
@lalitkI can do all of that editing etc with a nas. A lot of people store more than their music in their nas ie files photos etc. In that respect, it makes sense financially and physical sense to use a nas. I just don’t want to be “locked in” and I mean “locked in” to a proprietary system that if I ever have problems I have to rely on Aurender or someone who has an Aurender to retrieve my music files. This may be a better option for folks that are not computer savvy…which in that case it makes sense.
@dinov Not trying to change your mind, but I want to provide clarification. Should an Aurender unit go down, you don’t need someone with an Aurender to retrieve your music files. You can remove the drives and install them in any other enclosure to access the files on it, just like you would any other hard drive. I just want to make sure we’re providing factual info and not giving any misleading perceptions.
No hard sell from me on Aurender. You buy what works best for you, it’s as simple as that. I don’t contaminant my music files with any other type of files. There is a reason I chose to rely on Aurender for 10 plus years. For me, I do not want any source near my system that unnecessarily induces noise and add clutter to my space. I subscribe to ‘less is more’ approach.
I have been waiting for streamers to mature and really be a high quality source for a while…. I figured how much longer am I going to wait? My system has has a major renovation and it’s worthy of a great source .
All of these devices have their pros and cons I like the two box approach and hope this will be a great front end
@blisshifi I’m just going on what you told me in your private message. Remember, I complimented you on your post and I was looking at Aurender until I got all the information from you. With that it looks like since Aurender doesn’t make just a transport it doesn’t fit my needs. So let’s get that cleared up too.
@lalitki have never heard of other files “contaminating” other files as you say, so let’s clear that up as well. Thank you both for your input.
@dinov I was just ensuring the right information is offered to the public and also trying to be lighthearted and humorous about the situation. I 100% agree that if you are not using the built-in storage of the Aurender, you would not be using it for everything it is capable of, so it might be better to invest in a streamer-only solution. So know I’m not trying to continue to push it on you.
I do very much appreciate your support and I’m not trying to pick a fight with you. You deserve to find the solution that works best for you, and I’m sure you will find it! Thanks for your continued support.
Congratulations on acquiring the new Aurender N200. I am certain that it will be a wonderful sonic addition to your terrific system. Your Toolshed SET is going to be amplifying a high quality digital signal path.😊
Yes, every component in the signal path is important! It’s very smart that @oddiofylwants to improve the quality of his streamer. I’m bewildered by those who say the digital source (CD transport or streamer) matters to a lesser extent than the DAC. Both definitely matter.
I am interested in what he finds with comparing his Aurender with the Blue Node.
Thanks Charles. I have been holding off for too long. I sold the Zesto to fund the Toolshed Preamp. The Music Room gave me such a good deal I couldn't pass it up, I traded the Zesto plus some cash on the Aurender. My sale of some displaced products will fund the Toolshed 101d preamp. It worked out good .
I'm doing my system sort of in reverse order. My Forte IV are great, but I want to really have my electronics sorted out before I replace those. Most likely with LaScala or who knows maybe Volti Vittori or something along those lines
Those Forte are very good , they sound better with each improvement upstream so until they cease to impress im going up this path.
This is the first time I’m hearing of Toolshed gear, and I see they are in the next state over from me. I’ve loved the different SET amps as I had them over the years, but I’ve since moved on.
@oddiofylHow big is your room? I’m a fan on full range drivers run by low-powered tube amps combined with woofers powered by Class D. Have you tried the combo, say in like with Oris horns or something similar? Sounds like your system would be ripe for that if you have the room.
Yeah you don’t need huge speakers for that space. La Scalas are massive, basically 24x24x36. The Volti have such a different sonic signature from Klipsch and features a bit more tonal richness so it will depend if that will work well with the rest of your setup.
I understand that direction. I'm more drawn to that than the class D powered woofer alternative. Admittedly nothing more than individual preference. Either one done right can be successful. That Toolshed DHT preamp paired with your 300b SET is going to be special in my humble opinion. Good decision.