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Aurender N100H vs Sony HapZ1ES

Discussion in 'Digital Integration' started by DogsPart2, Feb 11, 2017.

  1. Looking to make the plunge and add digital playback to my main system.

    I have heard good things about the Sony, however I already have an excellent DAC (McIntosh)so the Dac in the Sony is redundant. Also, I am not sure the sound quality from the Sony would be as good as the Aurender.

    I plan to play FLAC files from my NAS into the Aurender or Sony into my DAC.
    The price of the Aurender w/ 2TB drive is about US$600 more than the Sony. Not chump change, but may be worth the bucks in my opinion.

    Any suggestions or advice?


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  2. MikeT.

    MikeT. Displaced Irish Cajun Subscriber

    Woodridge, IL
    I'm finding there's a lot of redundancy in DACs nowadays. That's the most serious research topic in my future. I've got a great DAC and am trying to make sense of what might be the easiest, least technical solution I can find. I chose Roon as a first step on a MacMini. Lots of streaming options from there including Bluesound and other wifi endpoints. But no matter what streaming hardware I look at currently has a DAC built in, and usually a pretty good one.
  3. ldatlof

    ldatlof We are all steak Subscriber

    Las Vegas
    The Aurender is just a computer running a headless Linux operating system with MPD library organizer and player. Those are both open source and free. I can't find out which CPU it uses but I doubt it has any more computing power than an Atom based netbook. So in essence you are paying for a beautiful case with open source software. IMO it sounds great because it runs Linux which is very easy to get bit perfect playback. Windows and iOS are certainly capable of bit perfect playback they just require a little more adjusting to get things exactly right.

    I am not telling you guys how to spend your money, this is just information for you. If either of you buy one of the two servers I will be very interested in your review.

    I think Mike T. is off to good start with the Mac Mini and Roon. I have never used or heard either of them but I have heard good things from peeps on this website.

    FYI, my set up listed below can play everything that the Aurender can play at less than 1/10th the price. I am just limited by my DAC which doesn't do DSD or go over 24/192. Both PCs I use for the server and player are about 10 years old. I like separating them but it is no longer necessary to do so.

    Good luck with search. I think you will find having a digital front end very satisfying. :jump:
  4. sfseay

    sfseay Active Member

    Sarasota, FL
    I just purchased the Aurender N100H and like it better than my Sony HAPZ1. I ran the HAPZ1 through my Auralic Vega via USB and have the Aurender connected the same way. The Aurender just sounds better. More open and better in the mids and and airier highs. Tighter bass too. I’m kind of surprised. I guess the HAPZ1 goes into the office system and my Sony HAPS1in the office goes on eBay or Audiogon.

    **** UPDATE ****
    I have had the Aurender on trial loan from a local dealer. It is a trade in so the price seemed right. After using the Aurender N100 for a few days I’m sticking with the HAP. I don’t like the fact the Aurender doesn’t have an IR input, the Aurender iPad app is poorly designed compared to the Sony iPad app, it doesn’t have an iPhone app, and as I have listened longer I hear no difference when they are both connected to my DAC. I upgraded the HDD in the Sony to 2TB so the storage is the same. The Sony won’t stream from a NAS, but I’m happy with using the hard drive. I like using my Harmony remote and starting up my system, hitting play and having the HAP start playing music. You can’t do that with the N100.

    I don’t want to open an app on my iPad every time I want to play music.

    **** UPDATE TWO ***
    After giving the Aurender back to my local dealer I purchased it from him this week. I figured I needed a backup as the Sony Hap stopped playing out of the USB this past weekend. I got a really good price on the Aurender as it was a trade in but in like new condition. After letting the HAP sit for 30 minutes unplugged it is working again, but the Aurender is playing through the USB port on the Vega now and sounds great. Why do I keep,spending money on more audio gear! I need help!!!
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  5. FauxHall

    FauxHall Super Member

    Abu Dhabi, UAE
    I'm very happy with both of my Sonys. For the HAP-Z1-ES, it's DAC converts all files up to double DSD before conversation to analog during playback. I think I hear improvement on Redbook files I've ripped. The lesser HAP-S1 has a nice trick of copying files directly from a CD transport or player via a USB port.

    I have occasional problems with album recognition but that could be source or PC issues.

    Love them both.


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