Anyone Tried the Brennan B2?

one of the cool features I’ve noticed is that it allows you to cache audio ripped from videos and still play the audio like all of it’s other audio without using your computer/computer off…
anyways if you’ve tried one whaddya think?


Huh, I have been eyeing these since last year. I think I am about to pull the trigger on getting one.
Same here anyone have any experience with the brennan media players ?

No not tried one, looked at it with more than passing interest a few times. I believe they have another model now too without a CD drive, but a USB one can be connected, IIRC they are based around Raspberry Pi.

What’s the point? How is it any different than just ripping and playing flac files on my PC in my media player?

very difficult without your computer, might be a good option for keeping a sample library away from your computer, nested along with your hardware setup

For the $500 that it costs I’d just buy an inexpensive laptop and used Scarlett 2i2, then you have a screen with an interface. This thing needs a computer or phone anyway to be able to use it so you might as well just have a little laptop sitting there.

My dad has one. He rates it. Small boutique operation I think.

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Is it FLAC only?
Anyway, I like the idea of these things, and have so since A&K made one just over 10 years ago, but as @Hawk writes its pretty easy to do this with an old laptop (that still has a CD/DVD drive!).
The reason I still havent invested in any of these for over a decade, is because Ive found it more convenient and affordable to just rip a CD and buy a high end mobile player that’ll work for more than 10 years (still using an A&K 320 which’ll last another 10) and have equivalent sound quality, and be way more mobile.

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it doesn’t need a computer or phone to use, it’s stand alone operable via the panel on it’s faceplate or via a tiny credit card looking remote…

but one of it’s options is that you can operate it over wifi via your computer and phone if you like

no iTunes to curse at. Which could be an advantage or a disadvantage.


looks like it might be nice to sit right between a digitakt and mpc or sp-404 with a blackbox right on top of it haha

Bought one a couple of years ago and it has worked well without any bugs or crashes.

I have a 500 GB HD in it. I had planned on upgrading to a 1 or 2 TB SSD. I have over 900 CDs and well over 100 GB remaining.

It is a luxury item but it is a different experience from using a computer to rip CD’s.

I like that I’m not turning on a computer and simply flipping the on switch and immediately loading in CD’s. Martin Brennan put the final version of the CDDB up on his website The Brennan immediately loads up the titles. If you need to add your own titles you can type them in using your computer. It works as an internet radio receiver. Sound output is versatile. It has RCA outs but it also has a 15/15 watt amp which sounds good Certainly enough for the typical room in a home. It can also output to a Sonos system or to a Bluetooth receiver although it is billed as a Bluetooth receiver only since implementation is a tad buggy.

The experience is that of a bespoke home stereo system and not of a device that happens to do many things.

I spent evenings with a small stack of CD’s and fed them in one at a time while reading a book or plucking away in my guitar.

It may be my most used gadget when at home. I’ll wander about the houses while using my phone to change albums. Very relaxing. And I am spending time listening to the far reaches of my music collection.


when you said you plan to upgrade, is the one you already have upgradeable or did you mean purchase another model?

Thanks for the write up.

I think for me the appeal of it vs ripping on my PC is convenience, can just leave it set up and do the odd CD every now and then. That and the standalone functionality.


Couldn’t agree with you more. I have one and love it. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t use it. Buy the optional BSP 50 speakers and it could serve as the only stereo system that would be necessary for a lot of folks.
If you enjoy the inconvenience of messing around with a computer and several other pieces of equipment, this isn’t for you.

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Brennan will typically offer the B2 in 3 storage capacities: SD card capable, a 480-500 GB drive or 2 TB. It’s common for owners to eventually upgrade their hard drives.

I had expected to upgrade mine by this point, from its current 500GB hard drive to a 1 or 2 TB solid state drive.

But I think it will be a long time if ever that I will need that extra capacity.

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thanks for the info, I wish those ports it has could access external ssd drives.

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I think it can. That was/is the basic means to backup from or download toward the internal memory. There should be an article on it in the Brennan UK site under faqs.

Another thing: it can connect to your WIFI and you can back up/upload files from your computer. I figured that out a little late in the day and since then have not backed up using an external drive since. This is the same tech that allows the Brennan’s to connect to Sonus speakers.

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That’s really expensive !
I’ve been using Slimserver (then renamed Squeezeserver then Logitech Media Server). I’ve had my server running on a sheevaplug continually for 12 years with no maintenance (was on an old pc before that).
I have a slimp3, two Touches and a Receiver. I also have 4 Raspberry Pis (which is what I mostly use now) with cheap DACs - the Behringer uca202 is pretty good - so each device is only about £40. I have one in a lot of the rooms of the house now - they can be clustered to play in groups in sync or separately. The Pi setup is trivial and the web interface (or ipad app interface) is easy to use. Much more cost effective than Brenna or Sonos… I can highly recommend it…

wait you’re saying that I could connect an external ssd drive with a music library on it and the B2 will read it?

man it’s getting to be very tempting… I emailed Brennan and they said there would be no Black Friday sale but it’s getting hard to resist