Aurender A Series DAC Performance

I’m shopping for a streamer and also an upgrade to my Benchmark DAC3. So what’s the quality of the Aurender A200 and A20 DACs compared to a streamer and separate DAC. The Aurenders use the AKM DACs   

If I were to get a separate DAC probably would be one that has a streamer in it such as Meitner MA3. But those DAC streamers don’t have internal storage which I would like. Plus The caching for playback and dedicated apps. 

Anyone with same decision process?


I've had the older A10 and the DAC was not as good as the one in my mac preamp C2700, DAC2 board, not sure if the newer ones are better but in my experience the DAC can be bested by an external DAC in the $2000 range. I doubt the Aurender DAC is going to be better then your benchmark, different maybe better no. 

I've had a bunch of streamers (Roon Nucleolus, Aurender A10, Chord, PC, etc) now and if I was honest with you, get an external DAC and separate streamer. The DAC will be the week spot in the streamer from my experience so your much better getting an external DAC. I ended up with a Chord external DAC. 

Also for streamers they are all very close to sounding the same if your DAC has good isolation etc. So find one you like the software for that to me is more important for long term satisfaction then anything else, if your DAC is external and well isolated. 

The Aurender app is lacking IMO as well. 



Thanks for the response. Unfortunately there aren’t any perfect apps. I know  a lot like Roon but I’m not a fan. 

I’ve recently been DAC shopping/auditioning & started with an A200 home demo.  My decision was to get a barely used HiFi rose 250A & a brand new Denafrips Venus2.  I offer you the following as to what I listened to in my search & why I’m beyond satisfied with what I bought:

-A200($6300 new) Great sound, great App, high price for entry level/sound quality.

-Lumin D2 ($2300 new). Possibly better sound than A200, certainly on-par.  The Lumin app sucks though.

-GoldNote DS10 evo with outboard power supply($4400 new).  Better sound than Aurender and Lumin.  Fiddly App and numerous issues with connecting and set up.

-HiFi Rose 250A (circa$1700 used, $2600new). Equal to Aurender in sound.  App is probably better than Aurender.  Lots more features than any of the above.

-Cocktail Audio N25($1500 new) kinda crappy sounding.  Difficult set-up & app.

-Denafrips Venus2, 12th anniv. DAC ($3000 new).  The sound from this unit betters all of the above I listened to & it isn’t really close in my rig.  I’d like to know if anything sounds better..but then again I really don’t.

GL in your decision, but not spending $6300 + tax on entry-level Aurender was easy decision for me.


I highly recommend Aurrender streamers. But also to buy a separate streamer and DAC. An N20 is an incredible streamer and you should match it to an equally great DAC. I have not myself analysed the sound of the A series DACs, but there is no lack of folks that say they are pretty good (damned by faint praise). But I have compared Aurrender streamers with other stand alone and some that were integrated with a DAC and in the same and sometimes with higher level streamers the Aurender comes out ahead. So highly recommended.


But if you later choose to upgrade either the DAC or streamer then you are stuck if you have an integrated. And both pieces are critical to the sound you get out.

I have always used separates, and would recommend that path unless your system is just for casual listening or you have significant space constraints. I recently upgraded to a used Aurender N10, and it was a significant improvement in sound. I would find a standalone streamer you like and use it with your Benchmark DAC for a while.