I have a Korean car, watch KDramas and even listen to some KPop, but I don’t get what Aurender is doing.

I’m currently in digital hold given that my new Holo DAC died, but intend on listening to my IFi Zen stream and look at upgrade paths.

Some of the most respected members of this forum swear by Aurender, so it must deliver, but here is my point of confusion:

1. Coax and AES are the preferred outputs, but higher bandwidths require dual AES out, but I don’t have dual in on my DAC.

2. Aurender’s top models claim to have great clocks, so why not pass this on to the DAC via I2s?

3. Top Aurenders accept external clocks and I assume this is used with a DAC that accepts external clocks, but why bother when I2s would take care of this?

4. The argument against I2s is that there isn’t a standard, but this isn’t a problem in most implementations.

I’m sure that I have misrepresented things above, so please correct my understanding.


Just to make sure that I understand the terminology used. When purchasing a high end Aurender with a high quality clock, does this singly describe the stability of the clock, or are there other factors that contribute to the "high quality"?

Fairly new Aurender user here.  Have the N200 in a speaker system and the N150 in a headphone system.  Use an Android phone in both with absolutely no problems.  Sound is glorious in both systems.  Could not be happier that I upgraded.

Not limited to Aurender, a high quality clock is usually one using OCXO or Femto and “quality” is about accuracy of timing, just like a luxury watch that uses a mechanical design to keep time. The clock’s role is focused on the transmission of digital samples and how well it assembles those samples back together. I wrote in a different thread, but clock and digital playback accuracy can be compared to photography. Many cameras and lenses can take a photo, and many of them do it “well”. But some stand out because of the quality of the lens in reproducing exactly what is out there, and the image is crisper, more natural, and the colors do not bleed due to aberration. A great clock does the same and results in the most accurate timing of digital signals, which will result in clarity, separation, and coherence. A lesser clock can still reproduce well, but in comparison to a great clock, it’s as if the image just wasn’t properly focused ever so slightly, or a slightly inferior lens was used. Sometimes one cannot tell unless comparing the two photos side by side. 

Higher end Aurender’s do leverage better clocks, but they also leverage more robust power supplies, better isolation (both in circuit design and chassis), and other benefits. 

I just put a 4 TB SSD drive in the N200.   It is amazing what that machine can do.  I turned it on and there was another icon in the menu.  The TD100.  Its a USB trigger for the Aurender to turn on 2 trigger enabled devices .   

When I picked the unit up and pulled it out of its rack I was quickly reminded of the quality of the Aurender.   It is built like a tank.  Pics don't demonstrate how nice these units are.  

what is needed is a excellent $1k streamer without a DAC that has no connection issues like a popular option.  something with a OS like the Bluesound and the sound of the iFi Zen Stream.  currently the next level up starts at $2,500.  pity.