Lumin U1 mini or Auralic aries G1 as a Roon replacement

I have Roon running on an intel NUC with a smallish library, recently find that I stream 95% of my music from Tidal to a hifiberry. Im planning on buying either a Lumin U1 mini or Auralic aries G1 to use as an endpoint for streaming Tidal. I will buy whichever comes up first on the second-hand market.
Since I only stream most of my music from Tidal, is there any benefit in sound quality from streaming Tidal through Roon or would I get equal sound quality from the built in software of the Lumin or Auralic?

Even if you abandon Roon (given the subject of “Roon replacement”), you can still get a true certified MQA Core decoder from Lumin. This is needed to get the embedded musical content inside Tidal MQA.

Thank you Peter, so thats a plus for the Lumin :slight_smile: just need to find a second hand one now.

Lumin. Don’t hesitate. In my point of view, the sound quality is better with the Lumin app than Roon by a large margin. That’s why I cancelled my Roon subscription.


This is my thinking too Mario, I dont think Roon admin will be too happy with my question.

Any difference in SQ will usually depend on the system setup.
In a highly resolving system a LUMIN or Auralic (or dCS or…) network player /bridge /endpoint delivering the data to the DAC will most likely sound better than a NUC connected to the DAC via USB directly.

As you have the NUC already, you will be able to compare by yourself, using e.g. the LUMIN with its app “standalone” and then using the same network player “just” as a Roon endpoint.

I have such a setup and do this test from time to time. I can not hear any sound quality differences, so I stay with Roon as my frontend, as it fits my music discovery style just better (and Roon offers things like convolution filters etc.). Also the Roon Core can do the first unfold of MQA, which saves processing power on the endpoint. So the good news in all this is: either way you will get a very good SQ, so the question to skip Roon is more a choice of which software / interface you prefer and not about SQ. And you will have time to listen and compare and test the different software UIs.

I would certainly recommend the Lumin. I have a T2 and it sounds outstanding. I do not hear any SQ difference playing via Roon vs the Lumin app. The Lumin app is pretty limited so I don’t use it other than at times when our internet connection is poor which causes the infamous Tidal skipping problem in Roon (usually 6-7.30 pm).

It is connected to the Hegel H190 via XLR. I found the SQ of USB out to the Hegel’s DAC to be inferior, reflecting the limitations of that DAC, and the quality of the DAC in the T2. The U1 mini is of course a streamer only.


Hi Peter,

I am really struglling to decide between the U1 Mini and the Aries G1 (as an upgrade to my Auralic Aries Mini), and have read pretty much everything I can about both.

One question that just had is: Is it possible to use the Lumin U1 Mini without any NAS or PC running as server, assuming I am simply listening to Tidal/Qobuz, or even a USB-connected disk?

I currently have an Auralic Aries Mini, and I only need to turn on the NAS if I wish to listen to the music files stored there, but if not, I can simply use the Mini to listen to Tidal, etc. So, I guess the Aries Mini can work as a server per se, but I am not sure if the Lumin U1 Mini can do the same?

Many thanks!

Yes, possible. Using Lumin app, you may listen to Tidal / Qobuz / Spotify / AirPlay / TuneIn without NAS or PC.

It is also possible to play music from directly connected USB storage, but running MinimServer on NAS or PC is recommended, and offers much faster browsing.

I think some Auralic users use Lumin app to control their hardware in OpenHome mode. You may try using the Lumin app first and get a feel of it.

Thanks Peter! Actuallly I did try the Lumin app (strange / a bit confusing at first, great after a few hours), but unfortunately I was not able to login to Tidal with the Lumin app. I contacted Lumin (you? :slight_smile: ) and apparently there is something new with Tidal login that prevents using the Lumin app in non-Lumin hardware…

Either way, I guess I will be ok listening to online streamed music without the need to turn on the PC or NAS!


I’d really love it if Lumin could do a radio/station feature for random music selection like Roon, or deliver the Qobuz solution if they develop it, I’d quite like just to use my D2 directly into my amp.
I don’t use my local files anymore, just a Qobuz feed.

Hey Peter,

Since the Lumin only has ethernet wired input, not WiFi, I got worried about the putative need to improve the equipments in the ethernet “pathway” from the router to the Lumin (cables, switches, etc).

So in order to have a sense of how good/bad my ethernet is, today I tested the sound quality of my Auralic Aries Mini, both using wifi versus wired ethernet. I was amazed to notice such a huge difference, in which the WiFi option was much much better at several levels (Auralic actually recomenda to use WiFi instead of Ethernet, despite providing both options). I acknowledge I usee basic/cheap ethernet cables and switches, not “audiophile-grade”.

So my question now is: if I decide to go with the Lumin U1 Mini, will I really need to invest in better audio-grade switches and cables, to prevent all this “noise” entering the Lumin? Or does the Lumin ethernet input have any capacity of “cleaning” this signal, and as such it should not be a concern?

I was really ready to take the plunge, but today this got over my head…


Please use unshielded CAT-6 Ethernet cable.

Lumin has standard transformer isolation for Ethernet port, but if you’re worried about Ethernet noise, consider fiber isolation:

Great, thanks for the recommendations Peter.

By the way, I also noticed that “many” people (Upscale Audio @USA, and some users online) recommend to use a TP-Link Wireless N300 2T2R Access Point, particularly with a reasonable power supply (e.g., iFi iPower?).

Do you think this may also be a solution, or would you still prefer the “electrical - optical - electrical” route?

I do not recommend the use of WiFi to transfer music data, especially not with Roon. Please use Ethernet if it is feasible.

Hi Peter,

What’s new in firmware 13.4a? I just installed yesterday, but do not find any release note.


Minor bug fix for DSD playback in Roon for particular setups for particular outputs in particular models.