"What's the difference between the AURALiC, Lumin and Innuos streamers you carry?" "Which one sounds best" or "Which do you recommend." Those are questions I receive often. So often in fact that I have decided to lay out some of the features and advantages of all three brands so the next time someone asks, I can point them here. First let's start with a brief rundown of each brand. NOTE: This table presents very general information, as all of the manufacturers make several models with different capabilities. Please look at a specific model's web page for more detailed information.
Auralic has done some remarkable, and confusing things with their line of streamers. Remarkable in what they have done for the money, confusing in the feature sets they chose for the DACs. They have the Aries G1 and Aries G2 dedicated streamers, as well as the Vega G2 DAC/Streamer. Think of the Aries as streamer only, and think of the Vega G1 and Vega G2 as DACs first, with a built-in streamer as a feature. The streamers in the Vega series are not of the same quality that the Aries dedicated streamers are. That's not saying they aren't good, just not as good. I think the logic here was to provide a less painful upgrade path for buyers. Auralic thought customers would buy a Vega DAC first, then add the streamer later.
Auralic could be characterized as the most neutral sounding of the streamers. A bit less 3D however as well. Tonal colors are a touch lighter and less dense than the Innuos. Still a fantastic streamer that will crush any laptop or mac mini. It would mate very well with a tube DAC, preamplifier or tube amps.
Innuos is a newcomer to the streaming scene, but boy have they made great impressions with customers and reviewers. The ability to be a server, streamer, ripping and music storage solution in one box (except for the Statement's two box chassis) makes for easy setup and stable operation.
Their product offerings cover the range from high end entry level with the Zen Minis to, well, statment products like the Innuos Zenith Statement. We think the value point in the line is the Zenith MK III.
The Innuos is very musical and rich in tone and image density. It creates a very 3D sounstage and resolves fine detail really well.
Lumin has been making streamers longer than either AURALiC or Innuos. They are a mature product line, and that maturity comes through in their ease of setup, stability, and their control app. The models with built-in DACs have a reputation for a resolving, and yet smooth sound.
The entry level begins with the Lumin D2. From there you have options for streamers with outboard power supplies and a billet aluminum chassis in the Lumin A1, or the same model with a less expensive chassis in the Lumin T1. The Lumin U1 is their streamer platform with no built-in DAC. The U1 Mini is the same streamer platform minus the CNC machined chassis.
The Lumin streamers are well known for a slightly more forgiving, warmer, softer sound. This can be a very good thing in an all solid state system or with speakers that are very revealing and unforgiving.
We hope you find this information helpful. As always, look at individual product pages for more specific information pertaining to each model of music streamer, and give us a call if you want to chat with a human about any of the streamers we offer. 303-653-6341