Computer to DAC Streamer

I am looking to get a digital-to-digital streamer for my new office system. I currently have a Sonare microRendu and that unit will move to another room once my new office system is built up. I also use ROON. I was originally considering getting a DAC with Ethernet streaming built-in but I may require a DAC with DSP and those DACs do not have this feature. I should add that the Linn SELEKT DSM streamer/DAC has Ethernet streaming and DSP but lacks the analog inputs I need (it also sounds excellent).

It has been suggested to me to buy an Innous streamer to get my music across to the DAC. However, I am trying to understand why these products are better than my current noisy computer combined with the micrRendu digital-to-digital type products. Anybody done a comparison? Is it because of noise on the Ethernet wire polluting the DAC?

In no particular order the following streamers have have come up in my research as being better than the microRendu I currently own (I have not heard these) :

Simaudio Mind2

Sonare Signiture Rendu

Auralic G2 Aeris

I am interested in the feedback or thought process of people who were making the same streamer decision as me. What did you guys end up getting or looking to get? I know there are a lot of lower costs alternatives and I am open to anything that will take my to the top tier sound level.

My preamp/DAC choice is looking like it will be the Anthem STR.
@ahofer Nice link you posted. I went through some articles on this bloggers site and came across this very interesting article that is asking the same question as my thread.

The thing I cannot understand is when people like this blogger state that the streamer does not matter and when guys like Audiotroy, Darko, et al say otherwise. I cannot discount all the people saying there is a difference and will do a home demo of some of these music servers and see for myself. Maybe an Innous | Auralic G2 | Sonare microRendu comparison. I will have to wait until later this year when I get a better system to test this out.

Summary:Well then... Let’s wind this down and draw a few conclusions based on the data:

1. If you’re an audiophile who wants low noise performance, go for a DAC with balanced XLR analogue output (and make sure the rest of your system is up to par).

2. While my experience has been that jitter is rather inaudible, if you want low jitter performance, asynchronous USB is generally better than S/PDIF (TosLink or coaxial). Newer DACs like the Oppo UDP-205 and RME ADI-2 Pro FS have excellent S/PDIF jitter rejection so even this difference is minimal. The better your DAC, the more "bits are bits".

3. I remain skeptical of claims that digital streamer devices can affect sound quality significantly unless they are actually changing the data sent to the DAC. As per the tests today, we see that even a computer that’s not "optimized" for audio with ostensibly "noisy" hardware does not actually deteriorate measured playback quality nor actually worsen the noise floor much at all even when put under a very intense processing load. Furthermore, this was tested with the 5-year old TEAC UD-501 DAC rather than newer and potentially better devices.

4. This continues to add to the evidence that "audiophile" computer-based digital "transports" do not make a significant difference to the sound. I cannot subjectively hear a difference either when I play music as I switched around the configurations while measuring. What’s most important remains the quality of the DAC itself. In my opinion, other than the user interface, supported features or the "non-utilitarian" benefits like the esthetics and the "wow factor" of an expensive system, "high end" devices like the Melco previously discussed will make no appreciable difference to the sound quality itself compared to an inexpensive Raspberry Pi connected to the same "good" DAC. As usual, I would like to see evidence to the contrary and challenge the manufacturers of such products (Aurender, Auralic, SOtM, Sonore, Fidelizer, Baetis, Antipodes, Innuos, etc.) to demonstrate objective benefits from the DAC output using their products (please also identify the DAC used and under what conditions).

5. Having said the above, remember that there are indeed subtle differences we can see on objective testing but I certainly would not consider these significant in my system. Be reasonable with your set-up and there should not be any concerns. Obviously, do not do things like put your DAC in close proximity to a powerful computer as the DAC and any poorly shielded cables could pick up electrical interference (one example is the old measurement using my ASUS Xonar Essence One back in the day sitting close to the computer). Remember the importance of low ambient noise in your sound room when enjoying music among other things like room treatments and decent reverb time. EQ’ing and digital room correction make huge differences as well. Also, especially if you have a complex component audio system, make sure to address ground loops if you hear hum.

With oppo 95 105 205, you can always connect to a external hard drive (preferable SSD) . All oppo player has XLR lineout (fixed) and high bits DAC (192/24). No computer needed.
Archimago reads like one of those people that argue that cables dont matter, power cables dont matter, power conditioners are bunk.

Jitter is very audible.

The facts are digital is sensitive to corruption if not people wouldnt hear differences between digital cables or transports.

Also talk to the happy Innous, Aurender, Auralic customers who replaced computers with these devices.

The market does not  lie. Nobody would be purchasing these devices if they didnt produce audibily superior results.

On the  contrary we have a lot of very happy Innous customers.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ innous dealers
Getting from data to music is a tough row to hoe.

A bridge too far for some. : ) 
Wow. I just read the summary findings of the blog posted by YYZSantabarbara.   I really disagree with the bloggers findings.  

I changed to an Aurender N100H (bottom of the line) from a dedicated Mac mini (nothing else was ever open or running on it - all settings were optimized for the task) and the difference was clear. The Aurender was simply superior - and this was not on a highly resolving system. Servers make as big a difference as the DAC in my experience.  I now have a Bluesound Node 2 (moved the Aurender to a different location) in that simple system and it too sounds better than the Mac using the same outboard DAC and cables.  That the blogger can’t hear differences in jitter is also surprising.  

I would politely correct one part of this discussion - it’s not data that’s corrupted (the bits are still there), but noise accompanying that data and timing errors in the spooling and reading of the data that, I believe, are the difference.  Is there a difference in hard drives?  I don’t know. I’m guessing it’d be subtle, but given EMI being radiated and the fact that there’s a buffer in there, why would it be impossible?

I haven’t heard the Innuous servers - I’d like to but they’re not available in my area.  But, I’ve heard some of the Aurender and Lumin units.  Servers don’t sound the same.  Whether or not they’re worth the price is personal preference.  But, those who claim there’s no difference and likely doing so from expectation, not experience.