Streamers


Thinking of purchasing a streamer. Will be hard wired to router. Looking at bluesound node 2 vs lumin mini. Any thoughts, suggestions comments? Thanks 
digitaljoseph
Joseph, streaming is my sole source for music and I'm very please with the Lumin T2 I utilize. I really like the Lumin app, which is stable and very well thought out. I don't see how you can go  wrong with any Lumin product.
I use and can recommend the Auralic Aries G1, a little more costly than the Lumin and a wonderful-sounding unit. To my ears, it was a big step up from my original Aries femto. I have not compared the U1 Mini to the Aries G1. I suggest that before committing to either Lumin or Auralic, you have at-home auditions. Auralic will allow that; I hope that Lumin dealers will, too.

One advantage of the Auralic is its DSP engine, which can apply up to 20 bands of PEQ if you want. It could be useful to kill bass peaks. To my ears, it’s remarkably transparent.

Lumin’s software is well liked, but any decent streamer should be compatible with standard OpenHome or DLNA control points, so you can pick whatever software you like. IMO often third-party software is better.

BluSound has its own software ecosystem, reportedly quite good, but incompatible with OpenHome and DLNA.
I am using the Bryston BDA-3, which sounds amazing but has an inferior app.
You don’t mention budget, or other priorities.  That will be helpful in the conversation - as will what DAC you’re planning to use and other system elements.  However, I can share some experiences which might be helpful.

I have a Node 2 in one system, an Aurender N100 in another and an Auralic Aries G2 in yet another.  In the process of purchasing the Auralic, I auditioned the Lumin Mini.  So, I have at least some experience with the units you’re considering and others you might consider.  Since you’re considering the Lumin mini, I assume you’re planning on going to an outboard DAC.  My subjective comments are as follows (other may have different views):

1) Sound quality: the Lumin certainly sounds better than the Bluesound Node as a streamer, but it’s not as sizable a difference as you might expect.  The Aurender sounds better than the Lumin.  (They’re pretty close in price). The Auralic G2 sounds better than the Aurender (as you would expect and hope given the significant price jump).  

That said, depending on the DAC you’ll be using, you might find a different result.  If you’re going into a HT DAC or a modest unit, you might find the DAC built into the Bluesound to be the better option. 

2) Roon: Lumin, Bluesound and Auralic are compatible - Aurender is not. Many view this as big negative. I run Roon in the system with the Auralic and it’s really nice - I’m not alone in saying it’s the best library management app out there..  But the native apps work well, too
3) Apps: In my view, Aurender Conductor is superior to the others.  And, I personally like Bluesound’s app better than Lumin’s.   Auralic’s lighting app is the least appealing of the native apps - why I use Roon.  
4) Outputs: You may be surprised at the sonic differences in output methods to your DAC. These differences are primarily determined by your DAC.  For me, the USB connection in my better system was best - a result I found very surprising. I now understand that is becoming more common with recent DACs. Older DACs may very well be better SPDIF or AES.  I also found that upgrading the digital cable made noticeable differences on all units.  Alas, cables can and do introduce jitter and other sources of noise.  

Good luck,
mgrif