MconnectHD vs Naim app, online streaming

I am wondering about replacing, eventually in the next, my Nds by an another brand streamer. Not sure, but it’s a possibility. A second hand Nd555 is however a bit more my flavour.
Anyway, I heard some other brands and some don’t have a native app, like Soulution, Audiomat and probably a lot on the market.
The integrated app as Naim, DCS Mosaic….is not always a case with streamers.

So I decided to have a test with Mconnect for online streaming, and compare it with the Naim app. For the ease of use , Naim is a bit better.
The interesting thing is the sound quality. I compared different tracks yesterday and today through the two apps.
I found the Naim app giving a bit more bassy sound, a bit heavier. But the Mconnect has a bit more clarity and the vocals are sometimes more lifelike. The Mconnect is also a bit airier.

I am not decided yet which one I will use . I stream with an Nds/555 dr , from a Melco N1zh2, through an Innuos switch.
Everyone can do the test. Mconnect lite , the same app ( but with advertising) is free.

I am curious of your findings.

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We do use the naim app but only for internet radio on 272 really.

Whether there would be any sound difference between the naim app and any other would depend on whether the third party app is proxying content or just sending commands to the naim device.

We’ve added a raspberry PI so we can get Tidal connect on legacy streamers so use the Tidal app a lot, HifiCast for NAS flac and RadioDroid for flac internet radio (also via PI). That leaves naim app solely for browsing vTuner internet radio really.

Have also experimented with the Lumin app for NAS browsing via openhome interface provided by BubbleuPNP server on NAS. It’s a fantastic app really makes browsing our large local collection a pleasure with quick navigation around artists, genre/year etc. all from whatever view you’re currently on.

Many third party apps make the naim app (looks and features) appear very basic. You can’t even do basics like finger zoom on album lists etc.

The advantage of Mconnect is that I don’t need to install BubbleUpnp or connect another device.
I can stream Qobuz and Tidal with it if I wanted too.
It’s really plug and play.
It’s also, like Naim, a basic app. But I don’t need more.
My only goal is sound quality, the reason I don’t use online services neither Roon. As for Radio, I very very rarely use it.

You can try it . It takes 10 seconds to install.

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Using Mconnect means that the music stream goes through your phone. One can test this by shutting off the phone during playback, if the music stops then your phone is streaming rather then being a control as per Naim, Roon etc

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Roost, just downloaded to see if I could hear a difference, I know what I like and am very sensitive to differences. I can find the Melco but the ND555 does not come up in the list of UPNP Players. No idea why but that sort of kills it!

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You have at the left top “ Player “ and “ Play to”. You have to click on Player . Then the Nd555 should appear. If not it plays on your phone or iPad.
I am curious of your findings.

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Just tried mConnect playing to SuperUniti. Can’t really say I noticed any difference in sound quality during a quick a/b comparison of some Tidal tracks through this system although it’s not got the most revealing of speakers being just for home office use. It’s also on WIFI, not ethernet, so hardly an optimised setup although one which works perfectly well except for DSD playback from NAS (buffer empties periodically). Might try later with PI->nDAC.

mConnect has a nicer Tidal interface than BubbleuPNP, allowing easy access to the Daily Mix and My My Mix 1-8. The absence of these personal mixes is what renders the naim app redundant for Tidal use on legacy streamers and is the reason we’d been using BubbleuPNP.

The availability of all these apps which can play to any standards compliant streaming device, and the fact we barely use the naim app, is one of the reasons we’ve not 100% settled on an ND5-XS2 as our new streamer when there are other transport only options at the same price or less with more features (such as upscaling).

I used the paid-for version of MConnectHD for a few months when I had the 272.

It did sound a bit different - I think because with MConnectHD the signal actually goes via Wi-Fi into the iPad and back to the router, iirc.

Music to my ears! :grinning:

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Can you explain that a bit more please FR?

When I first used BubbleUPnP I just used the android app. I think in that mode it operates the same way as the mconnect player app. The app integrates Tidal and Qobuz streaming services.

Also, I had cause to reach out to the developers a month or so ago, they responded very quickly to an issue and diagnosed it as a change in Qobuz metadata. I was impressed at their responsiveness.

I do now use the BubbleUPnP server (on a Mac mini) in the chain, but that’s not essential in the first instance.

In both cases of the app acting as a player, the device hosting the app acts as the server and play music to the UPnP device on your network - the NDS in your case, a Unitiqute1 in my lower budget case :wink:

Anyway, sorry, just wondered what the implied difficulty/awkwardness/reluctance etc. was with Bubble? I have no other interest in them other than being a happy user :slight_smile:

And slightly OT, I was wondering what level of interest there was in putting together some sort of guide to operating the 1st gen streamers with third party apps? Or whether we should keep quiet and take advantage of the 1st gen streamer bargains to be had, whilst people think they’re hard to run (stupidly tempted by the NDS that went on eBay yesterday!)

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I don’t know how to respond to that :laughing:

I wanted to say that with Mconnect, you don’t need to install something on a Nas or computer. In my case I have neither of those.
You can stream Qobuz using that app only, through old streamers.

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I realised that I wrote a wrong title, I should have written “ local “ streaming, not “ online “.
The test I have done is using Mconnect and Naim app for streaming files on my Melco.

But of course people can discuss online streaming too, if they want. In my case I don’t use Tidal neither Qobuz anymore.

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What I found about Mconnect:
It’s an UPNP/ DLNA app from Korea.
Some say the signal goes through the phone or tablet. Can someone confirm, like @Simon-in-Suffolk for example.

I pasted and copied that , translated then from French:


Although both Wi-Fi® Direct and DLNA technology are wireless, DLNA technology requires at least two devices to be on the same network through a router or switch, unlike Wi-Fi® Direct technology. Products with Wi-Fi® Direct technology communicate directly with each other without having to go through the access point on a networked router or switch”

@frenchrooster

French, the only way I can get it to show is by enabling Bluetooth. I fear the sound will music will route to the iPad and then via BT to the ND. Way too much noise in the house atm with kids going wild but will try later and let you know my findings.

Go to this screen and your Naim devices appear. I’m my case it’s an NDX2 and 3 Qbs. No need to enable Bluetooth.

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I can’t get the ND or a QB for that matter to show up in there with BT turned off. Maybe due to my 2x ER switches… who knows. Thanks for the screen shot @hungryhalibut its always good to get confirmation I am not being daft!

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I have disabled Bluetooth, choosed the Player = Nds 97-98 and choosed the library = Melco.
It would be strange if it doesn’t work for you.

I think this must be playing through the phone or ipad as when I close the app the music stops playing on the player.