on the cheap

I am looking for suggestions for an inexpensive streamer for my sister. I mean a couple hundred bucks. Does anybody make such a thing that would not have to be hooked up to the internet but would work via wi-fi or bluetooth? AND also have a built in dac. Stereo is not her life like some of us. The simpler the better. Would not have to be new. It would be nice also to have the ability to have cd storage. Is it also possible to not have to be run with tidal and be controlled by an app?


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I second audiophile1; the Wiim pro +.

My friend installed one in his budget system before Christmas and it sounds absolutely great, especially for the money 👍 No CD storage though (as far as I'm aware)

I also bought the WiiM pro + on a discount from Amazon for about 175 for a 3rd system.

even the built in dac is more than acceptable depending on use-case and who’s listening, and what it’s connected to.

Had mine connected via WiFi and plugged into a Vista Audio Spark

Sounded so great all things considered 


WiiM Pro Plus - fairly often the manufacturer offers refurbs for $149 - just bought one, as my kid stole my other one...they are terrific...and sometimes the WiiM mini for about $60...I’ve only seen these refurbs on ebay from Linkplay (the manufacturer)...

Used Gen1 Sonos players can be found all over craigslist for cheap.

You can also explore a Blue Tooth dongle to hang off the receiver/integrated.

like this

Search Amazon for “Bluetooth streamer”. You can get a basic metal box with a blue light which is very reliable, well built, and will likely meet your needs for $60. I have one in my office. I will check the brand tomorrow at work. DM me tomorrow if interested. Works great! 

"that would not have to be hooked up to the internet but would work via wi-fi or bluetooth"

Not sure how or what you would be streaming without an internet connection. Did you you mean a hardwire connection? You have to get your content from somewhere, and if not physical media (disks) or a local streaming server ($$$) , then it has to be from the Internet.

Bluesound Node! AMAZING entry unit. I literally after many many years of swearing I’ll never stream finally dove in. Got the Node and am still blown away by the sound of this little unit. The internal DAC is frighteningly good for its price point. Very simple and the app is great!

I have an allo usbridge signature streamer in my secondary system and it is very good for $249. You can often find people upgradeing and selling cheap.

I had a node too and it was an OK streamer and poor dac.  you are paying extra to get a poor DAC with your streamer.


thanks guys. I'm sorry my knowledge is lacking in this digital world. I would like not to have to physically hook up an ethernet cable. Wires to the integrated amp would be fine. I will look at your suggestions. Chances are I still won't know what they're talking about.

The question asked includes a few red flags.  “WiFi Streamer” that doesn’t hook up to the internet?  Well Bluetooth doesn’t need internet, but where’s the stream coming from?  Does this person have a stereo amplifier and speakers already?  Obviously the many responses of Node or WiiM are all perfectly good if so.  But if not, an amplified streaming DAC like WiiM Amp would be simpler.  Nodes can play from USB storage, which WiiM does not, so if internet-free use is really desired, a used Node 2i is the best bet.

Kinda blow away, actually, with how much they can cram into this little boxes for the money. I go back to the day when the price of admission an "entry level" CD player was $700, our best-selling VCR was $679, and 42" plasma televisions were $14,000.

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WiiM Pro Plus. I have set up two low-cost systems for my college-student nieces (vintage Technics receiver + Wiim Pro + refurbed KLH 20 speakers and a KLH model 20 player/receiver/amp refurbed with a WiiM Pro.) They tested out well and reports are good.

I bought an open box Bluesound Node, N130. It’s a streamer and DAC all in one.  It gives you access to probably all the pay services as well as Internet Radio and DNLA, so you can access tunes on your computer or NAS.

All the best.

@waytoomuchstuff , yeah...Now 42" flat screens are cheap, VCRs' are at Goodwill for nil, and SOTA CDs' are sorta all over the board...

Physically small boxes can cost as much as 'spine-stretching' boat anchor amps, and cabling can rival some necklaces per linear foot.

Less is more, more is less....more or less at the same time and at the same place,

Makes my head hurt....and wallet want to hide.... ;)

Simple way to connect a streamer to a receiver with Bluetooth is the Audio Engine B1 Connect via RCA and it also connects flawlessly to your phone 

+6 for any WiiM product. The WiiM Mini (hockey puck design) is reputed to have a "thicker, darker sound" than the WiiM Pro or Pro Plus so I'd choose one of those instead and call it a day. The great thing about the WiiM's are their software. So easy to use.  No matter how good something is, if the user interface sucks and is aggravating to use, you simply won't use it. 

I've read some stories on this forum about some relatively expensive streamers that have piss poor software.  That WiiM can go head-to-head with BlueOS on useability is a great selling point. 

There are rumors that WiiM is coming out with yet another "better" streamer, but what it will be, and when it will be out, is anyone's guess. 

If she doesn't have an amp, you might want to look at the WiiM Amp, which has the streamer built-in.  The WiiM Amp has these features:

  • analog stereo line-level RCA input (for a CD player maybe)
  • optical digital input (for a CD player maybe)
  • HDMI ARC port for a compatible TV (if this is important to her)
  • USB Type-A input for connecting an external drive loaded with music (you could load up a drive with CD rips for her).

I wouldn't be embarrassed to use a WiiM Pro Plus to feed say up to a Denafrips Ares II 12th DAC and think I was getting about as much out of the Ares as you can get. 

But of course, for your sister, you can get by with the WiiM Pro Plus just fine. 

I own 3 WIIMS and in my experience they are great if you are using them to output s/pdif into a better external dac.

I did not like the sound from their analog outputs...



Don't know why anybody would want to stream their sister...just call once and a while maybe...

@jbuhl +1

You can also explore a Blue Tooth dongle to hang off the receiver/integrated.

like this

"Stereo is not her life like some of us. The simpler the better. Would not have to be new. It would be nice also to have the ability to have cd storage. Is it also possible to not have to be run with tidal and be controlled by an app?"

She can stream her Apple music or Spotify or Pandora or whatever from her phone via Bluetooth with ease. I bought something similar for a friend who is very happy with the solution.

If I “streamed” my sister, I’d have to upgrade everything in the chain to get that much data through the pipe.

Grace digital link...


On sale at Amazon for $169.

I love mine...has a screen to show the cover art and what is playing, also natively streams pandora, which most do not. It’s built in.

Otherwise, topping bc3 Bluetooth receiver. 


I have one and love it as well.



Bluesound has several models that will work. I bought a NIB Vault 2i last week for $700 and besides streaming it will allow me to rip and store my 1300 CD’d I otherwise wouldn’t play often.

@mahler123  WiFi IS Ethernet, 100%. it simply uses a different Layer 1 Transport. Regardless if it is coax, twisted pair, fiber optic, or wireless, if it uses the Ethernet protocols for the other Layers 2 and 3 of the stack, it's Ethernet.



From wikipedia

"Ethernet is a family of wired computer networking technologies commonly used in Local Area Networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN), and wide area networks (WAN)"


From Tech Target

"Ethernet helps plug a desktop or laptop into a LAN for speedy data transmission via cables"

@mahler123 @knock1 I am not confused. I've only been working with Ethernet for 40 years, longer than Wikipedia (founded in 2001) or Tech Target have even existed. I started working with WiFi (wireless Ethernet) in 2000 when I created the wireless strategy for a very large Seattle-based coffee company as a means of connecting kiosks back to the main store, and then as local WAPs to encourage customers to stay longer (and buy more than coffee to go).

Wi-Fi is a type of wireless Ethernet. Ethernet is a wired technology that connects devices in a local area network (LAN). WiFi technology uses radio signals to transfer data and wired Ethernet connections use a physical twisted pair ethernet network cable. Any other differences between these connections arise from this basic difference. What they share is the use of an Ethernet frame, a data link layer protocol data unit, and the use of underlying independent Ethernet physical layer transport mechanisms, one being wired, the other wireless. In other words, a data unit on an Ethernet link transports an Ethernet frame as its payload, regardless of the underlying physical media. Above that are the Layer 3 protocols like the now ubiquitous TCP/IP. You may want to read up on the OSI 7-Layer network model to help you understand these basics. 


Language changes over time.  These days when people say Ethernet, they are referring to having a component that is tethered to a Ethernet cable.  WiFi refers to lack of such a cable.  Whatever the definition was when you started in the IT industry back in the days of dial up modems, these definitions have evolved, as language does, over time.  If you are the only person in the room speaking pre Elizabethan English, chances are not many will understand you, even though you think you are speaking correctly.  And since absolutely everyone else here knows and accepts the common usage of the terms Ethernet and WiFi, I see no further need to discuss this with you

@mahler123 have to agree with @panzrwagn Ethernet is a protocol for transmitting data. Language may change but that doesn’t change the definition of Ethernet just cause folks decide to speak incorrectly about it. See IEEE 802.3 set of standards. No one is speaking pre Elizabethan English here, he’s speaking to the actual definition and standard that is used to this day.

@panzrwagn "Wi-Fi is a type of wireless Ethernet. Ethernet is a wired technology that connects devices in a local area network (LAN). WiFi technology uses radio signals to transfer data and wired Ethernet connections use a physical twisted pair ethernet network cable." The first and second sentences contradict themselves, second and third sentences supports @mahler123 definitions.

Wiim Pro plus or Pro if you don't care about the Dac. Alternatively, even a more budget-friendly option is an iPhone, if she has one. You just need a lightning to USB adapter and a good digital cable.  The sound quality is decent.

I did a bit more reading and I take back my previous assertion. Ethernet is a wired protocol, wi-fi is a wireless protocol. @mahler123 the definitions you stated are the correct definitions and have always been. Once the data makes it to the network, regardless of whether it was wired or wireless it’s all IP. Sorry about taking up bandwidth here with incorrect information. As far as the OPs question, I use a MacBook Pro and a USB connection to my DAC. It works well enough at the moment and required no extra purchase for a streamer. I use Tidal and Qobuz native MacOs apps as well as internal storage to stream music.

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model breaks down data transmission standards, processes, and protocols into seven layers. Layer 1, the Physical Layer, is where the differences between Coax, Twisted Pair, Fiber and Wireless all lie. Ethernet is a Layer 2 protocol, as was IBMs Token Ring. TCP/IP, and once popular but now forgotten NetBEUI and Novell IPX, all are Layer 3 and 4 Protocols.

The beauty of all this is the ability to interchange technologies, Layer 1 media in this case, without having to redesign the entirety of the whole stack. Likewise, the shared bandwidth and scalability shortcomings of the CSMA/CD implementation of Ethernet at Layer 2 were addressed with the introduction of Ethernet Switching. The extensability of networks via routable protocols like the now ubiquitous TCP/IP and UDP enabled creation of the internet as we know it.

What is OSI Model | 7 Layers Explained | Imperva

And our DACs? That all happens up at the top of the stack at Layer 7 - and above. 

So this isn't about one of us being right or wrong, or having an opinion, or changes in the language. This is about trying to get everyone on the same page when it comes to how digital audio actually works. There is no discussing if Ethernet works, it's settled science. There is no opinion as to whether TCP/IP assures bit perfect delivery - it is inherent in the protocol, initially designed so a network could survive a nuclear war. These things simply have to be or nothing would - or could - connect.

As our hobby becomes increasingly underlaid with digital infrastructure, it behooves everyone to take a few minutes to understand these basics so we can all focus on the music.

Wi-Fi is layer 2 as well. I don’t think there is a difference of opinion about whether Ethernet or Wi-Fi works, it was a question of whether Ethernet refers to a wired protocol vice a wireless one.  Ethernet is wired, Wi-Fi is wireless.  Wi-Fi uses a different protocol than Ethernet.  Sorry, I will shut up and and go enjoy some music.

what happened too my question?  I would like to find an inexpensive streamer that does not have to be physically hooked up to the router/modem. It needs to have a built in dac and hard drive with ripper and rca outputs. Not sure what is available.

Sorry about that I was part pulling this thread way off track.  Bluesound Vault would work as would the Innuos ZENmini Mk3.  Not sure what inexpensive is to you though as the Vault is $1400 and the Innuos is $2400-$3000 but you can find used for $2000.

'I am looking for suggestions for an inexpensive streamer for my sister. I mean a couple hundred bucks... AND also have a built in dac. The simpler the better. Would not have to be new. It would be nice also to have the ability to have cd storage.'

Your are giving us a kind of a challenge. Eagledriver likes this 😉

As jastralfu says above, second hand Bluesound Vault or Innuos ZENmini. Also, you might consider Cocktail Audio X30 or X35.

Or as kingr mentioned the Bluesound Node. If you can spare the CD ripper/storage.

Perhaps the Magnat MC400 or the Advance Paris My Connect 60? Both amps with CD player but no storage). In addition, the Fiio R7 (incl. USB 2.0 and 3.0 plus a memory card slot).

Using these products without an app? I'm not sure if this will work in a simple way.

To get exactly what you are looking for, you would need to be prepared to spend a bit more than a couple of hundred bucks. Even if the product is second hand.


@jastralfu This stuff doesn’t come particularly easy. I spent a long time getting comfortable with how all pieces fit. And that was working with it every day, professionally. So check the diagram. Layer 1 is the physical media - copper, fiber, radio. The Layer 1 protocols have to talk to the Layer 2 Data Link ’defines the format of the data on the network’ Layer. In other words the Ethernet frame. The WiFi Layer 1 protocols have map the data from their data format into the Ethernet frame at Layer 2 so the data can keep moving. That the interface happens at Layer 2 does not mean WiFi itself is at Layer 2.


And OP, just find a BluSound Node. Best money ever spent. It's a no-regrets buy.  

Can't believe how many here gave the OP a hard time about the Ethernet/WiFi connection. I know y'all know what he meant..no physical connection, WiFi. He's looking for the cheapest streaming option for his sister that is obviously no "audiophile", will probably never purchase a hi res streaming service, and no interest in an external DAC that will cost more than the streaming device. Obviously your not going to find a CD storage device, streamer, Bluetooth, DAC for under $200. She probably just needs a Bluetooth device..but since dac is needed as well a WiiM is most likely the best option. 

For your sister with no real HiFi aspirations an $80 WiiM Mini should do the trick. You could go up to the a pro at $150 for a better DAC but also rca outputs instead of the 3.5mm of the Mini.