Streamer Upgrade Bluesound Node To Aurender N10

Just got into streaming via a Bluesound Node running Tidal and Qobuz, streaming from an iPad Air via wifi. Very impressed by the simplicity, convenience, incredible choice of music and sound quality. My question is; if I replace the Bluesound Node with an Aurender N10 will there be a noticeable difference in SQ?

Rest of the system is a McIntosh C52 pre amp, MC312 power amp and Magico A5 speakers. I feed the digital optical output from the Bluesound Node to the C52. A/D conversion is done in the C52. If I do upgrade to the Aurender N10, what is the best way to connect the system together? A/D in the Aurender N10 or C52, type of cable connection between the two units etc?


@rbyington711 I am an Aurender dealer so take this into consideration. I haven’t demoed Aurender and Hifi Rose side by side, though I have used the Hifi Rose RS250 and the two Aurender units you mention at different intervals.

Despite the impressive sized display on the Hifi Rose, the built quality and sonics I think are not at the high standards of Aurender. The RS250 has a lighter weight chassis, and none of the componentry inside is really shielded from each other. The linear power supplies are also not as robust as what you would find in yhe N10 or N200. 

From my time with the RS250, I also had the NAD N50.2 master class streamer which retailed $5K at the time. This was last year before I became an Aurender dealer this spring. There was little difference between the sonics, and once I got Aurender into the system, the N200 and A15 (using digital output) sounded identical to each other and both were significantly better than the RS250. The N10 is close to the performance of the RS250. Aurender delivered more clarity, better tonal density and texture, and overall was less shrill and less fatiguing.

The one benefit I recall of the RS250 is that it can run Roon, and it also had the ability to manage more types of media including photo and video libraries. But performance-wise, if one is only focused on two-channel stereo, I would choose Aurender in a heartbeat. 

Thanks ghdprentice and others, you are absolutely correct, the Aurender N10 is a big improvement over the Bluesound Node. Finally installed the N10 last night and the improvement in SQ is immediately very noticeable; clearer/sharper sound and very dynamic. My wife also immediately noticed the difference. Now I need to get used to using the Aurender Conductor app, by comparison the Bluesound Node app was very easy to use.


Is your Node the Node 130?  Do you prefer more analytic sound?  I don't find live music to be "sharp" sounding.  That may explain my preference for the R2R DAC I have now (Denafrips Ares II)--it has the smoothness that I hear in live music, and I don't think it lacks natural detail.  It helps that my electronics and speakers are very transparent, so I don't need any extra detail from a source.

I'll be interested to hear your impressions of the Aurender app after you've gotten used to it.  One thing I appreciate about the BluOS app is it seems to provide more info on albums streamed via Qobuz or Tidal than those separate streaming apps do.  Tidal especially often lacks info on more obscure or older albums. 

Does the Conductor app allow you to fast forward/rewind in the middle of a song like the BluOS app does?