I have a Korean car, watch KDramas and even listen to some KPop, but I don’t get what Aurender is doing.

I’m currently in digital hold given that my new Holo DAC died, but intend on listening to my IFi Zen stream and look at upgrade paths.

Some of the most respected members of this forum swear by Aurender, so it must deliver, but here is my point of confusion:

1. Coax and AES are the preferred outputs, but higher bandwidths require dual AES out, but I don’t have dual in on my DAC.

2. Aurender’s top models claim to have great clocks, so why not pass this on to the DAC via I2s?

3. Top Aurenders accept external clocks and I assume this is used with a DAC that accepts external clocks, but why bother when I2s would take care of this?

4. The argument against I2s is that there isn’t a standard, but this isn’t a problem in most implementations.

I’m sure that I have misrepresented things above, so please correct my understanding.


@fuzztone I’ve owned the Aurender N100 for 4 years and never had a problem with the conductor app.

“I’m sure that I have misrepresented things above, so please correct my understanding.”
Well, you certainly have! Let me try to clarify,


1. Coax and AES are the preferred outputs, but higher bandwidths require dual AES out, but I don’t have dual in on my DAC. - Only one model, W20SE in Aurender lineup sports Dual AES outputs and it was designed to mate with high end DAC’s that sports dual AES inputs like DCS.

2. Aurender’s top models claim to have great clocks, so why not pass this on to the DAC via I2s? - I2S is not a universally adopted digital protocol and there are known handshake issues between components featuring i2S from different manufacturers. If you study the pattern, the adopters of i2s protocol advocates using their own source (streamer) and DAC’s. For example, PS Audio, Rockna and AQUA HiFi. And Auralic promotes L-Link as best connection between their DAC and Streamer.

3. Top Aurenders accept external clocks and I assume this is used with a DAC that accepts external clocks, but why bother when I2s would take care of this? - See #2. Also read up on ‘Master Clock’ implementation in a high end digital system where both streamer and DAC greatly benefits from a master clock.

4. The argument against I2s is that there isn’t a standard, but this isn’t a problem in most implementations. - Please provide an example.

I am assuming you’re a ROON user. Nothing wrong with that but if I may ask why does everything needs to be Roon ready? Do you know what happens when there is no friendly competition? From what I have learned and read, ROON is not the best software when it comes to delivering audio?

You may wanna read up on Innuos ‘Sense’ users experience with ROON. Also there are reports that Taiko is soon to release their own app that is supposedly better than ROON. What does that say about ROON?

I am a lifetime subscriber of ROON and longtime user of Aurender. Atleast with Conductor app, I never have to wonder if I am getting the best audio quality. The conductors app has performed consistently and flawlessly over 10 plus years. Over the years, I have owned N100, N10, N20, ACS100 and my current DAC sports ROON Core + Renderer and external Master Clock.

The overwhelming reason is the sound quality. They sound simply fantastic and are built like audiophile equipment.

Often,  high end audio equipment manufacturers choose to implement only the technology that can produce the highest quality sound and is ubiquitous. The connectors they support can get the best sound out of the unit. If dual AES becomes ubiquitous I am sure they will add them.

I always choose a component based on the sound… I leave them to choose the ins and outs. Mid-fi and low end stuff is chosen on the basis of connectors, buttons and knobs.


I own a N100 and W20SE



Most of your questions are about I2s, well after exploring I2s extensively it's not such a big deal. USB is more than capable of providing exceptional musical reproduction and IMO betters SPDIF, depending on your DAC, of course.

I cannot recommend the N20 highly enough and Aurender doesn't use Roon because it has it's own Conductor App which is exceptional and doesn't have problems, although the Android version was upgraded a couple of weeks ago and we experienced some temporary glitches.

Aurender owners are generally extremely happy with their purchase except for the few clowns who post trash.


I wasn’t aware of varying I2s standards, only differing I2s pinouts.

With AES DSD must be trancoded to PCM and John Atkinson noted that with the N10 the highest bandwidth was "24-bit PCM stream sampled at 176.4kHz". 

For those that buy higher bandwidth music files and aren't able to use twin AES, are you using USB with your Aurender?

Aurender is not roon ready because they see roon as a competitor to their Conductor ap.

I’m among those who weren’t happy with Aurender, which I "upgraded" to from a Raspberry Pi with Digi+ hat. Mine was never really reliable or stable long term, and e-mails from their one tech in support ("Ari") sometimes showed he hadn’t read what the problem was or what remedies had been tried. I finally dumped it (at TMR) and have been happy with a Bryston BDP-3 ever since.

I’ll give Aurender this: Mine sounded great when it worked.


That is correct. Not only we have varying I2S standards, there is no consistency between I2s connectors among manufacturers of DAC / Streamers. 

The software/DSP-level DSD-to-PCM conversion was aimed to accommodate compatibility with DACs that do not support DSD decoding on SPDIF or AES/EBU inputs. Typically, software/DSP-level DSD-to-PCM conversion almost always sounds terrible. That’s why Aurender’s transports like N10, N20 SPDIF / AES outputs allows an extremely high quality DSD-to-PCM conversion engine performed by FPGA using thousands of tap filters.

If you don’t prefer DSD to PCM conversion, then please use USB output on any of the Aurender streamers for high resolution files beyond 24bit/192kHz. BTW, N10 is now officially discontinued. You can still find good bargains on used N10’s but the newer N series is much improved over its predecessors.



Can the Holo be repaired?

Thought they had a facility in the PNW.



Can the Holo be repaired?

The unit failed within the first two hours of use.  I asked Tim Conners, US dealer, what to do.  He said that they just found out that sub-par parts were used in a few units and they would send a new DAC.

guys aurender can’t run Roon their cpus aren’t powerful enough hence conductor


as per sound quality Roon can sound better the any competing software it all depends on how you execute it.

our 432evos run Roon on one core of the cpu while Isolating other processes in another core then music acess is run on yet another core

this requires very specialized programming as well as a fast yet low noise cpu


we have tested our servers vs all the majors and most people conclude we sound better

Dave and Troy

Audio intellect nj

432EVO us importers

guys aurender can’t run Roon their cpus aren’t powerful enough hence conductor

OK..but doesn’t your product line want me to buy a Teac drive and internal SSD storage? I might like your triple power supply, CPU and upgraded usb interface, but I store my music on a fast NAS and hope to find a top quality streamer and not streamer/server.

Aurender literature made me think that my DSD256 files would require USB, but Aurender’s USB interface was not optimized.

“Aurender’s USB interface was not optimized.”


I say you got nothing to worry about!

  • Aurender’s Dedicated USB Audio Output

    USB is historically prone to transferring noise between devices. That’s why Aurender’s dedicated USB Audio output is physically and electrically isolated from the noise-generating CPU board to minimize noise in the sensitive audio interconnect.

  • The May DAC has the new and exclusive USB Enhanced module (L2 and KTE ONLY) which has our FPGA with the new Titanis 2.0 and custom firmware to improve USB Eye Pattern and reduce latency to near zero as well as reduce jitter to very very low levels. The USB module has completely new code written to optimize performance and reduce latency significantly. Low frequency performance (-40db) is also improved. The “enhanced” USB xmos module is twice as powerful/capable as the one that is used in the Spring2.


I think I got the impression that Aurender USB was not the best output from a @ghdprentice listening comparison of dual AES vs USB. Perhaps faulty memory here. I now understand the dual AES requires a serious financial investment, so it had better yield a return on investment.

I use the USB output exclusively because I listen to a lot of DSD files which I have stored on my N20. You must use USB to enjoy native DSD.

In my system USB is better than SPDIF. I would recommend a solid silver USB cable.

We haven't discussed streaming but it's as good or better than my ripped files.

I own the N200, with my DAC I think it sounds better with SPDIF.    It sounds good via USB but it's my DAC , not the N200's outputs.  

My other back up DAC is a RME and it uses it's internal clock no matter the input type .   So I really can't compare. 

The Aurender sounds much better than the Vault it replaced, can play or copy ripped files from the Vault.  It sounds great with Qobuz...  really good, like I don't need to spin CDs type of good.  

aurender no doubt makes real good stuff, as does innuos, auralic, lumin, red rose, grimm and so on -- roon users can go the nuc/nucleus route with 'a la carte' endpoints such as sonore products, bypassing the expensive all-in-one boxes sold by the 'luxury digital system integrators' named above

each company has worked hard and developed excellent solutions to streaming/digital music management... each of course has also made strategic choices on how to handle the software aspect, and each is wary, to varying degrees, of roon seizing control of the end use customer

i would think given how each company has developed its solutions, each company’s products may favor certain connection protocols, external clocking protocols, and so on... some thus may play better with certain other downstream dacs and how they implement connections ...


Whichever ‘digital’ output you end up preferring from any of the Aurender transport (streamer) is largely depends on your DAC implementation of USB and legacy digital inputs like AES or SPDIF.  As a long time Aurender user, I can say with utmost confidence that they are built to very high standards and no matter which digital output you use, Aurender will faithfully render the digital bits to your DAC. Another important consideration while choosing a streamer is the app interface. Once you get your replacement DAC, reach out to Aurender dealer for in-home audition. Good luck! 

My problems with Aurender mimic'ed @cleeds  and I had to cut my losses.

I replaced an N10 with a Roon Nucleus with an IFi Zen Stream endpoint at a lower price point and am experiencing better sound quality, excellent stability/reliability and a better user interface.  YMMV.


As jjss49 said,  there are many good streamers out there. There’s never been a better time to embrace streaming if you have been on the fence 


I bought a Bluesound Vault 2i a few years ago and it totally changed the way I listened to music.  In a few years I discovered more new music than 40 years of CD and vinyl….

That Aurender is perfect for me, it’s primarily what I do now, stream.   

we can repair you Holo DAC if you are looking for that.


PM me - we are located in New Jersey.



It’s not that bad on Android.  I spoke to them last week and they are doing updates to improve stability.    I think some people are not setting permissions and it cuts out.  I set permission to always on on the background and made a few other changes and it is much better.    They said in the new few weeks. 

Bluesound has its issues too.  My Tab could not always find the Vault.  I would have to close all programs and launch Vault.  Minor inconvenience for such a great platform


The Aurender search function is much better. Going straight to Albums, Artists and Songs is much better.  The Queue is much better , playlist compilation.  All much better 


One has to always remember that this tech is still sort of in its infancy.  Fortunately these devices ( most of them ) get better through firmware updates.  I’ll take some minor quirks if the sound quality is excellent, which it is.  


I bookmarked your website. Holo is sending me a new DAC. I’m guessing that production is a challenge. You seem to have a wide array of products.  I bet your R-2R Tube DAC sounds quite musical.

I appreciate oddiofyl input. However I have not had any issues with bluos for weeks now. Not a single hiccup. I don"t have vault, just using the NODE to stream Qobuz. And the reliability is awesome. Aurender will have to make huge strides towards android reliability before I ever consider it. And as far as the Aurender sound being so much better than the NODE, it all depends on how you set up your NODE. No need to keep rehashing how I do it, just look at my system, fully described there. I honestly don"t see what I am missing sound wise vs. Aurender since my streaming setup is at least up to par with both my vinyl and CD setups, and they are no slouch, also fully described in my system. If Aurender works great for many, great, but it's far from the only game in town and similar performance can be gotten for much less money in my experience. Whatever Aurender did to get such reputation on this site is obviously genius. 

@vonhelmholtz Just seeing this thread now and weighing in.

First, sample rates higher than 176-192KHz are nowhere near as important as the quality of the clock and the protocol. With that said, I would take a digital source with a quality clock maxxed out at 192KHz using AES over 768KHz USB any day. I am in the camp that believes USB is noisy and fatiguing in comparison. One case I can make is using USB from my $24K Aurender N30SA into my $38.5K T+A SDV 3100 HV. Where USB will use the T+A’s reference clock, even with 768Khz, I still prefer AES and the Aurender’s clock with 192Khz sample rates. The quality of the clocks in Aurender’s higher end units is very admirable and the N30SA (and the T+A DAC) is one of the reasons I’m debating so hard on whether I should give up on vinyl completely (you and I have discussed this). Many other endgame DAC manufacturers also prioritize AES, such as Berkeley, and AES is a professional protocol used in the pro audio / recording / mastering / production works. It is NOT a legacy interface.

Audiotroy mentions that Aurender can’t run Roon because it’s processors aren’t strong/fast enough. This is by design. By utilizing a low processing power architecture, Aurender can achieve lower noise floor, better separation, and just more of everything. Conductor is a proprietary platform to work its best alongside this low processing power environment. On the contrast, there is much debate about the “sound of Roon”. There was a fairly lengthy thread on this where I also commented on the elements that make a quality server/streamer (a robust linear power supply, low power, low noise, isolation, and clocking).

Also, I’m not aware of Aurender having any issues with native DSD playback. The Conductor platform allows users to choose whether they want native playback, DSD over PCM (DoP), or conversion to PCM. In this case, it boils down to the DAC’s supported formats.

Agree with others on i2s. There’s been a lot of hype, but implementations vary.

Post removed 

No surprise, blisshifi being an Aurender dealer. A mention of it would be nice no matter how many times you post. Just saying.


As usual, your contribution is on point, but personally, I have a few stops along the way prior to deciding to spend enough to buy an upper level Aurinder with the better clock. Additionally, I question if my DAC is of sufficient quality to be able to benefit from an upper level Aurinder. When I purchased the Holo, a DAC without the ability to sync with an external clock, I did so with an eye to using the I2s input and relying on the streamer’s clock, but the devil is in the details.  When you squared away my analog, my new Macintosh DAC had died..since repaired and within two hours of turning on the Holo, it died.  I'm now wondering if I'm offending the analog gods by going digital.

@audiotroy You need almost no CPU to be a roon endpoint.  the core is usually on a stand alone machine anyway.  Aurender doesn't do roon endpoint because they compete with roon.

@baylinor Apologies, in most posts I do mention that I am an authorized Aurender dealer. I missed it this time. That said, I purchased my N30SA prior to becoming a dealer. Sometimes I prioritize being an audiophile first and was not intending to promote Aurender and try to make a sale. Vonhelmholtz and I have had many discussions personally, and I was simply responding to him directly. He knows I’m a dealer, as he has purchased from me in the past. 

@vonhelmholtz FWIW, yes the higher end Aurender’s have better clocks, but as @oddiofyl states, even with the N200 he prefers coax. I did not sell him that unit, but I did provide his coax cable.

Also, I meant to say +1 in support of a master clock. My T+A unit already has a masterclock built in, and does not accommodate any external clocks, otherwise I’d be looking at one myself!

Just to make sure that I understand the terminology used. When purchasing a high end Aurender with a high quality clock, does this singly describe the stability of the clock, or are there other factors that contribute to the "high quality"?

Fairly new Aurender user here.  Have the N200 in a speaker system and the N150 in a headphone system.  Use an Android phone in both with absolutely no problems.  Sound is glorious in both systems.  Could not be happier that I upgraded.

Not limited to Aurender, a high quality clock is usually one using OCXO or Femto and “quality” is about accuracy of timing, just like a luxury watch that uses a mechanical design to keep time. The clock’s role is focused on the transmission of digital samples and how well it assembles those samples back together. I wrote in a different thread, but clock and digital playback accuracy can be compared to photography. Many cameras and lenses can take a photo, and many of them do it “well”. But some stand out because of the quality of the lens in reproducing exactly what is out there, and the image is crisper, more natural, and the colors do not bleed due to aberration. A great clock does the same and results in the most accurate timing of digital signals, which will result in clarity, separation, and coherence. A lesser clock can still reproduce well, but in comparison to a great clock, it’s as if the image just wasn’t properly focused ever so slightly, or a slightly inferior lens was used. Sometimes one cannot tell unless comparing the two photos side by side. 

Higher end Aurender’s do leverage better clocks, but they also leverage more robust power supplies, better isolation (both in circuit design and chassis), and other benefits. 

I just put a 4 TB SSD drive in the N200.   It is amazing what that machine can do.  I turned it on and there was another icon in the menu.  The TD100.  Its a USB trigger for the Aurender to turn on 2 trigger enabled devices .   

When I picked the unit up and pulled it out of its rack I was quickly reminded of the quality of the Aurender.   It is built like a tank.  Pics don't demonstrate how nice these units are.  

what is needed is a excellent $1k streamer without a DAC that has no connection issues like a popular option.  something with a OS like the Bluesound and the sound of the iFi Zen Stream.  currently the next level up starts at $2,500.  pity.

Like I had mentioned before, streamers are still in their infancy. There are a lot of affordable options out there , but component sized streamers like Aurender , Auralic, Innous, are always going to be above $2500.

Every one is controlled by firmware which is always being tweaked so these devices are getting better every day. Thats why buying a streamer from a company that only does streamers is to me one of the most important considerations...

Bluesound Node and Vault are the best choice at their price points. I almost bought the Lumin U2 Mini, at $2400 it is one of the more affordable offerings from companies that only do streamers. And it is the next level of performance compared to Bluesound. I was originally interested in the Aurender N100 and got a great deal on a N200 , most of it’s price was my trade in so for $850 out of pocket it was a no brainer.


Aurender OS is not android phone friendly, so it kills it for me.

Android has now been fully upgraded to the same level as Apple.

I've used Android Conductor App for almost a year and it never bothered me, because I use Folder View, which lists your ripped files by name only without album covers. Much quicker to search a large library.

I’m in agreement with @baylinor  I have the new node with a Teddy Pardo LPS and it sounds fantastic! I am using the DAC in my Boulder 866 as well. Happy listening! 


I own an N100H 4TB and it has worked flawlessly for me.  The N100H is USB only.  I have a PS Audio DirectStream Sr. DAC which requires an i2s connection to play anything larger than DSD128.  I put a Matrix X-SPDIF 2 DDC in my chain so now I can play DSD256.

I have never had a problem with Conductor as well.  My music gets backed up to a QNAP NAS every night and I have a 1U Tripp-Lite UPS in my audio rack specifically for my Aurender.

@vonhelmholtz - glad they are taking care of you.  The R2R DAC has everything one could ask for.  It is a reference quality DAC.  Substituting chokes in place of other parts improved the sound more then we imagined and the use of V-Cap ODAMs took it over the top.  We have had almost every DAC on the market at our Listening Room in Northern New Jersey (everyone is welcomed) where we enjoy listening and repairing equipment.

Happy Listening.

My Android has been more stable lately.    Aurender added the TD100 to the software,  I'm sure they make running changes also without calling it a new "revision"   

I have zero regrets going with Aurender.  Its an awesome machine 

“I honestly don"t see what I am missing sound wise vs. Aurender ”

May I know if you did any comparison between Node vs Aurender or any other streamer to arrive at that conclusion. 


As I referred to in an earlier post above, my conclusion is drawn by the fact that my streaming is now AT LEAST as good as my vinyl and CD setups, which are no slouch by any means. Meaning I don't need to try uber  expensive streamers to know that the way I setup my NODE in my particularly well build listening room is already completely satisfying. I invite anyone who keeps telling us here in a polite way that the NODE is real good but just a beginning on the streaming journey, to come in and listen to it in my house of stereo if you ever are in the Austin area. Let me know, it might open your mind, or not. Of course I am not talking about the NODE as the only part of my streaming setup. It took a lot more than that to get it to match and even beat the performances of my vinyl and CD setups. The details of it are all in my system. I am transparent that way. On its own it should speak volume to anyone willing to look into it in depth. Short of listening to my systems, it is the best I can do to convey my sound experiences to you guys on paper.

Aurender is not NAS friendly, so I’ll look elsewhere. If there was that option, I’d highly consider Aurender. I’ve been thru that with these two Aurender salesman and got nowhere. In my opinion, a node with an external power supply and NAS is a hard to beat option for the money. With that, put your money into a great DAC and call it a day. If I felt the need to throw more cash at this I’d consider a Lumin. Just my humble opinion as one of the audiophile community!

Is finding your system,"completely satisfying", the real endpoint regardless of what others prefer? Makes sense to me.

Not to co-op my own thread, but many of you seem to be quite knowledgeable.  The I2s standard does not address implementation external to the board level.  Is the external I2s clock usually supplied by the output device, or by the DAC?


Aurender is not NAS friendly, so I’ll look elsewhere. If there was that option, I’d highly consider Aurender.

This is completely incorrect but downloading your files to the Aurender HDD or SSD will improve SQ.