Aurender N100 or X100?

I am looking at Aurender because they have built in hard drives and a caching playback.The HDDs vary from 2-10 TB. At this point 2 TB is plenty for me. And it may always be enough. But I'd rather have more room and not need it than not enough room. But it has 2 USB ports so that I can always add a HDD or 2. But what are the disadvantages of the ext HDD as compared to the internal HDD??

The x series has the larger HDD but  is a discontinued model (I believe) So is the technology still up to date? Will I be fine with the less expensive N series and an ext HDD?

What other quirks can I expect with the aurender?


I have an old Aurender S10, so can't comment on your specific question on N100 vs X100, but I find the iPad proprietary app very convenient to use.  The iPhone app is a bit quirky and seems to need to be deleted and reloaded occasionally, but otherwise works ok.  I do wish I had more HDD space than 2TB.  Practically 2TB is enough--I probably only use 1.2TB with any regularity, but I have 8TB of music that I have to put on and take off because the Aurender drive isn't big enough.  I had a bit of a challenge integrating the Aurender reliably on my network so I can move files from the remote HDDs to the Aurender from my PC, but that has more to do with my incompetence I think than limitations with Aurender's USB interface.

Hello @artemus_5. I have an N100H, but have not heard the X100L. If you don’t need huge storage capability I definitely recommend the N100H over X100L, mostly because the N100H has a Linear Power Supply. The X100L has a Switch Mode Power Supply, which probably won’t sound as good. 

As for quirks, the units like to be shut down nicely. 

I really like the Conductor app to control them.  Good luck!



Thanks for the heads up about the difference in power supplies. That will make a difference in my decision.   One question if you would. Doe an ext HDD have the same functionality as the internal drive? IOW, can you manipulate files as easy on the ext as the internal?

I have the Aurrender N200, I love it. My understanding of using an external HDD is that the Aurrender app will not see those files, you have to use the file folders function. I suggest a call to Aurender to confirm, their help desk is great. All the best to you. 

I own two Aurender streamers (W20SE and N100). While I copied my library onto them… I haven’t used those files or those on my network for two years… Qobuz has almost every one of them and frequently in higher resolution. 

I cannot recommend Aurender too highly. But I seldom listen to the same music that I own any more (or if I do I listen to the Qobuz version). They have half a million high Rez albums. I would buy one with as little storage… over time you’ll likely let owning files fall into history… like 78rpm records.

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@artemus_5 , I plugged one of my USB SSDs into one of the available USB ports and could access the files with Conductor. However, after scanning for new files the metadata for these USB located files does not show up in the normal metadata categories like the internal files do. This means those files will not be found by going the the “albums” or “artists” tabs nor by searching. But you can access them through the “folder” tab, just like any file on a computer. 


Interesting discussion.  I don’t own Aurender so I can’t really opine here.  Unlike @ghdprentice i prefer the sound of my physical files to the Qobuz alternatives.  I use Melco and I need more than 2 TB.  I am wondering if there is a third party app that groups all the files in one place, a la Roon?


I have looked at the Melco which got the S'phile A+ rating and have wondered why it does not seem to be as popular as the aurender despite its lower price (I think). Can you or  @ghdprentice give an opinion why that is? Is the software as easily navigated as the aurender conductor?  Does it too play from the cache memory like the aurender? FWIW I have a streamer Dac now that sounds pretty good. but trying to listen to it is a total nightmare. One glitch after another mostly because of too many different pieces trying to communicate IMO. I've used computers since 1991 but I'm getting too old to troubleshoot  so often. I'm thinking that the built in HDD will be a big part of simplifying the process

@rockrider  Thanks for the info. Extra credit for going the extra mile also. Thanks again


I had an N100H that I bought new and it was a disaster. Its biggest problem was that even a momentary power outage caused major problems. While many praise Aurender support, I found it sorely lacking. I dumped the streamer (at a loss, of course) in favor of a Bryston and have been happy ever since.


Its biggest problem was that even a momentary power outage caused major problems.

Uh Oh!! One of the problems in the mountains is that the power sometimes cuts our and then back on, just enough to cause the need to reset all the clocks, etc. An earlier poster @rockrider has already said

As for quirks, the units like to be shut down nicely.

No doubt this may be a deal breaker. I wonder if there is any work around? . IE I haven’t had outages happen while playing music. So the question would be, does this major problems take place when the unit is shut down or not in use? Then too, is this a quirk of all the aurenders, or just this particular one? Whatever the case, thanks for the heads up on this

While I did say the units like to be shut down nicely, it is my experience that the only issue is a somewhat delayed restart. I’ve never had a poor shutdown cause any other issues besides an inconveniently long restart. As for support, it is superlative in my experience. 

@mahler123 ​​@artemus_5

The Aurender Conductor app is excellent… is highly regarded by all that I have heard comment on it.

Aurrender only makes streamers and makes what is arguably the best.. the W20SE… so they can use their technology to equip all levels. Stereophile whether they say it or not rate stuff “for the money”. I have heard dozens of components they have reviewed and each time was reminded this is the way they sound.

I have been trying to get my digital end to sound as good as my analog end for decades. It always fell far short. I have tried just about every way to stream from a PC, MAC, and portable device. When I finally bought an Aurlic Aries G2… it finally got me in the same league. Then I got an inexpensive Aurender… it was much better sounding. It finally took my digital end to true audiophile levels. This motivated me to upgrade further.

In my main system streaming or playing red book CD or file playing (regardless of the location) sound exactly the same… Qobuz frequently sounds better as they have a half million high resolution albums. Perhaps more importantly my very good analog and digital end sound the same… this was such a complete turning point for me. And the fact that this can be done (at different price levels I am sure)… to me, if I didn’t have this… this would be my number one objective.

Having all music sound truly fantastic independent of format is life changing. The world of music opens up. Your library becomes nearly infinite. Meaning you can chase a group you like through history, or explore the edges of genera… or recording qualities… or just listen to fantastic music you never heard before… for the rest of your life.


Getting there is like every move to improve your system, effort. Look at the streamer attached to a DAC like a TT / cartridge that is attached to a phono stage. Each is a major component. Most people think of a streamer as a place to save some money… there is a mistake.

All my components are roughly the same price… but my streamer and amp cost about 20% more than the rest. A very worth while investment and probably the most cost effective you will ever make.


I bring this up because… like so many challenges… once you know it can be done… it becomes hugely easier. If you don’t know it can be done, it feels like it is much higher risk. It makes you be overly conservative in your purchases of a streamer (the thing that will prevent you from getting there) seems the responsible thing to do. It lets you settle for, “that is good enough”… and spend money on other stuff… like more CDs or files, or albums.