Recommendations for good sounding streamer

I am looking for a decent sounding streamer without breaking the bank. My daughter has Spotify premium and it would be nice to connect up to my audio system (de Havilland UltraVerve tube preamp, McCormack DNA-1 amp, Martin Logan SL3s).

I mostly listen to vinyl (Pro-ject RPM5) and CDs (Ultech UCD100) using the internal DAC. I do have a V90 DAC however that I used for playing digital from my phone. 

I don't really have the money any more for expensive digital playback. So what a recommendations for bang for the buck system. Could include using my V90 DAC. 

Reading through the forum here it seems that Spotify is not the best quality digital (Tidal seems to come up a lot). But for now we have tons of Spotify playlists - just looking for an affordable way. 

Some considerations:

Bluesound NODE 3

iFi Zen Stream

Any others? Pros/cons?


I have the BlueSound Node streamer. I bypass the internal DAC and go digital coax to an MHDT Orchid DAC. I am also soon buying a Teddy Pardo external power supply to further improve the streamer.

The best in terms of price is the Chromecast Audio. It also has an internal DAC so you could go from that direct to the amp. Or you can connect it to your dac. And it is tiny and can just dangle out the back of the amp or dac. It costs only a few tens of $ new on eBay (they don’t make them any more). The sound quality is excellent for everything, especially for Spotify and CD quality files. Spotify Connect recognises the device and so streaming from your daughter’s phone is so easy.

The device, made in the millions hence the low price, was the best value piece of audio equipment ever produced.

I had Logitech Transporter, then Bluesound Node 2i and now a N100H by Aurender.  The Aurender has more refined, clean soud and its USB output is great.  The music is cached by a SSD, isolating it from a lot of noise. Qobuz hires is indistinguishabe from the same songs downloaded on the internal drive. You can get one for around 2k used. Worth a try.

I'm partial to Cambridge Audio streamers.  They are a bit more expensive (around $1,100), but are very versitile in terms of connection options.  I have an Azur 851N that I use primarily to play purchased music from a hard drive, but it also has support for Spotify, Deezer, etc.  I love how it sounds in my system.   My son has the CXN V2 and is very happy with it too.