Aurender Model Choices

Before I ask my question let me provide some context.

My system includes the following:

New MacBook Air Running itunes/Music serving hundreds of stored CDs

Macbook connected to my Benchmark DAC3 via Audioquest Coffee USB Cable

DAC balanced connection to Benchmark HPA4 PreAmp

PreAmp balanced connection to Benchmark ABH2 Amp

Benchmark Amp connected to Harbeth C7es-XD Speakers

This configuration has provided a neutral clean, and balanced sound. Really no complaints. However I wanted to add Streaming. So I Signed up for Qobuz and downloaded the App to my MacBook. Using WiFi I found that the Qobuz stream offered superior sound quality to my local CD library. Even Redbook CD quality was better plus the HiRes albums were really good

So now I need to get a dedicated Streamer. Using the MacBook is not convenient and from what I’ve read a Streamer should offer additional SQ enhancement. I’ve done a lot of research and really like the Aurender products plus when I recently purchased my speakers I auditioned them with an Aurender Model 100. The sound was excellent. I plan to go back in a few weeks to audition the $6k N200 model. I’m sure it will sound very good but I will be left wondering what does the N20 sound like? How much better can it be for another $6K? Unfortunately my dealer doesn’t have one to audition and neither does any other dealer near me. I’ve read comments on several forums that the N20 is twice as good as the N200 or that the N200 is nipping at the heals of the N20 or that the N20 just offers a 20% increase in SQ or the N20 blows the N200 out of the water. Without a side by side audition I’m struggling with paying twice the price without a demonstrable and significant SQ improvement. I would expect a SQ that once heard I could never settle for the less expensive model. In my recent experience a more expensive model does’t always win. When buying my speakers I auditioned the Harbeth C7es-XD and the more expensive 30.2 XD model. After almost an hour of back and forth I preferred the lower priced model.

So to conclude has anyone had the opportunity to audition the N20 and N200 together?

If so please Specifically what if any SQ differences did you hear and were they worth an additional $6k?

As I listen to my system streaming from my MacBook with wonderfully smooth, clean HiRes sound  I wonder can I actually get significantly more improvement for $6k or $12K?

Thanks for any info and experiences you can provide.


Maybe another solution is the MACBOOK M2 Pro, 12-Core CPU, 19-Core GPU 16GB Unified Memory, 1TB SSD Storage (Dedicated) + Audirvana Studio. I sold my Aurender N20 and purchased the above. Sound quality is an excellent.

Audirvana Studio easy to use, has many settings and the sound quality is superb. 

Interesting approach. Amazing you gave up the N20. Maybe ask why you went this way? In any case thanks for the suggestion. I would rather have no Mac or Windows computer in the mix. 

Is Aurrender upgrading their product line in the next year...Roon connective...upgrading DACs, clocks, and chips?? I heard this but unable to confirm... Aurrender is on my list to finalize/complete my digital side...but waiting for news on the updates?? Any news...your thoughts/insight are appreciated?



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The evidence is in the pudding. Try yourself and you may be in for a pleasant surprise. The $6K (N200) and $12K (N20) are not for everyone…OP asked for opinion between the two and the members with direct experience chimed in.

If I may, why ask for properly demoed evidence from members here than trying the two aforementioned streamers in your system? IMHO, If you’re happy with raspberry pi and don’t have any inclination to try a streamer like N200 in your system then no amount of empirical evidence would convince you or anyone. Plenty of users here are quite content with using their laptops as a source for streaming.


@lalitk I don’t want to digress from the purpose of this thread, but I want to acknowledge your thoughtful comments.

I did have one or two Aurender units through my system some time back along with several other streamers - I’d need to rummage out my notes (literally) to recall model(s). Not a proper double-blind test or prolonged exposure, rather just for fun of the units’ owners who wanted to compare on bigger speakers in a “bigger” room. I turned a blind eye to the swapping processes and couldn’t track predictable differences. People (including myself) can usually perceive differences when switching equipment in the chain, but prior experience suggests to me it’s rarer for those differences to be predictable if confounding factors are properly controlled for.
Be that as it may, I surely wasn’t having guests over to rain on their parade - they seemed to have fun. I would still be curious about any properly designed comparison of streamer units. You’re probably correct in the assumption it wouldn’t make me want to spend 4 figs for a single-task computer with a small company-dependent OS, but that wouldn’t make it any less enlightening, and would certainly be useful to those actually interested in such purchases.

When all this is discussed openly as personal opinion (as you clearly did) I see no issue. Thank you.


@jfrmusic, You asked “ May I ask why you went this way?”   Very simple.  Two of my friends with expensive audio system went with Audirvana Studio and stated their Sound quality was much improved.   I contacted others and they agreed.  So, I installed a demo Audirvana Studio on my MAC computer and was impressed.   After several months of listening, and comparing to my N20, I purchased a dedicated MACBOOK M2 Pro, 12-Core CPU, 19-Core GPU 16GB Unified Memory.