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Your CD Collection At Your Fingertips (2020 Updated)

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Our Verdict on the Brennan B2

Brennan is one of those high-end audio company that attracts a huge amount of acclaim for their products, and after testing the B2, I can see why.

The Brennan B2 isn’t for everyone. It’s a high-end audio device that delivers exceptional sound quality. But first and foremost, the B2 is the best execution of a simple idea that answers a real problem: easily access your entire CD collection at the touch of a button.

The B2 can play your CDs and connect with your Sonos installation. It can also stream internet radio and YouTube audio if you want. But where the Brennan B2 really shines is when it comes to copying your entire CD collection to its hard drive. If you have a large CD collection that’s just sitting on a shelf, the B2 will be perfect for you.

Continue reading to see why the B2 is the best CD ripping machine that we’ve tested.

Our Rating: 9.5 / 10

Price: Check on Amazon

Brennan B2 Review CD player ripping - Luxe Digital

Summary

WE LIKE

  • Sublime sound quality.
  • Very easy to use.
  • Elegant and sturdy design.
  • Creates high-resolution copies of your CDs in just a few minutes.
  • Automatically assigns artist, track, and album.
  • Goes the extra mile with a range of extra features.

WE DON’T LIKE

  • Need to connect to the B2 with a browser instead of a dedicated app.

WHO IS IT FOR

  • We recommend the Brennan B2 to people with a large CD collection that needs to be digitalised. It’s a great CD ripper that delivers superb sound quality and packs a range of helpful features. But you should look elsewhere if you want a simple audio power amplifier.

ALTERNATIVES

  • If you just want the best music player available on the market today, check the Naim Uniti Atom instead. The Uniti Atom is a beautiful multi-source music player that packs an amazing sound quality. With a 40-watt integrated amplifier and high-resolution music streaming capabilities, the Naim will fill your home with stunning high-fidelity sound.
  • If you’re looking for a CD ripper with similar capabilities but a more modern look, the Bluesound Vault 2i is your best option. It also comes with a 2TB hard drive but supports more audio formats and can connect to Apple devices via Airplay 2.
Brennan B2 Review CD ripping - Luxe Digital

Our Hands-on Review of the Brennan B2: A Must-Have For Discerning Audiophiles

Over the years, I have accumulated a large collection of CDs. Some are unique editions not available on Spotify or Apple Music. Others are available on streaming services but heavily compressed in MP3 format with lower sound quality. I love my CD collection. And I rarely ever listen to it anymore.

The Brennan B2 is the best execution of a simple idea that answers a real problem: easily access your entire CD collection at the touch of a button.

Listening to CDs just isn’t a compelling proposition when streaming services can deliver thousands of hours of music at your fingertips.

That is, until I discovered the Brennan B2.

As I said in my introduction, the B2 isn’t for everyone. It’s probably a good solution only for a small number of people. But if you’re like me and are the proud owner of a rich collection of CDs, you will absolutely love the B2!

What is the Brennan B2 good for?

Simply put, the B2 is a CD player and ripper. You can copy all the songs from your CD collection onto the B2’s internal memory. With a 2 terabyte capacity, the B2 can store 5,000 CDs in high-resolution, uncompressed FLAC audio format (Free Lossless Audio Codec).

That’s the exact same quality than your original CD collection. Not the lower resolution MP3 audio you get from online streaming services.

If you have a serious sound system at home (we recommend the SVS Prime Tower Speaker if you want floor standing speakers or the gorgeous Orb Audio if you want a surround sound system), then maintaining high-resolution audio makes perfect sense. Your sound quality will only be as good as the weakest component in your system. Playing MP3 files on premium speakers is like driving an Aston Martin in first gear.

Brennan B2 Review input and output - Luxe Digital

Why is the Brennan B2 such a good system?

I’ve spent the last few weekends moving over my CD collection to the B2’s hard drive. And what a joy this has been.

See, the B2 was built for that purpose. Insert your CD in the player. Press the copy button. And that’s it. In just a few minutes, your CD will be copied over to the B2’s hard drive in full resolution.

On average, you can count about 6 minutes of ripping time for an 80 minutes CD. If you want the file in high-quality FLAC, it will take a little longer while the system converts it in the background.

But it doesn’t stop there. Under the hood, the Brennan B2 is a small Raspberry Pi Linux computer that comes preloaded with over 3.2 million CDs information. So it will be able to automatically identify and name the artist, album, and track that you copy.

If you connect your Brennan B2 to the internet, it will sync its database and search for additional information to help you neatly organise your entire music collection. It’s brilliant!

You can also enter and edit album’s information manually if you want, of course. But I never had to do it once. And I’ve burned over 100 albums by now.

The B2 onboard computer is powerful enough to let you listen to music from its hard drive while you’re ripping a CD at the same time.

Brennan B2 Review CD player internet - Luxe Digital
Setting up the Brennan B2 to connect to the Internet

Other interesting features of the Brennan B2 audio system

Beyond backing up your entire CD library onto its hard drive, the B2 can also play internet radio (over 40,000 stations are supported), back up your collection on external hard drives or your computer via USB, and play high-resolution music over Bluetooth, HDMI, or Optical SPDIF.

The Brennan B2 can also be accessed via your web browser if you want. Once connected to your network, the B2 will display a unique IP address. Just type that address in your browser and you’ll get access to your entire music library. You can create playlists, rip CDs, and organise your collection.

Brennan B2 Review CD library desktop - Luxe Digital
The desktop view when connecting to your Brennan B2 via a browser

We wish the B2 came with a dedicated app instead of the browser interface. It’s a bit cumbersome to navigate on a small screen. But it does the job.

You can, of course, also connect to your B2 via your mobile phone or tablet to do the same thing.

Brennan B2 Review mobile app - Luxe Digital
Connecting to the B2 with Android

When connected via Bluetooth, you can also stream music from Spotify or Apple Music from your phone or tablet.

And when the B2 is connected to the internet, it can also play music freely available on YouTube. That’s a brilliant little feature considering the immense library of music hosted on YouTube.

Here’s a video from the creator of the B2, Martin Brennan, giving a tour of all the features:

In conclusion: Is the Brennan B2 right for you?

You could do everything that the B2 does on a cheap laptop. But it wouldn’t be as easy, quick and elegant.

The Brennan B2 is for the audiophile who wants a simple and refined solution to digitalise an entire CD collection. Just press a button and all your music will be copied over and labelled automatically.

It’s also a solid and stylish little box that won’t look out of place on a bookshelf in your living room. And that’s a lot more than you could say from a cheap laptop.

Brennan B2 Review iPad streaming - Luxe Digital
Connecting to the B2 with the iPad

Brennan B2: What’s in the box

Wondering what’s in the box? Here’s everything that will be included in the Brennan B2 package on Amazon:

  • 1 x Brennan B2 main unit
  • 1 x power cable
  • 1 x remote control
  • 1 x USB dongle
Brennan B2 Review CD player connections - Luxe Digital
The back of the Brennan B2 and its range of input and output connections

Brennan B2 Price

Check the latest price for the Brennan B2 on Amazon. That’s the best deal that we’ve seen online.

Alternative Options

  • If you just want the best music player available on the market today, check the Naim Uniti Atom instead. The Uniti Atom is a beautiful multi-source music player that packs an amazing sound quality. With a 40-watt integrated amplifier and high-resolution music streaming capabilities, the Naim will fill your home with stunning high-fidelity sound.
  • If you’re looking for a CD ripper with similar capabilities but a more modern look, the Bluesound Vault 2i is your best option. It also comes with a 2TB hard drive but supports more audio formats and can connect to Apple devices via Airplay 2.

Brennan B2: Technical Information

CAPACITY:

  • 5,000 CDs as high-quality FLAC files.
  • 10,000 CDs as compressed MP3 files.

AMPLIFIER:

  • Total 15W+15W RMS TPA3110 power amplifier.

INTERNET RADIO:

  • Over 40,000 radio stations.

CONNECTIVITY:

  • Bluetooth In: play music from your phone or tablet on the B2.
  • Bluetooth Out: play B2 through your Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
  • HDMI Out: play music through your TV or Home Cinema speakers.
  • Two USB 2.0 Hi-Speed 480 Mb/sec ports used by the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth dongles but can be expanded using a USB hub).
  • Optical SPDIF output (shares connector with the line out jack).
  • Rear connectors: loudspeakers, line-in, SPDIF/line out, USBx2, 24V DC.

DISPLAY:

  • 256 x 64 soft scrolling graphic white OLED display.

ACCESSORIES:

  • Power supply / AC adaptor: supports 110V to 240V power input.
  • 32-key remote control.

DIMENSIONS:

WEIGHT:

  • 2.65 lbs – aluminium construction

Brennan B2 Manual and User Guide

You can download the Brennan B2 quick start guide here and the user manual here. You’ll also find them within the B2 box.

About Brennan

The Brennan company was founded by British engineer Martin Brennan. He is a computer engineer who developed pioneering personal computers such as the Loki and the Atari Jaguar video game console.

You can learn more about the B2 and the Brennan brand on their official website.

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