Aurender Conductor app reliability and user experience


I'm on the fence about buying an Aurender A200 streamer+DAC. I auditioned one using an identical system I have at home (Moon 340i and Dynaudio Contour 20i).  I really liked what I heard in the store, the DAC is transparent and does a great separation of vocals and instruments. I used the app on an iPad and looked/worked ok.

The app is so downvoted in the app store and have read a couple of complaints, that I'm doubting the quality of the software. I used Roon for two years, but I stopped using it because of the price. Right now I'm mostly using Tidal Connect and using a Blusound Node 2i as a streamer.

What has been your experience with the Conductor app? Can you use it on an iPhone? Is it kind of mandatory to use an iPad?

robertkpax

I’ve been using Aurender streamer in the last two years and never had any issues with the Conductor app. I think it’s very easy to use and stable. And yes you can use both iPhone and iPad.

I use it and like it. I have never used Roon tho, so I can't compare the two. Go for it.

I use the Aurender Conductor App and like it very much.  I find it easy to use to find the albums I am interested in.  You download the App, connect to your Aurender server and are ready to go.  It is very intuitive and works fine.  Highly recommended. 
 

Please see list for Conductor App features:

  • Intuitive interface
  • User-selectable theme (dark, light, warm)
  • Editable playlists 
  • Remote support request
  • One-click addition of songs/albums to the queue
  • Browse by song, album, artist, genre, or composer/conductor
  • DSD, 16/24bit, sampling rate filter
  • Album front and back cover support
  • Gapless playback
  • Integrated TIDAL and Qobuz service (separate subscriptions required)

@robertkpax Hi, personally I would get the N200 and a separate DAC. This will add a few more $1k to the price but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Enabling you to switch DACs.

The Conductor App is a closed loop, something like Apple iOS, whereas Roon is open source and has to work with ALL Roon devices, this obviously creates limitations and compromises.

Conductor can be run showing all your album covers of your ripped CDs or in Folder Mode where everything is listed as a file. Much better if you have a large library.

Integration with Tidal, Spotify and Qobuz is seamless.

Conductor is slightly biased to Apple devices although I use an Android tablet. The only issue I ever get is after I’ve been outside with my Tablet very occasionally (once a month) my Tablet won’t find my Aurender immediately so I have to restart the Tablet once or twice.

When a new update comes out it’s best to delete your Conductor App and re-install the new one.

BTW an new update is available for Android, it automatically scans for new ripped files, no need anymore to scan manually.

The bad reviews on Google Play seem to date to 2020 and before.

Conductor is an excellent app which provides full control over your machine not just choosing music.

You will find that many people are pleased with Aurender, the Conductor app, and support, especially from "Ari," the one guy they seem to have in the US.

I bought an Aurender (new) from my local dealer and was never pleased with it. The device was unpredictably buggy. I’d contact support, and the useless email responses more than once indicated they hadn’t thoroughly read my email’s description of the problem.

Ari finally told me the Aurender maybe had a problem with the way my digital files were stored. That seemed odd to me, because no other hardware or software had ever had any issues with them. Perhaps the issue was that Aurender seems Apple-centric and I’m a Windows and Linux guy. No matter, I dumped the Aurender after a few months of frustration, bought a Bryston BDP-3 to replace it and have been happy as a clam ever since.

I have an excellent relationship with my dealer and could have gotten him involved for a refund. But at that stage, I didn’t want to be in a position where Aurender could claim it did me any favors. Good riddance.

+1 lordmelton All points

I prefer Roon for a bit of functionality, but like Conductor and love Aurender.  I’m using a newer iPad.

Thanks for all your responses and suggestions. I will give it a try for a couple of weeks and see how much I like the app.

@lordmelton i agree, the best will be to separate the renderer from the DAC. My main problem is the price, I’m not willing to have a digital component that worth the same than my amp+speakers.

Right now I’m using a bluesound Nose 2i as a streamer and a Topping dx7 pro as DAC. The sound quality is good enough but it doesn’t compare to the Berkeley alpha series 1 I used for a couple of months and it’s inferior than the Aurender A200.

@robertkpax 

The sound quality is good enough

If “good enough” is your goal then saving money is a reasonable strategy.

As a long term user of Aurender and the Conductor App with only a few problems, I would recommend that you look at Auralic instead. The Conductor app is OK but compared to the Auralic Lightning app or even BluOS it has a long way to go. And in the 4 years that I've used it I have seen no major updates or improvements. I am ready to move on myself.

 

Post removed 

@robertkpax, the Conductor App is fairly intuitive to use. If you have Issues, you can use their Remote support request for help. This is included in the settings section and allows Aurender to connect to your unit, if needed.

Like all software, you may have questions or need help. There are many Aurender users on this forum that will help you. As I previously said, I use the Conductor App with my stored albums, Qobuz (wonderful) and Qobuz’s many playlists. If interested, it also includes many Internet stations (including Radio Paradise).

I have used Aurender Customer Support several times and it is excellent.

@robertkpax Robert, The A200 and N200 are both fine machines and the cost savings on the A200 are not insignificant, especially when you figure in an additional power cord and USB and or SPDIF cables too.

Aurender is one of the very few companies (can't think of another now) that has manufactured their own propitiatory software or app. Even Taiko hasn't done this, they use a stripped down version of Windows. Also being Linux based means it's based on Unix server software and doesn't need supplementary USB drivers etc.

I can't say that Aurender is the very best in the World when you compare to some exotic brands but at their price they offer maximum SQ and reliability.

I have owned my N20 for almost two years now, it's constantly switched on and surprises me everyday with what it can do, reliably and without fuss.

only complaints i have (A10) with it is the app losses connection and sometimes its hard to regain, specifically after your turn it on. having to search every time for the Aurender is a pain. Also having to use an apple tablet to operate it is a limiting. 

The remote is useless IMO. but i don't use the direct to amp features. 

I do not find it intuitive at all. 

Aurenders manuals are lacking with out complete information on operation, various operating parameters and indications. 

@glennewdick, If your "Conductor App drops your connection and sometimes is hard to regain, specifically after your turn it on and having to search every time for the Aurender" represents a SERIOUS ’unacceptable’ connectivity issue.

Please file a remote support request with Aurender for their review and comments. Go to the Apps settings and look for Remote Support Request and provide all the details. .

IMHO, if you are losing your connection, it sounds like maybe a Wi-Fi and/or Internet connection issue. Obviously, you should cold boot all devices (power down and restart) and see if that helps. I suggest you confirm your Wi-Fi connection is strong and that your Internet is working correctly. I just had my Cable person here to replace all my inside cables and connections, all connections at my outside cable distribution box and all connections at the cable box entering my home. He checked the cable strength at all locations to confirm all frequencies are working (they were).

Please also confirm your iPad, that connects to the Aurender, is close to your router. I recently installed the NetGear ORBI 960 Series Quad-Band WiFi 6E Mesh Router and placed the 2nd satellite router in my living room where I use my iPad. This helps to ensure a strong Wi-Fi connection.

Connectivity issues, like yours, are not easy to chase down and might take some time. Please do not give up and keep us posted.

 

@vonhelmholtz 

The Lightning app betters Conductor in the following areas;

Look and feel of the user interface

Search Capabilities

Artwork 

I've had good customer service from both Aurender and Auralic. Bottom line, the Auralic Aries G1.1 sounds better in my system than my Aurender N100H. I listen to vinyl 90% of the time anyway. 

 

 

The Aurender Conductor is a solid app that is easy to use and rock solid. If someone is having issues with connectivity it is probably their network, not the Aurrender.

 

OP… you want to purchase an N level streamer only product. Then you can choose the DAC separately. This gives you great flexibility. 
 

I own both an N100 and W20SE streamer. They are world class and cost effective. I have owned and auditioned others. This is the brand to get. My systems are under my UserID.

The bluos app with my Node 130 was always top notch for me until I got into Innuos sense. No experience with Aurender app, but I read enough complaints it drove me to the Zenith mk3 instead. 

My experience with the conductor app and Aurender support has been nothing short of disastrous. Firstly when integrating with Qobuz I lost about 300 albums that were in my Quobuz library and had to spend many hours manually trying to reload the missing albums to conductor .  Secondly while the app seems to indicate you can sort by artist, album, genre, composer etc I could only sort by artist and album and even here classical composers did not exist unless their name appeared first on the album cover. Like most other apps artists were listed by their first name initial. All in all pretty hopeless when trying to search for composers in your saved library albums. Aurender support were at first trying to sort out the problems but eventually they gave up with no solution provided. Finally yes the app does lose contact with the streamer from time to time. A great pity really because the SQ is excellent but my search for a streamer with a workable app continues. Is the Eversolo the answer?

I use Aurender's Conductor app on an Android phone. I really do not like the app much at all. For me, the user experience is just not very good. It has a lot of usability issues that could be worked out with better product design and management. I wonder if they build the app in house, or outsource it.

It is a disappointment, because overall my new N150 seems to be working well in my system. It's just that the software lags far behind the hardware. With a premium product such as this, neither the hardware nor the software should be subpar,

Personally, I might set the bar higher than some when it comes to assessing if an app is well designed or not. I also use the BluOs app on my phone. Many people seem to like that app. I am not one of them. However, I would say that I find Bluesound's app to be substantially better than Aurender's. My hope is that Aurender reaches the same conclusion, and steps up their customer experience game. 

BTW I provided this feedback to Aurender, but received no response. I was a bit saddened by this, especially as a new customer who was trying to provide input that might help with future iterations of their product (and just spent $$$).

@mazian Anyone with even a glancing contact with computers knows that people delete files and folders, not computers.

However please note that Aurender does not have a recycle bin or restore feature, so if you're playing about, connected remotely to your SSDs with your computer, be extra careful because mistakes cannot be rectified unless you've kept an external backup. The latest Aurenders have two disc slots, except N30 which only has one. You can back up here or use an external SSD to backup, preferably both.

Good news for the Conductor Challenged is that Aurenders will soon have ROON.

You asked you got!

It would be informative if those of you with unsatisfactory experience using Aurender Conductor could let us know the time frame of your experience. I’ve been using Conductor since 2020 with excellent results.

I have a N200....   Love it.    I also have a Vault 2i which served me well, but the Aurender is in a different league. 

I went to Aurender and Conductor after using the JRiver interface for years. Can't fault the sound quality. Conductor is a different story. Has always worked properly, just not much in the way of options or music management. Conductor can't even read tags, which is my biggest complaint, and when I ask about it the response from Support is we'll look into it, and nothing further. They just don't seem open to improving the functionality of the app.

I’m late to the game here. Aurender is a fairly solid experience, but it does not parallel or eclipse Roon as a user interface and experience. As mentioned above, there are some lack of capabilities (meta tag editing, lyrics, etc), but basic functionality is very reliable. If glitches are ever hit, typically you can just clear the cache in the settings menu, or worst case scenario, restart. That said, playing music through Conductor sounds better. The software/operating system always makes a difference in sonics, and Roon has reportedly made sonics suffer.

@robertkpax I am an Aurender dealer and have much experience across their product lines. The A200 is a great unit, and as others have mentioned, there are also many benefits both sonically and in maximizing your investment in the long run by pursuing their N200 and a separate DAC - but the A200 is still a great unit if you do not plan to continue to upgrade down the road… or if you find a dealer that can offer an upgrade / trade-in program for the A200 you buy.

I’d be happy to answer any other questions you have on the Aurender line over this chat or via private message.

 

I use an Aurender A15. I very much like the Conductor app. I’ve never had any issues. Coming from Roon with my last setup, Lumin U1 mini and a Denafrips Pontus, the A15 is a big improvement in sound and reliability. I missed Roon initially because I found new music I didn’t have before but I do not miss it with the Aurender working so well. 

It would be informative if those of you with unsatisfactory experience using Aurender Conductor could let us know the time frame of your experience.

I bought my Aurender new from an authorized dealer on 1/23/20. The first support request was on 1/30/20 and reviewing my email archive with "Ari," it’s amazing how many issues this thing had. Problems continued through around 9/17/20, when I gave up and sold it to The Music Room, in another excellent transaction with them.

I replaced the freakin’ Aurender with a Bryston BDP-3 and have been happy ever since. In hindsight, I should have dumped the thing much sooner.

The SQ of the Aurender was excellent, btw, when it worked, which was not nearly often enough.

I've owned a N100H since new about two years ago. I had difficulty at first to get up and running due to old software, but my experinence with customer support was excellent and have had no issues since.

I purchased my Aurender N20 Music Server on September 20th, 2020. I had a couple of user errors that Aurender Customer Support solved and one technical issue and so I entered a remote request service. Aurender was able to fix my issue that required a software upgrade. I recommend the Aurender N20 music server for its excellent sound quality, build quality and an easy-to-use interface that makes finding your music simple. The Aurender Conductor App enables me to quickly find the album I want and play it. Aurender Customer Support has been excellent, especially their remote support request service.

I previously own the Aurender N10 Music Server and had some issues converting my iTunes files to use the format required my my Aurender. The issue was the album cover information was in the wrong format since iTunes does NOT STORE the album cover art within the song folder but "HIDES" it in another encrypted and hidden folder. This means the Aurender setup coming from iTunes requires you to run Doug Scripts to extract the album cover art in your transfer. Unfortunately, I had to determine most of these instructions myself to compete my album transfer including the album cover art (my dealer was NOT very helpful). Aurender Customer Support was very helpful in getting my files transferred to my N10.

I find the Conductor App very easy to use and find the albums to play. I can very easily navigate between my stored CD albums, QoBuz and Internet radio stations. The Aurender N20 Music Server is highly recommended.

10 plus years of Aurender, the Conductor app is still the same. Flawless in its operation and does what it is intended to do…stream your digital bits faithfully to original source without any coloration.

As others have pointed out, step up to N series, like N200 or N20. 

@lalitk +1

Some people have mentioned using Conductor to tag files. Well TBH this should have been done when you ripped your CDs.

However you can always change your tags by using a computer to access your Aurender's HDDs/SSDs via it's IP address.

My CD collection was ripped using an Aurender ACS 10, it did a great job ripping, but it could only tag a few bootlegs and zero Japanese CDs.

This only applies of course if want to show the correct release pics in the Aurender's display.

At least half my CD collection are bootlegs and Japanese issues. There's no tagging program that can do this with accuracy.

The only way I know is to use MP3 Tag to tag the CD then enter it's Discogs ID. Discogs is the greatest resource  to ID music and both MP3 Tag and Discogs are free.

Just an update from my side. I had the opportunity to listen to an N200 renderer+Berkeley alpha series 3 DAC and compare the SQ with an A200. I'm the kind of person that prefers to spend more money on amplifiers and speakers rather than digital components. I was wrong.

The A200 sounded good, better than the Bluesound Node 2i+Topping Dx7 I have at home. The bass is controlled, the trebles sound great, and the instrument separation is good. Then I listed the N200+Alpha series 3 and the SQ improved noticeably. The bass was heavier and more controlled, the reverberations of cymbals were more prolonged, and the piano chords were better separated.

I think I'm going to buy a separate DAC and renderer. Maybe start with the DAC and later add a renderer.

@robertkpax Glad to hear you had a positive experience. The N200 is a great unit, and I typically encourage my customers to pair it with a T+A DAC 200. That DAC has great musicality and bandwidth that compliments the Aurender N200 really, really well. It’s also a benefit that they share very similar form factors and look fitting together. Happy to answer questions on either if there is any interest from your side. 

@lalitk 

@robertkpax 

Like lalitk says, Conductor does what it is supposed to do and it does it with ease. Unlike lalitk, I've only been using my N10 for five years, but it has been pretty uneventful. The only problem I've had was found to be the fault of Tidal and it was fixed pretty quickly. From what I understand, Conductor is some of the most mature streaming software out there; and of course it is captive to the Aurender brand.

You can use it with both an iPad and iPhone. I've never tried the iPhone app but the iPad app works very smoothly. I like the Aurender GUI a lot for sure. I don't have a lot of experience with other streaming software but did play around for a couple hours with Mosaic, which is the dCS built-in streamer. Didn't like it compared to Conductor, it was really a few steps back IMHO. Of course, YMMV. Good luck.

@blisshifi  Is there a way to listen to say paradise radio where you can skip songs?

In my head phone set up I'm using the bluesound node as the streamer and the Internet radio functions are so much better. That's where I discover most of, y new music. Maybe I'm just doing something wrong or is shoutcast just inferior to what the Blue Sound uses.

@maxdukecapone Unfortunately I am not familiar with Radio Paradise or streaming radio platforms in general. I tend to discover music predominantly from getting suggestions from others, review sites like Pitchfork, or letting Qobuz or Tidal automate playlists for me. 

Perhaps others with more radio service experience can weigh in on your inquiry!

@maxdukecapone 

 

I listen to Radio Paradise all the time — Eclectic / world mix.  No you cannot skip tunes it is a broadcast source.

@ghdprentice Bummer. The blue sound node allows skipping using paradise radio plus their paradise radio app does as well. 
 

Sure would me nice if we could do it on conductor app as well.

Thanks for the reply.

@maxdukecapone, Please send a request to Aurender customer support (support@aurender.com) requesting that their Radio Pardise streaming service allow skipping.

You should include in your request why this is important to your listening, etc. You should also mention that other App provide for album skipping.

 

Aurender has a Beta version now of V Tuner and it is really good.   Also can't skip as it is a broadcast stream but I listen to some great stations all across the country. 

@oddiofyl, what devices does the Aurender V Tuner play on? Do you have any more info on the Aurender V Tuner? Is it separate from the Aurender Conductor App?  

@maxdukecapone 

 

Ok, I withdraw my comment. Maybe I do not know how to do it. How can you skip tubes in a broadcast medium? There must be something I do not understand.

If you go into the Aurender menu below "software update" it will say Beta.  Enable Beta and you should see it's icon next to Tidal / Qobuz at the top on the tool bar

Click on the icon to browse stations 

@hgeifman @oddiofyl 

I did send Aurender an email and they said the new beta app will allow for metadata to show up but still no skipping.

 

I don’t see the Aurender menu you are describing.

Contact Aurender and ask them how to get the beta version.   I believe they enabled remotely for me through the N200’s Ethernet     I also saw a link on their site to enrol for beta.