Streamer advice

Looking for a little advice on streamers---I'm currently working on a simple second system and want to connect a decent streamer with my home Wifi. I have a Sugden A21 Signature integrated and a pair of Tekton Lore References. I'm currently using my MacBook Pro via Ifi Zen V2 DAC for Spotify. I want to add a dedicated streamer and I'm considering the Blue Sound Node 2i or the Cambridge Audio CXN V2. Budget is $1500. Are there other streamers I could consider? The Cambridge is on sale now with $200 off so that's a little tempting. Thanks in advance.


suggest you get the new node... not the older 2i - somewhat better sound quality and longer term reliability


I’ve owned both. The CXN V2 sounds better and can act as a Roon endpoint now (would still need a Roon core if you want to use Roon), but if using the native OS I like the BluOS in the Bluesound better and with Bluesound you can add on other units for whole house sound. The CXN’s platform is not bad though and easy to use  

The CXN V2 can also be modded by Modwright, where the entire analog stage is overhauled with a tube circuit, massive transformer, and quality linear power supply. I owned this and it nearly performed at the level of a PS Audio DirectStream DAC and NAD M50.2 streamer, which together retailed over $10K.


For 1500$ I'd go seperates.  IFI zen or USBridge signature streamer and $1200 DAC.  Schiit Bifrost ii is good for the money but there may be others.


Plus 1 @jjss49 

I’m using the N130 , the new Node and I just installed the Teddy Pardo LPS and it’s really wonderful. I bought an “Open Box” that was really unopened $500 and the Pardo power supply was also about $500, so for a bit less than $1000 I have my first streamer.

All the best.

Post removed 

I've mentioned this on this website, but when my Mytek Brooklyn Bridge bit the dust, Upscale Audio talked me into getting the CXN V2 mentioned by blisshifi above. It runs coolly & quietly and delivers SQ that often surpasses my SOTA/Alphason/Hana analogue set-up. As far as I'm concerned I'm now out of the market. 

Good advice from everyone--thank you. 

@edcyn That's good to know about the CXN, especially now since its on sale.


Volumio Primo or Rivo is in that price range. Just a Raspberry Pi works if you are a bit technical. 

I second getting the latest NODE. The Fidelity Audio PSU replacement adds about $130, then you can run it with the LPSU of your choice. If one from Fidelity Audio, total cost would be $1100-$1300 depending which LPSU you get. 

I’m with Fuzztone. I just received that streamer today as an upgrade from the BlueSound 2i and the difference in sound quality is frankly astonishing! 

Yes little green computer , you can add a nice 2-3 Terabyte of SS drive works nice 

Roon ready .

+1 for Magna Mano mkIII 

I don’t have a lot of experience with streamers so I don’t feel I can speak much about comparisons… but what I do know is that it sounds amazing and was pretty much plug-and-play.


Thanks for your recommendation on Magna Mano. It appears to be better built than Node. What can you tell us about Logitech Media Software, is it as easy to use as BluOS app? Is it windows based or do they have iOS app? I noticed, other than ROON bridge which require ROON Core Server, both Volumio and MoOde doesn’t support Qobuz.

  • Logitech Media Software supports local USB, NAS playback. Streaming Services; Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify and Deezer. Android & iOS App.
  • ROON bridge ready (Requires Roon Server in your network)
  • Volumio music player (UPNP/DLNA, Airplay, Spotify Connect, TIDAL Connect and Web-Radios)
  • MoOde™ audio player (Supports Airplay, Spotify, Squeezelite, RoonBridge)
Post removed 

For that $$ I’d recommend the new Magna Mano-Farad combo. i2s and your choice of SPDIF with a world class PS. Bluesound is a good first streamer but you don’t need another DAC.

Why not just match up your iFi? With an iFi Elite PS (I have one on my Ras Pi) you’ll get better SQ than a Bluesound.

The mobile player apps for piCore Player/LMS are Orange Squeeze for Android and iPeng for iOS. I’ve only used the former but I know happy campers here with the latter. Magna are the only builders I know that will personally help with setup and any hiccups. It is much more preferable and 1Acustomizable than BluOS which I also have. I’ve found MoOde to be "mobile" unfriendly and buggy. Free Volumio formerly played Qobuz and Tidal with BubbleUPnP in front of it, but after the recent upgrade it doesn’t work for me any more. Free V. DOES NOT play them as Hans Beekhuyzen implies it does in a recent video. miniDSP and Pro-Ject offer custom Volumio builds that do stream them w/o a V. subscription but both of these benefit from PS upgrades to their wall warts, which are unnecessary with the Mano Ultra. LMS extensions play most streams like BluOS does except for Amazon Music with additions from Bandcamp and SoundCloud. It is preferable to me since you can turn off the stupid persistent queue.

I’ve heard good things about iFi Zen streamer but I don’t own one.

Good luck.

i agree w @fuzztone 

ifi zen stream is outstanding, dedicated streamer / roon endpoint, and if used with a linear power supply the sound produced is well well above its very modest price point, and significantly purer than the node (as streamer)

i use it in my system with certain dacs, in roon only mode, fed by ethernet ... i believe earlier versions had some issues with wifi connectivity but i do understand firmware updates have solved those issues


Thanks for the feedback. I’ll stay in my fast lane with Conductor and ROON apps :-)

Thanks everyone---I've been reading and watching some good reviews about the Zen Stream as well so that's another contender. I guess I could always connect the Node to the Zen DAC (so I can still use it). Hoping the connectivity issues are resolved like someone else mentioned. 

+1 for Magna Mano.

Bought used but still enjoy excellent support from the factory.

Stream Qobuz. Great sound.

@bluorion Before settling on the iFi, perhaps read the first post here. Many have mentioned the exceptional performance of Aurender, and this is a customer statement comparing the N20 to his iFi. Yes the cost of entry is higher, but the sonic performance is worth it. Even the entry level units will be much better than the iFi.

Bliss Hifi is an authorized Aurender dealer.


I had very good luck with a Naim NDX streamer, and DAC, which I found to be an excellent combination. It also comes with a Naim app, so if you’re one of those folks that doesn’t want to use Roon, you have a free app that works very well. I think they can be gotten used for $2000 or $2500 little out of your price range, but excellent.