Aurender & Roon, We Can't Be Friends? We can

That is what I use now, Roon>HQP>Zen NAA but not yet a nice dac. And not happy with my speakers. But I’ll get back to start someday…

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I tried it can could hear zero difference. The fact that you only get metadata on Qobuz albums to is very poor click on you own copy it has nothing but the basic metadata. Its not worth the £40’gvien lms offers more for nothing and the metadata is available on all your music.

Paul, are you saying you’ve now gone back to Aurender (and given up on Roon) because it sounds better? I think we talked about this 4+ years ago, and back then we couldn’t hear any difference?


No way, I‘m going back to Aurender. Far too expensive for what it is.

All I am saying is that I quite like JPlay iOS. In my system, combined with MinimServer, it sounds smoother than Roon, so I like it better.

I do not blame Roon for not sounding so good, it could very well be something in my chain that doesn’t sound optimal. I just don’t get into the discussion of ,one can’t hear a difference between streamers‘, and ,bits are bits‘.

Each to his own.

I am happy the way I‘ve set things up.

And from time to time I switch back to using Roon to enjoy its fantastic user interface.


Fine, you your own impressions!

Lots of imagination at work in this thread.

Yes, it is addictive :slight_smile:

Or so you imagine :rofl:

Hey, music is created from imagination. The enjoyment of that imaginary creation also involves imagination.

This is audio, not cancer research. The goal is entertainment. If imagination increases a given person’s enjoyment, then bravo for that.

If an atheist convention was held across the street from a gospel music revival, there would be little doubt who was having more fun.

Soundstage is imagination. There is no singer in between your speakers.


Isn’t your statement an imagination by itself???


Spent last evening with the now broken in Aurender.

To clarify, yes I’m not a fan of Roon sound quality, with or without HQPlayer. But I’m not a fan the sound quality of iTunes, Audirvana, or Amarra either. Ultimately, I’m not satisfied with computer based audio in general. There’s a thin, jagged, and sibilant quality that I’ve never been able to shake, except by ditching the computer entirely.

For context, I have about a $15K system.

The N100H sounds wonderful and largely solves my computer audio issues. It sounds like real music and I completely understand the company’s success. They recognized the consumer PC short comings and built a better audio mousetrap. Bravo.

Surprisingly, the ZenStream/ IFi Elite (via Tidal Connect, coax) combo sounds nearly as good as the Aurender playing the same tracks. I doubt I could pass a blind test any more than a monkey flipping a coin. Both sound terrific. The Aurender is slightly more refined, the ZenStream a tad more bold.

Conductor basically sucks. It need not be Roon, but it ought to at least have the modern layout and intuitive simplicity of the iPad Tidal and Quboz apps. It does not. I frankly dread using Conductor. The GUI has so many frustrating quirks. But it sounds terrific and is super stable.

Not sure if I’ll keep the Aurender. It does not improve on the sound quality of my disc playing wizard the Marantz SACD 30n, and it’s tied with the ZenStream. I am a sucker for sexy casework, and the Aurender looks like a million bucks.

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Thanks for taking the time to write
Now I have to say that zen coax I’ll have to try. Looks like everybody talks nice about it. Thru HQP (with and without roon) as I’m a sucker for HQP (byzantine as you best described, is conceptually the most elegant from my point of view)
Thanks again, and keep searching and sharing I’ll closely follow


I am new to roon and put together a NUC/ROCK for my vacation home, it equaled the InnuOS Zenith system I was auditioning. I am now back in my primary home where I have a Aurender N100. I plugged in the same NUC/ROCK, I hear no difference. And I prefer the Roon app and algorithms.

For DACs, I have a Topping D90MQA in vacation home, Benchmark DAC3L in primary home. For those of you who hear a difference (I’m not questioning that!). Do you think that the specific DAC you connect to makes a difference with respect to, say, filtering electronic noise or compensating for any other thing that the Aurender does that the NUC does not claim to?

I am convinced that my DACs get exactly the same signal from whatever USB source provides that signal. There may be differing noise on the line or noise in the air, but in my various configurations I can hear no difference.

I did not consider Roon for years based on reading reports that it did not sound as good. I am firmly of the opinion now that any SQ difference must be due to deficiencies in the DACs ability to process USB input.

BTW I am not using any DSP or upsampling at all.


In my case, I’m using the same DAC (and USB) for both the Aurender and my long line of various failed Roon arrangements.

It’s worth noting that “sounds better” is not a constant, nor a universal truth. There are so many variables involved. Speakers, DAC, amplification, cables, the room and the all important, personal tastes.

Even if you and I could be in the same room, listening to the same system, we’d be hearing different things because our ears and mind are different.

In my wee world, the Aurender is a significant step up in sound quality over years of Roon experimentation. But that declaration ceases to have meaning outside the walls of my room. Each must explore for themselves.


Yes or maybe not.
I’m slowly building my system, so for now I have some cheap dacs. My first dac was a Zen Dac v2, while $ were going to speakers, amp, preamp, I also bought a CA DacMagic 200M. Connecte do the m1 mini Roon Core usb. Better than the Zen Dac. But after introducing Zen Stream and HQP now I think Zen Dac is better than 200M. Or maybe I’m in winter mode

100% true. And while I hate “audiophile” talk when the gear becomes better and better the upgrades are smaller and smaller. Changing from the cheapest Yamaha integrated streamer to NAD 298 was night and day, now I lust over AHB2 but the difference between 298 and AHB2 I do not know if it is going to be that big.

And it is hard for electronics, that is why I can wait to setup all the electronics within a price /quality range an than get back to speaker searching


Have decided to return the Aurender. The build and sound quality are excellent. But Conductor is like stepping back to 2012, and I’ve experienced numerous difficulties with the requirement that all internal hard drive library management be done on a computer (Mac in my case). A long list of frustrating oddities and bugs that I’ve never experienced with any other Mac software in 30 years.

This experience has shown me what a juggernaut Roon is. It has forever changed our expectations of what music software ought to be.

I will remain primarily a physical CD/SACD user, but will return to trying to finding a way to get Roon/ HQP to sound sufficient. Have a Curious Evolved USB cable arriving on Monday, hopefully that will be the secret sauce.

The hunt continues!

Roon. You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave… :grinning: :v:

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Thanks for that. The Curious in my case will never touch the Mac Mini. It will go between the iFi ZenStream and Marantz DAC. And the sound engine will be HQPlayer, not Roon.

But we shall see!

I got a great deal on a used curious evolved. So no worries selling it.

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Thanks for telling the story.

Pls share about Curious I’m curious (cheap joke). Right now I use an Oyaide USB (forgot the type, the black one). Maybe I’m imagining but comparing to a “stock” usb it is less bright.

From my last post until now I have learned how to use BlackHole with HQP, but I did not test if something different between roon>HQP and tidal app>BlackHole>HQP (other than with roon all the imputes sample rate in HQP is done automated and with tidal I would have to manually set the input sample rate in HQP). My logic tells my it should not be any difference.

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Cool. Black hole, what’s that? Sounds dangerous!

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It is a freeware that you install and add an virtual endpoint. Then you can stream to that endpoint, using roon (no need since HQP is in there), Tidal, Spotify, etc. Like a virtual device. You can even set up the osx to it (if you want sound from safari or so).
The second part is that you can select that in HQP as imput. Right now you have empty and roon knows how to use that.
Once you put Tidal connect on BlackHole and HQP imput on the same, you can play (almost, you have to choose the audio rate) 44.1 for tidal hi-fi or so

Screenshot 2023-02-03 at 1.08.45 AM


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