Optical vs Ultra Rendu.

Is it worth the $696 more to go with the optical Rendu:


Over the standard (ethernet connected) ultra Rendu:


Has anybody compared these units, is there a notable difference in sound quality between these two?  Both still connect to the DAC via USB. 


I had the ultraRendu for a few months before moving up to the opticalRendu. At least in my system, it was a noticeable improvement ... the main benefit is noise floor reduction. With the opticalRendu, I can hear more details emerging from a blacker background. During the same time period, I auditioned Innuos Zen Mini, Lumin D2, and Lumin U1 Mini. I found the opticalRendu to be better than the aforementioned streamers.

arafiq - great feedback, thanks.
By chance, did you happen to compare the Optical to the Ultra?

The difference between the two is in the name: opticalRendu has a fiber optic SFP port while the ultraRendu has an RJ45 ethernet port. Copper ethernet and fiber optic both offer galvanic isolation, making them an ideal connection between digital components. Fiber optic is also immune to EMI & RFI–a characteristic not found over ethernet. This is why many report a lower floor noise after implementing fiber optic.

Unless your server has an SFP port, you will need to use a fiber media converter to convert ethernet to fiber optic and then into the opticalRendu. This adds another device, another power supply, another cable.

@sns recently switched from a SOtM sMS-200 to the opticaRendu. Perhaps he can share his impressions.

Sonic79 - Thank you for the Explanation. Have you personally heard the difference between these two units?