why expensive streamers

@soix and others

I am unclear about the effect on sound of streamers (prior to getting to the dac). Audio (even hi-res) has so little information content relative to the mega and giga bit communication and processing speeds (bandwidth, BW) and cheap buffering supported by modern electronics that it seems that any relatively cheap piece of electronics would never lose an audio bit. 

Here is why. Because of the huge amount of BW relative to the BW needs of audio, you can send the same audio chunk 100 times and use a bit checking algorithm (they call this "check sum") to make sure just one of these sets is correct. With this approach you would be assured that the correct bits would be transfered. This high accuracy rate would mean perfect audio bit transfer. 

What am I missing? Why are people spending 1000's on streamers?



128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xdelmatae

I can understand the skepticism when addressing streamers and streaming technology. I, too, was wary of what differences would be obtained by moving to a more costly route.

I made a change to my digital system when I finally got a Memory Player. I was not expecting a major change, but it was immediately apparent that it did improve the sound reproduction.

Not that everyone should plunk down a considerable amount of money on their digital system, I think it wise that they should know that enhancing the digital signal will improve what they end up hearing. This is new technology. Be preparer to be open minded.

You know, it strikes me that those here saying streamers make little/no difference don’t seem to have tried better streamers in their systems and instead just hang their hat on theory/digital properties that streamers can’t possibly make a difference.  On the flip side, those who’ve significantly upgraded to pricier streamers mostly cite substantial — not just marginal — sonic improvements.  My experience was that I somewhat skeptically tried a better streamer with the full intent of returning it and happily saving the $$$ if it didn’t make a substantial improvement, but it was immediately obvious from note one that there was no way that streamer was leaving my system.  Minimize the importance of a good streamer at your own risk — just my thoughts/experience FWIW.


I have noticed a paradox among audiophiles lately: They place a tremendous emphasis on the streamer over the DAC. I run a $5K streamer into a $19K DAC. I would never do the converse; the DAC is the heart of the digital system. 

A little anecdote:

While visiting a nearby retailer who is a "straight shooter," I asked him about his home system ($125K) and digital setup. He chuckled and said his streamer is a Bluesound! He laughed at my expression! He sells far higher-priced streamers than that and has many choices at his fingertips. That was enough said for me.