Ifi Micro is really nice for the price. If you can splash out the Chord Hugo is the bees knees.
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So there is no need for subsequent stages to be maximally transparent if the source is compromised?
Why wouldn't distortion be additive? So that if one improved any stage that would provide a clearer sound.
My tastes are not audiophile at all, my first suggestion being a DAC that costs only 2/3 the price of the Meridian Director and Arcam ifDac which the OP is considering for her friend. It's not cheap in absolute terms, but it certainly is in audio land.
Please be so kind as to actually make a suggestion as to which DAC will be the maximally effective for the minimum cost given the compromised source that is in play. It's time for you to help her out.
"Why wouldn't distortion be additive? So that if one improved any stage that would provide a clearer sound."
Not always. You can also upgrade a component with something more clear and revealing, and amplify the flaws in other components.
I would call The Cable Company and have them send you some dac's and cables for demo. Doing that will eliminate all the guessing as to what will sound best.
My recollection of reading about the Sonos is that it outputs significant jitter through coax. I would double check if this is so. Maybe search here and look for posts by Audioengr, who is Steve Nugent from Empirical Audio. I think he said this a couple of times.
If so, then a good approach would be to get something that reclocks the coax input. Not many units do this. This functionality is basically the same as a USB-to-S/PDIF converter, such as Audiophilleo, but with coax in. Empirical Audio makes one. I think it's called Synchro-Mesh (which is why Steve frequently comments on these threads).
I have experience with USb converters into DAC and the impact is significant. I would expect the same of this. Consider the reclocker+DAC, and I would spend more on the reclocker. In this price range I would expect a reduction in jitter to have significantly more impact than sound flavors.