Sonore ultraRendu Review

I love my Sonore ultraRendu.  It is an audiophile microcomputer music player with Ethernet input and USB audio output.  Been using it without any problems since sometime in 2018.  At that time, I had a PS Audio Direct Stream DAC with their internal streamer board called a Network Bridge II.  The input to that device is an Ethernet cable from your home network.  I was streaming from Tidal and locally stored music files from a Mac Mini on the network.  


A friend was using a Rendu and his system always sounded amazing.  He brought it over and we tried it in my system.  I thought it sounded much better than the Bridge II.  I sold the Bridge II and bought the ultraRendu which sits out of sight behind my DAC. 


In 2019 I bought a sonicTranspoter i7 with internal SSD drive from Andrew at Small Green Computer.  It is located in another room near the router.  It is a music server with my Roon core and HQPlayer installed, and is designed specifically to run the best available filters in Roon and HQPlayer. It has a very fast processor and will have no problems running whatever filters you want.  It’s the perfect solution for what I’m trying to achieve.  Using it with the ultraRendu results in a streaming solution that sounds great and is totally reliable.  It’s like set it up and forget about it, never have to mess with it except to power it back up in the event of a power outage.  I can’t see any reason to have a different streaming device.  Highly recommended.


I sold the DirectStream DAC a few years ago and now have a Denafrips Pontus II.  My system sounds the best it ever has.  My speakers and amp have a lot to do with that.  Spatial Audio X3 open baffle speakers and a Dennis Had Inspire 300B amp.


I have a microRendu in a second system that my wife mainly uses.  Once I showed her how to use Roon she seldom spins CDs or her small vinyl collection.


Hi jeff_ss,

Thank you for that great system review. I have a system similar to yours in many ways, but your gear is a step up pretty much across the board. I am commenting to see if you might have any suggestions for me. It’s fine if you don’t; everyone is so busy these days.

I have a microRendu feeding a Denafrips Aries DAC. Have thought more than once about pulling the trigger for the Pontus, but still have not.

I have Spatial Audio Labs M3 Sapphire loudspeakers in a nice room. It’s about 17.5’ X 23.5’ and the speakers are set up on the short wall. I have an Audio Research Corporation LS28 (linestage), but I just call it the "preamp." Also rockin’ an Audio Research Corporation PH-3 phono preamp. Amps are PS Audio BHK 300 Signature monoblocks.

Other sources are Oppo BluRay player and Oracle and Pioneer turntables. I use JRiver Media Center software fetching files from a QNAP NAS.

Here’s a link, if you want to take a look:

For some reason, I just got the bug (again) today and started rereading and watching reviews on the ultraRendu and opticalRendu. I thought since you had both the micro and ultra units, you might have some pointers or observations that would be invaluable.

Once again, no problem if you aren’t able to respond; it’s always fun just to check out other folk’s systems and listening spaces.