Trying to make sense of the new and improved world of streaming music

I did my due diligence and read and searched in the forums, but I am still trying to make sense of streaming music and making happen in my system. So I will try and stay on topic of my post. Not sure if this should be separate posts or all in one. For now I will make it all one post. I am not new to the concept of streaming music - but I am new to how to get it to work with my av gear -


I would like to get this setup on a beer budget if possible btw... so no dedicated $2k streamers etc...

Need to stream content to Marantz AV7704. I want to stream my current library ( stored on an hd on my PC to my 7704 ) AND music from streaming services - to same system. Have read that HEOS is not the best way to do this?

My current hdw setup:

-Marantz AV7704 w/ ext amp ( obviously ) w/ HEOS app - which I am currently using to stream music controlled by mobile phone app

-PC is located 40 ft from AV system - connected to network - has entire music library on it - but I can put library on ext drive or move it to laptop if needed -

- Laptop - win10 - not currently used to control content sent to AV7704

-mobile phone - Samsung Note 10+ - HEOS app controls content

-Roku 4k device near Marantz AV7704 - using apps to stream music



Will the Tidal phone app allow you to playback in hi-res? I ask - because the Amazon app apparently does not support hi-res playback at this time...

What is the ’best’ setup for controlling and accessing the new world of streaming? Roon? etc?

What is the most efficient and best sounding way to stream music to take advantage of the higher quality streaming that services like AmazonHD, Tidal, Qobuz offers?

Will the choice of device ( laptop, pc, Roku, mobile phone, dedicated streamer ) affect the sound quality of the streaming services - if all were to be connect to same DAC of choice?

What adapters, cables, dacs is recommended to get up and running - that will not break the bank?

What are the cable of choice for most?? Is it USB? HDMI? SPDIF? or just a CAT 6 Network cable?

Will using mobile phone or laptop connected to av7704 via hdmi or usb.... ’sound’ better than using the HEOS app on mobile phone casting?

Does the ’quality’ of the CAT6 cables that connects my 7704 to my switch matter?

I DO see my music library in the HEOS app on my 7704 - but how would I ’improve’ the sound quality of the library - being so far away from the 7704? Will a dedicated sound card matter?


What is the best way to manage/control/access the streaming services? Just the basic services and their apps? Or is it better to use Roon? Plex? Audiovana? Node2? Will it improve sound quality at all? Etc?

Thank you very much in advance.

- BW

Wow, you have a lot of questions, but that's what the forum is for...
If I were you, I would look at Bluesound. The Node is a very good buy for the money, and its' internal DAC-though not great- is pretty good.
Bluesound has access to quite a number of streaming services (even Amazon).
Given your desire/budget, I wouldn't concern myself with cables.

If and when you are ready to move up the ladder, I would look for either a separate DAC for the Bluesound, or perhaps move to an Aurender (though Aurender doesn't offer the wide range of streaming services like Bluesound). 
As far as inexpensive DAC's, I use the Ayre Codex. Though the Schiit Gungnir and Yggy are close competitors and similarly priced.
you have many ways that you can go here.  I would get a Bluesound Node 2 or 2i and connect that to your processor.  I would then back up your collection, which is relatively small, to a separate HD and attach that via usb to the Node.  The advantages here would be:
1) moving the HD directly to the music system, not having to worry about it being some distance from your main system.
2) it eliminates HEOS from the equation.
You shouldn’t need a NAS for this, a simple HD will do.

a viable alternative would be to back your HD to an SD Card for your mobile phone.  Android phones can take SD cards up to 2TB.  You can then stream to your Marantz via AirPlay or Bluetooth, if your processor offers those functions.  If not, then you can purchase a great BT DAC from Audioengine for under $200.  I have one in on of my home systems and it’s great for just wanting to stream tunes from my, or a visitor’s, phone.  BT and Airplay are good enough for your mp3 files.
The Node 2 is compatible with every streaming service, Internet Radio, and if you ever want to stream High Rez files, then you are future proofed
Another point in favor of having your files on your phone is that they become portable, nice if you travel
All good advice above I would add the Auralic Aries to the recs of streamers I have had the little brother the Mini for 4 years now and love it. The Mini was sadly discontinued but with new versions of the Aries having come out used prices on the original are starting to drop into the $7-800 range a very good price for an excellent streamer. One note it doesn't have a DAC so you would need an external one. Much better sound that way anyway I use an external DAC with my Mini.
Post removed 
Kills me that people wax on for 10 paragraphs without ever mentioning a budget.

get a Google chrome or an Apple TV and you’re all set.
add a DAC for better SQ.

skip the BS and buy a used bluesound.

notthat hard....except to those trying to read your mind....😉

@ianrmack ,
Leave the OP alone. He came here with honest questions-which, we tried to answer. 
If he left out his budget, all you have to do is ask him.
@gdrnbob....sure, ok.
Thats why the OP gets only 4-5 responses. But, let’s make sure we don’t hurt his feelings...🤔😆

ask questions succinctly and be specific and watch how others lean in and help.

Like I said in my post before, get your self a Bluesound Node 2i.
Sheet, if you have two eyes and an IQ above 100, you can conclude that in 10 minutes by just skimming the threads here,

it is just kinda evident to all that the OP hasnt done a lick of research yet and there’s a difference between being curious and wanting help and then being lazy...😂

Yo, OP...walk first. Can you cut loose with $500? I would assume yes.
it can stream, has a DAC and has a control app and has resale value.

buy it, experience it then come back here in a month.


No need to be a dbag man. I didn't mention a budget because it's irrelevant at this point. 

And I have done hours, weeks, months of research including this forum. But I wanted specific examples of what others general experience was as it related my questions. My questions are no less relevant than anyone else in this forum. No I can't afford $30k cables....but I'm still allowed to ask and learn. And over the last 35+ years involved in audio I have learned from many that didn't act like a dbag when legit questions were presented. 

I had specific questions that were not necessarily addressed in any given previous post. 

Get off your high horse for a moment because you are making assumptions that are grossly incorrect. 

In no way am I butt hurt but a little professional courtesy should be extended. I'm not some audio newbie fresh off the boat. 

Feel better?
dude, you got 10 responses in 3 months to your 10 paragraph missive. ‘Nuff said.

drop the ego attachments and apprach this differently if you want help.

It wasn't about feeling better. You presented an opinion as a fact. I was clarifying my pov. Calm down. All I am asking for is a bit of professional courtesy. If you are incapable, then move on as I have.

I have no ego attached to this, so I am not sure how could ever interpret data and questions as 'ego'. But, okay. Sure, I wanted some guidance. Clearly no one was interested in the topic at hand. I have moved on.  I am not sure how my approach was any different then any other members. Data and background was provided. Questions presented. And I asked for direction, clarity, and others' experiences... isn't that the purpose of a forum? I am not sure how it could have been done any different. But chime in if you feel you have a better approach methodologies in your tool box.  Have a nice day.

I'm calm, issue.
youre still not getting it nor do you see the correlation between your verbose question and its lack of interest in members' response.

the ego is that you cant see it...;-)

I also answered your question: GET A BLUESOUND NODE 2i!!!!!!

Play with it, it has resale value. But it for $410 on eBay, use it for a month, then go from there.

If you like it, the  cool, welcome to the new rodeo.
If you dont, then sell it for $375 in under 48 hrs.

do the math on what your cost basis is.

Then most of your questions will be more you.

seriously, not many are going to unpack all ypur questions and serve them up back to you.
Like I said, just ignore him. No matter what you say, it won't make a difference. 
The Node is a great Swiss Army knife on a beer budget. Put it on network w PC and it should find your HD files. There is also a sizable user community working to gracefully help each other and of course professional support. I have a Powernode.

i would not recommend ROON at this juncture, perhaps later after you discovering limitations of BlueOS app, which evolves to look more like ROON every release it seems....

as others have said, the Bluesound DAC while competent is probably the limiting factor an otherwise extremely valuable gizmo

In future perhaps post several threads and break up the questions, especially cables... like grabbing third rail


Point taken.  Again. I guess in the future less is more. Although I am sure I will get the universal ' not enough information to answer your question'... but thanks for the input. I solidly appreciate your take on my OP. I have moved on. I have already moved past the Node 2i and moved up the chain in SQ and build quality.  Take care.  

Maybe I'm misunderstanding your point about Amazon, but I stream high resolution from the Amazon music app.
I have subscribed to Amazon Music HD and I am really enjoying listening to Amazon FLAC files Playing via my HEOS app on my Marantz AV 7703. The Fidelity is incredible. Mind you, I have a Bluesound Node2i playing TIDAL files through my HT By-Pass Marantz PM14S1 that sounds really great; but, this Amazon HD might be the ticket. Furthermore, listening via HEOS I can monitor the album art via any HDMI output on my Marantz AV7703. So nice to finally not have to open my hibernating phone to see what artist is playing.