Need recommendations for a streamer

I would like to upgrade from a Bluesound Node to a higher quality streamer.


The Node sounds fine with my current system, but I am making a second system for my wife, and the Node is going to that new system. I thought I would take the opportunity to upgrade my streamer at this time.


My criteria are that it be a streamer only (no DAC/storage/CD player, etc), be able to hook into wi-fi/cloud without a physical wire/connection, have balanced outputs to go to my DAC, and cost less than 2,500 USD. Can anybody think of a streamer that fits this bill?


The rest of my system:

DAC: Terminator II

Preamp: Schiit Freya+

Amps: PS Audio M1200 x 2

Speakers: Thiel CS 2.3




Indeed, what clock in what component is best suited. Which power supply is best equipped to reject noise. Everything matters. Ive tried to minimize steps and where there is a component necessary I try to buy the best available within a certain price band. High quality cables…power supplies…all within the realities of my listening environment.

@badgerdms to get back to your question I used MacBook Pro prior to my Bricasti M5. Mac sounded very good but Bricasti was much improved.
Prior = Mesh Router-Fmc-Optical cable- Fmc- MacBook- AQ Jitterbug- AQ Coffee Usb- Dac

Now=  Mesh Router- Fmc- Optical cable- Fmc- M5- AQ Coffee usb- Dac

Adding a good quality dual outlet LPS to the Fmc’s added noticeable improvement as well.


You have a truly outstanding DAC in the Sim 680D.  It compares quite well with anything near it’s price range in my view. However, If you want to take it’s performance to an even higher level, try auditioning it with an outboard streamer (obviously well above something like the Node 2 and the like).  I took my Auralic Aries G2 to a Sim dealer and we did this exact comparison.  Even the dealer (doesn’t sell Auralic) had to admit that it very substantially improved things.  That experience was enlightening to me. 


Pre-owned BRYSTON as a prime choice.

Sure …. Budgets ALWAYS matter big time ..,, BUT ….You do not have to buy new,

You start gettting stepped-up audio performance improvement delineation at an approx.> $3000-and- up MSRP price-point . That’s where their superior parts, and their high-end performance linear power supplies (either built-in or external) and their top-end build quality manifests itself. And it exhibits itself further in that they offer later high trade-in / upgrade values )

(Hint: it’s the budget and mid level models that form the huge chunk of the forum audio performance warts and perceived further upgrading wants)

I am also looking for streamer to hook up to my Esoteric K-03XD dac. I bet usb is the best connection than digital Coaxial and Optical. Am I correct? 

I am looking at " LUMIN U2 Mini Digital Transport/Streamer cost abt US$2000" and the "Ifi Zen Stream with its  iPower Elite cost abt US$700" 

Both are great products. Ifi Zen with its 
 iPower Elite / other LPS will give a better sounding streamer than without. I dont know how it compares to the amazing Lumin U2 which is a new product from Lumin replac the U1. 

I read several reports of users having problems using the Ifi Zen streamer. The properietory softwares is unstable. 
Any read or encounter such? 

Basically I wld want this streamer to connect to my K-03XD dac to stream Tidal and also from my NAS. 

Any input on those 2 is greatly appreciated.