Roon Endpoint Streamers - Direct Comparisons between Current Offerings?

Have any of you directly compared sound quality between any of the current offerings of streamers when used solely as a Roon endpoint/streamer? This assumes Roon core and any local music file storage is being operated on a separate device (i.e., a separate server).

I have listed several of the current options below and while a few of those offer additional features, such as server capabilities, hosting of local file storage, or operating players unique to their manufacturers (i.e., other than Roon), I am interested in their performance solely as a Roon endpoint/streamer. Other suggestions not listed below are welcome, but please consider a $5K -$10K price range.


  • Sonore Signature Rendu SE optical v3.0 - $5,350
  • Auralic Aries G2.2 - $6,099
  • Innuos Pulsar - $7,999


  • Aurender N200 - $6,300
  • Antipodes K22 - $9,000

Based on my listening, the streamer/endpoint has more influence on SQ than the server to the point where it seems the server only needs to be competent and reliable.  

This.  Bravo! 

Based on my research (I flirted with going with the Grimm MU1), the MU1 does have USB out, however, the real benefit of the MU1 is only seen with its S/PDIF and AES/EBU outputs. The synchronous outputs receive the benefits of the MU1’s clocking and upscaling. Using the USB output would be a waste of the MU1’s capabilities.

As far as the Innuos Pulsar, its only output is USB, albeit a seriously reclocked USB. Innuos is still in process of getting it Roon certified but it can be used as a generic Roon endpoint.

The Grimm and Pulsar were both on my radar, but ultimately I went with the Rose RS130 after a week long in home audition.

Mitch in trying to address your original post. Leaving perceived value out and just honing on sound quality, my Optical Rendu being served by the SGC Sonic Transporter i7 is my 3rd best sounding rig. My Innuos Zenith M3 with outboard Pheonix reclocker is a clear step up even with Roon. (Like you I have a lifetime subscription) Now if instead I use the Innuos Sense instead of Roon, now it gets way better still. Flipping  between Roon and Sense does take a configuration change and services to restart. (Perhaps a minute total)

I also just purchased an Antipodes K50 which was purchased used within your price range. It does the Roon dance right with lots of user installable HD space, speedy interface and a high quality streamer in one box.

Purely based on the 3 streamers you presented, the Auralic would be my least favourite (on the cold side to my ears) then the Sonore Optical Sig, however the Innuos to my ears is a significant upgrade. Good luck with wherever you land!

Thank you @ianderson for your post that directly compares some of the options I am considering. 

I have a SGC i9 G3 on its way here so will start there on the server side along with my current Signature Rendu SE optical as the endpoint, which I believe would be considered a step up from the opticalRendu depending on the PS you used.  I like having an endpoint with a USB output, which I can connect into my Singxer DDC, from which I can run a variety of output connections to a couple of different DACs I am using.

After getting the i9 set up, I believe my next step may be to compare endpoints between the Sig Rendu SE o and the Innuos Pulsar about which I keep hearing good things.  The other configuration I considered was to purchase an Innuos Zenith M3, to use as a server only, to feed the Pulsar as the endpoint.  Either way, having the Pulsar as an endpoint would allow me to try the Sense app, which is possibly a reason to choose the Pulsar over the Sig Rendu SE o.  My plan is to get the i9 set up and then directly compare the Pulsar against the Sig Rendu SE o in my system.