Ethernet streaming

Many high end dac’s now have built in streaming capability via Ethernet. Is this a better way to go than adding a separate streamer to feed the dac?  In my case, streaming Qobuz and using roon. Also have an Aurender dac/pre that wouldn’t be needed if dac only streaming was used. Wondering about the advantages and disadvantages of these two approaches. I’m sure this has been discussed before, but I can’t find it.


Separates are generally better BUT the top Aurender and Lumin streamer/DAC’s are terrific and far less $$$ whilst punching above thier weight. There are some others too.

Upgrades to one’s room or Ethernet path might be a better solution



I’d go with separate components.  
So when I was looking for a new integrated amplifier, I saw one that had a DAC and it could stream. I thought, wow, this is really cool, but when I got it all hooked up, there was barely a streamer and just an okay DAC.  So I ended up buying a Node N-130, because of all the great reviews and while the streamer part is pretty good, the new and improved DAC in it was worse than the one in the integrated amp. So after a short time I was already looking for a new DAC.  I have found that almost every stand alone DAC is better than almost every build in one.

All the best.

Keeping the components separate usually results in better performance and easier upgrade. However, I purchased the streamer/DAC combo Linn Klimax DSM/2 with the Organik DAC card upgrade because it’s such a sonic bargain that seems to compete with the best DACs. I can always add another streamer later - the 432Evo looks interesting.

Every function of the signal processing chain separated by individual component or “box” has advantage over sharing component or “box” way due to interference and chain ability factors.


"Empire Streamer DAC is a Complete Roon System packaged in one beautifully designed unit, where all the features are optimized. Just turn it on, connect to wifi or wired network, sign in to hi-res Steaming Service of your choice and enjoy the music. The network setup has been already carefully optimized for the best sound and experience: ultra low noise I7cpus have no moving parts and are powered by clean oversized linear power supplies. DAC board is 100% isolated in a “Faraday cage” with its own dual mono linear power supply and galvanic USB isolator for up to 32bit/768k and DSD512 playback with the least interference possible. No distributed system consisting of multiple boxes can match optimized Empire architecture."


Sounds like the Empire could beat out the sound of separates.