wanting to take a digital step

hello, more lately I have been discovering artists on Bandcamp and elsewhere who don't put things out on vinyl. More often new things I have bought on vinyl don't always sound that great.  so with that I want to try a cheap set up of some kind to listen from my laptop connected to my system. I did have some cheap $10 interconnects that did the job, barely. just wondering what some digital vets would suggest. Any simple decent solutions for say <500 that would be ok? I have tried looking on different threads and it got confusing. Do I get a cheap CD player or some kind of better set of interconnects to listen from a laptop. I just don't know.  thank you.


good morning audiogoners, I want to thank you all for your recommendations.  I will be researching the blue sound streamer.  Those Schitt dac's look appealing to get started.  I am excited to hear some music that I don't know about that I will love.  

Or maybe I'll go straight to the streamer but If I do go with the Schitt to start with my laptop what usb cord do I need to connect to dac?  There are a lot of different ones(A-B, etc.) I don't know about, its confusing.  I have a MacBook Air that I was hoping to use.  I think I can use the standard USB port as an audio out but I don't know. I don't want to use the headphone out as the sound was crappola and I had to wiggle the cord to get both channels working.


Again thanks for the help, it is very much appreciated.

Another question about the streamer option, will I be able to stream music stored on my laptop or just from my phone or iPad?



Ya... at $5000 I'd say it is way off mentioning in this thread. Makes one think, is there an alterior motive for mentioning it with a link to promote and sell it?

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Another question about the streamer option, will I be able to stream music stored on my laptop or just from my phone or iPad?



You have to setup your PC as a server and stream from it using DNLA, on the streamer aka network player or renderer. I have gotten much better SQ copying the files to an SSD in a case. Then plug it into a USB-A jack. Try it first with a flash drive IMHO any streamer lacking at least one USB-A female input jack is not worth owning. At least Bluesound has always had that. Just steer clear of wifi with it. You control with the phone (or tablet, think mobile) app. Of course you still need a network. If your provider is ComCrap know that "no internet, no music control." For that reason I have been doing the majority of my "local" listening via a Topping M50 It plays SSDs, flash drives and a micro SD card. I can control sans a network and even delete tracks live, with or w/o the remote. Just no folder diving, a major miss for ALL non network players.

Speaking of remotes, for me controlling inputs remotely is much more enjoyable than having "the best" DAC. You have years of musical enjoyment before you have to worry about THAT.

​You do not want to stream from a mobile device. Usually bad sound and when you move it away the music stops. You want them for control only. A streamer is a dedicated computer source. It is not a hub as you seem to imagine. And keep your laptop away from your hifi.

I pay under $11/ month for Obuz, the best.