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There is a streamer for every budget. You may also decide what you want that streamer to do. Do you want it to be a Roon core or a Roon endpoint? Maybe you don’t care about Roon at all. What about High Res or MQA? Can you control it via an app? What’s the app like? Do you need to buy it new or is it available on the secondary market?
Having said all that, on the low end is a Sonos Connect. Up from there is a BluSound Node 2i. I have both. The Node 2i is definitely better to me than the Sonos. But they are both Roon endpoints, which is important to me because I eventually want to subscribe to Roon.
But you need a Roon core. There are other choices of streamers that also serve as Roon cores. There is of course, the Roon Nucleus or Nucleus+, Innuos Zen, Zenith and Statement unit’s, Wolf and others.
So figure out what you want your streamer to do, what capabilities it should have, and what price range you want to be in.
Had the Node 2 and the Node 2i. For a fraction of the price and better sound (imo) get a Klipsch Gate for $30 bucks off Amazon or for $150 get the Power Gate which is a streamer and integrated amp utilizing class d hypex modules. I dont use the amp section but I do like the added features like Bluetooth, sub out, analog inputs as well as usb and optical.
For the money and the return policy it’s worth a shot.
I replaced my Oppo 205 with the Cocktail Audio X45. I could not be more pleased with both the sound and functionally of X45. The feature rich component is simply incredible.
Its a High-resolution Audio Player and DAC, which is featured by Dual Sabre³² Reference DAC chips built-in, CD Ripper, Music Server, Network Streamer, Music Recorder, and much more. More info at:
I could not be happier.
Iuse this with an iPad. It has a coax output. I run it thru a Accuphase DP-55 DAC in my cd player. Down load the apps and stream Bluetooth. Takes some time. it comes from China
I personally use a Naim NDX, which is a streamer/DAC. I only use the streaming portion as I have an MSB Analog DAC. It works flawlessly, has a great DAC of its own, and IMHO, the free Naim streaming app is superior to Roon is several ways. First, no Roon fees or Roon core required, so no $120/yr. Second, the Naim app works glitch free, and although it is not as comprehensive as Roon, it provides a lot of nice write-ups on albums. Third, sound quality seems the same. Fourth, I find it easier to locate the album that I want to listen to than Roon, as the albums are displayed in an alphabetical list by artist, as you have set up in your folder. Fifth, works like a charm with my server, so no special maneuvers are required, unlike Roon. Sixth, there is no drain on resources on the computer, unlike Roon, which must be running 24/7 in the background. So, bottom line, the Naim is an excellent streamer and the control app is excellent!
Please get a LUMIN A1- you will not believe the sound quality - stream Tidal and download any MQA music file! I use the Apple interface to control the LUMIN. It is very user friendly. I recommend Diana Krall, Judy Collins , any vocal you like. The resolution , sound stage, high end - thru my Magnepans is unbelievable!! Vinyl and CDs are in big trouble. Streaming has reached a level using MQA that is amazing - and LUMIN is top of the line in delivering this quality to the home audiophile.
Hard to beat the Chromecast Audio .
Using Bubbleupnp on android not only will it stream from Qobuz, Tidal, Spotify, Deezer etc but it will also stream ANY music you have stored on a NAS on the same network.
Yes Google discontinued them early this year but still plenty of new ones on eBay between $35 and $45.
Mine cost $40 shipped and no matter what you might read it WILL stream 24/192.
I use a 3.5mm to Toslink and feed it into a DAC. If you do not have a DAC you can use a 3.5mm to dual stereo RCA cable. Both work perfectly well.