Requesting recommendations for simple and easy to use music streaming devices

An unusual question please:

I’m setting up my first and probably last audio system. I’ve used headphones before, but never speakers. I bought the Graham LS 6 speakers which I bought for their rich mid range. I was thinking of purchasing a streaming integrated amplifier because I thought an all in one would be simplest to use, and I was considering an Arcam SA 30 as it has both enough power and I’m told it would nicely preserve the rich mid range of the speakers. However, as I started to read about it I got scared off because as a senior I am, sorry to say, completely helpless when it comes to technology and the SA 30 has so many features there’s no way I could really use it. I would very much appreciate any recommendations for a streaming set-up, all in one or separates (integrated  amplifier plus streamer?), that would be easy enough to use. I don’t need a lot of features because I will only be using it to stream directly from streaming services (Amazon HD, TIDAL and perhaps others in the future; I will have none of my own files; no CDs; no phono). Any suggestions for a system, integrated or otherwise, that would be able to properly drive the LS6 speakers (8 ohms; 87 dB’s; recommended amplifier power 50–150 watts) and preserve their rich midrange, but also as simple and easy to use as possible? Budget could be $2000-$3000, but, again, simplicity is critical. I know it’s a difficult question because I am asking for two probably inconsistent goals: good sound and simple to use. Thanks very much.


Since you don't have any sources and you're only going to be streaming, I would suggest a Bluesound Node and plug that into a power amplifier. The BluOS app is very easy to use and has volume control built in. 

A Bluesoind Powernode is probably all you need with 80 wpc. <$1K.

It’s one of the few that stream Amazon and Qobuz (recommended over Tidal.)

Not a favorite app for me but somewhat easy to learn once the persistant queue is dealt with.


Wattson Emerson Digital streamer would be perfect for you. I was looking for a simple solution as well, it is plug and play. Just plug it in your router and your Dac and load the application and you can stream directly from your Tidal( or other) account). It is Swiss made, it sounds exceptionally good for the price (just under 2k), lots of positive reviews and user reviews online. I upgraded the wall wart for a linear power supply and it sounded even better( I use a Plixir but there’s a lot of options out there)

The Amazon PM7000n is a streaming amplifier with "Hey Google" so you can literally just tell it what content to play from what service. Free shipping and a 60 day return policy:


Keep the amp and the streamer separate. I’d recommend the new Innuos Pulse Mini that’ll kick the crap outta any Node for sound quality, their new Sense software sounds top level and is easy to use (and is free), and Innuos’ customer support is exemplary if you ever need it.

For an amp, for the sound characteristics you seem to like the Yamaha A-S1100 is built like a tank, looks beautiful, should offer absolute bulletproof reliability and can be had in as-new condition from a very reputable dealer at a little over half full MSRP. Total no brainer to me.

Put these two products together and I think you’re in total hog heaven within your budget. Hope this helps, and best of luck!

You hit the nail on the head with "easy to use".  The main difference between quality streamers is the Human Machine Interface (HMI).  I find some of them suck and some of them I like.  It is a personal thing so it would be great if you could demo some of them and figure out how to search for songs and play them and see if you like it.  

I use Roon, not terribly simple to set up but very nice to use.  I hear aurender conductor is good.  I had a bluesound node but can't remember if the controls appealed to me or not.  so look closely at how you manage your music and play songs.  I like doing it with my laptop in my lap.  Roon I can do on my laptop, my phone, or my tablet.

What I didn't like was using either Tidal or Qobuz as my music managment interface.


HiFI Rose RS 520 ($3,695) or RS 201E ($2,195) would do what you need. Very simple to set up and use.

A Naim Uniti Atom might fit the bill. It’s an all in one streamer/DAC/amp but since you say you’re not planing to move on from there that may not be a problem for you. You’ll need an iPAD or at a pinch an Android tablet for the app, the apple version of which works more reliably I’m told and is what I use and I find it very easy. Setup to an existing wireless network was painless if the tablet is already connected and the free app running on it. There is native Tidal, Qobuz and spotify and other services via Airplay and Chromecast and it should suit the Grahams a treat. The only drawback is cost compared to some of it’s competitors but worth a listen if you can before deciding.

Naim uniti either a Star or Nova


superb sound quality

superb build quality

great easy to use app

warm full sounding should drive the Grahams easily

Dave and Troy

Audio intellect NJ

Naim and bluesound dealers

You didn't define a budget, but i really like the Cambridge Audio CXN 60, so much that I just bought a second unit for another system.  It costs about $1100.  It has a superb DAC that you can use for other digital sources, and a really good app to operate it.  It also has AirPlay and Chromecast which once you master the rudiments of streaming you will find very easy.  It integrates easily with the major streaming services.  It doesn't contain storage, however so if you plan to play CDs or downloads that you have burned to a Hard Drive, you will need a server 

Thanks all for your suggestions. I haven’t responded up to now simply because I’m still trying to digest the many suggestions ranging from the Node to the Naim Uniti  models and in between. I would love to get the Naim Uniti Atom and put this all behind me but, again, I need to do some more research to make sure it’s operation is simple enough for me (I’m not concerned about the difficulty of set up because I will have someone else set it up for me, e.g., Total Tech at Best Buy). Another suggestion I’m considering is to simply buy the Node, pair it with a good integrated amplifier and see if the sound is good enough. The Node is cheap enough so if I had to replace it it would not be a problem, and by all reports the Bluos system is about as manageable as it gets.

Again,, thanks all and I will report back. In the meantime, wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year.


Another Possibility:

Rogue Audio Pharaoh integrated over on TMR $1.8K

Schiit Gungnir DAC new $800

Bluesound Node on TMR $500


just a tad over budget. easy to set up. People here can get you going on the hookup. But do your own research on that amp to make sure it matches up to speaker specs


Also a Hegel H95 over on usaudiomart within your budget. Has internal DAC so you could skip the Schiit with that unit and got strait from BS node to amp.


Too generalize to maximize SQ.



You can find and integrated with a DAC (Like the Hegel) if you want to keep it simple but many times specialized DACs do better.   They are almost always better than the DACS in streamers at the BS node price point. 



i agree with earlier input to keep the integrated amplifier separate from streamer/dac

as for the steamer/dac... the cambridge cxn v2 is an excellent one... simple, easy to use software and interface to stream tidal, qobuz etc... not complicated at all

there is a wonderful tubed output stage mod that dan wright/modwright does which makes it sound top-notch, if you want to spring for that, and i believe it will do wonders for vocal reproduction on your graham speakers

stock unit

modded unit

discussion about the modded unit



Before you drop hundreds or over a grand, please check out the Wiim Pro. 

It has coax and optical audio with bit-perfect hi-res performance. The software is outstanding. It is updated frequently and it is making waves.

$150 and is available at Amazon. 

@switzer145 can you define simplicity.

-- something you can buy and sit in the corner and never worry about and upgrade as tech changes a simple one box controlled via an app

~$1000 Bluesound Power Node -

~$2500 - Marantz M40n

~$3500 NAD M10 v2 or  Naim Uniti

They are all one box systems that probably mean an upgrade in 10 years - i.e. a total replacement. The additional dollars will just give you better sound -- but thats all subjective. There's probably 20 options in that price range for a single box solution. 

Most people here would tend to separate their system into an AMP and Streamer / DAC separates which is a different ball game. If you want to do that route things are slightly more complicated as you will have two or more devices which have to work together but you can upgrade easier and ticker with the system more. 





@kiwiscott - thank you for your response. Simplicity for me is just what you said: sitting in the corner listening to beautiful music and not thinking about upgrades. (your warning about having to upgrade in 10 years is not something I worry about as I am 78 ((a young 78)). I am not, like most people on this forum, an audiophileI as I have neither the hearing nor the musical appreciation and understanding that most people here have. What I do love is sitting and listening to music such as scores from movies like Out of Africa, Cinema Paradiso, Gladiator, etc. Or vocals, mostly female, think Nina Simone singing Wild is the Wind. I could sit for hours listening to that kind of music.  But what I mean by “simplicity of operation“ is more than just not having to consider upgrading, it’s even simpler than that: I am, as I mentioned in my original question, terrible at operating technology. I actually have bought a couple of headphone amplifiers which I have not yet used because of that. (Eventually I will find someone to show me how to use them).
So I would likely buy the Naim Uniti Atom if I went with a one box solution, But I’m just concerned that because it has so many features it might be too difficult for me to operate. Additionally, I don’t need most features because I will only be using it to stream directly from the streaming services such as Tidal, Quobuz or Amazon HD  (I will not be using it for a phono,  CDs or streaming from my own files as I will have none). I have considered the Powernode because it seems to be the simplest, but my concern there is whether I would come close enough to maximizing the luscious midrange of the Graham LS 6 speakers. If it would that might my first attempted solution. The final choice would be to combine the Node (again because its ease of operation) or one of the other streamers suggested by others on this thread, and combine that with a good quality integrated amplifier which is where I probably am at the moment (subject to change in about a half hour).

Again, thanks.

If you’ve tried the BluSound Node then a NAD option would work the same. 

The problem with using a Blue Sound for anything else would be that it’s not a great DAC - when you combine it with a $2500 amp. 

Is there a dealer near you where you could take your speakers to demo them? If not, perhaps a dealer can come to you. 


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For whatever its worth, I am a professional musician, an audiophile and very limited as far as technology goes. I have a very simple setup using Roku ( under $50) for streaming, Tidal for music and other apps for movies. Roku has HDMI out which goes into my NAD DAC which separates the sound to my amp and video to my monitor. Simple, inexpensive, sounds great. If you don't have the HDMI possibility from a DAC or your amp, there is an inexpensive unit on Amazon that will separate the video via HDMI and sound via digital or RCA outs. Sound quality not quite as good but certainly listenable.

@romanesq  +1, the Wiim Pro is very good and very reasonably priced.  I’m totally enjoying mine!

You keep mentioning the sweet midrange you crave, that screams tubed electronics to me. You could buy this amp off amazon as well as either a Node or Wiim streamer and be done. Willsenton R8 KT88/EL34 x4 Tube Integrated AMP Power Amplifier Headphone Replaceable Basic Meter (Black)


Here is a review of it.