Let’s first deconstruct your argument re: noise and clocking (jitter).
If the streamer receives audio data over the network, noise and jitter can cause bit errors. However, networking protocols such as Ethernet and TCP/IP contain methods to detect errors and ask for packet or frame retransmission. You can be assured that audio data isn’t being mangled when it arrives over the network. For example, my Windows PC has received ~479 million bytes since I turned it on this morning. Exactly zero frames have been discarded due to detected errors. You can do this yourself by typing in the command ’netstat -e’ in the Windows command prompt. My Raspberry Pi 4 based streamer running moOde has received over 6 GB of data via Ethernet and also zero errors detected.
Let’s say that audio data is stored locally on the streamer. In this case, noise and jitter can cause bit errors when transmitting to the DAC. These types of errors will manifest themselves as audible clicks, pops or even dropouts (if the USB interface at the DAC detects errors or loses connection). This was also covered by the link to the testing that I referenced in my previous reply. To sum that up, after 12 hours of continuous playback using USB, no errors were detected.
Finally, there can be noise injected into the analog output circuitry. However, this is only a problem if you can hear it at the playback volumes you usually listen to. For example, I can hear noise with my Benchmark HPA4 / DAC3 B system on my AKG K371 headphones but only if I crank the volume to max - a level that I would never listen at. If I do the same thing on my DAC3 HGC connected to my PC and turn the volume all the way up, I only hear silence.
Now onto streamers, yes I’m saying that an inexpensive streamer can sound just as good as an expensive streamer if the DAC receives the same data. Bits truly are bits - and that’s the beauty of digital data. We can make and store and stream as many copies of music files as we want and as long as those copies match the original bit for bit, they will always sound identical. This is why you see encryption being used on non-paid music downloads from services like Apple Music or Qobuz.