MAC Book Pro Computer vs Aurender N100h vs Aurender N10 Music Servers

I am considering replacing my MAC Book Pro Computer with the Aurender N100h music server. The N100h has received great reviews, has quality construction, provides Tidal support and offers the convenience of using an iPad. My local dealer "highly recommends" I consider the Aurender N10 music server OVER the Aurender N100h server. He feels the N10 would sound much better than my current MAC Book Pro Commuter or the N100h. He said the N100h would only be marginal better than my MAC Book Pro. To be honest, I was really considering the N100h because of its sound quality, construction and my budget.

However, based on the reviews, etc., I am sure the Aurender N10 sounds great but it costs $8,000 (expensive). I found one N100h review that said “ ….Not one single combination of Mac Mini & peripheral devices has so far bested the sound of Aurender’s N100H; a digital audio streamer/server that comes pre-loaded with: 1) audiophile-approved 120Gb solid state hard drive (for cached playback); 2) custom 35 Watt linear power supply; 3) low noise USB output. Check one, check two, check three”.

This is probably not a fair comparison since the N10 cost is $8k and the N100h cost is $3k. What are your comments about replacing my MAC Book Pro Computer with either the N10 or the N100h? Has anyone replaced their MAC Book Pro with one of these Aurender servers?

And, yes, I plan on visiting my local store shortly to hear both the N10 and the N100h. My current MAC Book Pro computer is connected to my Bricasti M1 DAC connected to my Hypex NCore NC400 Bridged mono blocks class D power amplifiers and my Sonus Faber Olympic II Speakers.   The 4 NC400 power amplifiers (2 amps per side) were modified (4 R141 chips removed) to match to the volume control in the Bricasti M1 DAC (running DAC direct to amp, no pre-amplifier).   Thanks.

My Aurender N100h and Aurender N10 Music Servers demo is scheduled for Monday, December 28th.   Does anyone have any common on either the Aurender N100h or Aurender N10 Music Servers?   Any comments are appreciated.  
I have heard none of them, but have been looking at all three of Aurender's models on Audio Advisor on paper I like the N10 the best. And if I was in the market for one, that would be on the top of my list. It looks to me like a very well made and though out product, at present I am using the Bryston BDP-1 which works very well for me. But like I stated if I had the money.....
I brought 3 albums to my dealer and listened on the Aurender N100h Music Server.  After 20 minutes of listening, I felt it sounded compressed, not natural and I did not like it (my opinion).

I then played the same 3 albums on the Aurender N10 for 30 minutes. The sound quality was amazing. The music was clearer, had more bass, had more air and sounded fuller. It sounded more like music to my ears than the N00h. I ordered the Aurender N10 and plan on connecting it on Tuesday.  

In addition, I replaced my Netgear 1200 Ethernet over power line connection with a Cat 6 Ethernet cable running direct to my Apple Extreme router. I added the Luxul XGS-1008 switch box (8 Gigabit ports) in my family room and ran a Cat 6 Ethernet cable to my living room.
My Aurender N10 Music Server is a welcomed addition to my audio system.  My audio system sounds more open, more natural, clearer, better bass and I am very happy I purchased the unit. The ability to switch back and forth between Tidal music streaming and my stored albums in the App is now a very easy process (one mouse click).  The Aurender iPAD app is much easier to use than my MAC Book Pro computer.  Album selection is also excellent with several different album selection choices available.  The Aurender N10 Music Sever is highly recommended for its great sound quality and ease of use.

And, yes, the addition of a music sever in a system is a little more complicated but the instructions I provided below should get you started.  Actually, it is not that difficult to transfer the music to the Aurender.  You attach your external hard drive to the Aurender and it copies everything over (and please keep reading for the details).

NOTE-1:  Please note that iTunes does NOT STORE the album cover art within the song folder but "HIDES" it in another encrypted and hidden folder.  This means the Aurender setup coming from iTunes requires you to run Doug Scripts to extract the album cover art in your transfer (

NOTE-2: If you are using iTunes, you have to download the Extract to Folder.jpg Script from Doug Scripts (cost is $1.99). The Script run process is vey easy but it takes time depending on the number of albums.   This script is required since it stores the album cover art image in the correct location and includes the correct name (Folder.jpg) for handling by the Aurender.  Please check the Script for any updates.

NOTE-3:  Please read the "Save Album Art as folder.jpg v3.4" instructions carefully. You have to set up a new folder named Scripts (within the iTunes library) so the script can run from within iTunes.  iTunes will NOT let this script run for a large number of albums.  I suggest you test with 4-8 albums at a time and see what happens (adjust as needed). The Script runs very fast.

NOTE-4:  You can easily connect your computer to the Aurender file structure using the Finder Go Connect to Server tab. The iPad settings menus provide the necessary information (IP address, user name & password). This is very easy to do. This is how you delete files on the Aurender and also add or correct the Folder.JPG images files.

NOTE-5: If some of your albums do NOT have cover art, you have to manually add the album metadata (other automated options may be available).  You Google the album name plus “CD Image”, find the image, move it to the Desktop, change its name to Folder.jpg and move it to the Aurender song folder (be careful to place it in the right location after the last song).  The Aurender iPAD app is much easier to use if your albums have cover art.  This process is not hard but take some time depending on the number of albums. A good estimate is 2-4 minutes per album (my times).

NOTE-6:  You might need to ask your dealer (or friends) for help with the album transfer process to the Aurender.  Unfortunately, I had to determine most of these instructions myself to compete my album transfer including the album cover art (my dealer was not very helpful).  If you are unclear, please ask for help (if needed).   I had to delete my transferred albums on the Aurender TWICE before I got it right.  My instructions above should ensure you get it right the first time.

When I finished transferring my albums to the Aurender, I immediately backed up my Aurender files to my LaCie hard drive & also to my Seagate hard drive.  I spent too much time building my album database so I backed it up twice.

As a test, I ripped 5 CD’s to a USB Flash drive, ran the “Extract to Folder.JPG” Script in iTunes to extract the missing album cover art for these albums.  Two of these albums were missing album cover art so I used Google search to find the album cover art as I described above.   The album transfers to the Aurender worked perfectly.  

In summary, I like the Aurender N10 Music Server very much and highly recommend you give it an audition.  The combination of its sound quality and its ease of use using the iPad makes it an amazing piece.


On Sunday, my Aurender N10 was working fine but, on Monday, my Tidal favorites were missing. In addition, the screen was displaying the words Aurender or Tidal and now the iPad display is showing the letter “A” and there is a small box to the right used to switch to Tidal. My playlists are under favorites and I cannot find them. When I select an album and make it a favorite, I cannot find it. I am using the current updated version that was working fine before but not now.

Aurender Customer Support reports “you can just switch back to your local contents by touching the icon with “A” (stands for Aurender) which is next to the TIDAL logo”. The missing favorites is caused by app bug (see below for the solution).

You can see your favorites by reinstalling the Aurender App from the App Store AFTER you delete it. You have to delete the stored copy in the iPad, delete it from the screen and then re-install it. My Aurender is now working fine. Aurender Customer Support reports there was a problem when the Aurender app was updated from the old one.

Aurender Customer Support is excellent and their products are highly recommended. Thanks.
This morning I started the iPad and my favorites are not displayed. When I hit the playlist favorites, my favorites should be there but they are not. Instead my 8 playlist favorites are shown. When I hit the playlist tab, nothing is shown.

I deleted the Aurender app, powered down and re-installed the app. There is no change. I did it again with the same result.

Previously, the albums I made favorites were displayed using the favorites tab and my 8 favorite playlists were under the playlist tab.

I searched for an album and made it a favorite.  I cannot find it under favorites. I emailed Aurender customer support for assistance. I verified that I am using the current software.  Is anyone else having this problem?

I have been using an Autonomic MMS-5A server for a while now and my audio dealer is trying to get me interested in the Aurender N10 as a replacement.

The Autonomic has some really good features, the iPad app works pretty well, it integrates with my iTunes library (app copies the content to the internal hard drive), and they recently added a feature to automatically back up content to my Google Drive account.  But the sound quality of the Aurender appears to possibly be superior.

Please keep this thread going, I'm enjoying the exchange, would possibly do the upgrade, if I know what challenges I'd be in for.

I'd probably take the coax or optical output into my DAC, USB is in use from my laptop.
Aurender Customer Support solved the missing album favorites problem with their 2nd email today.  I did NOT know that Aurender CHANGED the INTERFACE to use a STAR and not the word favorites like it was before.

In other words, regarding the albums selected as favorites, there is a NOW a star and this is how you select your favorite albums.  Aurender changed Favorites to star in case there are many

Note that the iPad display is showing the letter “A” for Aurender (CD's) and there is a small box to the right used to switch to Tidal Streaming.

Aurender Customer Support is very prompt and is excellent. Thanks.
Following the posts, the sound from the Aurender n10 was preferred over the n100h.  Was the n10 using spdif and the n100 using usb?
Hi Cerrot,  I listened to the Aurender N100h using the USB cable and manually switched to the Aurender N10 Music Server using the same USB cable.   I did not test using the spdif connections (USB only).   In my opinion, the Aurender N100h was good but the Aurender N10 sound quality was much better.  I immediately heard the sound differences between the two units.

I used my own music and switched back and forth several times to ensure I was hearing correctly.  I purchased the Aurender N10 for its sound quality over the N100h.   As I stated above, I like my Aurender N10 very much and highly recommend it for its excellent sound quality and Aurender's outstanding customer service.  They were very helpful solving all the problems I discussed above.  Okay? 

I visited the Aurender room at THE Show and was told a new software release is expected in the next 30 days (estimated date, could be earlier or later). The new release will fix bugs, eliminate the stand by option (unit will be on or off), add additional sort sequences (?) to Tidal albums, provide features needed for South Korea and various other items.   Aurender is also working to improve their documentation to better describe its products.

Please note that Philip O’Hanlon from On Higher Note (premier distributor of high-end audio components in the United States & Canada) publishes some of his demo playlists on Tidal.  His playlists are recommended and I especially like "Box of Fun" listed below (one example). The link below is the list of his playlists:

The link below is an example of his 'Box of Fun” playlist on Tidal. Box Of Fun on TIDAL, 2006 is inspired by Randy Cribb of Audio Advice.

I continued to enjoy my Aurender N10 Music Server and recommend you audition it if you are interested in a high quality easy to use music server.   
In my above post, I explained that Philip O’Hanlon from On Higher Note publishes some of his demo playlists on Tidal.  All of his playlists are highly recommended.

Some people have asked me "How do I play this "Box of Fun" from Philip's playlist posted on his On Higher Note website?"  In summary, the steps below explains how to find the playlist on the On Higher Note website, documents how you link to Tidal on your computer, displays the Box of Fun playlist, instructs you to log into Tidal and then SAVE this album as a favorite in your playlist section of the app.  The steps are:


1) Go to this link:

2) Scroll toward the end of the text and look for the “listen on Tidal box”. Click this box and Box of Fun will be displayed.  I suggest you listen to the album before you proceed to ensure you like it (for fun, turn volume down, play the 2nd song named Norbu by Bruno Coulais and turn volume up as needed).

3) Immediately login into Tidal (on your computer) and make Box of Fun your favorite by clicking on the star button. This saves it to your Tidal playlist. Pease VERFIFY that you made Box of Fun a favorite by looking for it on the Tidal menu. DO NOT LEAVE this step until you CONFIRM Box of Fun is STORED as a favorite. Box of Fun must be stored as a favorite.

4) Log OUT of Tidal on your computer (you are done with Tidal on your computer).

5) Go to your Aurender iPad app, start the Aurender application and look for favorite album playlist. The album may, or may not, be easy to find so keep looking.  If you saved it correctly in step #3 above, its got to be there.

There are several other highly recommended playlists on the On Higher Note website. All of them can be stored on your Aurender app by following the above instructions.   I agree the above steps are not the easiest but the ability to make these terrific playlists available on your Aurender app using Tidal Streaming is well worth the effort.   Any questions, please ask.


Aurender announced a new software upgrade labeled the Aurender App 2.7.27 Released on June 30 2016. See link below for a list of the bug fixes & improvements:

It took me about five minutes to complete the install. Please make sure the install is 100% completed before you start using the iPad App (look at the display for status information).  After I completed the upgrade, my albums were not displayed on my iPad but my Tidal albums were.  I closed the iPad App, removed it from memory and started the App again.  All my albums appeared perfectly.  Aurender Customer Support reports "If the App did not display your local content correctly after the update, it is possible the App had not quite downloaded the database from the Aurender yet and so when you relaunched it, it reinitiated the download and now your albums appear.  This may be due to old data not being replaced with new data when the app is updated from the app store.  We have found that often, deleting the App and reinstalling it can repair some issues after a software upgrade".

Aurender reports "they are working on email integration for software release notes as well as a new support site, but no estimated dates are available (future).  Also, email reminders will likely be something you will need to sign up for, so it won’t be automatic".

At the moment, Aurender "decided not to implement notices about software updates from the App. They may make it a feature that can be turned on or off in the future, but no information regarding the time frame for this feature is available (Future, maybe)".

"The Standby button still appears on the App, but it no longer works. Aurender left it there with a note that we removed it so customers did not get confused. Either way, it does not work anymore if you try to select it”.  

"Aurender has received some reports of the App crashing more than usual (when multitasking or when selecting the App after the iPad wakes from sleep), and they are working on duplicating the problems and hope to fix them with a new update. For the time being, just a warning that you may need to relaunch the App from time to time”.  This problem has never happened to me.

Aurender also added a Tidal sort by artist option.

After the software upgrade, my Aurender N10 is working fine.  
The N10 is a nice unit, sounds great, marginally better sounding than a Macbook. But be aware that having to use an Ipad to control a device is a mixed blessing. If your internet or network is down, your music will be inaccessible. That is the current state of the art for music servers.
That is an excellent point. Aurender has solved this problem by providing a Wi-Fi dongle as an access point. I saw this in a demo at THE Show.   

When you have difficulty in connecting or controlling Aurender Music Servers, attaching Wi-Fi dongle to the back of the unit can solve the problem because it enhances communication between your iPad and Aurender music server. Aurender music server needs more robust and faster connection to the Wi-Fi router than surfing the internet.

You can use a Wi-Fi dongle to connect your iPad to the Aurender. This method will provide file playback only as there is no connection to the internet.  The Wi-Fi dingle allies you to play music from your 

If you want to use streaming services like TIDAL or Qobuz you need to connect Aurender to the internet using the wired connection.

Sent from my iPhone 6s

More details on the Aurender Wi-Fi dongle are on this link.

I asked Aurender Customer Support about MQA availability on the music servers and their response is below:

"Aurender music servers already support MQA files since we are a bit perfect file transport. Whether or not you will be able to experience MQA at it’s full potential, will depend on the DAC being used and whether or not it offers MQA decoding. We’ve already demonstrated MQA files played back from our servers with compatible DACs on a few occasions.

Aurender's new A10 music server with analog outputs will also support MQA and will offer the full benefits of MQA decoding and analog conversion. We should be shipping this in the fall, at least that is the goal. At the moment we are still finalizing hardware and software for the A10".

In addition, I found that Tidal is working on a Tidal MQA implementation but has not posted any details or dates.  I will email them for an update. Tidal web site states a "firm date for launching MQA has not been set. We will of course let everyone know if/when MQA becomes available".

As noted above, the ability to use MQA depends on the DAC being used and whether or not it offers MQA decoding.   I have no information regarding the sound quality from using MQA.

Has anyone compared SQ between the N10 and the much pricier W20?
I heard the Aurender W20 at the THE Show in Newport Beach but was not able to compare it to anything else.  I purchased the Aurender N10 because of its sound quality, features and ease of use with the iPAD.  I found the following information on the Internet that you might find useful:

Which Aurender is for me?
Posted January 27th, 2016 in Computer Audio

Not Just a Pretty Interface

by Robert Harley | Feb 04th, 2016
It is a very easy process to transfer ripped albums from a USB flash drive to the Aurender.  Please see the link below for the detailed instructions including pictures:

In summary, I purchased several new albums and ripped them to a flash drive on my MAC Computer using iTunes and the AIFF Format.

Since iTunes DOES NOT include the cover art in the same folder, I searched for the album’s cover art using Amazon and copied the image to the desktop.  I changed the cover art name to Folder.JPG and copied it to the folder on the flash drive (less than one minute per album).   The cover art image MUST be named Folder.JPG so that it gets displayed on the Aurender iPad application.

I inserted the flash drive into my Aurender, followed the instructions listed above and all my albums were copied to my Aurender N10 Music Server perfectly.

@hgeifman I think you making your process way more painful than necessary. Is your Aurender connected to your network? You should be able to open Finder on your Mac and see the Aurender's drive as a device or drive (on the left side of the Finder window). When you download music, you should be able to select that drive as your destination location, resulting in the music being downloaded directly to the right place with just one step. Then if you get Yate or another Mac tag editing program you can open any album's folder and with one click add the artwork to all the track files. With another click you can save to folder.jpg too.
Flash drives shouldn't be needed at home! Cheers,

sbank, Yes, my Aurender is connected to my network.   Thank you very much for your above suggestions.  I will use your instructions the next time I add albums to my Aurender.
DIY Linux based music server would have iPad and Android support. $600 for a 2TB solution, minus the DAC.


I turned on my iPad and it failed to connect to my Aurender N10 Music Server. Something was wrong but I had no clue what it was.  I tired some things but nothing worked.

I contacted Aurender Customer Support and, after a few questions, he determined my Aurender N10 was turned off due to a power failure. This explains why the iPad could not connect to the Aurender N10.   

I turned it on, it booted up (this took several minutes) and my iPad now connects to the N10.   Everything is working fine.  I hope this information helps others that might have the same problem.

Aurender Customer Support is terrific and so are their products.   
Correction:  tired = tried.   sorry.

My dealer steered me to the Aurender N10, when I was having intermittent problems with my Autonomic MMS-5A server, which went back to the factory to have the hard drive "re-imaged".  I record CDs and purchase hi-res files from HD Tracks, all AIFF files, managed by iTunes on a Windows10 Pro machine, with a Windows app to sync music/artwork to the server.
While the Autonomic was being serviced, I downloaded and gave Roon a try, my Windows10 machine has a quad core I7 processor with 16 gigs of memory, so it could run the "core" and the "controller", as well it has an excellent iPad and Android "controller" app.  I was so impressed with Roon, I no longer use my Autonomic server.  It recognizes all the iTunes content and integrates it with my Tidal subscription.
I take the the USB output from my Windows10 machine into a Schitt Audio "decrappifier", then into my DAC.  Works great!  Sounds great!
How does the Aurender handle albums coded with the MQA Format (the answer and information below should be considered a work in progress and subject to change)?  

"If you navigate to an artist that has an MQA version of an album available on Tidal, there will be TWO versions of the Album – one MQA and the other non-MQA. When used with an MQA compatible DAC, the MQA files from Tidal will play back with no issue, as far as we know (?). The DAC needs to be MQA certified for the files to play back properly. It is possible the files will simply play back as a non-MQA PCM bit stream when used with a non-MQA DAC (?).

Currently, there is no easy way to filter MQA content from the Conductor App when browsing Tidal on the Aurender iPad app (making MQA albums hard to find!). You must navigate to the artist and try both versions of the album. The MQA versions are streaming in 24 bit when used with Aurender and a connected DAC, so your DAC should register one version as 16 bit and the other as 24 bit. We still need to wait for more information from Tidal on how Aurender can pull MQA information from Tidal, since even the Tidal App does not delineate between versions of the album yet”.  

I have not been able to confirm the above but believe this information is correct.

Can someone please find an album on Tidal (on your Aurender) that is coded an non MQA for 16bit playback and coded as MQA for 24bit playback .

MQA is a new technology that is yet to be proven and accepted.  I do not know if it sounds good or not. In addition, any DAC’s that use MQA must pay a MQA licensing fee so its adoption may be slow. Several people I have talked to are interested in hearing about MQA but have no plans to buy new hardware to support it.

There are MQA specific posts on Audiogon that provide additional information.   Please post any additional information you have using MQA coded albums on your Aurender unit.
Additional clarification information:  When using you Aurender iPad application, you might see TWO identical albums on your screen.  Unfortunately, Tidal is not displaying the difference between albums when browsing content (regular resolution or MQA format).

"Aurender is waiting for Tidal to enable these differences before they can display which is MQA and which is not. The way you can tell which one is MQA and which one is not, is one will register as a 24-bit either 44.1kHz or 48kHz sample with your DAC, and the other will still play back as 16-bit, 44.1kHz.  At this point, Aurender is waiting for Tidal to include the necessary data points for the album(s) to distinguish it being MQA or standard resolution".   

As I stated above, I hope someone can verify this information. Any additional comments are appreciated.  Thanks.  

Our electrical power stopped working on Sunday for about 2 hours.  I unplugged all my audio equipment including my Aurender N10. When the power was restored, I plugged in the Aurender and it started its recovery process.   I asked Aurender Customer Support if this is the normal process. Their explanation is:

“Yes, whenever the Aurender N10, or any of our music servers experience an interruption in power, the software logs tell the Operating System this and it starts a different boot process.  This is normal since we want to ensure the hard disks and SSD (solid state drive) do not have a problem due to the outage.   You do not need to be concerned about it, unless the recovery fails, in which case one of the hard drives or the SSD is corrupted. 

If the HDD is corrupted, it will need to be formatted or even replaced, and the music will need to be repopulated.  If the SSD is corrupted, there is a recovery mode feature that will format and rewrite the Operating System to the SSD; only playlists and ratings are lost, the rest of the music information remains intact”.

My Aurender N10 finished its recovery process and everything is okay.