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.


I don’t think there’s a technical reason why separates would be better, in fact if we can remove one cable (say the USB) from the equation you have an easier time controlling all issues related to jitter.

Having said that, there are good reasons for keeping them separate. Being able to pick the sound quality of the DAC, and the software that is used to stream separately are really nice for me. For instance, I only use Android control devices, some famous streamers are Apple only. Next, what happens when a new streaming service comes along and you want to keep your DAC but the streaming software is no longer being updated? Replacing a relatively inexpensive streaming component down the road means I can keep my DAC investment.

In my case my streamer is a Raspberry Pi based device, around $200 with the fancy power supply and case. If my software is no longer adequate or I wish to use an unsupported service I can swap it out without issue.  The same for network features, such as Wifi 6, etc.  In these cases having a separate streamer makes your DAC future proof.


your argument is somewhat specious since the leading server manufacturers such as InnuOS, Aurender or Auralic are unlikely to stop updating their software. Conversely combining everything into one unit could have significant advantages:

- justifying inclusion of a superior power supply and clock

- obviating lossy USB or AES/EBU connections by using a common bus

- allowing for better components by saving on boxes.


As long as computer audio and Roon pursue their approach of separate streamer and renderer it will be a while before everything gets integrated.




your argument is somewhat specious



Nothing like being called specious to end my day.

I make similar arguments you do to the benefits of a single unit but I guess you decided to ignore my post after you decided I was specious.

Look, I am sure those companies you named are fine organizations, but we’ve all seen organizations we thought would be around for a long time suddenly go poof or decide a particular market was no longer worth it, or, often, they decide that a previous device has reached end of life, or take too long to add a service we could find with a new streamer.

So, I take the word specious and throw it back in your face with prejudice.

My original post pointed out good and bad points of each approach.

I didn’t refer to you but to your argument as specious. That’s not the same thing. The demise of manufacturers of DACs and streamers seems about equally likely.

Nothing to add.

I was expecting and hoping to see more about the dCS Bartok.  I recently visited a dealer that was over the top of how amazing they are.  There seem to be a fair share on the used market so that could be good or bad as they have a few levels up from there.  If I remember correctly they developed a new design DAC, called ring.  I haven't read too much but have been very curious about having that combined DAC-Streamer.