New streamer

I recently opened a discussion on upgrading my DAC. I started at the beginning of that discussion, that I was a vinyl guy, but with my purchase of the Chord Qutest, I realized that digital music can be outstanding and want to now upgrade my Node.

That will provide 2 benefits: Maximizing my current systems digital, and allow me to move the Node & Schiit Modi Multibit 2 to the family room, a small HT setup with a Yamaha AVR driving a Goldenear soundbar. Streaming there is currently MusicCast using the AVR DAC.  The improvement there should be very nice. 

My 2 channel equipment is as follows: 

Rogue RP-1 w/ NOS Brimar’s, LSA Warp 1, KEF R11’s, Rhythmic F12SE, Pro-ject 1Xpression w/Hana ML, Rega Aria, Bluesound Node w/Qubuz, Marantz CD6007, Chord Qutest. Good to very good power, speaker, interconnect cables.  
My weakest link (I believe) is now my Node. 
I don’t want or need amplification or volume control, ripping storage, nor an internal DAC. Sound signature should be neutral. 
My budget is $2,500, but willing to spend less. My current favorites are:

Lumin U2 mini. Very well reviewed, beautiful, perfect form factor, good app & controllable via my Harmony One remote. It is currently my #1 choice.

Auralic Aris. If new, the G1.1, if used G2.0 or 2.1. Very well reviewed, good app, OK form factor, but not controllable via harmony.  
Naim ND5 XS2. Considered the best high end streamer by What Hi Fi  Would need to buy used to stay close to budget.

EverSolo DMP-A6. Included based upon reviews, but may not be a serious contender. 
HiFi Rose RS250A. The streamer EverSolo seemed to copy  

Aurender. Don’t think they have anything within my budget, but included for discussion.

 LPS upgrade for Node. Included because I know it will come up. Plan to reuse my node downstairs, so out. Would prefer LPS upgrade for one of the above.  

Please let me know your thoughts and/or recommendations. Thanks!




I would recommend a used Aurrender, as current as possible. They have very low noise floor, great dynamics and natural sound. I have two. My excellent analog end sound virtually identical to my digital end. Both natural and musical. 

Lumin U2 mini would be a noticeable improvement over Node. I would also consider a used Aurender N150. 

Audiogon tends towards off the rack solutions. But you want high quality within a budget that doesn’t go into the many thousands.

In case you want something hi quality and in your budget, you might consider this:

Nice lead-in: 

My own goals in assembling a Raspberry Pi streaming endpoint were simple. I wanted a way to stream and use external DACs without an integrated turnkey solution, and I wanted something that I had complete control over, with no surprise software updates, that would be Roon-recognized and compliant with standard streaming protocols. And, yes, I wanted something that even a 21st-century retiree could still readily afford. Finally, while I know of many audiophiles who have morphed their audio hobby into a computer hobby, I wanted to remain primarily an audiophile, not a computerphile, so I wanted something that was simple enough that could be made to sing and dance to my requirements without resorting to hours of programming. A Pi Streamer setup can accomplish all these goals. If you want, you can get as obsessive about computer audio as you like.



I think you should add Innuos to your list.  Excellent streamers and customer support, and their Sense app gets top marks for both sound and usability.  Here’s a used Zen Mk3 that’s in your budget, and it’s also got a cd drive and onboard storage so you can rip all your CDs into it and have all your music and streaming available from one source — no more getting up to spin a silver disc.

Best of luck.

If going with Lumin, stretch it to either a used U1 or a newer used U2. The power supply is much better than in the Minis and overall the streamer is much better. Not worth it getting the Mini and investing in the outboard power supply. 
The Auralic Aries G1 should not he overlooked as well. 

If you don’t use Roon, Aurender is a good recommendation. 

Ok, adding the N150 to my list. Aurrender gives me a slight pause as a dealer on another thread warned when buying an Aurrender, budget for repairs. Anyone had any issues? 
I don’t use Roon. 
The Innuos looks good but is too large for my space.  
I do prefer an off the rack solution. 
The Lumin U2 standard might work, but would be sitting on only 3 feet as my shelf angles in the back. Might be a problem. 

Aurender has a very good reputation and while you always have to consider service with used gear, I’d consider the source of a comment like that too. Dealers make money selling new equipment, lol. The N150 is a very nice unit (I have one) and will be a very nice step up from the Node (I have one of those too). No issues btw.

This was easy… going with a used or potentially new N150. Was reading other streaming discussions in addition to this one. This particular OP also owned a Qutest and was questioning whether it could keep up. The discussion was N150 vs U2. He went with the N150. 

“The N150 is in-house and on its second day with 10 hours of total listening time.  I’ve got one main thing to say— the problem wasn’t my DAC. The Chord Qutest is a fully competent DAC when input by a really good streamer.  Wow!  I don’t have the N150 fully optimized and the improvement is easily heard, ESPECIALLY the much improved center stage. Imaging! Much more ‘fleshed out’.  Center stage depth is also much better.  Stage width is excellent.  And only 10 hours burn-in at this time.”

The N150 is a great form factor, recommended by most of you, already has LPS, the Qutest is a good match, I like the USB only solution, the appearance and what appears to be great sound! Done!

I agree with all above recommending the Aurender N-150.  I have the older N-100H , choosing it over the Innuos Zen Mini and Lumin U1 for its more organic sound (IMHO).  I recommend you audition and choose what sounds best to you. The N-150 is supposed to have greater clarity than my older model but I do not have personal experience. If you spend a little extra and buy pre-owned from an Aurender dealer Aurender has a certification program and offers a 2 year pre-owned warranty.  So that should ease your concern somewhat.  Personally I use  when purchasing preowned and they are an Aurender dealer but use the dealer of your choice. I have had no issues and find Aurender customer support very responsive.  Good luck.  

If you decide to go with the Lumin let me know. I just upgraded to a U2 from the Mini. Haven’t listed it yet.

Moon MiND2. I really like what mine delivers in terms of sound quality. Plus the app is really user-friendly.


please give me your thoughts on the mini.Changed my mind… still in the running. Thanks

The most important thing I’ve learned about being in love with audio is you’re gonna have to kiss a bunch of toads to find what works for you. Yes there are some brands that excel at what they do and consideration should start there but once you whittle it down to the top 3 or 4 in our current environment of limited to no access to dealers with showrooms we must buy online and seek advice in places such as this. All that being said what I’ve done is,if a short list item is availible new with a fair return policy I start there. If I like it score! If not I send it back no worries, next...and so on. I’ll buy the most expensive used item on the list last in line because if I don’t like it,I must sell it used and go though the sell headache. I don’t espeacially enjoy the ride as many here do cycling though a lot of gear to each his own.I’ve taken a haircut or two with used equipment and thats the other thing I’ve learned the occasional haircut is the price of admission in this endeavor. All that having been said I am expecting the DMP A8 today upgrading from the Eversolo A6 ME I’m going going all in. I am that impressed with the offering. I heard several of the high end streamers being suggested here and many are very good however I could not tell you if it was the streamer in and of itself that was great because in all the scenarios everything attached to the streamer was high end also. Many here would never even consider a product like the Eversolo(s) because they dont carry enough brand cache don’t make that mistake with your money the other thing I’ve learned is legacy brands are in trouble the value delta is expanding in our favor fast.

@signaforce  The Mini offers a lot for the money. Very good sonics, thoughtful design, excellent app. Roon ready if you use that. USB out is noticeably better than the others, at least with my DAC (PS A DSD Mk2). I think the two main advantages of the U2 ($5k) over the Mini are a linear power supply and fiber input. The LEEDH processing for volume control is really good. I do use a preamp but I keep the streamer volume at 75% to keep the level close to my other sources. There is absolutely no loss in using the volume control in the streamer. My DAC upsamples and converts to DSD as its normal function, so I keep the streamer at whatever res the source is. But I have played with the upsampling in the mini and I must say it did a very good job. Firmware updates are a regular thing, automatic, and completely painless. 

Since you’re keeping your Node, why not install a LPS and see what you think before spending thousands?  Cost is minimal. I added a Teddy Pardo LPS to mine and am quite impressed. 

Bel Canto Stream 2 might be worth a look.  Small form factor, sounds superb, completely reliable, and never misses a beat.  The Seek app is rock solid.  I run one via AES into a Bel Canto DAC 2.8 and use Roon most of the time.  

I’ve seen Aurender N100H’s used for $1100 at prominent dealers over the past few months.

I have a Hifi Rose RS130, Lumin U2 and a Silent Angel Munich M1T. 

the hifi rose RS130 is considered one of the best in the market currently but it doesn’t do DSD if that’s important to you. Also out of your budget. 5K. 

Lumin U2 is almost just as good and does DSD but also out of your budget. But you may be able to get it used for 3K which is just a tad more than your budget. 

The Silent Angel which is I got for about 1.5K cannot compete with either of the two above but is excellent value for the money. I got it with a linear power supply which improved the sound. I would say the performance of the Silent Angel is about 85% of what the other two can do. I’ll probably sell mine now that the Hifi Rose RS130 has replaced it, feel free to message me if you’re interested. 

If you are looking for a no frills streamer, no fancy screen, internal DAC or preamp, the Lumin U2 mini is a solid performer within your budget. The mini is built and designed to accept available updates pushed out by Lumin. The Bricasti M5 may also be worth consideration. 

I just tried a few streamers because my setup changed due to one of my kids taking part of my system to college.  

A lumin U1 mini w/sbooster into a Ps Audio strata as preamp feeding meridian g57 amp & ProAc 3.8’s sounded amazing- detail, tone & soundstage, liquid/coherent and musical.  Loved it - but my kid took the ps audio. 

I borrowed a Lumin D3 w/ internal power supply and used the pre outs w/loss less digital volume control into the same amp & speakers.  Noticeably less musical, tone and coherent and a little fatiguing.  I was a little dissapointed.

I used a node 2 into an audio refinement pre pro then into the meridan/proac set up and it sounded about the same as the Lumin D3.

I then used an Oppo Sonica w/ Mod Wright mods and external power supply direct into the Meridian and it sounds almost as good as the Lumin U1 mini.  Just a little less liquid/coherent but also a bigger/bolder sound.  This is what I am staying with for now. 

I did spend 10 days with this project so all set ups had time to burn in.  None of the gear was new in box and all had been very recently powered up.  Using Quboz, Prime, Spotify, Airplay and network attached dsd.

What I got out of it was that an external power supply for the streamer and a quality dac are very important.  The preamp is almost as important as the dac.  At least at the $2k streamer price point.  


OK, down to 3. 
I don’t want/need an internal DAC, so that eliminates the EverSolo and Rose. 
The Lumin U2 and Innuos are too large. Others (Rose RS130) are too expensive and not available used. 
Moving Node downstairs, so don’t want to do LPS. 

Lumin U2 mini, new. Perfect form factor, Well reviewed. 
Arurlic G1.1 new. Good form factor, well reviewed. However, everyone is out of stock. It must be well liked, but not sure of availability. 
Aurender N150 used. Perfect form factor, almost no reviews? Well liked within this forum. It does have everything I need & nothing I don’t. But no reviews??
Please keep any comments/ recommendations with these 3. 
Will be contacting Upscale Audio to get their thoughts, as they sell all 3. 
Can’t demo any currently, as none are available locally, except perhaps Aurender, as there is a local dealer. Will be contacting them also. 

I also am a long time BS Node user. Started with their first one and have been using their latest N130 for quite a while now and Like it very much. The only reason I have never upgraded was because I like the operating system. After reading and hearing how much the streamer matters, I purchased a used Lumin U2 mini on here just to get the curiosity out of the way. I unfortunately have some things that are bothering me before I even get it which should be on Monday. I like using my laptop to control the Node which is a big plus because I like to surf the web while listening to music. The Lumin app is not Windows based so I can either use my phone or buy either an inexpensive Chrome Book, Tablet etc... which I ordered a Samsung tablet  so we will see how that goes. I know I can use Roon via my Windows laptop so that is another thought before I decide to open the Tablet.

I noticed you mentioned the everSolo A6, and I wanted to share my opinion on it. I must say I was somewhat disappointed. While the app does flow better (compared to Volumio in my iFi ZS), likely due to the larger DDR memory of 4GB, as opposed to 1GB in the iFi, the sound quality with the digital out to my DAC wasn't noticeably better than the iFi. On the other hand, the analog out with the internal DAC wasn't particularly impressive, and I found it to be worse than the digital pairing.

I'm not sure if I received a defective unit, but for some reason, when I directly connect it to my PA in my second system, the speakers emit a hum. Interestingly, this doesn't happen with my main system. It's not a problem when I use the digital out to the DAC. Most of the glitches previously reported seem to be resolved with the latest firmware update. However, recently, the app has a glitch that plays the first track repeatedly, even when the setting is 'list played' and not 'repeated.'

I also had the chance to audition the Innuos Pulse Mini and Zen at a show and found that they performed better than the A6. It was in two different rooms with different system components, but that was the impression I got in that short time period. Anyway, just my two cents for what it's worth.


Your feedback on the U2 mini would be very valuable. The windows issue is not mine. I would use an iPhone of iPad. Thanks 

ifi zen stream with a zerozone power supply on Alipay and keep the change. At $2500 the upgrade will not be significant whatever else you choose

Ive owned both Aurender and Innous streamers.  Also, some lower end stuff (bluOS, heos, Yamaha, etc.). Both Innous and Aurender have been great.  There are some slight sonic differences in comparable models. I now favor Innous, mainly for the app.  Don't underestimate the importance of the proprietary apps with these high end streamers.  Thats  what you interact with and it's face/front door and guts of the whole thing.  I just like Sense better than Aurender conductor, for lots of reasons.  It also sounds better, many have noted this.  But you cant really go wrong with either. No experience with Lumin or Auralic, other than shows.

I second the sentiment of soix  and joc3021 for Innuos. Had the same needs for Streamer only [no DAC].

Very happy I purchased a Pulse Mini. If you want to have a LPS for it, the LPS for the Innuos Zen Mini works perfectly. Connected via COAX to my Naim Pre-amp / DAC and couldn't be happier.

The Sense App is excellent.

One of the big questions to ask,  in my opinion,  is which music services are supported by the os for any given streamer.  I  use Amazon HD and Idagio,  and as far as I know,  BluOS is the only user interface that supports both of these services.  Innuos says they are working to support both,  but not there yet.  So I'm continuing to use the digital out from my Bluesound Node.  As one post mentioned earlier,  I  too upgraded it with a TeddyPardo Linear Power Supply.  It made a huge difference. It's feeding a PS Audio Directstream DAC Mk1,  a PS Audio Stellar Gold Preamp (brand new) PS Audio M700 monoblocks,  and Legacy Audio Signature SE speakers.  The lps resulted in extended bass and a wider and deeper soundstage.  Overall,  I'm pretty satisfied with the Node now.  Not to say I wouldn't try an upgrade if one comes out that supports the services I use. 

@dhungana - Not sure what convinced you that the HiFi Rose RS130 doesn't support DSD, but according to the product page on their site it certainly does. It has codecs to support DSF and DFF file types, and shows support for native DSD from 64 up to 512 rates. It also provides DSD to PCM conversion if you have a PCM only DAC. Maybe you have an issue interfacing it for DSD with a specific DAC?

I use only Qubuz, so no issues with any OS.

While I appreciate the various recommendations, I personally am down to my stated 3. The local Aurender dealer has no N150’s in stock so struck out there.
Calling Upscale shortly. Thanks.

My 2cents. I have owned the Eversolo A6, A6master with LPS. Eversolo A8, Rose 130, and now the Aurrender N200. Im my system which consist of Pass intergated 250 and deaneries Plus 12th anniversary dac. The N200 was on another level from the others. Eversolo is way too forward in my system. Hi rose 130 just too laid back and no jump factor. The worst software I have ever used. I wanted to keep it because is was so nice looking with that big beautiful screen. 5K and not being happy was not going to work for me. Quick sale and on to the eversolo A8. the A8 sounded  much more enjoyable then the hi rose. With the A8 Eversolo fixed just about everything I found wrong with the A6. For the money it is a very good streamer. However it’s still was not quite right in my system. I just got no emotion from it, especially with female singers. It also is much laid back but has that get up and go jump factor. The N200 is perfect in my system, so much so I am already thinking  of moving up the Aurender ladder. Unfortunately, no one can really tell you how a pice of equipment will sound in your system. It’s just trial and era. I will say the Eversolo software is one of the best I’ve used it that makes any difference.

Just talked to Chris at Upscale Audio. First, my 3 choices are his most popular and most recommended  streamers in that price range. Sound wise, he said they were all very close but ranked them as follows;

N150 (only in critical listening mode), then the U2 mini, then the Aries. 
App wise, he said the Lumin was definitely last. 
Any thoughts from Lumin owners on the Lumin app?


Lumin app is hideous. Absolutely the worst in my opinion.
Use Roon if you get Lumin. that’s what I did. 
Auralic Lightning DS is very nice and so is the Aurender Conductor app. 

If I were you, I would go with a Lumin U2 and get Roon. Skip the Mini. Skip the power supply upgrades.
Second best would be the N150. No roon. 

I also started with a node and fortunately have a local Aurender dealer that loaned me a N100H, I bought it the next day. There aren't a lot of reviews out there but I searched quite a few forums out there and the Aurender reputation is pretty much the same across the board, highly praised. I understand that some people don't like the app, but I really enjoy it and find it easy to navigate. I have recently borrowed a N150, N200 and a N20 from my dealer, I personally found the N200 a phenomenal performer and honestly didn't hear enough improvement from the N20 to spend double the cost of the N200. IMO the N150 blew the N100 out of the water, I could make this a much longer post by explaining every detail of it, but I'm not going to. The N150 was definitely a very nice upgrade from the N100. I know the N200 is beyond your budget, but I have no doubt you would love the N150, and have no regrets. As for the conductor app, I don't know. Again, some people don't like it but I do and have no issues with it. Good luck with your decision and happy listening!

“The local Aurender dealer has no N150’s in stock”

That shouldn’t deter you from ordering one. My dealer didn’t have N30SA in stock, I got mine delivered in 5 days from their warehouse in CA. As far as app, Aurender’s Conductor is one of the best app out there. 

I have both the Node n130 with LPS and the U2 mini.  After the intuitive simplicity BluOS, the Lumin app was very frustrating.  You may hate it at first.  I know I did. With familiarity I find it great.  Powerful and solid.  No regrets.


I heard the Auralic Altair G1.1 and 2.1. They sounded great. The 1.1 used closer to your budget.

The Luman app may not be the best proprietary app on the market or the most intuitive. However, I find it fairly simple to use with Qobuz, especially after a few weeks of use. The user experience may boil down to a person’s technical skills and ease of navigating new software. Remember, Roon isn’t free and you can use Roon with most streamers. Personally, I think it’s a waste of money and an app that won’t significantly improve my listening experience.

Ultimately from all the above in my mind it all boils down to a simple question: Roon or not. Roon requires more hardware muscle and processing power than other control systems. So depending on the answer either chose a high powered model from Lumin, Auralic, Aurender et al or go more minimalist e.g. InnuOS, ifi, bluesound etc. Either way at your price point what really makes a difference is foremost the power supply.

@bill_k I believe I need to investigate further. I have 3 DACs currently - Audio Mirror Toubadour V, Okto Dac8 Stereo, and Schiit Yggy OG. I was looking at getting the Cen.Grand DSDAC Deluxe but didn't know if it would be a good match.

Another problem I had with the Rose RS130 which I elaborated on in a different thread is that when using USB or I2S HDMI the RS130 does not "recognize" an intermediate Denafrips GAIA DDC as a DAC and doesn't allow it to be activated. You can only activate one input setting at a time either USB or I2S or the trio of AES/EBU BNC Coax. To use a DDC I'm forced to use AES/EBU and can't use USB or I2S because it doesn't recognize the output machine, which is kind of annoying and I hope they fix it in a future iteration.

I'll play around some more and see if I'm wrong about the DSD, but also, I have literally only 1 DSD album so it's not terribly important to my setup.

@dhungana - Of those three DACs the only one that supports direct DSD playback (without converting playback to PCM) is the Okto which supports DSD via USB.

My Lumin U2 mini arrived and setup was a snap. I'm running it USB out to Denafrips Iris then i2s to Pontus II 12th-1. As I expected it took about 20 minutes to figure out how to get tidal to play. seem to have an issue playing a saved playlist from Tidal. It will play a few tracks and then stops. The playlist has 71 tracks and will play a few then stop and go back to the first track. If I select a song from the middle of the playlist it doesn't continue on to the next song, it just stops. I'm wondering if i should try tidal connect? I know it's to early to say if it sounds better than the BS Node in my setup but at this point it's not much. The BS Node has a warmer presentation while this might be more open sounding. I will follow up later.

I just replaced my Bluesound Node with a Denafrips Arce streamer and am blown away by the improved sound quality, both in detail and staging. I use AirPlay, so the lack of an app for the Arce is not an issue for me. Seems to be a well engineered, well built, great value product. Regardless of your choice I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the improved sound quality offered by a dedicated streamer.