Looking for a streamer/DAC

an old dog trying to catch a new stick. Looking for a streamer/DAC that includes Wi-Fi and would be best to run through my McIntosh MA352. 
I’m confused about the preamp section in many products. Can the preamp be bypassed so I can continue to enjoy the warmth of the tubes?

I have B&W 803 D4 speakers and max budget of $4-5K. 


If you're going for convenience mainly, you don't need to spend that much.

If you're going for better SQ, wired ethernet is worth the trouble. 

Post your system on a system page for meaningful replies.

The Auralic Altair G1 does what you want and is said to be optimized for connection to your network via wifi. There are setup options that allow you to disable the volume control, preserving that tubey goodness.

When you say that you want a built in DAC, the output is naturally line level and it is pretty easy to allow for volume control. A good example of this is the Hifi Rose RS150B, but you can keep the output constant and input this to your McIntosh just like any other line level signal. This unit is at the top of your budget and allows for external USB drive and external CD Optical drive for ripping CDs to a USB drive. It also can be a Roon client, but comes with its own streaming ap..you still must sign up for a service. Also, it has balanced outputs, which you can take advantage of with your preamps balanced in. You probably want to look at units like this and pay attention to reports as to how the DAC sounds. You should be able to find all the main players locally.


Just get a separate streamer and DAC (without volume control) and don’t mess with having to bypass a volume control you don’t need anyway since you have an integrated amp.  Combo DAC/streamers are a gamble as both technologies are evolving rapidly and you may very well want to upgrade one and not the other in the future.  FWIW, and best of luck. 

BRYSTON …. stand-alone streamer/ digital player AND paired with its stand-alone stablemate DAC

- read the reviews .

- audition if you can 

=  you won’t be disappointed,

I'd suggest listening to the BlueSound Node as it's a great entry point.  If you are looking for a higher end unit - I'd explore Moon 280D streamer/DAC...

I prefer a streamer/DAC versus separates due to convenience and space. 

Thanks so much for all the helpful responses. I have looked at the Moon, but will check Bryson and others based on your suggestions. 
and I may just start with the Node to begin my streaming experience and upgrade later. 

Just get one with a volume control to bypass a preamp.

But a good transparent preamp will not affect tubey amp sound 


I’m using the new Node N130 into a Denafrips Pontus ll dac to my integrated amp.  All Dac’s have analog outputs that you plug into your preamp, amp or integrated amp.  Some Dacs can be used as a preamp( they have volume controls). There a many in every price range to choose from. What kind of music do you listen to?  Besides digital to analog conversion, what do you want yours to do? How do you want it to sound? Some are warm sounding and some are very digital sounding. 
There’s a bit more than price to consider when buying a Dac.

All the best.


I am an old geezer that has been with digital every step of the way. I am going to assume you want streaming to sound as good or very nearly to your other sources. Meaning you can fully enjoy your streaming and not keep going back to other sources because they sound so much better.

I recommend an Aurender A10 (or any Aurender that you like)… I see them for about $4.6K. But I would like you to consider you are investing in two components… so that is $2.3K for the steamer and $2.3K for the DAC. These are two components worthy of their own boxes… the analog equivalent is a TT and Phonostage… and at the level of a preamp and amp. I found if well chosen these tend to be of similar cost. As an old dog, the best way to spend a lot of money is to dip your toe in… be disappointed… throw some more money in… “well, sounds better”. Then realize you need to match the performance to the rest of your system. Do once and well, life is short.


You do not bypass, or want to bypass your preamp. You plug this into your integrated amp.

You do not need a wifi enabled streamer / player. Get a $59 wall wart wifi extender and plug it in next to your audio system. Plug your streamer in to this. My $150K main system works this way (I bought a Aurlic Aries G2 because it had wifi and was very disappointed with it overall… then found out about the wifi wall wart). So does my $15K + headphone system.

My system also contains an MA352. Listening room is upstairs and on the other end of the house. Dealer told me to consider a wall-wart extender instead of a wifi streamer. I think I ended up with the TP Link 1200 (sorry not home at the moment to verify). 

I connected a decent Cat6 cable to this, which runs to an Innuos Mini mkiii ($1400) with external power supply ($800)The bits are then sent to a Wyred4Sound Dac-1, ($1300) then to a set of balanced inputs on the MA352.  I’m not really a digital guy, but this set up is quite pleasing to my old ears. Many of the HQ files from Qobuz are equal to my vinyl set up.

More good suggestions to consider. Thanks. 
I am slowly building my new system. Very happy with the accuracy of the B&W speakers with the added warmth and smoothness of the MA352. 
mill rrsearch all. Never heard of a wall wart so it’s off to new learning. 

Get the ifi zenstreamer and then the dac of your choice. 
Easily upgradeable, and not a lot of money to put your toes in the water. 

Ok..Ignoring your call for all in one.. I just went through this and purchased a Holo May DAC DTE which destroyed my analog and is just amazing. For now I use an iFi Zen Stream with iFis $249 power supply and use Roon to stream Quboz and from my NAS. You get a very musical DAC, but now need a usb cable. I’m waiting for the PS Audio AirLens streamer due out in the next two to three months.  At this point it will be I2s between the Holo and the PS Audio.

If you’re planning on using Roon and streaming services like Qobuz and or Tidal, look into Bricasti M3 with Network card, Weiss 501 and PS Audio Direct Stream Digital (DSD) with network card on a used market. These aren’t wireless but with an extender or mesh network you can wire these up to your network. 

I’m using Bricasti M3 with a built in network player and it replaced a streamer/DAC combo. 

IMO if you’re not planning to use uber high end dedicated streamer and DAC the above mentioned units will be super hard to beat in the price range.  

Check out tmraudio.com. They have some of the top brands of Streamer/DAC one box combos at reasonable second hand pricing within your budget. Read the reviews on what is available and look at features and inputs and outputs that you are interested in.

An Auralic Vega G1 would be a good example. They add new products almost daily.

Check out the Lumin T2.  One stop shopping.  Great app, great support and easy to use.

Let us know know how you make out!

I would suggest getting a Bluesound NODE 130 directly from Fidelity Audio with their better PSU module preinstalled, and, if you trust me this far, the C4 clock board. The price from them is quite reasonable, especially if you don’t live in the UK as you won’t pay VAT ($700 w PSU module, $1050 with PSU and clock board). You would then need an external PSU. Fidelity Audio will bundle any of their linear PSUs or you can pick one up elsewhere. If you get a FA PSU, you will also need to buy a decent power cord (if you live in the US). If you just want to get the NODE 130 and see how you like it, you can always change out the PSU module yourself (I did with an earlier Node, the 2i, and I am not a DIY guy), but you would have to know what you are doing to add the clock board.You can use the analogue out into your preamp or export digital bypassing the NODE DAC into a DAC of your choice. This unit will also decode MQA encoded Tidal files, which may or may not be important to you (once you get into streaming you will note that whether or not this is snake oil or actually sound better is hotly debated; I prefer it to Qobuz, the main high resolution streaming competitor, but you may not. I was extremely happy with this unit and when I was auditioning speakers found that the Tannoy Cheviots sounded as good through my system with this unit as they had in the showroom where the system I was using to audition speakers on contained a DAC retailing for $3000.

The NODE has its detractors, mainly for folks who think the stock one is too cheap to be any good. However, most people will admit that it’s interface/operating system is superior, and if you are new to high resolution streaming, that is really important to most people. Also, Bluesound makes a series of streaming speakers that can be networked with the NODE, so you can have your main rig playing and still enjoy the music if you have to check on something in the kitchen.


If the NODE doesn’t do it for you, you can then use the unit as an excellent streamer into the DAC of your choice. You could spend quite a lot on the DAC before needing a better streamer. I later decided to get an external DAC to get an additional increment in SQ and added a Chinese Gustard X26 Pro ($1500) which was well reviewed as punching way above it’s weight. IMO, you have to pay a lot more for a better DAC that will completely decode MQA. 

In pricing things, it may sound like BS, but a good cable from streamer to DAC does make a difference if connecting the two via USB.


I use Linn product. their of very good quality. I currently use the linn Majik DSM. This unit has a amp.a preamp capability or as a line source. I have used this product in all 3 modes and am very pleased with its performance

So many choices. Being new to streaming and after evaluating so many helpful responses I’m leaning towards starting with Bluesound Node only and evaluating. 
it has a very good and easy to use operating system and I can continue to evaluate adding a high quality DAC to the system later. 
thanks so much for all the guidance. 

I have had the following DAC/Streamer combo's


Aurender A10.  

Lumin T2

Cary 600

Cary 700

Currently have a Bricasti M3 w/ network card.  Please Pm if I can help. Too many variables to discuss all these machines.



Very sound decision starting out with the Bluesound Node to get yourself acquainted with streaming music. They make a solid product and are well established. 

I used a Node 2i for a number of years and was never dissatisfied with its sound quality and streaming ability just using the original power supply. I did move to an outboard DAC in time but the onboard DAC was decent and enjoyable. You can also disable the volume control in the Node as you suggested. 

Be sure to go with the newest version of the Node as I believe they have upgraded the DAC design and possibly some other features.

Enjoy the music! That’s what it is all about!

According to Brian of Bricasti the internal network player of their DACs performs better than the outboard streamers, citing a I2S > AES > USB. 



A wall wart is a single small box that plugs into an electrical outlet. So, in this case a wifi extender. Just google wifi extender. Most just plug in and have an Ethernet output… plug your streamer into that.


Here are some: https://www.top5choose.com/top-5-wifi-extender-2022.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjw39uYBhCLARIsAD_SzMQ2bs4TWDDdx4795Z12TWhQ5pWQYy1rJFEeRuyXmPW-3xxdEzFXcm8aAhTaEALw_wcB


I have a Mcintosh ma352 with B&W speakers also... I have used only one streamer that has all the specs you are looking for... I have a Rose rs150 which I really like and internet radio comes with it with a large selection of anything you would like to listen too. The Rs250 is half the price and comes with much the same features but half the size. You can store your music internally by adding an SSD drive or play off a USB stick that plugs in the back. It has a port for connecting a computer and a port for ethernet through which you get the internet radio or wifi. It has wonderful Vu meters in many colors which made me want it (I'm a sucker for VU meters). You might audition it and others because since I haven't heard others, there maybe something better out there but I like the one I have a lot. Maybe it is for you.

I went from a 10 year old Burson (now doing service in upstairs secondary system and hooked up by USB to a Roon Nucleus) to a Bricasti M1 using an ethernet card. Pleased as all heck- it's as good as my turntable which is my "reference" device. B/w Roon and the M1 along with some other tweaks, I'm where I want to be with my main setup.