Some posts here claim their respective player apps as the best OR the worst. Take with a grain of salt.
Do you prefer Polish or Korean?
I own two Aurender, a N100 and W20SE…after replacing my Aurlic Aries 2. I have not heard the Lumin, but extensive research did not lead me there. I have also heard the N10, an outstanding sounding unit worthy of the price.
I can say the Conductor app is excellent as is support… available directly through the app. At audio shows their flagship is the most used streamer. Streamers is all they do and they are phenomenal at designing and building them..
I have owned both the Lumin U1 and Aurender N10. I don’t have either but I thought the Lumin sounded better if memory serves. When i had the N10 and my current PSAudio Directstream DAC I could hear no difference in sound when playing the same song to each and switching back and forth between the Directstream Bridge and the Directstream USB input, which was how the N10 was connected.
I use Aurender N100 now and I owned Lumin T2 for a few weeks. Didn’t like Lumin at all, it’s overly warm like it tries hard to be ‘musical’. I had RME DAC at that time and I had to use the equalizer to make it sound listenable but I gave up and sold it. Aurender is much more neutral and better in every way. I know that some people like Lumin but it’s definitely not for me.
I think I will lean towards the Aurender as my DAC ( Emmlabs dac2x v2) is already warm and musical sounding and they are paired with my Kef reference 5 speakers that are solid on bass neutral in the midrange and soft on the top end. Aurender neutrality and decay looks more logic to go for my system's synergy.
I have a similar DAC (EMM Lab DV2). I hope I can give some good feedback based on my experience
I originally bought the Lumin U1 + External Power supply unit + Network NAS Drive + Remote.
--For sound: sound was great when I was streaming locally through a USB drive. When connected through Roon, there is a slight drop in detail in the sound presentation - it appears this is known from others with a Lumin and using Roon (topic can be found on the internet via other forums). I was not able to get my computer to cooperate in order to load music onto the NAS server... my computer would either not see the drive, crash, or never load music. I tried to talk to Lumin customer support to get it to work, but the support guy just said I was doing things wrong.
--For app: The app is Linux-based if I remember correct. Esoteric's music servers utilize the same exact software. I was not a fan of the software at all - it looks very dated and the general usability isn't great at all e.g. sorting your music is limited, navigating through it doesn't seem to work well. I found Roon to be infinitely better in this regard, but when comparing music heard via the U1 by Roon or the Lumin App, the Lumin App had a noticeable better level of clarity.
--General usage: The remote is a nice touch and makes things easy to use from distance. I did not like how the back of the unit has extra several inches of metal covering the input ports - it made plugging/unplugging a hassle. The display is basic. I was not a fan of the network NAS method they use, which is an external harddrive of their own whose hard ware cannot be swapped out and can only be connected via ethernet to a network switch -- Lumin claims this allows for the best sound quality.
I spoke with an Aurender Rep about the N10 and was recommended the N20 as a better system match to my DAC. I am happy with the expense and the product. In comparison to the Lumin:
-The Lumin is quicker to boot on if starting from off. The Aurender I leave on (it will go into standby mode if it doesn't play music for 3 minutes)
-No option for a remote on the Aurender, but it does have some physical buttons on the front of the unit to do basic playback control.
-I didn't think the color screen would matter, but it is a nice touch to the presentation. If there is a worry about possible interference of the display, there is an option in the software to turn it off completely.
-The sound presentation seems to be more open in comparison to the Lumin. One nice feature that Aurender does in which Lumin does not is that the Aurender will cache music to be played.
-There are two bays in the back of the unit to install hard drives of your choice (Aurender recommends Samsung QVO). Copying music was easy - you can browse via a computer and copy to it as if a server, or you can connect to the unit via a USB drive or hard drive and copy through the app.
-Back of the unit doesn't have a bunch of metal over the top, so connecting is easier
-The Aurender Conductor App is a lot more functional to use than Lumin. Roon is still the best software of the three, but the Aurender app is still good e.g. easy to sort music, user interface is more modern looking, search indexing is more consistent, easy to create multiple playlists.
-You can airplay with Roon on the Aurender, though I think Aurender's software is generally good enough to use on its own.
Hope that helps!
yes it helps sir , a BIG thank you for your experience as we have the same Emmlabs signature wich is a musical detailed warm sounding DAC. I was already leaning towards the Aurender and sharing your experience has only confirmed what i already suspected. will keep you posted as soon as i have it in the system.
I currently have the Lumin T2 and am very happy with it and the SQ. I have the Lumin connected through Roon with a Synology DS918+ NAS. I also have a direct connect from my Lumin into my Preamp so I can use the Lumin app and play direct from Lumin into my preamp. What I discovered through different tweaks is that the SQ is significantly better going direct from the Lumin via the Lumin app to the preamp. When I run it through Roon I lose some of the soundstage and musicality. My cabling is Transparent throughout and my preamp is an Audio Research Ref6SE.
As it relates to Aurender I am actually contemplating an upgrade to the N20 with a new DAC by MSB. MSB does not support Roon nor have an app; therefore, I would need the N20 and as my go between.
I must say I love my Lumin and will still keep it connected since I have 6 zones that use to stream throughout the balance of my house with a connection to Naim products as well as Sonos.
I have not had the chance to hear the Aurender but have had great feedback from a couple dealers as well as the recent review that was posted online by a major publication.
Look forward to hearing about your set up and experience @bigbuj once you get it set up.
so i finally ordered an Aurender N10 8TB Black unit. I am receiving it sometimes this week. I will do a comparison with my Bryston BDP-3 and i'll keep you posted with my opinion. Nevertheless I will sell the BDP-3 unit afterwards because i just got tired on the Tidal integration with the Manic Moose software from Bryston. Good Weekend to you all !!
So , I got my Aurender N10 4 days ago. It was a used model owned by 1 previous audiophile. Got the unit through The Music Room website. Transaction and delivery went smoothly. So overall , i am really happy about my decision going with this Aurender N10 over my Bryston BDP-3 Transport Streamer. The App for Aurender is clearly better than Bryston’s especially for Tidal Integration usage. Soundwise , it is not a night and day difference but the Aurender does have more Authority in the lower spectrum , Superb and sharp Decay , Control and precision (I’m using AES/ABU). Thanks to everyone for their inputs.
My system is :
Bryston 14B3 Amp
Simaudio Moon 740P Preamp + 820S External Power Supply
Aurender N10 Transport Streamer
EmmLabs DAC2X V2 DAC
Kef Reference 5 Speakers
Audioquest Niagara 5000 Power Conditionner
Audioquest Hurricane Power Cords for every components
Audioquest Earth Interconnects
Audioquest Oak Speaker Cables