Suggestions for a streamer only (I have a great DAC)

I have a dCS Paganini DAC and Paganini Clock. I’m looking for a streamer only to pair with the Paganini to stream via Tidal.  That’s it, I don’t need a streamer/DAC/etc.  I don’t want to extra for pay for redundancy.  Any good suggestions on a streamer only  that you have paired to a high end DAC with good results would be appreciated. 


PLEASE no “try some at home on your system” responses …. that’s the reason I came here, for some recommendations. Price range $1500-$5000.




I thought dCS had their own streamer, no? Apparently not.

I have tried a few, of which I thought the Bricasti M5 and the Auralic Aries G1 were very good. I tried both at home, couldn't hear a difference, and bought the Auralic. I like it very much.

The similar Auralic Aries G2.1 is more costly (their top of the line), but it's unclear that it's better when used with a non-Auralic DAC.

Lots of other options but software is a partial driver of your choice.  The interface you want to use matters and then picking the device with that interface is best approach.  I use Roon so I am almost universally focused on a server/player solution.  I think this sounds best and find having a server as a buffer vs a very volatile internet will outperform the best standalone streamers that I have heard.  

Do you have a server?  What service do you want to stream?  Have you used any software that you liked?

If you are looking for a Roon or UPnP end-point, the Bricasti M5 is very good.  The best output is AES and it is a unit that sells extremely well for Bricasti.  This is not a standalone streamer.  You aren't going to play Tidal or Qobuzon it without software that talks to the device on your network.  

Another alternative that is a bit more feature rich is the Chord 2Go/2Yu.  I have been using one of these to connect to a lot of DACs.  The USB and Coax outputs are excellent.  The biggest challenge I have is getting my head around this little 4" x 4" x1" unit is doing all it does.  It does have wireless built in but sounds better wired.

Lumin makes a U1 and U1 Mini.  I hear these are nice units that are quite stable.  This is a standalone "streamer" and does not require a server.  Lumin has their own software.

Both Auralic and Aurender I am sure also make devices that will meet your needs.  I do not know the exact models.  

IMO, the best solution would be to get something like a Bricasti M5 and pair it with a Roon Nucleus.  This would be under your budget even with a lifetime subscription to Roon and will deliver best performance for local files, Tidal and Qobuz.



Consider a used Aurender N10.   I found mine used from a dealer for $4,500.  It's been a huge jump up in sound quality vs. the entry level streamers I used previously.  One word of caution... I recommend you have a hardwired ethernet connection to your modem, as I ran into frustrating compatibility issues attempting to use wireless bridges.  YMMV.

Hey guys,

As always, thanks for all the input! 
I guess providing a little more insight into my system and how I will use the “streamer” would help.


First of all, I have simplified my main system over the past year.  Got rid of a good analog set up (just didn’t use it) and now just have the dCS Puccini DAC & Master Clock connected to Esoteric CD Player (also connected to the Master Clock). I have about 800 CD’s.  Don’t use a server an am VERY COMPUTER ILLITERATE  when it comes to pairing up with computers and audio devices. 

I wanted to get a good streamer to experience new music. As mentioned, I think my DAC is good, so I don’t need a streamer with a dac. 

ghdprentice … Great choice, but I don’t want to quite invest $22,000 on a top end streamer for something that is not going to be used all the time.


raysmtb1 … could be interested. Send me a message with price & details.


mike -in-nc … dCS ‘used’ to make a network bridge (streamer) but it was discontinued and now tough to find on used market. I have heard of people not liking the Auralic software music management (Lightning?). Do you like it?

verdantaudio …. Excellent questions! The only other streamer I had tried a while ago was a Lumin T1. I liked the sound but found the Lumin music management not intuitive and clumsy to use. Roon sounds interesting but I have heard you must pair it to a pc. I have an older desktop pc but don’t want to interact with it at all … everything I do via computer is on my IPAD. 


Hope this helps …. 



I tried dCS network bridge for a couple of weeks. It is good. A lot of details. I however went another path and invested in a Theoretica Applied Physics Bacch SP- Adio. It is in addition to a streamer, a DAC and a preamp and a 3D sound processor. Goes without saying it outperformed the dCS solution with 50% maybe more.

Good luck!