ultraRendu - intended market and alternatives?

As a person new to Roon I am only started to research and learn on how to this - I was of the opinion that laptop with music software → USB DAC was all there is… so jumping for the first time to the world of end points, Roon ready things etc - so I found this:


Just look at the section called “HARDWARE FEATURES” - the USB port is called “USB Audio Output” :smiley: HAHAHA!

Just the fact that the company needs to hide the fact that it is a data port says a lot about the market - indeed there is a whole segment that would own all the stuff like I own a car! - KNOW NOTHING ABOUT THEM - just use them and expect them to work… and yeah pay other people when there is issues…



Typical “audiophile” product too. It’s does almost exactly the same as what a Raspberry Pi endpoint will do, but for 10x the cost…


Oh GOD you are right! - I just thought about it - is not even a DAC! what a croc…
It is roughly equivalent to a Pi ! - well if you want to think they are doing something more… I would say this is a good alternative:



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I use a microRendu in my main system and an Allo DigiOne (includes an RPi 3) in a second system. They both serve the same function (network device) with the mR running HQPlayer NAA and the DigiOne running Roon Bridge under Ropieee.

Although they have similar functions they have quite different design criteria and capabilities. The mR is a less “powerful” computer, which is entirely intentional. It is designed to have the smallest possible footprint; less being more when it comes to isolation and noise. Nevertheless it can handle DSD 256 or 512 whereas I use the DigiOne to receive 176.4 or 198 kHz PCM.

Both have their place and the Rendu products are very popular with many Roon users.

FWIW, I started out with a mR feeding my main Endpoint, then sold it and used an Allo USBridge in its place. This in turn was sold and replaced by an RPi4 running Ropieee. I’m perfectly satisfied with the current setup and enjoy the music as much as I ever did.


This is an excerpt from a reply to a private message - but well, it is also what I want to say re: the above.

Truth of the matter is that, that thing is basically a Pi with some proprietary software - sure you can argue isolation on the USB and Ethernet sides - electrical noise! :smiley:

Electrical noise is the boogeyman when people finally understand that bits are bits but cannot admit that is all in the old noodle… so they argue NOISE! NOISE! NOISE INDUCED JITTER! IT’S RUINING THE SOUND!!! :smiley:

Yeah - thinking of keeping the endpoint on USB - YES I KNOW THERE IS NO PROOF I, OR ANYONE CAN HEAR THE DIFFERENCE - But, I would still like to be able to get the warm fuzzies of 384, or 768, or DSD - so, trying to stay on the USB side… just for the 'gram, as the young ones say… So maybe a Pi4 in an ultra pretty case will do just fine


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Have you seen the noise level compared to signal level that you’re talking about? -110dB or thereabouts. Unless you have the hearing ability of an exceptionally gifted newborn listening at deafening levels, it’s entirely inaudible!

I don’t know. If people only want to buy gear based on test bench results then they are quite entitled to do so.

I don’t have a test bench. I just buy gear and listen to it. I liked what the mR did in my system, particularly when paired with the UpTone supercapacitor power supply (more dynamic transients, noticeable with drums etc). I haven’t tested it against a raspberry Pi but I have tried a Pi ( version 2 I think) as an NAA endpoint in my main system and it failed with DSD.


What are you talking about? How can you criticize a device of which you clearly have very little knowledge and no experience?

The ultraRendu is an audio only device and Sonore label the USB port appropriately. Sonore is not hiding anything.

This is just your opinion. I have found the ultraRendu to sound quite a bit better than any RPi-based end point I have tried.


Dont start everyone will be demanding empirical evidence , double and triple blind tests and this thread will result in the same as everything else. Let it lie, we decide what we hear and like not this bloody forum.

Well - some context is missing - first of all, a basic fact: A USB port is NOT an audio port - is a data port. Simple.

BUT - the missing context is that this comment was split from a thread where the technical acumen of some audiophiles was being discussed. To me, is telling that the USB data port on on that product is labeled as “audio” - it tells me that the product is geared towards the technologically illiterate audiophile. As many products are - like the Nucleus for example, which was the subject of the discussion…

The way the moderator titled the new thread made it look contentious. Not initially the point. But the comments on this new thread made me stop and think about what the product actually is. I had to laugh after that small epiphany. :smiley:

No, it is not an “audio only” device. It is really not. Not an audio device at all. What it is, is a little computer. And its USB port is a data port. Of course they are free to market to whoever needs to be protected from even those simple concepts… and I am free to point it out. I won’t shy away from stating what is obvious.


It’s a computer processor confined by software to a particular application, being digital audio. If you use it as intended the only thing coming out of the USB port will be digital audio. I don’t see how the naming of the USB port reveals anything interesting at all.

Man - I should get back to work… well, yeah, nothing interesting - again, some context is missing - just an example and evidence of their target market - that is all.


What title would you prefer ?

Heck, I would agree that saying that USB port is an USB Audio port is good as you can’t plug a storage device or keyboard into it and have it do anything…it only does audio!!!

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I had one in my system - it was the first Roon ready endpoint I bought (used) and it was plug and play and worked just fine, sounded very good - served it’s purpose in getting me away from UPnP and into Roon. After about a year it died and I bought a Lumin T2 (via XLR not USB), which is in a whole other league (as it should be given the price). No regrets in having had the uR, and yes I know a Pi can do pretty much the same but I really couldn’t be bothered.

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well - would have preferred the comments had not been split - it was not an attack on the Rendu computers, nor I believe it was off-topic, but an example of another product geared toward the not technologically literate audiophile… and my reasons to believe that ( the labeling of the data port)

Because with the title, it became a self-fulfilling prophecy - out of context it really looks like gratuitous criticism of the Rendu computer… and of course, once you spend $800 on something that is functionally equivalent to as Pi4 + Ropieee, well, people need to defend their decision… so here we are! :smiley:


Well - not the point - a better analogy is how the CSU/DSU the cable company gives you is called a “modem” - same idea, protect the person with no knowledge/interest on technology from the details, mapping to something familiar to make it easier to understand…


The original thread it was split from was titled “Thinking of Roon Lifetime ? Read this”.

I will change the title to something else if you prefer, but this discussion is outside the topic of the original thread.