Frequently Asked Questions
Will my Aurender need an Ethernet connection?
Yes. All Aurender Digital Audio Transports & Players require a hard-wired Ethernet connection. They do not work on WiFi. This is to ensure maximum stability and reliablilty. In case you do not have an Ethernet connection readily available in your installation location, do not fear! There are a number of easy solutions. Learn More
Will I need an iPad to operate my Aurender?
No! A full-featured version of the Aurender Conductor app is available for iPhones, Android phones, and Android tablets in addition to iPads.
"Transport" vs. "Player" de-mystified
This terminology is borrowed from "old school" playback systems for spinning silver discs (CDs).
A "Transport" is simply a high-end digital signal renderer. You need to pair a transport up with a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) to convert the signal to analog and make sound happen.
A "Player" is a device that includes an integrated DAC and analog outputs. Connect a "Player" to your preamp, integrated amp, or even straight into a power amp (with volume control enabled) and you're good to go.
In high-end audio, better audio performance can almost always be achieved with separate Transports & DACs, but Aurender's Analog Output Network Players provide exceptionally good audio performance from a simple, user-friendly, cost-effective solution.
"Server" vs. "Streamer" de-mystified
Many music lovers get hung up on terminology such as this. Don't! The short answer is: "You Don't Have To Choose."
The term "Music Server" is generally used to describe a device that contains internal file storage capacity for housing local music content on-board. A "Streamer" usually means a device that is compatible with various subscription-based streaming services and enables playback of streaming content from those service providers.
ALL Aurender transports & players are "streamers," with integrated access to Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, and Internet Radio streaming content. And, they can all be configured as "servers" for locally stored content as well. A few Aurender models (ACS10, N30SA, W20SE) ship with built-in storage drives, but the rest all have unique user-installable storage options for you to add your own drive...or not!
In case you listen exclusively to music from streaming services and you do not need any "server" capabilities, simply leave the storage slots empty and you've got yourself a "streamer" that does not have internal storage/server capabilities. Should you later decide you want to add a drive for storing local files, you may do so at any time.
Does Aurender work with Roon?
At this time Aurender is not compatible with Roon, except via AirPlay. There are a few reasons for this:
Our customized playback engine is a major reason why Aurender sounds as good as it does. With our integrated Hardware <> Software approach, we can optimize the playback engine to take maximum advantage of the incredible hardware that our team has built. We believe in retaining ownership of the quality of playback on our products. With third-party playback engines, we lose that control and responsibility.
Roon is a very CPU-demanding piece of software, and our servers are intentionally designed to be minimalistic where processing is concerned. They are equipped with a processor that is only powerful enough to meet the requirements of our platform. This is "by design" and a big reason why your Aurender sounds so good.
You can use Roon to control playback on your Aurender via AirPlay. But, AirPlay re-samples all content for maximum compatibility. It is not "bit-perfect," but it works well for casual listening & background music.
As music lovers and software geeks, we deeply appreciate and respect the powerful user interface that Roon provides. Our software team is always hard at work on upgrades to our own Conductor app to bring you the best all-around user experience we can, while ALWAYS putting audio quality first.
What file types and sample rates are supported?
File Type & Resolution Support varies model by model. More Info
What SSD/HDD does Aurender recommend for User-Installable storage?
Many Aurender models feature user-installable storage capacity. Install your own SSD or HDD (drives sold separately) to suit your library's needs.
Aurender recommends Samsung QVO or EVO series internal SSD drives, and Western Digital or Seagate HDDs.
Any 2.5" HDD or SSD of any capacity is compatible with Aurender models featuring user-installable storage drives.* The only limitation is the physical form factor, not the storage capacity.
*Note: ACS100 and N100SC can accommodate any 2.5" width HDD or SSD with a maximum height of 7 mm. Some of Seagate's higher capacity (3-5TB) 2.5 " Barracuda drives are NOT compatible with ACS100 and N100SC due to their height.
Which digital output is best? USB, S/PDIF, AES/EBU?
There are pros and cons to various outputs. USB can be very low jitter (depending on DAC), but it is prone to transmitting noise from the source to the DAC. SPDIF/AES/EBU is the opposite - virtually no noise transference but potentially prone to jitter if the clock governing the output signal is not very precise.
That's why for W20, W20SE, N10, N20, and N30SA, the SPDIF and AES/EBU outputs are driven by a best-in-class "OCXO" clock which results in ultra-low jitter. It is one of the most precise clocks available for audio. So, these models provide the best of both worlds (low noise AND low jitter) with those SPDIF/AES/EBU outputs.
Which one is "better" is entirely subjective. It really depends on the DAC and personal preference. In many cases, USB will offer the highest sample rate/DSD compatibility. Other inputs may be limited to lower-resolution playback.
What Streaming Services can I use with Aurender?
All Aurender transports and players support Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify Connect, and internet radio. Additionally, they are AirPlay-enabled for playing any audio content from your iOS or Mac device seamlessly.