Why is my expensive streamer to my DAC better than sending Roon or my Mac directly to DAC

I recently upgraded to a Lumin U1-X and it really sounds great, the DAC is ARC CD9.  I was telling my son how great this upgraded unit sounds. He asked me " What does a streamer do, and why can't the Mac simple go directly to the DAC".

I was at a loss of words, other than I don't know but it sounds amazing.

Can anyone offer a better explanation? Thank you

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To add on to @audiotroy post (he sold me my first legit streamer, an Innuos Zenith) it boils down to less noise and depending on the streamer's output method (usb v spdif) better and more reliably precise clocking. A multipurpose pc is better than nothing and a single purpose device (like a streamer) can be optimized for the job at hand. Alot of small things really add up. best wishes.

Interesting side note the gentleman that sold me my U1-X replaced it with an

$ 80,000 Streamer DAC Reclocker from Greece. Ideon Absolute Stream, Ideon Absolute Time, and Ideon Absolute DAC! I noticed a big difference in the sound quality from this unit vs the U1 mini I had, which I thought sounded good.

The U1 with the X power supply has more bass slam, better detail, it simply sounds more lifelike. Also has really great powerful extended top end without sounding harsh. I just love it!



You can probably achieve similar result with Mac via DDC reclocker/isolator, i.e. Mac => DDC => DAC. Also, may need to adjust OS to make sure fewer processes running putting less load on CPU and fewer interrupts. After all, streamer IS a computer.

Streamer is a dedicated computer with fewer things running and less performance hardware, so less noise. Tuned for the purpose rather than for general tasks.

The streamer is getting the initial signal from the noisy computer

You'll probably get a better result by connecting your streamer via ethernet to its own port on your router.