HoloAudio STREAMER is out now

I've read lots of discussions about streamers, especially about how to get value for less than several thousand $$'s. The typical responses include Bluesound, Innuous, iFi, Raspberry Pi, Cambridge, and probably a couple others I'm missing. 

People LOVE the Holo Audio DAC's -- the May, the Spring, e.g. 

Now they have a streamer. It's less than $1k. I wonder if anyone has it or has compared it?


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It does not play Qobuz natively, only through UPnP just like Volumio free.

I don't even see USB in, just a TF card slot.

Meh, a non starter for me.

Curious about their control app.




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Looks interesting. Anyone know if it can play music from an external drive? 

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The blurb on their website says this, "This audio device is using a Pi Compute Module 4  it only uses the Pi4 as core system. It differs from a standard Raspberry Pi because it does not have all peripheral components on board, but has been developed by Holo Audio itself, of course optimized for Audio. The advantage is that it can be used with a lot of software and is therefore versatile."

So, I'm confused. Does that mean you have to somehow put Volumio on it or Rupee in order to make it work? 

I kind of side with @lordrootman here, not that XLR is a "must have" for me, but a basic streamer here at the end of 2022 going for $800 ought to offer "something" more, a display for cover art would be nice. Maybe even a touch screen so I can leave my dang phone on a table or in its charging cradle when I come home. 

John Darko just did a video saying the CHEAP $80 WiiM Mini Streamer paired with a Chord Mojo 2 bests the Node in sound quality. (But the Node does DSD). 

And yeah, RED is getting them notices, but come on, it would be a non-starter in many people's listening rooms, especially for Wife Acceptance Factor.

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The only color available is Red? 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️


Pi platform 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️


And why an USB input? I guess for USB to i2s conversion 

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@thyname what compute power is lacking with a raspberry pi cm-4? I guess you are familiar with the Broadcom chipset and I’m curious why you poo poo it (based on your emojis). Thx

@dpac996 : No I am not familiar with the Broadcom chipset. And the raspberry Pi cm-4 probably has plenty of computing power. You are right. I just thought something costing $900 would use something different than a Pi, maybe mistakenly so. I have never used a Raspberry Pi for streaming, so I don’t know. Sorry to have offended you somehow 

Reminds me of a car salesman telling me, “you’d be surprised at how many people pick a car by its color.”

Also, I always note when a review starts with a critique of the looks of a piece of audio equipment…it’s AUDIO equipment!


Pretty useless as there are few to no B to B, B to C, B to Micro B to connect a hard drive. I:be never seen. B flash drive.

XLR output? Fancy not.

No Qobuz, not ready for prime time.

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Interesting DDC capabilities along with the streaming. I think this is the first streamer I've seen with I2S out. A future software/firmware UG supposedly will support DSD1024 and PCM1536K.  I doubt it includes an HQ Player license for that price, but even if it has the embedded software (including an NAA implementation), this could be a very useful device for people who want to tinker with upsampling and filtering.  It appears to compete not only with the likes of the Bluesound Node (which does not support HQ Player), but also with the Sonore Rendu products.  Sonore's ultraRendu AFAIK does not support Airplay 2, has only a single digital output (USB), requires an external power supply ... and is more expensive.  The Matrix X-SPDIF would be another alternative for some users, but it's really only a filtering DDC (with no embedded computer or streaming capabilities).

All these features considered, this looks to me like a unique product (at least for the price and especially for HQ Player users.)


Thanks for your posting. The ‘Red’ appears to be a very versatile streamer/DDC converter with amazing array of hardware connections and software options. I believe the I²S connection is superior than USB or SPDIF in conveying digital bits and ‘Red’ should shine once connected through its I²S (HDMI) output to a compatible DAC like Holo May or any of the Denafrips DAC’s with I²S (HDMI) input. At its asking price, it is certainly one of those devices that tempts you for a test drive :-)

This is a combo DAC streamer and for this price I'd be skeptical of the DAC which I've heard described as "flagship".  (not that i don't believe value can be found at a low price at times).  Reviews make it clear people love the screen, which of course has nothing to do with the sound but seems to greatly contribute to the popularity.

I'd say this is a candidate for upgrade from a Bluesound Node but a buyer may be misguided if he/she doesn't just go with seperates. 


This is a combo DAC streamer

Jerry: what DAC? I don’t see any DAC built in the Holo Red

Reviews make it clear people love the screen

There is no screen I can see. Just the front plate. Are we looking at the same product? See OP


The comments surprise and remind me of the same negative sentiment when people first started inquiring about the May DAC. Fast forward to today and after demos of DAC upwards of $20k, the May sits in my rack. It's absolutely outstanding. I care about SQ and am still entertaining other streamers because nearly every streamer thread here mentions the Node being "beaten" by XYZ. So far the Node has been "good enough" with nothing being worth the price point delta. Part of this is due to the software that accompanies the "big dogs". It's flat out terrible. The Node software is pretty darn good. I have yet to experience a home demo where the difference is profound enough to open my wallet. The "jury" is a group of friends with six-figure systems and 20 more years in "the game", who are astounded by my little rig and have congratulated me on achieving something they are still chasing. I will definitely kick the tires on this one. The majority of listening is at night where I turn off all displays. I really don't care what something looks like, I want to sit and smile with the little time I get to do so. 

I also want to point out the first comment of "I don't even see USB in"... such comments can derail others who may otherwise be interested. It took me less than a minute of looking at photos from the OP's link to clearly see a USB-in port.

Color aside, the criticism is overblown. This is a DDC and Streamer so it will have appeal to people looking for both. It has USB input as well.

It's clearly a challenge to the Node universe and a new entry in the Streamer options. Personally, I'm curious about it and wouldn't mind having a test in my system. YMMV. 



Kind of surprised at how quickly some are posting to make basic mistakes or to rule out the unit.

It's $800 folks. It seems well positioned for consideration, at least.

Potential sound aside I am somewhat surprised they didn't remain with the theme and so I have to wonder how the Red will look sitting next to an orange and black DAC...

I've contacted the company about having a non-streaming/

non-usb unit built. 

Not real worth much ,not Roon ready ,power supplies are not that great as well as power regulation ,   A Roon nucleus is better if you add a linear power supply ,much better . Holo springs make very respectable dacs ,if they are going to build

a stream make it say a$2500 unit Roon ready with linear power supplies.

Not real worth much ,not Roon ready ,power supplies are not that great as well as power regulation ,  

Its says Roon Ready as well as Roon bridge, which is a bit confusing. They are both different and usually you would have one or the other. It looks like they may have a decent linear power supply.


This might as well be the first streamer that integrates a DDC as well. Smart move.


Sorry but I never ever be the fan of HoloAudio looks boring to me “aesthetically”


Why not aesthetically, without the quotes? Not sure what you mean.

i know I’m becoming a broken record here…but might as well get this instead:


Forget the broken record vaporware. Wiim Pro is now released. Rock solid software updated all the time. Bit perfect Hi Res. Roon by years end.

Price: $150.

Personally, I'd welcome another good sub-$1000 streamer into the mix. I presently use an iFi Zen Stream with an McRU linear power supply and it's been very solid for me. Definitely sounds better than the Bluesound Node I had previously. BUT, I'm still curious at the sonic improvements that can potentially be had with the big budget streamers... I'm just not willing to pay that much. So maybe this HoloAudio product can deliver the goods at a reasonable price??

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I'm not in the market for such. The thread on this post is further evidence that of lack of decorum, lack of knowledge, and an overall bad form on the idea of Audiogon's Forum. 

1. Posts w/o knowledge making comments.

2. Simply look at the images / web site. Most of the comments re. connections are incorrect. See for yourself. 

3. Several commented on streaming service support (most were wrong). Here's their copy from their site:


HoloAudio “RED” is a Network Streamer with I2S HDMI output supporting DSD up to 1024 and it can be used as DDC (USB to I2S or SPDIF converter)

This audio device is using a Pi Compute Module 4  it only uses the Pi4 as core system. It differs from a standard Raspberry Pi because it does not have all peripheral components on board, but has been developed by HoloAudio, of course optimized for Audio. The advantage is that it can be used with a lot of software and is therefore versatile.

Supports Roonbridge Tidal (Connect), Qobuz, Spotify (Connect) and airplay.

4. Finally, for those who would rather learn, read, think a minute before posting incorrect information, here's their link. 



Looks a lot line the Denafrips $500 streamer.

I don’t think Denafrips makes a streamer yet.


@curiousjim They have had them for about 3 years now and refer to them as DDC.

DDC | Denafrips

At least I believe they function as streamers.


DDC | Denafrips

At least I believe they function as streamers.

I don’t believe DDC’s are called streamers. DDC are "Digital to Digital Converter" which means they convert from one protocol to another, or from one digital interface to another digital interface, eg. USB -> SPDIF. Streamers are something that can play music of their own either as a network renderer when using a control point or a server. A DDC cannot play music by its own - it needs a streamer/server. This Holo Red is the only device on the market that I am aware of that combines a DDC and Streamer into a single device.

@yyzsantabarbara : what did you end up getting as a headphone amp, with streaming DAC built in (Roon Ready)? Matrix Mini-i Pro 3? Sorry I don’t recall