Re: streaming recommendations for newbie


I'd like to finally enter the streaming world with my hifi system and am looking for recommendations.  I have streaming music in my car and on my computer, but I can't currently access any streaming services on my hifi system because I have tube gear and neither it nor my old backup gear have streaming capacity or a DAC (other than the CD player).  

 I guess that I need to buy both a streamer and a DAC?  I now have a pretty decent hifi system, but I want start out with modest priced streaming gear.    

Can anyone recommend a streamer & DAC, or unit that does both?  Does it make sense to put more $$ in a DAC or in a steamer?  Not sure about budget, but I'm thinking $500-1000 used for both as a starting point. Thank you.



+1 to Eversolo. It is great value as a Streamer/DAC and is a very respectable Streamer only if you later decide to upgrade to a separate DAC.


I have a Bluesound Node N130 and for around $500 you can get a darn good streamer an okay DAC. As time and money permitted, I bought a better power supply and it made a big difference in the sound. As time and money permit, you might want to get a better DAC, but there’s millions of people out there who haven’t and are still very very happy.

All the best.

I’ve been using a bluesound node 2i with a PD Creative power supply.  I outboard to a Schitt Gungnir Dac. I love the sound I get and it’s been all on a beer budget compared to how much can be spent on a digital setup. I use Tidal and Qobuz and have had no qualms or itch to want more, for now. 

gkelly- Wow, the OP states $500 to $1000 and you bump up your suggestion to “a nickel” over what he wanted to spend?  Granted it’s a great product and well worth the price, but most people don’t equate a nickel to $500! 😂

@tlh28 if you already stream on your computer, why not start with a USB DAC, and just use the computer as your streamer via USB? If the computer is a far distance from the HiFi setup, there are active USB cables.

Can’t hurt to try if you’re okay having streamer x DAC be separate. I advocate that because streamers are limited-feature low-power computers and a given model’s software might not be kept up indefinitely; even if upgrading is not necessary for sonic reasons, obsolescence of a dedicated streamer may become unavoidable depending on company x hardware x software. So a dedicated streamer (whether separate from or integrated with a DAC) should, by design, be more susceptible to shortcomings over time than would be a decent DAC on its own. 😉  A streamer x DAC combo assumes the streamer side will receive software + firmware updates for the lifetime of the whole device. Maybe yes, maybe no.

Using your computer also leaves you greater choice of which platform / OS to stream with. Conversely, a dedicated streamer will have a proprietary in-house OS with software you may like, or may not like. It will probably be run from a small touch screen on the front panel (perhaps with remote), or from a smart device app. Computers have some downsides, mostly in terms of greater learning curves for relevant software and options, but they also can offer more power in this area.

Seems to me the most obvious, and potentially least costly, starting point for OP unless a streamer-DAC combo unit is preferred.

If you specifically want a dedicated streamer, then consider posting a virtual system for folks to weigh in with their specific preferences / opinions?