I use an Ayre Codex DAC with my Bluesound Node (first version).
The Bluesound DAC isn't bad, but it isn't great. Using the Ayre Codex gives me the best of both worlds.
Are you playing through speakers or headphones?
Through speakers, a set of Genesis APM -1. I will read about the Ayre. Thank you.
What output do you use between Node and Codex? The only way on Node 2 to a Codex Optical. Thanks.
I have a Cambridge Audio 851N streamer and before that a Cambridge CXN. Readily available new and used starting about $600. They are designed to stream Spotify and are controlled via IPAD or tablet. They extract the best sound from the Spotify stream. They have excellent reviews, are very well built. I have had mine for more than a year and love it.
Yup, I use an optical cable from the Node to the Ayre, Balanced to the amp (AX-7e).
I was using a Schiit Gungnir (non-multibit). The Schiit was good, the Ayre was better. I may opt to upgrade the Gungy in the future.
BTW, Arthurd, I feel that DAC's and streamers have a long way to go, so I buy the best sounding units, from companies that offer future upgrades. In my opinion, I consider the fact that technology will be render many of these products obsolete after a year or two. So, spending more than $2-3K on such devices is not the way to go. (Actually, I buy used, so I save a bit more).
I'm not one to spend great sums on digital either. It changes way to fast. Would like to try an Ayre Codex with optical to my Node 2. Although I would lose the MQA. If that is important or not....
gdnrbob- you have a killer combo there. The BS Node and the Ayer Codex must sound fantastic. For the OP, yeah that would work great for Spotify but Tidal or any other streaming service that allows for hi-res music will sound stunning out of gdnrbob's pairing of components. Currently, I just happen to like some select MQA masters albums on Tidal.
Sonos has great user interface. Spotify sound quality is poor so not worth spending more. If you were to use Tidal that would change things
The Node 2 would be an excellent low cost starting point for you. It has a very good high speed processor and a decent built-in DAC. If you're willing to spend more, the Cambridge Audio 851N would be a good upgrade. I currently have one in my main system and am enjoying it. It's internal DAC is a definite upgrade from the Node 2 and it can double as a very good digital pre-amp which may be an upgrade over your current preamp, as long as you don't need any analog inputs for CD, tuner or turntable.
Use DTSPlayFi for Spotify, or use Tidal. The Internal DAC is okay, not the best. When paired up with a really nice DAC, sounds really good. Super easy to use. Nice and compact. Not the cheapest by any means. Nice build quality. Pairs well with the Arcam irDAC, or irDAC-II or go for a higher end DAC and it can sound very nice with Spotify Premium.
I use a Denon HEOS Link to stream Spotify, and use its digital output to drive an external DAC. The internal DAC in the HEOS Link is pretty decent too.
As for the best player for Spotify, there is a source page for your refernence: Top best portable player for Spotify
If the best player you'd like to use to play Spotify music and playlists is not compatible with Spotify, please don't worry, you can use Spotify Converter
to convert Spotify songs to any player compatible audio files, like MP3. So just use your media player to play Spotify now without problem. Have fun.