...are interesting me currently. To wit, the MicroRendu, and the SOtM SMS-200.
Wossat den? They are similar devices in many ways. The inspiration seems to have come about via Raspberry pi, or at least they are of the same ilk (The MicroRendu is actually available on the cheap, in modded Pi form - just to show the similarities). They all run linux operating systems and accept ethernet (RJ45) input in order to connect to your home network, as well as extra USB ports for external USB drives. They output via audio optimized USB ports to a DAC of your choice.
They are controlled via computer/smartphone/tablet and a music player (a very similar player with shared open source genesis for each machine). They are Roon capable, Squeezebox ready, UPnP, DNLA, blah blah blah... everything basically.
In other words, they do what a very well optimised Raspberry pi does, with the added benefits of:
- bespoke software
- custom hardware
- audio optimised and isolated USB output
- super accurate audiophile-y clocking
- custom made audio only circuit boards, rather than a whole RaspyPi
Does that make some sense? Music only renderers with custom designed hardware and software. You either feed them from a computer of some sort, the cloud, or directly from your NAS.
Behold, the SOtM (Soul Of the Music) SMS-200.
The mighty Sonore MicroRendu.
These look interesting, no? Perhaps the beginning of a new approach to computer audio and it's interface with our HiFi, as well as higher than ever sound quality and jump in simplicity. I will, when not feeling so lazy, investigate further. The MicroRendu has better specs and is approximately £650. The SMS-200 has very decent specs but inferior, yet usually wins out in comparative reviews. This is approximately £450.
Expensive Pi... What do you think?