New streamer? N150 vs U2

So many people have asked this question and I’ve read all the threads. Has anyone actually directly compared the Aurender N150 to the Lumin U2 (or U1)? 

‘’I’m having a difficult time with an upgrade because I modified my BlueSound Node 2i, added a linear power supply and a new digital coaxial cable (Nordost Silver Shadow).  The results have been outstanding.  So why upgrade? Well, that is the big question.  Can a new streamer add that much more?

 I would like full MQA if possible and upscaling to DSD.  My DAC does do MQA so I’m limited to the first unfold from the Node 2i.



I’m no expert and have not experienced the N150 or U2 my understanding is they are among the best out there for sure,however…

you already a streamer set up to die for  with upgrades you have implemented. I would assume the rest of your chain is top notch but from my nooby perspective MQA has not lived up to its promise overall and dsd content is so limited in availability. Diminishing returns comes mind. I’m not knocking your desire for a better streamer (really trying learn something here). Have you ever heard anything that performs additional MQA unpacking beyond the Bluesounds protocol?

“Can a new streamer add that much more?”

The simple answer is Yes, given your consideration for N150 or U2. Now adding a new streamer won’t guarantee an improvement over Node 2. Your network and downstream components (DAC, Pre, Amp, Speakers and cabling) are just as important to squeeze the best performance from your new streamer. Having owned Node (actually Vault) and Aurender N100, N10, N20; I can say without any doubts that they are built to different performance standards. At the end of the day, an audition in your system will help you decide if N150 or U2 worth the extra dough. 

Good morning,

Which upgrade and power supply did you end up going with? I ordered one yesterday, but I'm looking for a good power supply for it. The one that I ordered is LHY Audio and it's very new for 2023.

I have both, and no comparison, the Lumin is better, imho.  Of course, with a power supply upgrade, that may change.  And, the Node’s software ie miles ahead.

@doni, PS upgrade?  Wouldn’t a PS upgrade for the Lumin make it even better? The N150 comes stock with linear PS.

@everyone, my digital system is Cary SLI-80 with mostly Gold Lion tubes, Chord Qutest DAC, PD Creative modified BS Node 2i, Meadowlark Osprey gen 2 speakers, Cardas, Nordost and Shunyata cables, Hydra power conditioning , Sbooster LPS on both DAC and Node 2i. And there’s an analog side also.

I’ve read many comments that the BS software is the best. It has been absolutely rock solid for me and very easy to use.

OP, good question. I have the newer Node with a PD Creative upgrade and a Jay's Audio LPS. I've also thought about the two streamers you mentioned. At this point I am undecided. My DAC is a Pontus II.

@leorousseau there’s many more components on the board you choose than the PD Creative board. Very interesting! Also, your board and LPS are a really good value. The PD creative board is reasonable but the Sbooster is about an additional $400USD.

@ericsch it seems we’re at a similar decision point. ‘Please update us if you buy a new streamer. Thanks!

@lalitk excellent advice and your input as an owner of similar equipment is much appreciated. I’d grab a home audition but I’ve found that extensive burn-in time is very real and so is confirmation bias. And I’d rather not abuse retailers, or make a big mistake so I learn from other audiophiles prior to my decision.

@balooo2 I have not heard full MQA unpacking. To my ears, using the modified Node 2i, I can definitely hear that the first Tidal MQA unfold increases mid freq and upper bass compared to the same song on Qobuz. I’m curious about full MQA.  Same for DSD. My DAC does DSD so I’m curious about what an upscale-capable streamer may add to my audio enjoyment.

@txp1 Yes I’m very curious about it. I found it through a video that Alvin (from Vinshine Audio) did the other day. Since I have a Denafrips Ares II, I will put my faith in Alvin’s hands and go with it. I’m so looking forward to the end result. I apologize for this conversation in this thread as it wasn’t my intent. Just trying to look at what other people are using for power supplies and if they are happy with the results. ✌️


What most streaming enthusiasts seem to undervalue is the quality of the program. Bluos is simple, reliable and completely satisfies my needs, which is to use strictly my android phone as a remote control for operating Qobuz. As far as I'm concerned, after reading the reviews of programs other than Bluos and their ability, or lack thereof, to function flawlessly with android phones, it's a no brainer. Bluos is the clear winner for my application, hands down. In my opinion, there is no way to quantify the quality of streamers unless you first talk about what application you want to use to operate it. It seems so obvious but it always blows my mind that seemingly experienced audiophiles hardly ever approach that part of the equation even so it is by far the most important part of the streaming process. 

My comments concerned the Bluesound N130 vs the Lumin U1 Mini.  I know nothing about the Aurender product.  Sorry about any confusion.

I would like to say something useful. I have read many reviews of Lumin… an excellent streamer. I also own two Aurender and after my experiences researching  and auditioning an streamers, no question I would go with Aurender. It is all they do and produce unquestionably one of the best on the market. There is nothing better  in the high end as to get into alignment with a leading edge, major player in the  field, company on a component. You find refinements and nuances not present in the competition that may not be obvious at first blush. Each level of Aurender raises the bar in sound quality. The flagship streamer I own equals my outstanding vinyl analog rig. I would look very carefully at the Aurender.

@leorousseau DAC, power supplies and streamers. They’re all integral to the thread when discussing a Node vs something else. 

@doni thanks for the clarity. It helped.

@gdnrbob Bob, the DAC is the elephant in my audio room. I’m not sure how much I like the Chord Qutest. It’s very smooth and delicate. It use’s very little power, similar to the Sbooster and the BS Node 2i, so I keep them all powered up 24x7. Important with our high electric costs here. I still have a Cary DAC-100t in my system connected to a Mac Mini. The 2014-era Cary sounds better than the Qutest on many classic rock songs. It’s “meatier”. I’m not sure what the proper audio term is. The Qutest is definitely better on jazz and on female vocals. And the Cary DAC has better soundstage width and depth. I run Amarra audio software on the Mac and it makes a big difference in sound-quality. I frequently compare the same song on Amarra to the anode 2i.

@txp1 You have to consider your room, speakers and all system parts too. 

Both are good streamers (if all the other stuff is dialed in) but wait ... there's more.

Unless yr. Bob Fosse, parts of digital streaming have robust ethernet cabling (you have), filtering, PSU, clock work (not orange) and all that jazz.

The the Aurender N150 will not work with ROON.

Will you use Roon? A lot have said no only to change that pronouncement. 

Like you I started with a BlueSound then upgraded (twice) and can tell the difference. I also had an Sbooster and upgraded from that (instant wow), Obviously it's not just the streamer as they like all the timings. 



I own the N150 and Node w/PD upgrade.  No experience with Lumin.  Don't currently own but have had the Qutest.   No question the N150 is an upgrade from the modified Node.  Will you hear too much difference with the Qutest.  I didn't.  IMO you money is much better spent upgrading your DAC first.

“The the Aurender N150 will not work with ROON.”
And what a BLESSING that is….ROON is a hot mess in my experience! 

@lalitk Sometimes I think the SQ usung the Roon shell isn’t quite on par with my native app and other times I can’t tell at all. Roon’s interface is far superior to my native app. I’ve listened to a few different Aurenders from mid to high end and naturally the room/system was what did/didn’t grab me. I use a Lumin w/ a Roon Nucleus pulling from Qobuz and my stored flacks. The free trail works poorly using a computer as s core (….let’s not go there) so to get worthy SQ a Nucleus core is needed. 

@marco1 almost exact experience I was looking for.  Thank you! 

@wsrrsw what were your Bluesound and Sbooster upgrades? Great comparisons, thanks!

@ghdprentice thanks! Someone who has researched and owned different streamers especially several Aurenders knows more than I do about streaming. 

 @baylinor @leorousseau yes the BlueOS is a key decision point. I’ve read about someone who “upgraded” to a different streamer and went back to BlueOS because the new OS was so unfriendly. 

@wsrrsw ​​​​@lalitk Roon capability isn’t a key decision point but it could be if the new OS really sucked and I wanted a change. Thanks for the heads up. 

A choice I did not see mentioned - I would recommend the HiFI Rose RS150B - it is a fantastic product (going on one year of trouble free ownership), even if you don’t need the DAC capabilities (it is very good dac) just the sheer beauty of the display, the functionality of the app (I use both an Android tablet and my phone, it also has a PC/MAC app) and the quality of the sound, as well as the added functinality it brings (internet radio,eARC HDMI amongst others) make it well worth it. It has received pretty glowing reviews, and I agree with them.

IMO it is easily as good as the Aurender N20 at streaming/music library functions, at less than1/2 of the price (Probably more likely compared to the A20, but I do not have much experience listening to the A20). I do give  Aurender a slight nod in the app department ; I think Conductor is pretty good (or maybe since my first streamer was an ACS10 (still owned) I am just used to it.), but the Rose App is very close.

Edit: Rose App has added mult source playlist creation (streamig service and internal storage) so I would rate the apps identical in ease of use, but the Rose still has more functions, so this changes the balance in favor of the Rose.


 Obviously an N20 hooked up to a high end DAC would change the dynamic, but that would also increase the price delta considerably.

Construction wise it is a beautiful, solidly built product, with a full suite of digital outs. If you have a higher end DAC that you like you can always bypass the built-in DAC (ESS Sabre ES9038PRO DAC chips).

LOL while looking for info on the chips I just saw this:


(I have no affiliation with this dealer, but the $700 savings may be of value to someone, likewise I am not affiliated with HiFi Rose, I just really like mine)

Hope this somewhat rambling post helps. Steve Huff has a nice review of it.


@mournbladeiv thanks for reminding me of this if I decide to go the one-box route! I get the ads from that big mid-west retailer that we all love and have read a few ads about the HiFi Rose equipment.  Because I’m looking at upgrading my streamer and myDAC is questionable, a one-box solution may be it for me.

of course that starts consideration of other higher priced units and the Cary one-box DAC/Streamer (but not the absurdly priced “pro” one).  Sigh.

‘As someone mentioned I soon hit the point where other components in my system may be more appropriate as a higher value upgrade.   Although we deal with that decision on all larger upgrade options that’s really a different thread.

@txp1 I looked at the Cary as well, and in the review I posted, Steve Huff mentions them positively, but he ends up buying the RS150B review unit . What sold me  (I had to take a leap of faith since no Audio dealers near me had a RS150B to test when I bought it) was the display (14.2 Inches) and the added functionality like Internet radio, EARC, and silly as it may be, I like the multiple volt meter options for the screen. Good luck whatever route you go. My next leap is to go AES out from the Rose to an Ayon Kronos SignatureTube Dac.

I have used the streamer with both my Michi X5, and my primary system of a Mark Levinson 523 Pre and 534 Power. it sounded great on both.


@txp1 exactly! I did the same thing plus added fiber optic, and it sounds amazing! Why would I want to upgrade? Try spending another $100 to add fiber and you’ll answer your own question. Good luck!

@txp1 ,

If your DAC doesn't make you happy, then nothing upstream will make it better.

I have no experience with the Chord Qutest, but can recommend DAC's by Ayre.

The QB-9 Twenty and QX-5 Twenty really sound great, IMHO. The former, used, is probably in the Qutest price range.

First, I started with Bluesound Node-very nice for the money, but it sometimes got messed up with upgrades-And Bluesound tech is rather slow-albeit determined to get things fixed. 

Then, I owned Aurennder for a short while and gave it up when I learned I couldn't network with it (run two systems together). The Aurennder app is nice, but you only get to use Qobuz and Tidal for services. As you are coming from Bluesound, I think you will find it a bit limiting, I know I did.

Afterwhich, I moved Innous and really like it. I also got Roon instead of the Innuos app. 

I don't know why so many hate it, as I find it to be unbelievably configurable, as well as easy to use.



I am sure you are astute enough to decipher who actually here have tried and compare Node with other high quality streamers. Those who have not are clearly in the camp, “why would I want to upgrade”. And those who have, heard definite improvement over Node. BS OS app is very versatile in terms of streaming options with a good (not the best) interface, very similar to SONOS app. All others, Innuous - Sense, Aurender - Conductor and ROON is limited to 2-3 streaming client cause their focus is best possible integration and user experience. I have been using Conductor app over 10 years now and it is one of the best app, in terms of user experience, sound quality and stability. And lastly, once you hear Qobuz high resolution files, you may find MQA unlistenable afterwards. 

As I said in my first post, easy way to settle this quandary is to pick a player from Lumin, Aurender or Innuos lineup and listen in your system.

Hi. @txp1,

I have the newest Node with the Teddy Pardo PSU, with an Audience PC, a DH Labs, Mirage USB, going to a Denafrips Pontus ll DAC. Put it all together and I have @$2800 in my streamer/DAC. Will a N150 or a U2 sound different, would be my question. 
To me, better is in the ear of the beholder.

All the best.

@gdnrbob  I am not sure what your experience was, but I do know that using one of the Aurender ACS units (ACS10/100 or the A30) allows you to use the ACS as library for playback through  another Aurender Streamer (N, A or W series).. Cool thing about the Rose is through SMB I can actually see the HDD's on my ACS10 (though I opted for local SDD storage on the RS150B of the ripped discs). 



You asked..I’ll pontificate and likely drone.

It’s been a many year trip full of learning and a fun for me to get my streaming music sounding analog wonderful and not ones and zeros sounding. Many here have been very kind and helpful and in the later rounds a big shout out goes to @lalitk (All these folks have the same first name.....AT...)

Years back (10+) I used an iPod or Mac lap top into an amp. The iPod rested in a Peachtree audio iDac and that helped. Next I had the plain crackers BlueSound w/ no stand alone system DAC. Then I got a Lumin T2 w/ an external SBooster.

Time out. (at least Take Five)

Had I known how to implement all the other stuff, then I very well may not have upgraded the Lumin T2 or not been so quick (well under two years) to do so. (At this time I added a Roon Nucleus and have been using it as a shell for Qobuz to my hearts delight!). The learning was in cleaning up the ethernet chain by using a EtherRegen w/ an external Afterdark clock, a good PSU and audio grade ethernet cables all round made for a definite blacker background and better sounding playback.

Time in (Also a great album)

I have another lesser streamer in a whole house stereo. If just listing in the den, then often I don’t use Roon (but do). Many days music is on everywhere. Carport too? Check.

Now the steamer is a Lumin X1 (has it’s own PSU) and with that a terrific switch. That’s the M12 gold switch w/ JCat cables and powered by the JCat Optimo 3 Duo PSU. The Roon Nucleus now is powered by an Uptone audio JS-2 Linear Power Supply and cable. Finally the Lumin and the M12 gold are grounded with the Entreq Macro Ground Boxes.

At one point I used fiber optic but copper wire sounds far smoother to me. Fiber optic was a tad sterile. But that’s me with my gear/room and my questionable taste in music, life, dogs, and so many other unmentionable bits.

Everyone here tends to like their own home-brew and in that spirit get a Lumin T3. If your budget allows a used (8K+/-) X1 then.

You need to decide first if you will use Roon and it’s gear.




Love this artwork!



@txp1  I am one of the people you mentioned who is returning to a Node because of the app.  I sold my Node 2i and moved to a miniDSP SHD with the Volumio app/ OS.  Volumio was a very bad experience, completely overshadowing any SQ improvement from the SHD hardware.  As a result I am very wary of streamer software/UI/app quality.  Improvements in SQ are useless if the user experience is degraded.


I have a Peachtree Gan 1 on order and it comes with a new Node.  I'll look into the Node upgrades (LPS) mentioned in this thread.  Someday I'll move up, but I will take my time - and pay close attention to the app.  Best of luck.

@lalitk Amen brother…

As I said in my first post, easy way to settle this quandary is to pick a player from Lumin, Aurender or Innuos lineup and listen in your system.

Excellent input from everyone, thank you all very much! So much experience. I’ve learned a lot and I’m sure that other audiophiles will also in the future. I keep rereading this thread.

I’ve planned to get an EtherRegen for quite a while but am obviously waiting for them to get the next generation of it to market. I also need to make the one-box or not decision. Fortunately for me this technology just keeps improving. Unfortunately it seems that almost all high end equipment keeps increasing in price, sometimes significantly so.  

@wsrrsw thanks for pontificating!  And I too love the artwork.

Probably 75% or more of my listening is jazz, bass jazz, sax jazz, contemporary jazz, fusion jazz, hard bop. The rest is a mix of classic rock and more modern rock.

The streamer & DAC I decide on, or the one-box streamer/DAC will need to be great for jazz and rock.

I use Qobuz, Tidal, Radio Paradise, and ESPECIALLY JazzRadio premium streams.  The streamer must be able to accept and retain a custom URL from JazzRadio.  I should have mentioned this in my original post.

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@txp1 Yeah Swiss Jazz.  I’m also about 70% in the Jazz class. 

Get the best you can afford and don’t think you’re missing out. The ultra gets a few more degrees of pow but your roon and synergy of what you put together is the gold ring. 

Any thing that makes you happy is cool. 

Aurender Conductor does the custom URL streaming. See this link (about 2/3’s of the way down):


What’s a good method of listening to jazz on Bluesound? I wish that Radio Paradise had a channel.

I’ve got both Node 2i and Lumin U1 Mini. These are (or were) both feeding a Sonic Frontiers SFD-2 MK3. Despite its age this is a truly a super-DAC even now, extremely hard to improve on. The very few who have heard will agree (I say this to try and short circuit the usual "old digital can’t compete" arguements from posters who haven’t ever heard it). Anyway, that feeds an extremely revealing, high resolution system.  I have no use for MDA so that isn't at play here.

My conclusion: Sonically, the Lumin clearly beats the Node 2i. But the Lumin UI is just a bad joke, so much so that I’ll sometimes use the 2i for that reason. I’m on Android, maybe Apple works better. BlueOS seems to work great on all devices.

@rockrider thank you for that link!

@leorousseau best way for decent higher resolution jazz on BlueSound is to program in a custom URL on TuneIn custom stations using JazzRadio Premium. That way you can get 320k mp3 streams. I use these streams for music discovery and there’s a direct link in BluOS from TuneIn to the album or artist on Qobuz and Tidal.


Decision made. I pulled the wallet-trigger on an Aurender N150. I’ll investigate DACs and decide whether to upgrade that after I evaluate the N150 on the Chord Qutest DAC. 

@marco1 did you find that a specific USB output on the N150 sounds best?  Any other advice is also appreciated!

@txp1. Congrats I think you'll be very happy.  The 150 is at my vacation house so I'm doing this from memory but you'll use the vertical USB port.  The other USB ports are for data (outside drives, etc.)  My initial suggestion after the unit breaks in, which you can use a printer cable for, would be to use a good USB cable.  I tried 3 different cables but ended up with the Cardas high speed cable. Whatever you try, give the cable ample time to break in as you will hear subtle changes for the first 100 hrs or so.  Differences in the cables will also be subtle.  I happened to like the Cardas as it seemed to smooth things out a little more than the others particularly with the Qutest, without loosing any of the detail. 

@marco1 thanks!  I have an AQ Carbon currently on a Mac Mini that I can use. I may change to something else. I heard cable differences using different digital coax  cables on the Node 2i.  I had a AQ Carbon digital coax and much later bought a Nordost Silver Shadow. 25 hours for barely decent listening burn-in, 80 hours for bass to improve. It’s a silver clad cable.  It’s better than the AQ Carbon!

I tried the Carbon coax and liked Cardas more.  But then I'm a Cardas guy :-)  i've used Nordost as well but didn't care for it.  Pretty much the opposite of Cardas.

@marco1 Me too!  All my analog (RCA) interconnects are Cardas Golden Reference. I moved up the Cardas family line over time but have never changed from Cardas. Phono amp to integrated amp, DAC to integrated amp, another DAC to integrated amp. I’ve only used upscale digital cables for a couple years.

Many are noting how important the software is and this is clearly significant. So, how does the Wiim Pro software compare in their new Wiim Pro? 

Just changed the LPS from a battery type to another 5v LPS and the improvement is not small. For the price of a few hundred, people can test the Wiim Pro and power it via the USB c input, and try it out for a little spin.

Throw in a new quality coax cable like World's Best Cables for $20 and you're in for a pleasant surprise. On my highly resolving tube monoblock system the results are quite excellent. No downside to the Lumin software and many people are comparing it to their previous BlueSound experience. 

The Wiim Pro is up on Amazon and they have regular software updates discussed on their community forum. IMHO, it's worth a look. Happy listening. 

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.

It took me less than 2 hours to get an excellent understanding of Conductor. Advice for future owners is that Conductor is context sensitive like a Mac or iOS OS and can be somewhat confusing as a result.  Actually it’s much worse than a Mac or iOS device.  For example, if you are in a particular top menu, the sub-menu will have very different results even if it looks EXACTLY the same as something you did before. Seems obvious but it’s not.

‘Thanks to all and especially @lalitk for letting me know that Conductor was good!

For HiRes Internet radio jazz listeners, check out SuperStereo 7 in a search. There’s also other genres.  It and other “custom” high resolution entered stations are excellent on the N150 as are Qobuz and Tidal.


Great outcome! If you haven’t tried yet, power cord preferably with OCC Copper on N150 should provide a nice lift in performance.