Possible partners on the streaming dance floor which integrate with the Lindemann app remain unchanged. There's evergreen Spotify including Connect and Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz and Highresaudio. Tidal Connect is already on the map and will be added shortly. Internet radio and podcasts en masse are at hand with Airable Service. Virtually essential for a modern audiophile network player is Roon Ready certification which the Network II ticks off to exploit that popular ecosystem and integrate with complex multi-room systems with non-Lindemann gear. Bluetooth remains the 4.2 standard of the A2DP format which is fluent in SBC and AAC to suffice for quick 'n' easy connection to smartphones.

With Denon AH-D7200 and Meier Audio Corda Classic.

The wall wart remains the same 'medical-grade' affair as the predecessor's to guarantee effective isolation from the AC mains down to 10µV of noise. Theoretically one might look at 3rd-party linear supplies for an upgrade path but in the owner's manual, Lindemann are super strict that only the included PSU may be used. My sonic comments used a wired router connection, source was a Roon Nucleus with Western Digital Blue SSD and Qobuz high-rez subscription streaming via Roon. LAN wiring was compliments of AudioQuest Vodka. I disabled all sonic alterations in Roon and the Network II. I only tried the USB and Bluetooth paths peripherally since nothing here changed from the first Network. I was most curious about the heart transplant of ESS chip and had certain expectations because the original had impressed me with its dynamic robust sound.

A few words about the oversampling filters first. Their action is subtle but audible. I preferred the 'linear phase fast roll-off' filter which for my taste and system offered the best combination of directness, clarity, resolution, color and luster. The 'minimum phase slow roll-off' was darker, its impulse response softer, 'brickwall' too narrow, static and mechanical. Listening to tunes, the N°2 network player indeed eclipsed N°1 although differently than expected.

First novelty was being more mild-mannered. This was predominantly from no longer headlining still very good macrodynamics but embedding them better balanced. Microdynamic nuance felt higher, detail in the mids and highs clearer. I heard more information and more consistent musicality. This no longer was a high-revving half-power 4-cylinder turbo with twin clutch but an inline six with automatic transmission. I heard the Network II as fundamentally more natural, flowing and… well, 'analog' if that's allowed in this context.

In the bass, Network II went low and with pressure and energy like before. But I did think that the rapid impulses and double-bass/drum workout of Morbid Angel's "Blessed are the sick" separated a touch better. This impression might have been due to marginally slimmer bass textures. It's another reason why the successor no longer shared the mild preference for fulsome vocals. Hence on "Danny Boy" from Jacintha's Here's to Ben and Jarvis Cocker on his Room 29 album, voices were more neutral, open and a bit better articulated.