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. 

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?

I can only compare directly to SOTM SMS200 Neo with two FMC, all powered by lps. OpticalRendu not an insignificant upgrade to that setup, really plays in different league, significantly lower noise floor and far more relaxed presentation. I presume lps used with OpticalRendu important, I use Uptone JS-2.


Sorry, can't help with UltraRendu, but based on a number of impressions from various reviewers OpticalRendu and/or Signature version both improve on some much more expensive streamers. OpticalRendu is really special IMO.

@high-amp No I have not compared them. I've only read about the opticalRendu anecdotally. It seems to garner very high praise, especially against streamers costing much more. I believe this is due to a combination of the fiber optic input and a low noise USB output. I don't have a need for one in my system presently. I am in the process of building a music server that will have a fiber NIC, so in the future I may get one to replace the Raspberry Pi I currently use. Sorry I can't help compare it to the ultraRendu.