I have had Blusound, Auralic, and presently Lumin. I like them all and for me it boils down to familiarity. All were a bit tricky the first day, but after a few Google and YouTube hits I mastered them all.
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I’ve had various Auralic streamers, the Aries, the Aries Femto and later the G1. In between the Femto and the G1, I’ve owned the NAD M12 for one and a half year, making me move from the Auralic software to the BluOS software and it was pretty hard getting used to it. When purchasing the G1, it was easier to go back to the Auralic ecosystem than it was to swap to BluOS. Could be that it’s about what you’re used to, however one and a half year of BluOS should have been more than enough to get used to it. So with a little objectivity I would vote for the Auralic software. What was great that in those one and a half year of BluOS use, Auralic software evolved quite a bit and the child diseases of the early years were gone.
Today however, I’m on Roon, as the G1 was also sold. Interested why you grow sick of Roon, because I still enjoy it. Using iPad and Roon running on a NUC7i7BNH and never have issues.
I own both a Node 2i in a cabin system, and an Auralic Aries G2 in my primary system. I used to have a Roon subscription but dropped it (see below). I’ve auditioned Lumin and Simaudio and formerly owned Aurender.
For user interface in terms of preference, I’d personally rank them 1) Roon, 2) Auralic, 3) Aurender, 4) Sim, 5) BluOS and 6) Lumin - my preferences only. Candidly, there were small gaps between the interfaces of 2-6. Roon was clearly a step up.
However, on sound quality, I’d put Roon last. I had a subscription to it for nearly a year and tried various settings and was generally satisfied with it. Then, for grins, I compared the same tracks (whether streamed via Qobuz or played from a file) first on Roon and then via Auralic lightning DS. No contest. I dropped Roon the next day.
Before someone suggests Auralic doesn’t “play well” with Roon - it’s a Roon certified endpoint. Operation was flawless. LDS is just clearly making better use of the buffers and topology of the hardware. I can’t say whether others would experience something similar with Lumin, BluOS or Sim.
@acree72 Good thoughts and I feel like I definitely want to try Auralics software now.
Why do I like bluOS?
1. Because its interface feels so much like Spotify and Tidal.
2. BluOS allows you to add to your Tidal/Qobuz playlists from the BluOS app (roon does not do this).
3. BluOS shows top tracks by artist where Roon does not (at least not on IOS)
4. Roon won’t operate in Landscape from my iPad.
5. Genres in Roon are often empty.
If you're looking for a better sounding streamer with good software, you should take a look at Innuos. The Zen Mini (with power supply upgrade) is the least expensive model, while the Zen or Zenith models provide exceptional sound for the cost involved. (I use the Zen Mk3 myself.) Innuos has recently upgraded its OS software to provide music management capabilities while maximizing sound quality. Several A-gon threads have already pointed out how much better Innuos 2.0.5 sounds than Roon does.
When I bought my Innuos Zen, I debated about whether I would use the server storage built-in. Now that I'm used to the Zen, I have integrated use of the CD ripping into my playlist construction. I didn't take on the task of ripping all my CDs to the Zen. Instead, I rip any CD I'm wanting to listen to into the Zen, which takes no more than five minutes and is incredibly smooth and simple. The sound of a WAV file from the Zen is better than listening from my CD player or the Qobuz stream, so I can integrate the WAV files along with Qobuz tracks to create whatever playlists I want. Once a favorite CD is ripped to the Zen, it's easier to access the tracks I want to play than it is to use my CD player. The Zen is designed not to use the hard drive during file playback, so no noise is added to the system when accessing files on the server.
Based on the reports of previous Roon and BluOS users, I'm confident that the Innuos software produces better sound quality. I think the new Innuos Sense control app is designed to run on a phone or tablet rather than a desktop computer. I am using it on an iPad, and it works great.