Tidal music to analog preamp


Novice here.

What is the easiest way to take advantage of the highest quality music via tidal?

My setup is router and wireless modem---analog preamp. I don't own a pc. I have a MacBook Air.

With as little cost/ complexity as possible please- it's a modest bedroom system.


I like Sonos Connect.  Great user interface. About $350 new with built in DAC. At a later date, if you like, there are various upgrades, such as a better DAC. 
you can do it from your MacBook.  I ran mine off an ipod touch for a few months...
I have a Schiit Bifrost Multibit Dac, which sounds great and doesn't cost much, and should outperform a Sonus by a wide margin. I assume a MacBook Air has USB (I'm a PC guy).
The cheapest fastest way to get the sound from the MacBook Air (MBA) to the preamp is to get a stereo plug mini to RCA cable of a length that will allow you to put the MBA at a location where you can use it but still reach the preamp. (Assuming you have RCA aux. inputs available?)

Other posters, having read this, will chime in and tell you you will really need a DAC from the USB output of the MBA with standard RCA interconnects to your preamp. And you do. Or will want to. 

But there are dozens of DACs to choose from and you asked easiest and little cost possible. Getting the cable and running the output of the MBA to the preamp will work. For now. Then when you do get a DAC, you will (hopefully) notice an improvement in sound quality. 

The Audioquest Dragonfly DAC products or similar USB headphone amplifier products will work provided you use the line output setting on the USB headphone amp. You'll still need to use that stereo mini to RCA cable. 

Good luck.

Thanks, everybody. That gives me some options to start learning about. I just want to be able to take full advantage of the higher quality music that is available.

I listen to the output of my Roku via rca to my preamp. Hoping to improve on that.


if you want the higher quality, at least get an AQ Dragonfly for your Mac, available under $100
All good suggestions.  Check out a used Bluesound Node as an alternative to Sonos.
I’m sorry to be so thick, but I’m still struggling. Here are the questions regarding hi resolution and Sonos or similar.

1. Should I link the unit by Usb to my router or is wireless able to stream hi res Tital? My router is one wall away, I’d need to run the cable through a wall to connect Usb.

2. Without my MacBook, if I get a standalone unit like Sonos, can I control the playlist from my iPhone by using an app?

3. Will this setup allow me to stream hi res Tidal?

These answers will help me I think. Thanks for your patience!

your mac can receive Tidal wirelessly.  Sonos is controlled by your iphone.  in fact Sonos does not come with a remote. they have a great app and the whole thing takes a computer illiterate like myself a few painless minutes to set up. Technically Sonos and Tidal are not HiRes, but rather full CD 1411 kbps quality. Sonos has a great user interface, but a limited quality DAC.  for simple/cheap, a cable from your Mac headphone output, to RCA input on your analog preamp
If I stream tidal to my MacBook and use the headphone output- do I use the MacBook for managing the playlist?

So i would set the list and let it play, or can I manage the playlist through my phone from my listening chair? Or is this what the standalone units enable me to do?


if you use the macbook then you download the Tidal app on your macbook and use that.  I do not think you can use your phone as a remote if you stream from your macbook, but maybe you can.
I know the Sonos is designed for the iphone to be the remote
Jl35- Thanks. I think I understand now what my options are. I'm leaning toward trying the MBA to see if there is improvement over the Roku music quality.

I appreciate it,

FWIW I used to use and loved Sonos but just got an Auralic Aries Mini which is slightly more expensive than the Sonos $449 I believe is retail. I prefer the interface and also think it sounds better than Sonos and a plus in my urban environment it runs on 5g while Sonos is 2.4g only.
Thanks, I'm reading up to avoid compatibility issues. There seem to be several good options.
One kind of off the wall solution is a Fiio X7 wifi enabled player plus K5 desktop module.  
@erik_squires Sweet solution right there.