NAS vs external Drive vs. external USB drive

Hi, community,
considering ARIES G1, and wondering which type of connection to music library, regardless size of storage, will have best SQ? DAC is original VEGA via USB and/ or AES.


For me NAS will be the more convenient, better in SQ, and faster to copy music. You can have a RAID system to avoid some mess of a disk goes wrong. And you can increase you storage space easier (with a 4 bay NAS).

USB disk tends to draw some power in the streamer part, and copy file to the disk is slower than the nas. And if you usb drive or disk failed, you do not have music anymore (if you do not have backup strategy of course).

With a nas you can survive with a failed drive (if RAID is level 1 or 5) and you can easily set up backup strategy to another NAS, or USB drive connected to the NAS, or the public cloud for eg.

I will go with a NAS and WiFi with the Aries G1. Depends of your budget and time too :slight_smile:

You can start with an external disk in a case and later reuse this disk in a NAS.

To make things easier to understand for jaiello : NAS SOUNDS BETTER :yum: and it can be more convenient.
And it will depends if you are using WiFi or Ethernet.

1 Like

@deuch He asked which storage method will produce the best sound quality. You gave an academic answer but did not answer the actual question. Why do you persist in answering every question on this forum? You don’t seem to get many correct. Unbelievable.

1 Like

Found this from the man himself, might party answer your question but not sure which Aries and if there are any differences between the models.

Regarding difference between storage drives.

As to whether SSD or HDD is better I’m personally uncertain, may be the lack of moving parts might give the former an edge, but someone else might comment from experience.

Lastly, found this.

Hope some of this helps.


Fantastic response. Now that’s how to answer a question. Well done.

1 Like

Incredible, my answer is the same than SiHancox and official support Auralic … even USB drawing to much power. Learn to read man …

I answer for convinience and quality. Auralic always stated that WiFi and NAS provide better sound … exactly what i said.
But it’s true that I do not mention explicitely sound quality. I thought it was obvious but it seems not. I edit my post.

And sorry man, but I think that you do not understand what a community forum means …

Not sure too for the difference of mechanical or SSD. Maybe SSD provide less electrical noise in the Ethernet cable so it might help. But i’m not sure of the magnitude of the impact of the sound quality.

Thanks for the these informative links.

I’ve read on other forums it may simply come down to personal taste to which is preferable, some say SSD can sound a little more clinical, whatever that means (takes me back to the good old days of comparing analog to digital!).

@Xuanqian states SSD should be better due to less noise (as you also say) and less vibration, which I must say sounds logical.

But like you, how great is the difference and can I tell, not really sure. The big one for me is reliability, and SSD has that won in my opinion and that’s why I stuck one in my Mini.

If the SDD is placed in the streamer, impact on SQ can be bigger for sure. In a NAS not so sure :yum: but it can too ! It’s not an exact science and it depends of your network topology.

But I think that generally NAS will be better because the streamer processes do less thing (no disk to handle for eg), less noise, RFI, EMI …

I’m new to streaming so learning as I go, but it seems to me it’s like other aspects of hifi, in that it may come down to “managing” a series of compromises.

Having the drive close to (or inside) the streamer no doubt introduces some issues but it does reduce signal or data path to the minimum.

Placing same drive in a remote unit (NAS) physically isolates it from streamer but then the methods of conveying the signal or data and how long that link is may introduce altogether new issues.

Then there’s the type of materials and/or products used, and how it’s all linked together which can make the above either worse or better.

It’s enough to keep one busy a lifetime :grin:

Even two :slight_smile:

English must not be your primary language if you think your non-answer is the same as the one provided by SiHancox. I see now that you edited your post to add the correct answer. Well done after the fact.

Yes English is not my primary language, but I try to improve it !

1 Like

I think you’ll get the best SQ from an external SSD drive connected to your router over a USB cable.

Do you have an idea of the size of your library ? If you have more than 4TB, SSD will be a complicated choice in only one USB box connected to USB.

As you can see there is no single right answer or else we would all be doing the same thing. Everything in this hobby is all dependent on your own equipment and ears. I personally do the wireless method connecting my Router to my Aries Femto. My Aries is connected via AES/ to my Vega. My storage is a 2 TB SSD Atom drive by Glyph which is connected via Thunderbolt 3 to my Mac Mini. My Mac Mini is connected via ethernet to a switch which is connected to my router. I use the Mac Mini as a wireless network computer for my Roon server and my personal Movies that I stream.

thanks and agree your comment.
Different goal/ expectation individually, with different as-is environment may requires different approach/ architecture design.

1 Like

Do not forget of the backup of your music if you have only one drive :yum: loosing everything can be painful !

1 Like

I gave you a very short answer, but allow me add it has little to with your ear. Your goal, in terms of SQ – which is the crux of your question – is to minimize jitter and phase noise. A SSD drive connected to your router does just that, or so I believe.