- 21 posts total
- 21 posts total
I am seeing how iFi's software makes this unit difficult for current audiophile uses. I never plan to tie in a library of my own music or access internet radio, which would require that I use iFi's application via web browser. I don't want to ever use a web browser. Too painful. And even if iFi had a dedicated phone app, I wouldn't use it.
My goal is to build a stereo system to be as convenient as a smart speaker as possible. To that end, I wanted a streamer that always stays on that I can cast to via Spotify Connect, AirPlay, and Chromecast--to be able to play directly from Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and Youtube Music. That's it. I control volume from my music app or from the remote of the downstream pre-amp.
For users who don't want to buy Roon, and who want a good meta-app from their streamer, I can understand the appeal in Bluesound/NAD and Lumin.
But I believe that many audiophiles will change over the next few years now that the big consumer services have added CD quality/+ files, even if audiophiles don't realize it yet. Tidal and Qobuz are clunky compared to Spotify and Apple Music. Audiophiles will appreciate the better content curation, music indexing, search engine, etc. And because Spotify and Apple Music require users to remain within their apps, audiophiles will find that they remain within those apps rather than search separate apps to access internet radio or their locally hosted library. When audiophiles switch to the major streaming services (it's just a matter of time), the applications from streamer manufacturers won't be as important. That's my take on the future, and I'm building for that future now.
I just bought the ifi Stream as the reviews have been very good, it arrived last week.
I am very pleased with it, a big step-up from my very inexpensive Dayton Audio streamer it replaced.
I do not stream a lot, nor other digital sources; my listing is mostly vinyl. But I can say this iFi Stream has increased my enjoyment of streaming a lot in a very short time. I don’t feel the need for an ’all in one’ streaming unit with a DAC, software, and a server built-in, so a stand alone streamer does not limit me at all. Others requirements may be different. Most all my streaming is via Tidal, and with ’Tidal Connect’ built-into the unit it has increased SQ by a large amount. Why? Because prior I was streaming via my iPad to an inexpensive streamer, so in essence, was limited by iOS and AirPlay (and the streamers limitations I'm sure). Now, the iPad is simply a remote/interface, and the iFi Stream does all the implementation of the stream directly, and is much more capable than AirPlay. I didn’t realize my streaming experience was so poor prior. Could I get Roon to be a better solution? Yes, it is Roon compatible, but right now I see no need for the software or the expense.
My iFi Stream is connected to my Denafrips Aries II DAC via an XLO UltraPlus USB cable. I also do have a remote hard drive ’server’ that can be accessed wirelessly via DLNA. This holds all my ripped CD’s, and there are many DLNA programs that can access the drive via my iPhone or iPad. I believe I can also connect the hard drive directly to the iFi Stream (as it has a USB in) but have not tried that yet.
So, I’m good. It does exactly what I wanted it to do; increase the SQ of my streaming experience when used. I am now more likely to seriously stream music than ever before. Which before was just to check out selections I was unfamiliar with, before buying the vinyl.
New to streaming, and am looking for some tech knowledge. I replaced the Yamaha WXC-50 streamer with the Ifi Zen Stream. I am using the dac in my McIntosh MA5300. The Mac display always shows 44.1 Khz while internet radio shows much higher broadcast speeds. Is this due to my internet speed being too slow at 23 meg? Thank You!