Streamer only

I am not tech savvy and I have a DAC already in my integrated amp.I just wanted to try streaming. I would like to use Qobuz and need to purchase a streamer. I don’t need the dac included within the unit. I hate to pay a large amount for a unit that has a high quality DAC included. Are there any high quality streamers where I am not paying for the higher quality DAC included in the unit? My system is a Levinson 585 and Acendo C8 R speakers. 

Ag insider logo xs@2xpal

I’m using the Cambridge MXN10 into an Audio Research Reference CD9 cd player operated as a DAC. It cost $360 and sounds incredible.

I am using the Aurrender W20SE ($22K) streamer through the Audio Research Reference CD9SE as DAC and it sounds as good as my very good vinyl leg. Each step from a Mac book, to inexpensive streamer, to a $3K $5K, $10K, $13K, to my W20SE provided a very substantial improvement in sound quality, each worthy of the investment.

Going to add to the comments pile here because sometimes people are looking for an answer to their question, not justification for what others are doing.

First, forget using any computer. Streamers are too good and too cheap not to utilize them and any good system will easily show the difference in improvement.

Generally, I side with lower priced streamers for most. I have a high end tube monoblock system using a WiiM Pro with an external LPS for it. That’s a cost under $250. It goes to optical audio to an RME ADI-2. It is fabulous.

I learned in my wifi heavy area that the toslink is better sound quality (using a glass toslink cable) than coax to the DAC. The RME ADI-2 is able to play streams via BOTH inputs at 192K.

The WiiM Pro deployed with an external LPS puts it on par if not better than the other options listed here. You simply can’t go wrong with it. My full range system never sounded better. (I also have a fiber optic connection now and that was a very nice boost to the overall streaming quality. In addition I use Cisco network switches cascaded to the WiiM Pro streamer with fiber optic cable between them. Another very nice bump in quality.)

The Optical Rendu option is also an excellent product that meets your $1,000 budget. Last, Blue Jean ethernet cables are top notch and inexpensive. Don’t go down that ethernet cable rabbit hole.

Happy listening!


Don’t overspend, especially at first. It’s something you have to use, know, understand, and analog logic doesn’t apply. There are a lot of uber expensive options out there that don’t add SQ and just address the nervosa.

After you know what you’re doing, feel free to pull out the wallet. Don’t start that way.

I’ve built a couple great PC streamers and many swear by their Raspberry Pi’s. But if you’re not interested in learning about PCs, I’d go for something like an IfI Zen or a Pro-Ject to start. Consider using Roon, which is one of the best things about streaming. Streamer has to be compatible.

The suggestions of any Wiim (mini or pro) are a great first start.  I used my mini into my Bricasti DAC for quite some time.

I next was an early adopter of the Eversolo DMP-A6.  For what it is and what it can do for under $1000 it is very hard to beat. 

I thought I would upgrade relatively soon after that addition but am enjoying the Eversolo.  The final upgrade to my system would be a streamer 20x the cost of the A6.  But I realize I will not hear 20x the improvement because of diminishing returns and all that.


Happy listening!