Hello everyone, I could use some of the forum wisdom to select my next budget streamer.
It will be a secondary source into my CB Nait 2. Usage is as follows: play my former CD collection of AIFF rips from a 512Gb USB stick, the occasional Spotify when the kids are here or to preview some track, but most of all to enjoy internet radio. So I guess the streaming per sé seems more of a nice-to-have now, but that may change when I really like the device.
To give you an idea of my expectations: At one point I had a DAC-V1 fed via usb by my Macbook running Audirvana with the CD rips. To my ears that sounded pretty good and I only sold it to help fund my LP12.
I am now at the following shortlist with NL prices in euro: (updated)
- Cambridge MXN10 at 500 euro
- Bluesound Node at 650 euro
- Bluesound Node X at 800 euro
- Volumio Primo at 800 euro
- Innuos Pulse Mini at 1000 euro
- Lindemann Limetree Network 2 at 1100 euro
The above gives an indication of the budget range I have in mind. What they share is a small form factor and pretty good reviews across the board.
I am hesitant to spend 800-900 euro on a pre-loved ND5 with older tech and a display waiting to fail.
Our wifi here is great, stable and hi-speed and I have the Naim RCA to Din interconnect ready.
Please let me know of any real-life experience with one or more of these devices in a Naim system context that could help my selection process. I might have missed an obvious candidate so would love to hear about that as well. Thank you very much in advance!
I use the node 2i in two bedrooms with Nac 62/nap140. I also use one occasionally with my Nait 2 for low level listening. Great for the money and cn be improved by the addition of a better dac if you should want in the future.
There maybe better out there now as I have had these in excess of two years and things move quickly in the streaming world.
I’ve used my Nait 2 with relatively high quality sources (streaming and TT) and it’s thrived and delivered, also in terms of detail and definition. The Nait 2 will make the system slightly noisier (at least mine did have some more than minimal background) but in a way this somehow adds to the air and realism on most recordings (but could be heard at very low volume).
So wherever you ambition and budget limit stands, the Nait 2 should not be the limiting factor in my experience.
Very much so @garcon, my LP12 as primary source can testify to that. Now I need to find a streamer that will do it enough justice on a budget.
Yes @bruss many good BS reviews and you’re spot on, things are moving quickly. So I wanted to educate myself on today’s hot items, might still be the Node to go for.
I would add Innuos Pulse Mini or Zen Mini to your shortlist. They are more or less shoebox sized, and versatile. Maybe pushing your budget a little.
Thanks @ChrisSU for pointing me to the Pulse Mini which is 1000 euro here so within scope. I only knew of the Zen Mini with its storage and cd-rip facilities (at 300 euro more).
Sorry. I cannot keep track of the functionality of all the naim components
Do you need a streamer DAC or just streamer. If just streamer why pay for DAC. Get the zen mini
I need a streamer/dac to go with my very simple amp @GregU and you’re the second to point out an Innuos product - thank you I will investigate. One of the few devices without Spotify Connect, will have to rethink my requirements list above.
I use a Lumin D2 with my NAIT2 and I’m very happy with the combination. It’s outside your price range new, but there seem to be a steady stream available used, at least here in the US. To use WiFi you’d need to add a WiFi bridge.
The Lumin D2 is often mentioned @JMC, must be a winner and great to have that with your Nait 2. It is unfortunately way out of my budget over here. Even used ones start at 1800 euro as far as I could tell, will keep an eye out.
Totally under budget but who doesn’t love a giant killer?
Wiim Pro Plus. Darko has a review on it (which I haven’t watched so don’t know his conclusions) which he compares it to Bluesound amongst other items. I usually find Darko is the last person to use the phrases “night and day” “sounds broken” or “wiped the floor” so I tend to believe him more than most.
A suggestion under budget was totally unexpected @Sloop_John_B Good one, but doesn’t have a usb input for my ripped collection. I found the Darko review and several others coming to more or less the same conclusion - on par with the Node in sound and software, at only 1/3 of the price albeit without some of the functions/inputs (like usb).
Check out the Eversolo DMP-A6. $859 for a streamer/DAC with a usable touch screen. It’s definitely the flavor of the month these days, in the under 1k category.
Have you tried a Sonos Port? They play all the provider’s and are very economic. The store that I shop sells high-end and they demo Sonos against very expensive units. The port is plug and play with your cell phone being the controller and visual display.
Flavor of the month(s) is indeed an apt banner for Eversolo DMP-A6 @jimmyMcB ! I will investigate more as I had dismissed it because of the screen. Seeing some YouTube reviews the screen might actually be an asset, will think about that. They’re out of stock here for a few weeks until the next container comes in, so that gives me some time.
@Gordon Sonos seems to be forgotten (by me at least) with the popularity of Bluesound here, but is of course also a candidate. No usb though.
Thanks for all the feedback so far, it has been enlightening! Looks like my shortlist has been extended to a longlist again. I will take Lindemann off and add some of the other devices mentioned. Do not hesitate to add any (extended) user feedback how they are in daily life.
I love the BlueSound products. The node checks all the boxes for your needs. I would consider the X since you don’t have a dac. The app is very good and stable. Airplay and Bluetooth can’t hurt either when the kid’s visit.
A friend of mine has got a Cambridge CXN V2 and is very happy with it.
I’m on the lookout for a streamer/dac setup and have put the CXN V2 on my shortlist.
Caveat: I’ve not heard the CXN V2 myself and it’s not pumping into Naim either.
Ah yes the bigger Cambridge @Robbo1 I had already shortlisted its little brother MXN10.
Thank you @naitman and @Neilb1906 for more NODE votes!
Meanwhile I found this related thread (ND5-XS vs Bluesound Node vs Cambridge CXN v2) and there are probably more “budget streamer” threads that escaped my first search, will do some speed-reading, there’s budget and budget of course.
Please bear in mind that some manufacturers’ apps are far better than others, so this should be considered alongside the actual streamer itself.
The BluOS app is very well regarded and makes the Node range a tempting option.
Conversely, the IFi app is dreadful but their streamers are excellent.
Shame to buy a great sounding streamer with a rubbish app.