Apple iPad music streamer


I am currently using an iPad to an external DAC streaming Qobuz @ 24/192. It sounds amazing! Anyone else using an iPad as a streamer? I am wondering if buying a dedicated music streamer would improve my listening? 



The obvious benefit is that with a streamer you no longer must have your iPad tethered to your system (assuming your streamer provides an app that you can use on your iPad to control it).  

Sound quality?  What DAC are you currently using, and do you plan to use the same DAC with a streamer?  Or do you want a streamer/DAC combo?


How exactly are you connecting your iPad to the DAC? The main methods I know are lossy or analog neither is very good. 

I'm using a audioquest USB cable from the iPad to a Marantz HD-DAC1. Apple music and Qobuz both display a max resolution of 24/192khz when available. I agree I am tethered to the iPad. I can't find a remote app to control my iPad. I like the DAC, thinking about adding just a music streamer.  

Thx Vodoo. I forgot about using a USB connection to get non lossless files. There are a host of streamers that have various remotes. I am using the latest bluesound node now which has a good interface and is simple to use. It is about $500. 

Cool 😎 jbs, 

Recently discovered the Node. It’s on my short list. I am not wanting to spend 3-5,000 on a music streamer DAC at this time. The pursuit of audio nirvana is never ending! 

I use the Tidal app on an iPad Mini over WiFi to a Node 2i streamer with a coax connection to a Bel Canto Dac 3. It works flawlessly for my uses, I find the size of the iPad Mini preferable to a standard iPad since it's easy to hold in one hand while navigating the app with the other. 

To confirm, you are using an iPad with the camera kit dongle to USB to your DAC?


I ask because I am looking to do this as I only use Apple Music for streaming (I'm mainly vinyl)

Yes. I’m using lightning camera kit. The iPad is operating on battery power and was considering buying camera kit charger combo dongle. Apple Music using the iPad dongle will stream up to 24/192. 

Just a heads up that the combo chargers and usb output dongles are often super noisy. A streamer is the right solution here. 

Noise! Battery is quieter? That's what I'm thinking, if I love what I'm hearing now, possibly a dedicated streamer would be nicer. Auralic lines their G2 interior with copper. Of course it's thousands of dollars. I'll pony up someday. 

Yes. You ain’t heard nuttin’ yet.

Absolutely no reason to "pony up" yet.

OMG a dedicated streamer yes! I streamed with iPads, MACs, PC, iPods for that matter… my first dedicated streamer was a Auralic Aries G2… it didn’t last that long before I got my first Aurender. I prefer them. I now own two… see my systems under my ID.


What you get out of a streamer is dependent on the rest of your system. If the rest of your system is great it will just drop your jaw. Like a great turntable.

I went from an Amazon Fire Tablet to an iFi Zen Stream, and the improvement in sound was very noticeable. A neighbor went from an Apple laptop to a Node and said he experienced a big improvement in sound as well.

From what I’ve read, you’re decreasing the amount of noise that’s getting through; noise you don’t realize you’re hearing until it’s no longer there. I can’t give you the technical reasons why, only that the sound jacks in laptops and tablets aren’t made for hifi purposes, and sound like it.

Also, as someone else mentioned, it’s wonderful to no longer have a wired remote (like some early ‘80s VCR). 

It’s win-win, and you will only curse yourself for not having done it earlier

How would this set-up compare with the mconnect app streaming from an iPad to a Facebook (in my case, an OPPO 105D)?

Sorry Kevin I am not sure I understand your question. After iPads I have used $3K $5K, $10K and finally a $22K streamer… each upgrade was very very significant. Ancillary equipment must support the increases in sound quality. My current streamer / DAC combo equals the sound quality of my great analog end (Linn LP12. Koetsu Rosewood Signature cartridge with Audio Research Ref 3 Phono stage).


For slightly more than the price of a new Bluesound node, you can pick up a used first generation  Auralic Aries Femto w/ outboard linear power supply. The LightningDS app is intuitive and easy to use, and in my system, the sound quality of the USB output of the Aries walks all over what I get from my CD transport connected via spdif to the same DAC. 

SFAR - you mention using an iPad with the Node 2i, which is what I do. Then you mention a Bel Canto DAC. Where does that come in. I connected the Node directly to my preamp assuming there was a DAC in the Node. Thanks

All I can say is that mConnect is klutzy, bettered by BubbleUPnP. HiFiCast is good for radio. Moode is not mobile friendly and buggy. Volumio does a few good things but is limited to Tidal and Qobuz for which you gotta subscribe unless you use BubbleUPnP (free) in front. I streamed off a computer for years, never going back. It would be just like going back to mp3’s. AM radio was where it was at until ’69, Brother  Love, KABC-FM. Get with the program.

You can spend as much as you want to but the returns are ever diminishing /$.

I would suggest a Cambridge CXNV2 STREAMER

snd use it hard wire to the internet


also you could send the Qobuz via the iPad wirelessly to the streamer

i have this streamer and it’s great got it for $1000!

Also the CXN V2 will update via the internet 

by a mere press of the controls 


it’s terrific I get hifi music from all over the world!as well.

@georgew444 - I connect the Node 2i to an external DAC because while the Node does have an internal DAC, the Bel Canto DAC sounds considerably better, as it should since it cost five times what the Node 2i costs. It also is used as a preamp and DAC with one of my power amps. The Node 2i is easily worth its fairly modest cost because it functions so well as a streamer even if you don’t use its internal DAC.

Thanks everyone for great suggestions and conversation. I ordered a bluesound node. I'm moving on up! Hey ghdprentice, what streamer cost $22,000?  

As long as you are happy with the way it sounds and the way it works..... There are tons other "streamers" out there that are controlled by an APP at all sorts of price points... from < $200 (Raspberry Pi based, Arylic, Wiim)  to > $25K !!! I started out hard wiring using USB from my Mac or iPad to a DAC and it’s wonderful EXCEPT no way to control it remotely and tethering is a bit of a pain. I ended up with a Marantz SACD30n using HEOS (meh) app and it sounds great with Amazon Music HD. I may eventually get a Bluesound Node (2021 version) or Bluesound Vault (waiting for release of next gen, to rip CD’s too) as HEOS is a bit of a bear to work with. So many choices out there at all sorts of $$$. I can never see myself paying over $2K for a streamer but it’s out there for those that are inclined.

Thanks everyone for great suggestions and conversation. I ordered a bluesound node. I'm moving on up! Hey ghdprentice, what streamer cost $22,000?  

Aurender Streamers get to that price. I have my eye someday on the N200 just released.

Voodoolounge I think you’ll be impressed!

I thoroughly enjoy my Node 2i, which was reportedly a substantial step above the Node 2, in sound quality. Now I’m reading that the current Node is yet another step above the 2i. I used the analog out (internal DAC) Node 2i for a couple months before getting curious about using an external DAC. I found the DAC in the economical Emotiva PT-100 was not an improvement, but the DAC in my Parasound NewClassic 200 Integrated did deliver a little finer detail and strings had a little more realistic warmth. The improved DAC in the Node may raise the bar for external DACs.

Dedicated streamer with Cat-8 Ethernet cable definitely will improve the SQ by several reasons. Separate DAC will give you even more improvement. Lanier outboard power supply for your streamer will give you another level of improvement. Also, such a setup could give you opportunity to play with SQ details using different interconnects. Descent streamer setup to start hear improvement probably will cost you 2K minimum. Good candidates: Lumin D2 or U1, Teac NT-505, Bluesound Node(only if used with separate DAC), Cambridge CXN v2 or Azur 851N…

I have a Marantz external DAC, and plan to a/b with the Node DAC.  Cat 8? My location doesn't allow for a LAN connection. I'm using WIFI but want to try a power line by Netgear. 

I started out with an iPad utilizing the camera kit to my Marantz SACD player via USB. I liked the sound. At the time I was streaming Tidal. I eventually went with a dedicated streamer, the Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra into an external DAC. I run Pro-Ject’s streaming app (Volumio based) through the iPad and stream Qobuz and Spotify. The Pro-Ject app is a little wonky but it works well once you figure it out and I do enjoy having the ability to run everything from my chair or the kitchen when I’m cooking. Currently streaming Wi-Fi but working to hard wire the system. Some have questioned the cost of the Pro-Ject Streambox as it is RPi based but it works very well. Good luck and happy streaming!

I’ve been doing it this way too and got a nice boost in detail, transparency, imaging, and soundstage by ditching the Apple Camera adapter and getting the one from LavriCable.  I was happy until I hooked up my CD transport and realized it sounded better, and after asking around here I’ll be getting a streamer — probably an iFi Stream.  Congrats on taking the plunge.  I think you made the right choice.  

An easy option for a wired connection is just to get a wall wart WiFi extender with an Ethernet port on the side (~$50) . Locate next to your system, plug in your streamer. I have heard many +$100K systems connected this way including my own systems. Works great, so running wire not required. Want to improve it you can connect a EtherRegen to the line from the extrender… but a good streamer takes care of the bits.

My system uses an iMac via USB to a HOLO DAC and sounds incredible to me. Guests always comment how great sounding the system is.

After many times reading about others that switched from iPads, Macs, pc, to dedicated streamers, with noticeable improvements, it's time to erase the question in my mind. 

I connected a MacBook pro USB out to a Intona isolator then to a external DAC. I used Audirvana to play Qobuz and DSD. It sounded very nice but I'm thinking the MacBook is a noisy transport. So, this journey continues, a Node is on the way. I am trying to find a reseller that will let me audition a Arualic or Aurender in my music room. 


Just got the Aurender N200, an upgrade from the Bluesound Vault. Really nice and enjoying it immensely. 



My Aurender W20SE is $22K. I was concerned about the cost until I put it in my system…. It is a bargain. I immediately was thankful that I didn’t go for a lessor model.


Your thinking is in the right place… battery is quiet. The Aurender uses a battery to power the audio portion to minimize noise… it works. MACs / PCs too noisy. A good streamer is built up from the ground floor to be quiet. 

Ideally the streamer I need only does one job.There is no need for storage or disc components. Sadly my CD collection is gone however I'm very satisfied with Qobuz/Roon as a replacement Most streamers I see are paired with something and I am looking for a suggested device that is an improvement over my iMac DAC streaming without any of the noted.

I think the Node is Roon ready? I have a 1000 or so CD's and crates of vinyl. The convieance streaming offers discovering new music is endless, and the SQ so far is amazing. I'm anticapating Node arrival. 

Yes, the current Node is roon ready. You probably know you can rip your CDs and setup a library which the node can see as a source. It takes times and for the vast majority streaming has the same stuff one would have on CDs. 

Purchased used Pro-Ject Streambox S2 Ultra for $550. Holo KTE dac's prioritize usb connections and this streamer fits my bill exactly. Seller lives nearby so this transaction should happen quickly and I will finally know if a device in the chain between iMac and DAC is appreciable.

If you are using Apple computer (macOS) and have your music in Apple music app (formerly iTunes), either imported local or Apple music streaming service, you can download the Apple Remote App on your iPhone or iPad and then control your Mac Music App library through this Remote App. I use it this way to navigate my Mac music library and it works fine. My Mac computer is connected to a DAC via usb cable.

Also, if you have a newer iPad with usb-c and the latest iPadOS, you do not need the camera connection kit cable. You can directly connect via usb-c. I also use this way by connecting iPad to my DAC and stream music from Apple music App and Spotify. In this case, I have not yet been able to figure out how to connect my iPhone Remote App to my iPad Music to navigate library.

Ok question from a newbie here:

i recently got a Bluesound Node Streamer/DAC for my home stereo and stream from my ipad or iphone over wifi.  I stream Tidal - Love it.    In my office i just connected an ipad via headphone jack to an amplifier.  Sound is clearly - okay not great.  Trying to decide in my office - to either 1) get a streamer for there too or 2) get an external DAC and run my ipad thru that to my amp.  It sounds like option 1 will provide higher resolution audio but it also costs more.....thoughts? Thank you, 

I have tried about all. DAC first, external streamer second. Both necessary for great sound.

There are too many variables here.  What’s your equipment in your office system?  Adding a streamer will get you better sound versus streaming through your iPad/iPhone, especially if you’re using the headphone Jack.  Yuck.  I even bought a higher-quality lightning adapter to USB and hooked to a good DAC, but using a separate streamer was at another level entirely.  Last, give Qobuz a free trial — most of us much prefer it to Tidal and they have a lot more hi-res content and none of the MQA BS. 

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