I am looking for some competent (which I am not) advice about the best way to stream Qobuz on my Unitilite for audio quality. Unfortunately this unit does not have a direct connection to Qobuz the way it does for Spotify and Tidal. So I am left with a few options:
- Using a Yamaha wxc-50 streamer as an audio source only, plugged with an optical cable. This was my way of doing things until I realised that this was limiting the capability of my unitlite as the source is not so great…
- MConnect on iPhone/iPad although their different app options confuses me. Plus I don’t understand if my iPhone/iPad is just opening a direct connection between my unitilite and Qobuz servers or if it interferes in some way with the audio quality…
- Audirvana, as I own the version just before the new studio subscription. I have the same interrogation as for mconnect.
I am open to other suggestions and only really interested in audio quality as I don’t care much about interface, gadgets, etc. And I don’t want to subscribe to any service such as Roon on top of Qobuz. I don’t mind buying a license for a quality product though.
Many thanks for your insights.
I can’t speak for option 3 but Bubble UPnP server is well documented on this forum and gives excellent quality.
Thanks for the replies. Well it seems to my ears that mconnect is superior and has more depth that audirvana which sounds closer to my yamaha streamer. But this is very subjective and I might be completely wrong. I am just curious how can that be since mconnect goes though a iPhone/ipad device over wifi as opposed to audirvana and my yamaha streamer which are wired to the unitilite…
I also don’t understand how mconnect works ; does it send music to my unitilite or does it just tell the unitilite to read the files on qobuz servers ? or something else ?
Bubble upnp sounds like Chinese to me unfortunately. Is it really superior and worth investing a lot of time figuring out how to install and make it work ?
I’ll agree it’s a bit more effort but the SQ is much better than Mconnect when I tested it a few years ago. For me in a fairly recent back to back comparison with Roon the SQ was the same.
BubbleUPnP was a popular workaround on the old generation streamers for two reasons. It gave easy access to Qobuz, but it also had advantages for Tidal users. It buffers the incoming stream and serves it to your streamer as if it was a local UPnP stream. This helped people who were experiencing dropouts due to the very small buffer on the Naim streamers. It also improved Tidal sound quality a bit compared to using it within the Naim app.
If you have a suitable NAS it’s really not that hard to get BubbleUPnP running on it - at least, with limited IT skills, I managed it, so it can’t be that difficult.
I’m not part of the Apple ecosystem so hadn’t considered that Bubble client isn’t available for iPads.
These are all low-cost workarounds though with their own compromises.
A slightly higher cost is to use a Sonore Roon bridge which is a two minute job to set up but brings Naim’s first gen streamers a sophisticated and modern interface.
This is what I did with my ND5XS and I’ve never looked back.
Apps such as Lumin or Linn Kazoo will control BubbleUPnP server on iOS. I didn’t particularly like the UI but it works and it’s free. Sure, Roon is a more polished product if you’re prepared to pay.
Thanks everyone for your replies. Unfortunately Mconnect is not stable enough even though I have an excellent wifi at home. So I will have to go with audirvana or back to my yamaha wxc-50 streamer as I can’t really hear a difference with audirvana. It’s quite annoying and disappointing that there is no way to listen to qobuz with the full potential of my unitilite. Maybe I should switch to Tidal or try bubble upnp then.
I also had nothing but problems with MconnectLite up until about a month ago but since then it’s been faultless. I also cancelled my Tidal subscription and took out the studio sub with Qobuz after trialing it for a month and find the quality to be better than Tidal. I also shocked my eldest son by doing a comparison of the same tracks on Spotify, Tidal and Qobuz. He didn’t think it would be so easy to tell the difference but was amazed by the improvements from one to the other. However I will keep the family Spotify account as it gets full use from the other 4 family members on a daily basis. I also use the MconnectLite app to stream from my Zen+ in my main system and it works seamlessly. Perhaps give it another go. By the way I just listened to Sounds of Silence in 24 bit 192k and it’s fabulous.
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