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.