I feel like I am going round in circles here and could do with a bit of help. I am looking to set up a streamer/ player plus DAC for input into an 82/180.
What I would like is a streamer that I can just plug in some kind of USB stick or drive to the back of and control through a simple app on a phone or iPod. I am happy to manually add tracks to the storage. I am not sure but I believe I could maybe attach the storage device to the wifi router, although again I am not sure if a streaming connection over wifi is not as good as wired?
I have looked at preconfigured Raspberry Pis (Allo), ifi Zens, SOTM, WiiM, Node etc etc… plus a myriad of standalone DACs and don’t really know which way to go. What would you recommend for under £1000? (not including storage device).
Any help appreciated. Note I have a basic understanding of ‘computer speak’ but don’t understand what all the acronyms mean!
Take a look at the Cambridge audio cxn v2 network player.
Or the bluesound node.
Models from Marantz, Denon or Technics may fit the bill.
I feel the quality of the controlling app is critical when choosing.
Here, in my view, the Bluesound app is hard to beat.
An Innuos Zen Mini would be my choice. It can do everything you’re asking for and a lot more, and has storage built in so no need to use USB drives.
I would give strong consideration to the new iFi Neo Stream.
Thank you for the recommendations.
After considerable research and many coffees and taking into account budget considerations I have decided to try the iFi Zen Stream. Now to choose a DAC. Denafrips Ares/ Topping/ iFi Zen is my shortlist. Expect numerous cries for help shortly!
Ok I will take a third look at it. Good golly it’s ugly though.
Don’t discard the idea of a cheap streamer with a good dac. The Tibo Bond 3 with an optical output, plus the ability to connect to your music store via lan or wifi, plus the onboard radio feeds is a cheap product that when connected to a pre owned Chord Qutest will give you an excellent sound quality for your budget of under 1k.
I have to say that the Primare NP5 MkI acting as a transport into the NDX is more resolving than the bare NDX - it’s really good and the difference is noticeable even through a (temporary) Vita Audio R4.
Ifi Zen Stream plus whatever DAC. Costs next to nothing. Does it all… unless you ask someone that disagrees
Have u considered a used N-Dac (about £900) in to which you can connect to your iPhone or Android which supplies propriety music files from Spotify/tidal etc.? Sq is brilliant and the n-dac is a top shelf digital hub
Just to add to the bewildering array of suggestions - Innuos have just released their first streamer/DAC - the Pulsemini for £899. Gets a very good write up in The Ear this week
That’s on my interest list, but they don’t seem to be actually in any shops yet. Must be imminent, surely. Interesting that the two higher models are digital only.
Read a piece today on a site called Audio Appraisal where the reviewer had paired the Zen Stream with a Topping D90LE, to good effect. This combo would be slightly above your budget, but not much.
I can’t give an opinion of the Zen Stream, other than having seen plenty of good reviews, but I can say the D90LE is an amazing DAC, irrespective of the price. I was blown away when I heard it and for me it’s probably an end game DAC.
Thank you everybody.
The iFi Zen stream gets a huge amount of good press, if the internet is to be believed.
Am keeping an eye on eBay for DACs, Topping are certainly high on the list. I will report back with findings.
If you are UK based you can get Topping on home loan for evaluation purposes. I probably can’t say where on here, but shouldn’t be too difficult to find out.
I have a zen stream, is a good sounding streamer, just do not expect too much from ifi software. For roon is great.
Primare NP5 and a mk1 Chord Hugo here. Great SQ and flexibility for << £1000.
The Hugo is a great DAC, that just happens to also be a fabulous headphone amp, and can be used on the move with music streamed from your phone. £500 is a total bargain for one IMO.
Delving further into this, confusion abounds… I wonder if anyone can cast any light on the following queries?
What is the difference between the iFi Zen Stream and the iFi Zen Blue?
Looking at the Topping M50 or 90 DACs, it appears some versions of these might not even need a separate streamer to play music?
Just had a look at this. It is an interesting design.
Mind you, IFI do make good products, comes with a decent PS as well.
I must admit that I find their products to be good, currently using four of their power supplies and two of the DC Blockers.