My theory is that you can approach streaming in two ways… low end plus fiddling with your incoming signal: the complicated way. Or buy a high quality streamer. I can’t prove it.. I don’t have enough of a sample. But each time I have upgraded my streamer, it has had much higher quality sound and MUCH less dependence on my network (my streamer is much more reliable listening to music than my iPad is for reading. I can’t refresh my page from the New York Times… but my high resolution music continues without interruption.
My current system sounds as good as my analog, but is running off a $59 wall wart repeater. A red book CD sounds exactly like a streamed Red Book CD file. I’m thinking that improving my network connection will not make a red book CD file sound better than my Red Book CD played locally with my excellent CD player / DAC.
So. My conclusion is not to buy a budget streamer and fiddle with your network… just buy a great streamer.
Anyway my conclusion. I have used iPods, iPads, MACs, PCs running different software, low cost streamers, mid-priced streamers, high end streamers, and etherRegens.