What determines a streamers sound quality.

I want to purchase a streamer. I have a $4000.00
Audio Note DAC that I want to run it through. So I see no reason to purchase one that has an onboard DAC. 

Other than a streamers DAC what determines the quality of the sound. I am not getting it. How do DACless streamers differ from one another? I have been searching but have not found the answer to this particular question.  A have mosty found questions and answers to recommended streamers.

Thanks for any help
“what determines the quality of the sound”

I am in a camp where everything matters. Starting with your network, noise rejection, power correction and to the last cable between your streamer and DAC.

A brand ‘X’ streamer will sound different over WiFi vs hard wired with Ethernet cable from your router. A device like ‘Net Isolator’ between your router and streamer further lowers the noise and let the music flows more naturally. The Ethernet cable between your router and streamer changes the sound..... the devil is in the details.

There are plenty of great choices today when it comes to picking up a high quality streamer. I recommend checking out streamers from Aurender, Lumin and Innuos. They all use very high quality parts, immaculate design, ease of use and comes with 30 days in-home trial. I have intentionally left out Bluesound Node 2i.....as good as it is, it’s not in the same league as aforementioned brands even when paired with an outboard DAC.

Also read up on Roon and see if that’s an important consideration for you. Once you hear couple of streamers in your system, you will be able to pick up how they convey detail, the timing, mid’s, high’s and low’s.

Let your ears be the guide!
The streamer should be chosen based on software support. PCM digital streams contain error correcting codes that reduce or eliminate any transmission errors; what arrives at your DAC is likely exactly what the original file contained. Other opinions on this matter should be demonstrated by empirical results.

I make choices in this space by ease-of-use, coverage of streaming services (Qobuz vs. Tidal, etc.), other features like Roon support, etc.

While there can be network delivery problems related to your setup, they are typically irrelevant unless you have pre-existing conditions.

So, no, steamers don’t impact sound quality.
Have to politely disagree with markwd.  In my experience, the difference in sound quality coming from streamers is significant and pretty easy to hear when doing an A/B comparison (same DAC, same input, same cable).  Better streamers over more resolution and particularly more spatial information. Lower quality streamers sound “flat” (2 dimensional) in comparison.  

But, don’t take the word of anyone here on audiogon for it or against it. Audition some and determine for yourself.  You might find it’s not enough of a difference to justify the price.  But, I expect you’ll conclude that there is a difference.  I found it to be significant enough to justify the substantial increase in price.

My $.02