Aurender N200 vs N100H

Many members looking for music servers/streamers consider pre-owned Aurenders and struggle with a decision on which of their lower end models to choose.  I recently upgraded from an Aurender N100H to the new N200 and I will provide you with MHO of the improvements to help describe the dramatic differences the change has made. My system this analysis was conducted on is listed on the site (still listing the N100H).  My purchase of the preowned Aurender was through TMRAUDIO.  Shout out to Eric.  

The most evident change is the command over the musical performance, presenting a more relaxed presentation but with a driving rhythmic force, that is at the same time liquid and flowing in a much more realistic sense.  Also most evident is more natural timbre.  The liquidity and flow is coherent, across all registers and instrument types, including cymbals that are produced realistically, with detail and no artificial harshness.  The liquid and flowing presentation is with increased detail, not like some other equipment that trade detail for smoothness.  Micro-dynamics and macro-dynamics also much improved.  Macro-dynamics produce a punch that an be felt as well as heard. This produces bass that is much more detailed.  Leading edge is crisp and sharp. All of this in combination with improved image density, darker space between performers, staging, and harmonic decay/secondary harmonics the lyrical intent of Wonderful performer/composer is brought into greater light.  Recording techniques are evident.  Sound stage projects further into the listening room, both front to back, and side to side.  Hall ambience (or artificial reverb effects depending upon the recording), are more evident, probable from much improved harmonic decay and a lower noise floor producing a blacker background.  This is not to say the N100H is subpar.  It is a phenomenal performer for the price that I have enjoyed for 3 years.  It is simply the N200 with better linear power supplies, lower power processor and other changes is superior.  Some listening notes are below.  

For the past two years I have been building my retirement  I will not be able to make improvement after this due to being on a fixed income.  This upgrade made a significant improvement in SQ.  I would still like to improve my DAC.  Any recommendations in the <10k range, new or pre-owned would be helpful.  I hope this comparison helps those contemplating the purchase of an N200 steamer.  Remember, to audition and use your own ears for this description is based on my preferences for an up front, present sound rather than a laid back presentation that many AGers like and it was  also based on the N200 in my system.  

Listening Notes:
Neil Young, Live at Massey Hall 1971, Helpless, Reprise, QoBuz High Resolution Stream:  Audience is projected deep into the sound stage with back of hall evident.  Door closing mid track much further back, with greater detail and dynamics.  Body of the guitar vs. strings more evident.  Leading edge of cords sharp.  Emotional inflections of voice more evident. Image denser. PRAT seems slower but not in a negative sense, but with more purposeful and deliberate timing. Very relaxed, deliberate and realistic.   Overall more fluid and rhythmic. It’s like being there.  

Billie Eilish, Happier the Ever (Explicit), Getting Older and I Didn’t Change My Number, Darkroom-Interscope Records, QoBuz High Resolution Stream:  Yes members do not criticize me for the choice but this is a great test record even though it is studio produced effects.  Tone, detail, inflection of her voice best I have heard to date.  Micro-detailed but relaxed, liquid and natural.  Bass powerful and extremely detailed with the primary and secondary harmonics vivid.  The air and decay around her voice and instruments so vivid where you can tell the individual microphone/studio.  Yes, it is studio effects being reproduced but extremely pleasing to hear this level of detail retrieval.  Staging extremely deep and each image separate in its own environment.

Chantel Chamberland, Autobiography, Hit the Road Jack, Evosound, QuBuz High Resolution Stream:  Dynamics, dynamics and more dynamics. Leading edge of sax so crisp, Bass detail and harmonics.  Voice inflections.  Flow liquid and smooth as cumulus clouds on a clear high pressure day.  Images dense a lead but nimble and flowing like a fast moving stream. Black space between performers. Timbre so lifelike.

Tuvayhun, Beatitudes for a Wounded World, X-The Face of God, 2L Recordings;  Native DSD 128:  Inspirational performance enhanced by the improved SQ.  Leading edge of the cimbalon and percussion instruments so sharp and pronounced in the best way, and  the dynamics so punchy they can be felt.  The flute and harp floating, sweet, dense, emotional. The individual voices of the Nadaros Cathedral Girls Choir separated with air and space between them. The back wall of the cathedral and the hall ambience vivid. The command of the music, with liquidity and flow so beautiful.  I repent.  

Don Shirley, Water Boy, Water Boy, Columbia-Legacy;  QoBuz 14:44 Stream, The bass detail, harmonic decay, detail more realistic.  The snap of the stick on the skin of the drum detailed, dynamic, punchy, realistic.  The image density thick, the piano hammer and sound board evident.  Excellent flow of the ebbs and tides of the performance.  So lifelike.  


Thank you for your detailed and thoughtful review. I own a Aurender w20SE and an N100 for my headphone system. I have been recently thinking of upgrading my N100 to an N200. Thank you for the input. I think you have pushed me over the edge. I have heard a lot of different Aurender and am constantly impressed at their offering at every price point.


Aurender knows that one of the most critical components in a streamer is the power supply, hence I am not surprised that is one of the major differences in the N200.


Congratulations on your upcoming retirement. I did what you are doing prior to retirement. My systems are among my most valued possessions since I now have the time to really enjoy them. I was fortunate that after I got my feet on the ground after retiring I was able to make the biggest system upgrade I have ever done. But going into retirement, it is best to be prepared for no further upgrades. You have to get to understand the very different world of finances after retirement first. So, you are definitely doing the right thing.


On DACs. I recommend a used Audio Research DAC 9 or slightly older model if necessary. They are extremely natural, relaxed, yet detailed. And if you are going to be listening a lot, you definitely do not want a screechy overly detailed dry one.

@jsalerno277 I’ve just recently upgraded to the N200. I was using a Brucasti M3 built in network card as roon end point. Going to N200 driving the Bricasti M3 via USB cable was a significant step up in sound quality. I agree with your assessment of how it lays out the soundstage and the sound characteristics you described. It’s got tremendous clarity but maintains that sweet tone that is very natural and not fatiguing. Great for long listening sessions. Enjoy!!!

I love my N200 paired with my holo spring Kte. The sound is if I have a very high end turntable. Very natural as the music flows like water. I tried all the Eversolo models up to the A8, the Hi Rose 130 transport. None of them comes close to the sound Of the N200. 

Altrhough I did not listen to all the aurender models, I choose the N200 as the best choice between features, sound quality and price. I am very happy with it and see no reason to upgrade to a different model. I use a PS Audio V1 DAC.

@jsalerno277   Funny you should mention the Billie Eilish O'Connell LP...Happier than Ever ( explicit). I just listened to this very same album on vinyl last night. It does indeed have very deep bass and is well recorded when it comes to Billie's vocals. The song 'Your Power' is a winner, although there are several others that i think are not so endearing. Nonetheless, for a current release, it is certainly well done and could be used as a demo disc for certain sounds.