Network Streaming Headphone DAC - suggestions

Suggestions please:

Currently residing in a small, terrace house. Too small to get my HiFi out… even a set of small speakers would be a real struggle. For the last few weeks I’ve been using the TV with headphones but this really is a bit rubbish :frowning:

I’m wondering if there’s a network headphone DAC I could use as interim? So a compact (important word), mains powered, network streaming DAC (so it has a lan port) that I can use with some good headphones and drive with Bubble?

Really don’t want to spend more than a grand and if I could find something for ‘a monkey’ that would be good - this is for interim use.

Ideas please. :slight_smile:


I’ve been asking myself the same question for a bedroom cheap-ish headphones system and I’m currently leaning toward a Raspberry PI providing digital via USB to a Ifi Zen Dac and then a pair of Meze Classic 99. Circa 500€ all in new.

Haven’t found a one box solution as of yet. But will be curious to see what others might suggest.


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Perhaps take a look at Matrix Audio products…

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A unitiqute 2 fits the bill, doesnt it? I havent used bubble, but you can definitely use jriver + jremote to output to the uq2 so I would think bubble would achieve the same thing.
£497 at your friendly dealer Tom, repeat, Tom.


This is quite an old product… would there be questions over which streaming services it might or might not work with?

Or Matrix Audio Element i Streamer with a higher spec.

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If you’re using bubbleupnp then all of them, as it can wrap qobuz for example into a upnp stream, but natively you get tidal and spotify.

and my uq2 is only 5 yrs young!

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How about this TEAC. Available in silver or black with single ended and balanced headphone out.


Is that about 3 grand?

Probably about GBP 5K but it is was so lovely for a one box I thought I’d post it anyway.

The TEAC NT-505 is a but cheaper but still probably 2K in the UK

I’ll give you that… it does look pretty :wink:

You can’t accuse me of NOT being impulsive… Mini I 3 now ordered.
I hope it can cope with my Audeze LCD-2 cans otherwise it’s going back.

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I love my Mini-i 3, but are you sure streaming wise it can do Bubble? Pretty sure the streaming card is for Roon only or Airplay. I’m using another stand alone streamer I had (microRendu) via USB as I think it sounds just that much better, though the Roon implementation is good on the Matrix, esp the little screen with the album cover playing.

If using headphones, try and use the 4.4 balanced output - twice as powerful and better sounding imo with my 250ohm Amiron’s.

Yes, no DLNA/UPNP with the mini pro. You may want to cancel order and get the Element - I if you are not planning on using airplay or Roon to stream.

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Email sent to cancel. I’m check tomorrow this has indeed been cancelled before looking at the Element I.

Thanks for the warning!


How about the Lindemann Limetree Network player? Don’t know if you can use it with bubble but it comes with its own operating system and can stream Tidal and Qobuz. Also the size of a fag packet!

You bet. Too bad, it’s a great little unit, though I’m sure their other offerings are just as sound, if not more so, just more $. I got my mini for $899 right before the price went up.

It only supports Roon for streaming not UPnP, wrong product for you my lad.

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I must have spent 3 hours now ploughing through various reviews on the Element i and I haven’t heard a bad word said about it. Some people comment it’s expensive if you only want a USB DAC. Others if you don’t want headphone &c. BUT if you want network streamer/dac/headphone/XLR out (so I can pair it with my AE1 speakers as a second system - if/when that becomes an option) then there doesn’t seem to be anything to touch it.


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