The time has come and I request advice...

To my fellow audiophiles the time has come and I am going to attempt to improve my digital source in one audio system I have, Currently running a Bluesound Node X into Denafrips Pontus 12th Anniversary and it sounds great but i am ready and willing to update the streamer. Looking for a dedicated streamer that will play Tidal or Qobuz. Might be interested in going the Roon route. Budget is about $2500. Right now the Lumin U2 mini and Aurender seem to be at the top of recommendations. Looking for advice from those who have used the streamer they recommend.

I listen to Jazz, Blues and instrument music mostly...also going to add a turntable to my other audio system and will post another question...


Lumin U1 or U2 if you want go the Roon route. If you don’t need Roon and want an Aurender, only the N150 is within that budget.

We sell Aurender and have the N150 on demo currently. Happy to answer any questions. 

I can tell you it’s built like a tank, sounds great and I really like the conductor app for navigating music (Tidal & Qobuz). Typically I use it in critical listening mode, but the screen looks great with album art. Tons of quality for the price point. 

I went from the Innuos Pulse mini to the Pulse, and if I win a lottery it’ll be a Pulsar. The mini has the taste you are looking 👀 for. 

look at a 432evo standard 3500 full roon core and endpoint completely upgradable to our higher performance models,


our most popular server the $7800 aeon competes with the 12k aurender n20 and the 25kInnous statement.


dave and Troy

audio intellect NJ.

US importers 432evo Music servers

When I had an Aurender it didn't do Roon at all. I don't know if things have changed. 

@2psyop I was using a Aurender A100 streamer with my Pontus two. Upgraded to at the time the new Aurender N200, The difference was transformative,literally night and day difference,Ive seen used N200,s for as low as $3500. Good luck.

I would say, keep what you have and buy some high-end tweaks. The Tweak Geek can give you some professional advice or let me know and I can set you on the right track.  Tweek Geek - High End Audio Store, Dripping Springs Texas

+1 Aurender.

I would not go the Roon route, costs, adds complications, not much of a long term future. Aurender Conductor app is well regarded. It is improving as well. 

I also had a Pontus 12th. No one mention the Eversolo models. They do it all s far as features and how you use it. I have owned and used the A6, the A6 master, and the master with LPS. Also I tried the A8 which is in your price range with some change left over. I also owned the Hi fi Rose 130.  I use all of these as streamers only. Mostly playing local files. Out of all of these the A8 sounded the best in my system and my preference. With the exception of the A8, the Eversolo can be too forward sounding for my taste. THE HI FI ROSE out of your price range, but playing local files, it had no jump factor and IMO lacked bass. I was very disappointed in these streamers (not A8 for the price) until I install the aurender N200. It was just about perfect in my system. Incredible naturalness. It along with my May KTE sound like a very good turntable. I enjoy the n200 so much, I have a N20 on the way. Check out the Eversolo A8. I think you would be very happy with it. If you can swing the Aurender and roon is not a big deal, it’s a no brainer. 

Many conflicting opinions here... some like Roon, some like Aurender, etcetera.   In my case, I spent about $4.4K on a used Aurender N10 (from a well known dealer).   The unit had connection issues right from the start and the dealer begrudgingly agreed to have it shipped to Aurender SC, where they replaced the hard drive and ran full diagnostics.  The returned unit ran for a few days, then once again, I was unable to connect.  I tried trouble shooting with Aurender customer service and eventually gave up, selling for a loss.  It could be that my AT&T internet service or modem did not play nice with Aurender, but I have read of others having similar experiences.   In Aurenders defense, they do appear to have many satisfied customers.  


Not sure if ROON does not have a future. Best audio purchase I made was a lifetime subscription before ROON was even released for $450. I know they got sold, but I doubt they got sold to be shutdown.

The stuff you can do with ROON is unmatched. I have not looked at the latest Aurrender, but I doubt they have the same grand software road map as ROON.

I run ROON Core from a $500 DELL machine the size of my hand. It does not have a monitor connected to it nor a mouse and keyboard. The machine automatically starts up at 7AM and shuts down at 2:30AM so I am forced to go to sleep. I also keep this machine under a bed in my guest room (which has no audio gear in it).

I also have state of the art streaming sound using fibre and ROON READY endpoints (need streamers for that). This is in 2 rooms of the house, but it could be many more.

ROON is a killer system.


@kennyc I had no issue running Roon on my Innous Zenith.  I have a lifetime Roon subscription, having said that, I no longer use Roon on my Zenith because I use Innous Sense instead.  

Roon certainly has more bells & whistles than Sense, but Sense SQ IMHO is much better than Roon's, and the Sense app is a very good music management system.

@oldschool1948 +1

Agree, I have an innuos and ran Roon for years. In the last 6 months it seemed to have some connectivity problems so I switched to Innuos Sense. No problems sounds superb and honestly, I don't see a difference in the OS. Both very easy to navigate, play well with Qobuz and give similar, if not the same info

I have the Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 going into my T+A DAC 200 and I’ve been delighted with the sound, performance, and stability.   I’ve run both Roon and Innuos Sense.   Both are stable and very good.   Roon is a bit more feature rich, and I think Sense sounds a bit better.


my point is that I would at least audition Innuos to see if you like them.


As always, only your ears matter…



6,188 posts


+1 Aurender.

Seems honest opinion. Okay.


I would not go the Roon route, costs, adds complications, not much of a long term future. Aurender Conductor app is well regarded. It is improving as well. 

Disinformation / sway. C’mon now. Really?

There’s no flattering way to say “Aurender’s not Roon Ready,” but no need to discount one over the other, hey? They don’t play together bit-perfectly, why not leave it at that? 

Disclaimer: I don’t use either of those items, want either of those items, or profit from either of those items.

+1 for the Innuos Zen Mini.  Just plug in and go, not a second of trouble, works flawlessly and sounds amazing.

My personal judgment on Roon is from personal experience with it (complicated) and forty years of implementing information technology. I have experienced generations of operating systems, hardware, and dozens and dozens of software suites and hundreds of single purpose software products. Software like Roon has a very limited life as streaming becomes. Main stream and major vendors produce their own better and better products and the revenues dry up for Roon and they get purchased and disappear into the history of software. There is a question of how long it will take… but the time will not be measured in decades but likely a few years.

Aurender for build quality, ease of use, support, reliability. Make sure your'e OK with the conductor app before you jump in, it's your only access point (for now)

Innous for sonics, roon capability and sense app.  Sense sounds better than roon and is better than conductor (IMO) as an interface.

These two companies are doing it best for now.

Innuos Zenith M3 and the Sense application is fantastic. Gets better and better with every update, should call them upgrades not updates. Sound quality is fabulous and I am a Tubes and Vinyl guy. These folks in Portugal have it figured out. $6600 with 2TB. If you only want to stream look at the Pulse Mini $1500 give or take.  

Just got an ifi zen dac v2 signature ...going to use it connected directly to my newly aquired (on a gamble) Nad c268 class D power amp via 4.4 mm to xlr balanced input. The zen has an analog volume pot and no headphone amp, so its just purely a dac. It’s got some very good reviews for a cheapie. I’m doing same with my music hall analogue a3 tube phono preamp, using single ended rca’s directly into rca input of the nad. The a3 also has a volume control, alps blue velvet. Should be a fun sh*ts and giggles experiment. Got all components at great discounts and so did not spend a ton. I can always dump them and still not get hurt too bad. I think it should all sound pretty good though. I basically threw caution to the wind and bought some things I would not previously have considered. I don’t really need any of this stuff, but I’m bored...😃

Anxious to see how well the jbl 4309’s get along... This generally will serve as a simple second set up, a set up that is actually in the same room/location as the main set up. If it all goes well, I might toss my tannoys in the mix, see how that goes. 


6,193 posts


... I have experienced generations of operating systems, hardware, and dozens and dozens of software suites and hundreds of single purpose software products. Software like Roon has a very limited life as streaming becomes. Main stream and major vendors produce their own better and better products and the revenues dry up for Roon and they get purchased and disappear into the history of software. There is a question of how long it will take… but the time will not be measured in decades but likely a few years.


Sure. Could be. Impossible to know what’ll happen on the post-Samsung side of the timeline for Roon. That said, Aurender has plenty of competition too, has to keep abreast of hardware and software trends, and’s only 4 years older than Roon. 
Ah well, not an issue for me as I don’t use, or profit from, either product.

Any experience out there with Silent Angel? They make an audiophile network switch, streamer and power supply.

The Pontus II 12th isn't (and won't be for some time) the limiting factor in your set will be a very good pairing with an updated streamer

I’m running a lightly used HiFi rose 250a into a Venus 2 12th.  I’ve played fairly extensively with Aurenders, & while conductor is good, I find HiFi rose app to be equal or better.  IMO these 2 for less than $5k to me is big value & I want for nothing in user experience or digital sound quality.


There is a question of how long it will take… but the time will not be measured in decades but likely a few years.

Any thoughts on what that might look like?  Would Roon be likely to migrate users to a new platform in order to maintain the revenue stream, sell their metadata to a competitor, or simply cut bait, return to the dock, and sip margaritas?  Don’t you think they might have a strategic plan?

I am an early lifetime subscriber so have already gotten my value from the platform, but would like to see it continue.  I recently considered going with an Innuos Zenith Mk3 as a server into their Pulsar streamer but their not being a Roon partner caused me to pause, and I hedged my bet by going with a more generic server option. I may still try the Pulsar streamer, which apparently works fine with Roon but would allow me to also try the Sense app. 

Most likely the functionality of streamers continue to improve, leading to reduced subscriber numbers until they get bought and incorporated into one company’s products. Or they try and hold on, updates become less frequent and customer support goes away, and they slowly disappear into obscurity. Or they shift to licensing direct to manufacturers to incorporate inside components, instead of separately sold to users. 


Today’s special purpose software gets incorporated gets incorporated into the operating system of integrated suite. That has been the way since, well, the first computer language.


If you’re a lifetime user, then just enjoy it until you need to buy something that doesn’t use it. It’s nice not having a monthly fee.

It’s nice not having a monthly fee.

A small win, until I think about Tidal, Qobuz, internet, television, Sirius, etc. etc.   I used to think $30 a month for cable tv was a lot! 🤔

Today’s special purpose software gets incorporated gets incorporated into the operating system of integrated suite

I have been using various special purpose and always independent software with  massive user base for decades that never got integrated into anything. But it's far from audio subject I guess

I just got an Eversolo A8 and very happy with it.  Massive bang for the buck.  A ton of features and quality points!  Does it all.  They go for around $1900.

What other apps mentioned here have these features Roon offer. Sans the DSP features

1 fairly detailed signal path & conversion display

2 Album Credits with hyperlinks to each artist in the credits

  • hyperlinks to just about everything of relevance on the artist,album & track.

3 ability to download PDF liner notes

4 scrolling lyrics

5 composition meta

6 ability to play to mobile device not on local network.

7 streaming content preferences.

8. isolating only the local storage or stream service.

9. display whats playing through a browser or Chromcast. 


Roon Users what other non DSP features am I missing besides the standard fair in most any music app?

No need to chime in "well I don’t need that..."

@jbuhl - great point and list!

You asked what other features you might be missing so, I don’t believe I saw anything about how your system can continue playing the genre of music you were just listening to, after your specific selections have finished playing, i.e., Roon Radio. Sometimes I set up a dozen selections for the sole purpose of hearing what Roon Radio will add after my selections are done playing. I have been introduced to a lot of new music through Roon Radio and through the lists of "Recommended Albums", "Similar Albums", and "Similar Artists" that accompany every selection.

I will be interested to read if folks here identify other players that provide as much added value.

What I really use is the credits section.  Each credited artist photo appears with a number below indicating the number of tracks they play on, click the number and get a list of tracks, click the name  and your off to their page with description and discography.  

One other feature I forgot to list is the "recorded" link.  On each track click the recorded link and you get a list of all the artist who have recorded the track. 


An important Roon feature that I don’t think was mentioned is its organizational capability allowing for seamless integration of your Qobuz and/or Tidal favorites with your own ripped and/or downloaded material maintained locally. I don’t know of another app that provides for this level of album integration by artist. This is why I originally got Roon. But for me it’s the already mentioned music discovery piece that truly makes Roon great. Roon helps bring me closer to the music and is why I am an unapologetic Roonaholic. For me the ride is very much worth the fare.


If I were going to spend 2500, I would spend it on the DAC over the streamer.

Roon was already acquired by the largest audio brand out there, Harmon, which itself is owned by Samsung. We can speculate on why, of course, but the idea that the future of one company (eg, Innuos) is somehow more certain seems naive. We don't know about the future of either. But I would bet on Roon as part of Harmon.


+1 Airender. Great build, form factor, sound, integrates perfectly with Qobuz and love Conductor app on a tablet. 

I have to disagree with @ghdprentice on the viability of Roon. It is well-supported by manufacturers, and IMHO, is a fantastic product, that works great (for me), gives me great info on groups and albums that I did not know, and supplements my extensive digital library with Tidal and Qobuz.  I have a lifetime membership sho I have already made my money on it, but as a product, I think that it will continue to evolve.  I highly recommend Roon and see no reason why it will be obsolete at some point, as library management is always needed.

@moto_man I agree, its a great product.


But they could take the technology and make a whole new server product , rebrand it and integrate it into some other hardware config (SAAS for example) and let ROON as is die on the vine.

I said "Could". 

Update- Raised my budget up and bought a HiFi Rose RS130 which is on back order. If it does not work out I will get a Lumin product. Thanks to all for the advice... much appreciated.

Apparently the HiFi Rose RS130 is still on back order now. Cancelled the order for now.

Anyone with any experience or has heard the PS Audio Airlens streamer with the PS Audio Stellar Gold DAC?

Yes, I had a 130 and now I have an arunder N20. No contest. I even thought the Eversolo A8 was better in my system. Look at the inside of the 130 and look at a arunder N200 or N20. My opinions based on local play back.

@2psyop Out of curiosity, what digital cable are you using between the Node X and your Denafrips? What cables are you using in the rest of your system? And what sonic chracteristics of your digital playback are you currently unhappy with... what do you want to achieve with the upgrade?

I am an Aurender dealer and just got the Node X as a trade in. Last night I demoed through a headphone stack between the Aurender N200 and the Node X expecting for the N200 to outright blow the Node X away. There was no doubt the N200 was better, but the Node X has definitely impressed me more than past Bluesound units. The difference would be as great as the Aurender N150, though it would still be an improvement.

Given a look at your virtual system and the performance tiers of your products, it may be worthwhile bracing your system with better cables (not knowing what you’re using) or looking into a good switch or other accessories which may make a greater impact for less or equal investment.

In my experience and with those of my clients, people find value in a dedicated streamer upgrade more often if their systems are truly able to render at very high fidelity. It’s not to say that your system doesn’t do that, but your virtual system doesn’t have enough information for anyone to weigh in properly on that. The last thing you want to do is invest $2500-5K on a streamer only to be disappointed in a marginal improvement.

I have the ps audio airlens. Best streamer that I have heard/owned. Using i2s to my ps audio DS sr dac using the revelation audio labs prophecy i2s cable.

Now that the HiFi Rose is in stock, I have ordered one and will let others know my impressions later. I might test out the fiber optic Ethernet to see how much it lowers noise.