A quick question on what streamers to consider.......

Hello fellow Audiogoners - a quick question as I have noted above on streamers. I am looking for a steamer only,  no DAC,  that would be easy to use. I don't want to worry about any updates and would prefer a US made product if at all possible. I have a WiFi service coming into my home so that would be how I would be getting my music. I would like it simple to use and without any hassles. I would be using it in the summer providing music to my back dec, or when cooking or entertaining inside. I would looking in the price range say of ; $2,000 to $5,000 used or new. Thank you in advance and look forward to suggestions on what to buy based on what I have outlined above. Thank you in advance and please stay safe and well.....        


Aurrender. It is all they do, and are the best at it at every level. I own two and have heard many others. I would recommend the N200…but a used N150 or maybe you could get a used N10.


They are built like tanks and the sound quality and support is superb. The conductor App (how you control from an I pad or phone) is well respected, easy to use and gets better every day.


If your router is not near your system. Use a wall wart wifi extender and plug via Ethernet into that. My $150K reference system works that way. 

I have been streaming for over twenty years. This is a no brainer. I have tried streamers from cheap through $3K —>$22K.


+1 to @ghdprentice I recently picked up an Aurender N150 from Bliss HiFi. Juan at Bliss is amazing to work with and I received the product in 1 day. Each streamer brand will have its quirks. Overall I am happy with the Conductor app subject to them fixing an glitch. And, I am still surprised by this - the sound quality was a noticeable improvement over my Node.

Aurender is great, but if all you're going to use it for is background music, Aurender is overkill in my opinion and you don't have to spend anywhere near 2-5K.  Do you also have a 2-channel listening room where you actually sit and listen?

How about a Lumin U1 Mini? You can buy one for under $1000 and even bump up performance by adding an outboard linear power supply down the line (+350 or so). 

I've an Aurender N10 which is also great, but more expensive. I like the Aurender Conductor App over the Lumin App, but they're both very good. The App is a biggish part of the decision matrix imho, assuming you don't want to pay for something like Roon. 


Go with Aurender.  Excellent sound and build quality.  Helpful customer service. Go with a new N150 or a preowned N200.  I just upgraded from an old N100H to a pre-owned N200.  Just arrived today exactly as described.  Reasonable pricing and trade.  Shout out to Kevin at TMRAUDIO.  I will eventually post my impressions once running.  

Auralic (Chinese) and Bluesound (Canadian?) have wifi. For Aurender and Lumin(not simple to use due to their UI) you will need Ethernet access point and cable. I was going to recommend Roon Nucleus but that’ll require Roon subscription and there’s no wifi either. 

Aurender is made in Korea. Not sure why you want to spend $2000; seems like overkill, but Sonore products are made in U.S., are highly regarded, and you can get a roon ready streamer for less than $2k

Aurender is made in Korea. Not sure why you want to spend $2000; seems like overkill, but Sonore products are made in U.S., are highly regarded, and you can get a roon ready streamer for less than $2k

You don’t want to worry about updates? Everything that uses software has updates, you want to have updates or your device will become useless over time. Aurender is a great choice.

@garebear essentially no streamer is made of parts made in USA, and most streamer brands are also assembled outside USA. So make sure you’re clear with yourself on expectations there. It’s a pretty big ask.

The software / OS you deal with will be specific to your streamer company of choice - if you want hassle-free, then you better trial said model of choice before you commit, or you’ll have no way of knowing. There’s a large opinion factor in what constitutes “hassle-free” software experiences.

Perhaps the most noteworthy point was already stated by @falconquest - you aim to buy a $2-5K single-purpose computer that you probably want to have a phone app (if using on deck etc) that will work with a router of your choice. There is, accordingly, no place in the world for a don’t-worry-about-updates streamer. 😉

Whatever off-the-shelf solution you choose, you will be dependent on that hardware manufacturer for software upkeep and maintaining the user interface for a phone app (i.e. staying current with Android / iOS updates). Without it, a streamer rapidly becomes obsolete. That death cycle has already occurred for at least one manufacturer.

These are among the reasons i went DIY, FYI 😁

This is not meant to be in contrivance to the other posts here - based on your questions you just need to understand your expectations don’t match the streamer market as closely as you’re hoping. These things by design aren’t robust analogue amps that stay trouble-free until they need new caps decades later.

Innuos is always a solid investment and use support parts ,their interface is also 

very good ,but can use Roon and has now the PowerfulHQ player if you want this program to Taylor the sound to your liking with -0 loss just improvements 

but takes a little time , read the reviews.

+2 @ketchup   

OP, for background music out of doors, a decent Bluetooth device will work.  You didn’t mention speakers or source.  Presumably you will send the WiFi signal from your phone to a Bluetooth or AirPlay receiver but about speakers?

Beware BSN. It doesn’t love all dacs. 

I’m interested in the suggestions here as I am streaming from a MacBook Pro at the moment. I’m considering the new U2 Lumin. 

The sonore is interesting but I would avoid it given all the boxes required. 

Many have suggested Aurender though does it integrate well with Roon?

Auralic seems like a nice unit. 

For your purposes, what about Sonos?

BlueSound Node would be the right choice. 
1. great app

2. expandable

3. can be upgraded by adding linear power supply kit

4. WiFi ready

5. Bluetooth ready

6. cost is under $600. 
no brainer. 

@hsounds Agree completely. For backyard or background music while cooking/socializing, even a Node may be overkill. Surprised many are suggesting costly high-end devices for that application. 

Whatever the posters use will often be the recommendation. A better way to get a neutral point of view is to read as many reviews and feedbacks on the streamers that meet your requirements.  But as previously noted, every streamer will need updates from time to time.


I have no hesitation in recommending the Moon MiND 2 in your price bracket. 

Canadian built but hey, close enough!

Update are automatic.

You want simple no hassle? Just get the top amazon Alexa. You can get more than one a sync them together. That’s what I use for background. No need turning on my 35k audio system to clean house. 

Bluesound Vault 2i streams like a champ. Rips CD’s to FLAC. Stores over 2000 in its internal drive. Under $1300 USD.

Worry about updates? Some old OSs totally sucked before recent updates. They ALL update before first play, like all digital devices and programs. Using Wi-Fi is recommended to a dedicated Wi-Fi receiver like a node system or an extender for rock solid internet. Your first streamer should be a Bluesound, it is the easiest. You can’t be serious about a digital device without mentioning connection (to the DAC) requirements or preferences. No mention of a streaming service either. Network players all have different ISP radio stations that can be easily found. You might settle for Radio Paradise (not on all of them) Forget about ever trying Roon with an Aurender. For background music a $100 Wiim and Spotify is overkill. Alexa is probably sufficient for a Prime member. You are going to have to educate yourself, $2-5K won’t do that.

Everybody keeps suggesting Aurender, I sold mine and bought a Lumin instead. I use Roon and although Aurender keeps talking about adding it they never seem to get there. Aurender interface is just too basic for my liking and the sound quality between Lumin and Aurender at the different price points is moot.

I’ve been wondering about adding a streamer also.  I have a Bluesound Vault 2i that allows streaming from another device, like my phone or tablet, but I wonder about the sound quality when the streaming comes from something like an iPhone.  Aurender seems to be the common choice — then to decide which model.  N100 is reputed to be significantly superior to the N200, but the 100 is closer to what I’d want to spend.  I noticed the N150, but not seen much comment on that as compared to the others.  Lumin is one I’ve heard of but not seen much commentary on.  Each device seems to feature some streaming services and not others.  Unfortunately, I don’t have a nearby audio store to visit and consider the models in question.  Audiophile-level purchasing for bang-for-buck can sure be complicated! 

Even with a budget of $2000, that is overkill, you can easily find what you need for much less.

…….hello audiogoners and thank you for all of your suggestions as they all are appreciated. The DAC is the Accuphase DP770 and that should work. I have a lot to look at but still looking to keep it simple . The sound is always important but not critical as that is why I have the rest of the system when I want to listen critically. The streamer is just to listen as I noted for music to enjoy while outdoors .I have been looking at other sites and or magazines etc to get an idea . Thank you again all…..


I am sure this was a typo, but the N200 sounds notably better than the N100 or N150. The N2x are the current versions of Aurrender streamers. If you can afford it, I would recommend the N200. You will get years of outstanding sound quality. 

The most important high quality streaming services are Qobuz and Tidal, Qobuz sounds the best by a small margin but offers 500,000 high resolution albums in addition to millions of redbook CD quality. Every streamer I have ever seen supports both of these services. 



You never answered some of the questions posed to you, such as do you have outdoor speakers? And amplifier?  It is difficult for @laps and others to advise you how to spend your money when the information is incomplete 

Curious why some posters advising to use the streamer app for playback?


I have just always used tidal and selected the streamer as output source. So easy. Why would I go into the streamer app?


I use an Audiolab 700n. Seems to do the job. Would love to audition an Aurender side by side. 

Look at the American made company, Cary Audio DMS650.  I have a DMS800PV and use to have the DMS600.  The only issue if you call it an issue is that it does have a built in DAC and Clock.  You can bypass that if you like to use your own DAC.  Incredible app and amazing sound.  Hard to beat and dead quiet.  Give them a call.  They are in Cary North Carolina. You can use Roon or just use their app. I’ve owned their streamers since 2017.

…..,thank you Mahler and you are right but did not see the question of ; do I have outdoor speakers as germane to my post . I have my system in my living room buy as I noted I can listen to it from my outdoor  dec. I hope that helps and just want to keep it simple as possible 

I recently purchased the Lumin U2, been blown away by how good my system sounds now.  Check it out, has body and detail, nice balance 


I tend to buy the same brand as my router. I have used a number of Net Gear extenders. I gave in and finally had Xfinity put in their router/modem. My NetGear extenders work fine with them.

I just get them at Best Buy.

Wait, Aurender is all proprietary hardware and software, not Roon Ready, and no WiFi? Not for me most likely if any one of these is the case. Roon and WiFi should be standard. If it is Roon compatible, then that solves the proprietary issue.  Unless Harman decides to go down that path which does not seem likely at present. 



your first post says you will be listening on your back deck (apparently from your living room speakers-not exactly the sweet spot) or while cooking in your kitchen (background music) or while entertaining guests.
When I have guests over, unless we are expressly listening to music as the main activity (a very rare event), my wife is usually dialing the background music into the inaudible range because the main purpose of being with our guests is conversation.

Likewise a quality component is going to be wasted on the patio, or competing with cooking noises. I mean, it’s your money, but most of the finer points other posters are making here about the differences in SQ between different streamers are beside the point for your application.

I use a CA CXN60 in my living room. The app works great, it sounds so good that I use one as a transport into a better DAC in my main system, it’s great with podcasts and internet radio ( which are excellent background listening choices while cooking). It has Chromecast and Apple AirPlay, which our guests use when they want to play us music from their phones, and I use for streaming Apple Music. It will natively play Tidal and Qobuz.

The Bluesound Node will fill your needs as well at half the price of the CA

I went with IFI Zen Stream, their upgraded power supply, and their LAN Silencer.  Total was less than $600.  Very satisfied.

Added Roon, and QOBUZ subscriptions.

Hesitated to reply, because of OP's desire for ease of implementation.  IMO, the setup instructions to use the Zen Stream in dedicated Roon mode were poor.  Took too much effort to find answers to setup questions in internet forums.  But, once it was setup, I use it with a laptop and the Roon software - very easy to use to listen to my ripped CDs or Qobuz content.

@garebear, my music server/streamer is a simple Roon Nucleus that I use to stream music to wifi speakers, my dedicated headphone setup which is hard wired of course, and other Roon Ready devices that we have all around our condo, from our patio deck to the bedrooms, the living room, the kitchen dining area, an upstairs loft, and to our basement, all at the same time if we so desire. All you need is a wired Ethernet connection for the Nucleus, but after that it’s super simple to use WiFi through the Roon app. 

 I learned about the Nucleus from my stereo guy who uses one at his store so that his customers can demo several audio systems simultaneously by just using an iPad. He regularly puts together high end audio systems in giant McHomes for rich folks who think nothing of dropping $250K and more on audio gear so their homes have music in every room. Yes it requires a Roon subscription. But the cost breaks down to about $0.50 a day, which to me is pretty cheap. 

I have the same streaming setup.  iFi Zen Stream, iFi LAN Silencer and the iFi iPower Elite power supply.  I think it works quite well.  Do you find that Qobuz sounds better using Roon than, say, the mconnectHD app?

Have only used Qobuz via Roon.  I find myself choosing Hi-Res versions of albums and songs from Qobuz over my CD rips.

Any thoughts on using a Naim Anton headphone streamer with a Macintosh 


@longball44 I use an Atom into a preamp as a streamer… a waste of its other integrated amp capability. I don’t have the headphone specific model. One does need to be careful with having two volume controls… 

Hope this helps.

Why not a $99 WiiM Mini? It doesn't have a great DAC, but the streamer works well for me.

One possibility is the Rivo, works great with Roon, also the little streamer from Primare is well liked here in Europe, they are both on the cheaper side but are well made and sound great, you can always upgrade to more expensive later if you want, but spending a lot on streamers you may find is not necessary, you get you money back more from other part of your hifi, that is my belief.

Great dac by the way.

When I auditioned servers/streamers years ago, Aurender was a distant 3rd compared to Auralic and Lumin. Aurender software is pretty bad too compared to Lightning DS or Roon.

Today, the best streamer that I have heard is the ps audio airlens. Most streamers don’t use i2s and this is the best protocol to use to a dac. Great synergy with the ps audio DS sr dac

In follow-up to my post of 2-21-2024 and to provide info to others who use playlists, the conductor app is still having issues.  It crashes once per session, which is easy to fix with a restart.  More troubling is that I still can not add a track to a Qobuz playlist.  I specifically inquired about Qobuz playlists prior to purchasing and they never mentioned that feature was non-functional.  Support has acknowledged it is an issue and states it is a 'high priority' - I brought this to their attention on Feb 28, 2024.  I am not sure how long it will take or if it will ever get resolved so I can't provide guidance for a timeline.   I will follow-up with them so see if they have made progress.   

@12many I think you really have two options as workaround - 

1. you can add a track to your Qobuz playlist in the Qobuz app

2. you can add your Qobuz playlist to the Aurender library in the Conductor app then add tracks to it there. However in this case it becomes your Aurender playlist and anything you add/remove won’t be reflected in the Qobuz playlist. 

I don’t think it’s a deal breaker…at least for me it isn’t.

@audphile1 Thank you for your helpful suggestions.  We have been doing option 1, which works well, just not ideal to go through that process because I have to open the other app, search to find the song (Qobuz has a 'creative' search engine), then add the song and travel back.  More often we Shazam the song, and add it into a playlist the next morning so as to not disrupt the session.

As an update, last night I followed up with Aurender via email and this morning I received an email with another version to try.  I will give it a try this evening or weekend and report back.  The last update they provided did not fix it, but I am hoping this one does.  Nice that they are still updating and responding.  : )  Interfacing software is always challenging.