Aurender vs. Roon


I would greatly appreciiate any input on something I was told yesterday by a learned audiophile. A) that aurenders conductor app is inferior to roon. That is probably a given. However, I thought Roon will interact with the conductor app. so if that is the case then you can have the best of both worlds.  Also, Roon has better audio quality the Aurender? Aside from that, is the landscape moving toward Roon? Reason I ask is I have been looking at Aurender streamers to purchase and there seems to be more and more of them for sale on Audiogon and US Audio Mart etc. Is it possible Roon Ready devices are going to be the newest frontier so why bother with Aurender if they are not going to support it? Thanks in advance for any insight or suggestions.
mrdon
Mrdon,

We sell many of the best server brands, from Aurender, Naim, Baetis, NAD, and Innuous.

Aurender can be controlled through Roon but that is only through Airplay running on the Aurender which limits you to 16 bit 44k only.

Aurender does perform well but the lack of true Roon compatiblity is hurting them the Conductor app is very good, the difference is Roon’s much greater experiential design links performers in a way that leads you to think about how muscians are connected.

Also Roon gives you the ability to upconvert and transcode your data, so for example if your dac can handle 24bit 768k sampling rates you can take a 16 bit 44k sample from Tidal and process it to the highest sampling rate your dac can handle, Or if you prefer the sweeter sounnd of DSD output your file that way to a DSD compatibile dac.

Then factor in that you can control Roon compatible devices from many manufacturers such as a Google Chromecast or a Sonos device all while being able to listen to your high end music system in one room gives you a lot of interesting features that many people really enjoy.

Add in steallar intergration of your stored music with streaming Tidal give s you a very winning platform.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ




So, it seems that a Roon Nucleus for instance would be a better place to start as far as streamers go than say an Aurender?  
I'm very happy with my Nucleus.  First time Roon user with it.  Replaced a 2011 MacBook Pro running iTunes and BitPerfect and has clearly better sound quality.  Much less noise and there is lots of music down there.

Took about 20 mins to be up and running, so very turn key.
Docknow, yes the Nuclueus would be easy to use, so are a lot of other servers. 

We are not fans of the Nuclues for one very good reason, for its price point there are better constructed servers which will output a cleaner signal to your dac.

If you look at the $2500 Roon Nucleus server vs the $2600 Innuous Zen server you will see a world of difference.

The Roon server is based on an Intel Nuc with optomizations and a large memory cache the unit still uses a switch mode power supply.

Compare that the the Innous Zen:

1: Custom designed linear power supply
2: Custom designed low noise mother board designed for audio
3: Custom designed USB board
4: Optomized software 
5: Ethernet noise filters are in many ot their models as well.

For this reason we picked Innuous over the Roon product, Roon is a great company but has very  little experience in designing hardware.

Aurender uses very well executed hardware the issue is true Roon compatibility, for this reason Innous is one of the best server choices on the market. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous and Aurender dealers


If I could afford it, I would get the Aurender over the Roon in a heartbeat.
I demoed it a couple of weeks ago and was very impressed with the interface and ease of use.
B
gdnrbob, if you read our post above, the Roon is nothing special for hardware.Aurender is a much better designed and sounding box, the issue is Aurender is facing stiff competition from Innuous who makes a fanastic server that is also a Roon server.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innous and Aurender dealers
Best of both worlds: get an Innuos (ZEN Mini, ZEN, or ZENith, depending on your budget), to use as a server, AND endpoint, with Roon!

And if you don't have (or don't want) a Roon sub, you can use Innuos with other apps, such as iPeng 9 on iPhone, or Orange Squeeze on Android. It uses LMS (logitech media server) or of course, Roon. Your choice
Problem is nobody seems to be able to get the new Innuous units.   I have had several friends just give up and cancel orders. Do they really ship products now? No joke. 

I was also interested, but turned off by the months and months of waiting my friends were dealing with. 
I got mine (ZENith MK3) a couple of weeks ago. I am in USA. I was in preorder since November.

When did you order yours?

Yes, they sold out first batch of MK3 on preorders alone.
How long does someone wait ordering one today? Not sure about their business model as they don’t seem to have a handle on production and demand realities.

I would buy one if I knew when I was getting it.  
" Aurender does perform well but the lack of true Roon compatiblity is hurting them "



This is a laughable statement as Aurender is the clear choice for anyone who cares about the quality of sound in there home. The conductor app blows away everything Roon has to offer except the pretty pictures and brief profiles. Who cares about how it looks? Ill take better sound and ease of use any day!
@grannyringWhy don’t you ask Innuos direct or your dealer @grannyring ?

If you were asking me, how long does it take if ordering one today, I don’t have an answer to that. I am not a dealer, neither do I want to ask them, as I already got mine
Mattmiller why would you possibly say that, the conductor app is a very good app, it is very different than Roon.

Roon is much more experential with links in the Bio page to other related band's musicians, a radio feature that mixes similar artists and complete intergration between Tidal's Library and a stored one.

Roon offers up conversion to higher res sample rates, a eq function, and PCM to DSD and vice versa playback.

Roon also can control other devices that are Roon endpoints so you can have the same music in your reference audio room playing on a Naim Muso or a Sonos box or via Chromecast or NAD Bluesound prouduct throughout your home.

The Aurender products are excellent sounding, and are very well made, if the features of Roon don’t matter than yes Aurender’s conductior is an excellent app. They are very different things.

Obviously you have to pay $119 a year for Roon and Conductor is free.

Aurender has Airplay Innuous doest not.

As per sound and build quality both are outstanding. The Innuous Zenith is a mind blowingly good sounding server that improves upon the Zen.

As per availability we are ordering units three at a time, Innuous is filling orders the first runs of the new MK III products all sold out pretty fast.

Most new orders take 3 weeks to get product, there have been delays with the Zen Mini. Statements, Zen’s and Zenith’s are all flowing out to their dealers.

Dave and Troy
Aurender and Innuous dealers
Can we take a little more of a deeper dive into the benefits of adding a Roon Nucleus to a home with many Sonos devices outside of my listening room, but with an NAD Masters Series M50.2 and a Blusound Node 2i in the listening room? I have a smart home with robust mesh network WiFi. To boil it down, how does the Roon Nucleus integrate with Sonos devices and or a Sonos Boost and also Blusound Node 2i devices? Thanks. 
kingbarbuda, Roon software can be added to any home computer on the network as well. 

Nad M50.2 is your server and can be picked up as a Roon endpoint, also any Sonos device is the same way. 

The idea of getting a high end server like a Roon Nucleus or an Innuous would be to replace your Node in the music room with a direct connection via USB to your dac providing your dac accepts Usb.

If you have a modern dac that can do DSD or high resolution PCM you can output any of these frequencies to your dac and we have found that high res PCM or DSD files generally sound far superior to the 16 bit 44k original sample.

We would recommend that you look at the Innuous products as they are true audiophile grade servers that can also house the Roon program.

You could selll both the Bluesound Node and the NAD M 50.2 and replace them both with the Innuous server and get far better sound quality out of your dac. 

The difference with the NAD M50.2 is that is has a built in raid drive and analog output a Nucleus or Innuous would require an external back  up drive.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Innuous and Aurender, and NAD dealers
@audiotroy 
Thanks, but no thanks. 
I wanted to offer the OP my opinion between the two manufacturers he asked about. But, now that you have injected a third company, I feel it only fair to point him to a fourth- Sam Laufer's Memory Player. Though not in the same price range, he does offer the Mini Player at a very reasonable price, as well as software that can be implemented independently. 
I only post this so the OP has as many choices to make a informed decision.

B
So far i have seen quite a bit of discussion, some with an aim to resolve the original question/s and others maybe not. Never the less, i am getting something out of every post and greatly appreciate the bigger picture some of you are painting.. Keep-em coming (suggestions)..  
@audiotroy My Nucleus was $1,400, not $2,500.  I don't need DSP.  This is a completely different price point than the $2,600 Innuous Zen server.  Bring one over the Hudson to my apartment in FiDi and we can compare the SQ :).

Linear power supply is coming from Roon, or one can purchase various LPSs from ~$150-$500.

One can build/buy and Intel NUC for less (half?), but I wanted something very turnkey.
.docknow many people purchase the more expensive version which is $2500 
If you add a linear power supply you are approaching the Zen.

We would love to do that shootout.
I was not asking you thyname. I was asking the dealer who is posting here.  
+1, mattmiller.  

IMHO, Aurender is not missing on anything by not having ROON compatibility. The conductor app is second to none and it’s ease of use easily trumps anything else out there. I have owned N10 for 4 plus years, it’s outstanding sound quality has no peer (other than W20). The customer service is top notch and they are very receptive to customer feedback. The brand has stood tall and remained unshaken despite of stiff competition from Antipodes and Lumin.

I am currently subscribed to Qobuz and many of my favorites tracks in 24bit/192kHz sounds outstanding through my N10 > DA2 DAC. I have some experience with upsampling files. You can certainly take a 16 bit/44.1kHz file and try to upsample it and decide for yourself if it floats your boat. Upsampling is like compensating for other shortcomings in your system or components, you can’t possibly extract any more information if it’s not there to begin with....it’s like taking a 480p video and upscaling it to 4K 😉

I can only suggest OP to spend some time with Conductor and Roon based hardware at a local dealer and then decide. 


Ah OK @grannyring  I thought you were asking me, as your post was immediately after mine. I admit the Audiogon Forum format is confusing, as there are no features like "reply" or "quote". My bad.

So you were asking @audiotroy  ?
Lalik man it is nice to see you love your N10 but some of your comments are totally off, "the N10 has no peer other then the N20," I guess all of those people who are building other reference streamers such as Innuous, Antipodes, Baetis, SGM and others are making totally inferior products? 

As per upsampling only the N10 and N20  offers that with Roon based servers you have upconversion and transcoding available at many more price points and certain dac's sound better as higher bit rates or better with DSD files, so with comprehensive upsampling all of your files from 16/44k files can sound like high resolution files.

As per 480p to 4k it is more like 1080p to 4k and that is what a lot of highly rated projectors have been doing including JVC and Epson and we have an Epson 4k Laser projector which actually uses the same wobulation technique and our 1080p content shown via their upconversion  technlogy looks amazing.

We love Aurender and they make fantastic products but don't kid yourself that Roon compatibiity isn't hurting their sales and that many people prefer the comprehensive feature set of a Roon based server. 

It all comes down to what you are comparing a product to. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ Aurender and Innuous dealers


How long a wait Audio Doctor if I order an Innuous today? Their site still suggests they are not filling orders.
We have three on order,  most new orders are shipping in three weeks. 

We can always lend you a server if you need one. 

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
Audio Doctor, I dont know anything about ROON really, I just wanted you to tell me ...Thanks :-)
Matt M
Seriously tho, Audio Doc, If I already have a Aurender and external DAC connected via USB 2.0 using the Conductor app How can I incorporate ROON? Also, If my main listening taste is Classical music is ROON even worth pursuing?
Matt M
@audiotroy,

I understand your predicament as a dealer for two very good competing products in the same category. So why not jump on the Roon bandwagon and promote the Innous over Aurender.

The point I was trying to make is when files in its native resolution sounds so good, you don’t need that upsampling crap. If you’re a purist, you want to hear or watch your content in its native form....none of that upscaled or upsampled garbage.

I can clearly see you rather promote a brand that has a pedigree of several discontinued models in such a short span and as pointed out by @grannyring, don’t have a handle on production and demand realities. Good going!
Anybody with these dedicated music servers ever compared or done a shootout with a Ethernet-2-USB converter. The reason I ask is that I have a very busy (though audibly quiet) work computer running ROON server and I stream my music to my DAC via a mid-priced Sonare microRendu. No matter how I stress my computer I cannot make the sound on my system to degrade. It seems to me that the music bits over Ethernet are immune to the computer noise with a Ethernet-2-USB converter. I also use ROON's up-sampling because I have the computer horsepower.

My impression was that these expensive music servers being mentioned on this thread are all computers under the hood with a dedicated OS to curb internal noise pollution of the server. Now what if the server's badness for audio quality was eliminated via a Ethernet-2-USB adapter. 

I ain't preaching here just asking since I have not gone down the road of demoing these expensive "computers". Anybody done a comparison?
I will say i recently connected an Ideon Audio 3R Renascence between by Imac and Dac (Prism Sound Callia) Within a short time it dropped out meaning i had to disconnect and reconnect so it would recognize the Dac again. It was also pretty warm to the touch but that was to be expected. This dropout happened several times before i just disconnected it and returned the item. I never had the time with it to experience how much improvement the system gained, too bad. So, all of the talk about noisy USB connections is with merit. On the other hand, i see that Aurender and others have addressed that to some extent, why else would a streamer be a viable choice if the noisy/jitter factor wasn't addressed..   
I bought the Roon Nucleus $1,400 model two months ago.
Paid for the Roon Service and Tidal HiRez . 
If I was doing it again I would have bought the Bluenote? 2i at $500.
Reason, this technology is evolving everyday. I will likely toss this
unit in 2 years when some better more reliable, equipment is available. Not just talking SQ but user friendliness. Seems an issue with something each time I turn it on. And I am ethernet hardwired to the router. 
Most likely user error. Nucleus is pretty much set it and forget it with no maintenance whatsoever 
Question on Innuos Zen mk3. Audio Doctor may know the answer. 

I use a Roon DSP and need my server to be powerful enough to run the various Roon DSP options including upsampling to DSD, EQ settings etc...
Will the Zen mk3 handle this? My current windows based PC does and never drops below 3.2x.  I want to replace it with the Zen for sound quality, but not if the Zen is not powerful enough for Roon DSP.  



Is this a question or a bait @grannyring 

From Innuos website:

————-

ROON LIMITATIONS WITHIN INNUOS SERVERS


innuOS Servers currently use Intel Quad-Core CPUs which are powerful enough for music server duties whilst maintaining the system fanless and limiting the amount of power-noise polluting the audio system. The main task requiring very heavy computational requirements is the DSP processing within Roon. With the current hardware, upsampling CD-Quality files to DSD128 and DSD256 will not work properly. Upsampling CD-Quality files to DSD64 works when this DSP setting is being used stand-alone, as well as upsampling to PCM 384KHz. Combination of DSP settings which require more computational power than currently present will result in stuttering music.

If you plan to use DSP on Roon heavily, we suggest to install Roon as scenario 3, using the innuOS server as a Roon player only and using a powerful PC (Windows/Mac) as the Roon Core server.


—————-

Innuos is being 100% honest about it. Draw your own conclusions.

I do use my ZENith MK3 as a Roon Core, works perfect, but I only do simple DSP to PCM up to 192.


I don’t bait ever. I just asked an honest question as I am deciding between the Zen and SOTM Trifeca. You must not know me🙂, By the way it seems like a very good and reasonable question. Innuos replied to me saying it will handle up to DSD 256, not 512. I upsample all files right now with a powerful windows based server. Looking to improve SQ and still have this ability. I am sure others would also like to know.

Here is the answer I was given directly from Innuos,

“Hi William,

The ZEN Mk3 will be capable of all DSP tasks up to DSD upsampling 256. It will not support up to 512 however. The processor noise created by such an intensive task is so great that it actually outweighs the benefits of the upsampling to begin with - we find it keeping it close to bitperfect as possible is best.”


The info on the website conflicts with what I was told directly. I will point this out and see what they say. I hope the website just has outdated info. They seems quite confident in their direct response to me. I just want DSD128 as that sounds best to me in my room and rig.



Very impressed with Innuos response time! Goodness they are very good.  Here is what they just said to me....

”Hi William,
Well spotted, we will need to update this as this would have been relevant to the MkII series.The new Mk3 units can handle DSD128 upsampling with no problems at all.”

I will be buying one for sure as I will no longer need my windows based computer.  

William:

I think you won't be disappointed with Innuos. They are great!

I am a bit skeptical on using them for heavy DSP duties. Still.

And I don't know how the comparison is relevant with the SOtM trifecta. None of those components is a Server. Innuos' main function is as a server, with streaming capabilities as a "bonus", and a good one.

Good luck with your purchase. I love my ZENith MK3!
The comparison is the sound quality.  I am willing to keep the window based computer as a Roon core and the SOTM Trifeca as the endpoint. The Innuos allows me to sell the windows computer.  The two can be compared from this standpoint.  Just two different ways to accomplish great sound with the Innuos being less expensive.  Will it sound as good? Not sure.  Perhaps not, but still a nice jump from what I have. 
I sure hope I can take Innuos at their word on this Roon DSP question. Stephen Healy sure gave an strong and certain positive answer.  
@grannyring  Bill, I think you can. Let us know how it goes.

I'd love a one box solution, but experience suggests separation of the two functions for sound quality reasons and for avoiding any hiccups. I say this despite not utilizing DSP or other advanced Roon functionality. 
@grannyring  : what is your DAC?
I use a Lyngdorf 2170 heavily modified by me.  Also use the SOTM TXultrausb and 500 power supply also modifidied. My own brand of USB cables and upgraded Poe based DC cables. 
audiotroy,

You mentioned that you carry Naim servers as well.  Have you tried the 555 server, and if so, what do you think about it?
Very nice! It seems like you know what you are doing.

You can still use your SOtM txulraUSB / sPS-500 combo on your ZEN USB out to your DAC. Most likely it will provide further improvement vs. simply USB out from ZEN.

If you can afford it, go for ZENith instead of ZEN. I demoed both at my dealer before deciding on the ZENith.

Another heads up, although by a long shot: Innuos will come up with a separate beefed up USB interface similar to that found on Statement. It was on a video the Nuno posted comparing Statement with ZENith MK2 SE, and I also confirmed with him directly via email. Release date: unknown
I will still use the SOTM combo. Thanks for the additional info! My current server sounds very good and I do hope the Innuos sounds at least as good.  Just won’t know until I get it I guess.  I have my current Sound Science Music Vault Ultra II pretty tricked out and analog sounding.  I am intentionally curious and want to try the Innuous.  
Larryl we have the Ndx 2 xps 2 combo which comes close to the 555.

Our favorite streamer the lumin x1 it sounds amazing.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I have a Innuos Zenith Mark III and use it as a Roon Core. I have it hardwired with an ethernet cable. I output using a WyWire Silver USB to a Lyngdorf 3400. I've integrated Tidal with Roon and my digital library. I sorta wish the Lyngdorf would do the final MQA unfold but, really, I'm very happy with the SQ. IMO, the Lyngdorf DAC is excellent.

I really enjoy the ability to search out new artists on Tidal, read their bios, and see the lyrics. The Roon Radio function is awesome as well. The Masters (MQA) on Tidal almost always improve over the standard redbook versions. 
@audiotroy,
I have been looking into Aurender and oc course i then heard the name Innous being mentioned. How do you feel about the Lumin D2 or Lumin U1. I already have a DAC (Prism Sound Callia) & streaming Tidal (minus Roon for the time being) to  to PS 700 M's..

I denied the Aurender against the Auralic Aries a few years ago and much preferred the Auralic which I purchased. The Aurender gimmicks just didn’t do it for me. Also, the DS Lightning app was far superior to the Aurender app. A year ago I decided I didn’t want any type of server in my dedicated audio room, didn’t want to use usb any longer, so I went with a dac with a network card using Ethernet and running Roon on a Mac mini, no need for the nucleus. Far superior than a music server connected to a dac using usb and Roon is far superior in functionality.