Aurender VS Innuos


Hi All , I am moving from PC Audio to a music server . I have kind of narrowed it down to an Aurender N100H-4TB or a Innuos Zen-MKIII . I really don't have the option to audition these so I will depend on a return policy .
I would rather get it right the first time and skip that trouble . 
I was leaning toward the Innuos but I just read in the new issue of stereophile the complaint about the OS for the Innuos not being very good ( lots of hassles ).
This kind of contradicts all I have read about it and the Aurender . I don't really care so much about the Cd ripper on the Innuos. So, the important thing to me is sound , and then the software issues .
 I know we all have different systems and I am willing to take all with a grain of salt .
The biggest question is---- anyone have or heard both and can you give me an opinion .
They were talking ( Innuos Statement review in Stereophile ) about the new software coming out soon  
Is it out now ?
Thanks so much--Steve
PS-- System
 Copland 305 C--Preamp
Pass XA-25
PS- audio Directstream Jr . Dac
Speakers-- Reference-- 3A- Taksims
5c9df8f9 0564 45d5 a2f5 aacbc234e46csolarjam
If you don’t care about CD ripper or Roon Interface, then Aurender N100H is a better choice over Zen-MKIII. N100H sound and build is top notch, their proprietary Conductor app is very stable, easy to use and well laid out. The customer service is also exemplary. 
Thank You lalitk----- That's what I needed to here . The Aurender has a lot more positive  exposure and I do think what you pointed out were the most important things to me . Don't really care about roon too .
 Thanks
would certainly ...if possible...audition a Lumin X1 ...which is the same price point as the Innuos...
Hi Calloway, My friend has a Lumin and it does sound very nice .
Two things though-- one , I don't need a Dac and two , I want on board storage . At least 4 TB .
Thanks
I hate to muddy things but have a Zenith MKII by Innuos and am very pleased by the sound, and I haven't had any issues with using it. In fact, the one or two questions I have had along the way were answered very promptly by Innuos. To my ears, the Aurender seems to do a great job with the upper half of the register and the Innuos seems to be bottom-up, so maybe that info is of help to you.
I suspect either will be a great choice, but wanted to share my two cents! 
I had the Zenith Mk3 for a couple month, downsized to a Lumin U1 Mini. Don't really hear much difference. The small Lumin is quite a good value.
I had the opportunity to audition an Innous Zenith used as a music server over the network.  This means it just had music files and transmitted the file data to a DLNA player/digital transport DAC.  I found that it colored and smoothed the sound even when used as a music server.  Switching to an Antipodes music server, the sound really improved.  It became more natural sounding and the bass was stronger.

I did see a youtube video doing a review on Innous Zenith.  The reviewer chose Innous as the best digital transport for a DAC.  In comparison with an Auralic G1, he said the Innous was smoother sounding. The Auralic was more dry sounding.  In my point of view, I think the Auralic is more neutral and un-colored.  I think this would be the same for streamer/transports such as Aurender.

A note on the Innous re-clocker.  To me, the reclocker makes things even more smoothed out (colored).  It deviates further from the neutral un-colored sound.  Just my opinion.  I know many love Innous and the Innous reclocker.  Ultimately, I think the Innous is changing the waveforms through DSP.
@auxinput,

Thanks for your feedback. The smoothing out (coloration) you are referring to is Innuos attempt to softening the edges often referred to digital glare. It’s a matter of personal preferences, some may find this more to their liking.

I have yet to find a dedicated audio server under $10K that is as musical and neutral sounding as Aurender N10.

@solarjam, I own the Aurender N10 Music Server and like it very much. I listen to Qobuz Streaming for their outstanding sound quality. My stored CD albums also sound excellent.

The Aurender Conductor App (free) is very easy to use. It is easy to switch between my stored CD’s, Tidal Streaming, Qobuz and Internet radio (listen to the Radio Paradise station at 320kbps). The Aurender Conductor App "turns the iPad into a versatile user interface for Aurender Music Server/Players. All settings and functions of the Aurender Server/Music Player can be easily accessed through the Settings menu, and the Aurender Conductor App comes with extensive features to make managing, viewing and playing high resolution music collections a breeze".

Aurender Customer Support is excellent. I have contacted them with requests and also questions on the operation of the Aurender.

I highly recommend the Aurender N10 music server for its excellent sound quality, build quality and an easy to use interface that makes finding your music simple. The Aurender Conductor App enables me to quickly find the album I want and play it. The Aurender has a 240G solid-state drive that is used to cache music for playback for the very best sound quality.

As you can see from above many posts, the selection of a music server is not an easy decision or process. It seems, everyone has a DIFFERENT server recommendation. I suggest you make a list of the important features your music server needs and your questions. For example, please review:

1) What is your price range for a music server?

2) What features does your server need? For example, I wanted my CD albums stored in the same box, wanted Tidal, Qobuz Streaming Services and also Internet radio stations. And, also the ability to add more additional streaming services when they become available.

3) Do you want a DAC built into the streamer or a separate DAC? For maximum flexibility, I decided on an external DAC.

4) What digital outputs do you need? I decided on a Music streamer with BOTH USB and AES/EBU digital outputs to my DAC. In most cases, I prefer the AEB/EBU connection (a high priority for me). Some servers offer an Ethernet audio connection for output.

5) Is a Roon interface important to you? If needed, you need a Roon enabled server. I decided that Roon is not required. In my case, the Aurender Conductor App DOES exactly what I need. However, several of my friends purchased a Roon enabled server and likes it very much. Another friend purchased the Roonlabs Nucleus by Roon Music Server and recommends it.

6) Your server needs a controlling App that runs on an iPad or something similar. You need to review the App to ensure it supports your needs to easily find and manage your music selections.

7) Does your server offer Remote Internet Technical Support? The Aurender does. I used this once and they solved my user operational issue very quickly (my error). This is a very important feature especially if something goes wrong and you need help.

8) Sound quality is the MOST important. In my case, I asked many questions, talked to many people, read many reviews and auditioned various servers to help me make the right decision. I selected the Aurender N10 Music Server for its sound quality.


I also agree with @lalitk1 post above that the Aurender N10 Music server is very musical and neutral sounding.  In summary, I like the Aurender N10 Music Server very much and highly recommend you audition it.  The combination of its sound quality and its ease of use using the iPad makes it an amazing piece.   I highly recommend the N10.

I hope the above helps you make a decision. Thanks....