If you want to get berried, Volumio
19 responses Add your response
Ok so if you don’t want to program and use a noisy little mini computer ( like a raspberry pi ) -based thingamajig, here are some options to consider:
Sonos speakers and dacs are absolute crap but I’ve heard their streamer with your exact dac and it sounded really good. So, good software and digital out if you’re not too embarrassed to have a Sonos app on your phone and their gizmo in your house ...
Software is questionable. Playback NOT lossless. But you may not care. Good if you want to network or attach a hard drive for indexation.
This isn’t out quite yet (it’s overdue) but looks promising. Gapless. Hook up a hard drive. Haven’t ever used their really complicated software but reviewers say it’s good.
4. Other. Used auralic(won’t work amazonmusicHD if you care), Amazon Echo Link (cheap but sq is said by reviewers to be lacking), Arcam (discontinued). There are others.
In addition to wifi circuit quality, software is key: I do not agree that BlueOS is acceptable. I think it’s crap, like their cheap BlueSound hardware, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Moreover, it won’t index a hard drive. Talk about engineering to a price - There are any number of sub $100 or even sub-$50 more reliable wireless gizmos out there with better dacs in them than the node 2i.
Hard drive connectivity and indexing may or not be important to you. Ethernet connectivity may or may not be either. But you might bear these things in mind.
You may be able to find a Bryston BDP-2 for around $1K used. This is definitely a step up from the Node 2i if you are feeding an external DAC and are running Roon. I've got a BDP-2, as well as several Node 2is which I use for different zones around the house.
I don't think the Bryston software is as good as BlueOS if you are relying on this to control your music, but the Roon support works great. The BDP-2 also has AES/EBU which works better than SPDIF and USB for many DACs (don't know about the benchmark).
spirit of radio,
You wrote, “I do not agree that BlueOS is acceptable. I think it’s crap, like their cheap BlueSound hardware, and they should be ashamed of themselves. Moreover, it won’t index a hard drive. Talk about engineering to a price - There are any number of sub $100 or even sub-$50 more reliable wireless gizmos out there with better dacs in them than the node 2i.”
I’m interested to hear why you feel this way? I don’t want to presume, but your strong opinions would imply that you have some expertise in this area. I do not question that. Just want you to explain a bit more?
Another option in your budget is Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra, $850. Very good reviews from HB and Darko.
Guess I will throw the best ( IMHO) sub $100 option out into the room. Although a friend said prices have risen of late on eBay but still....
Google Chromecast Audio.
Sadly discontinued but no idea why.
Hockey puck size but streams up to 24/96 very reliably.
I have two of them.
Google Home makes setup a breeze.
Control with bubbleupnp.
Sound really really good to my ears.