I've always converted all my music in ALAC (CDs or downloaded 24 bit files using dbpoweramp) considering a fact that lossless compressed are the same as uncompressed.
ALAC was my preferred format not only because it saves space and for tagging metadata, but also for compatibility reason when wi-fi streaming to my iPad/iPhone.
From a static file to reach a DAC some work must be done, it's a fact too.
I've started from USB audio and after a couple of years of frustration changing numberless of hardware/software setups and settings, I've abandoned USB in favor of streaming devices.
Choose the best renderer you can afford and have peace of mind.
Then I've read this thread, the comments of some audio designer and the reported difference in some features and speed of encoding/decoding ALAC/FLAC vs WAV/AIFF, so a doubt entered my mind:
is the work done by the rendering device before the DAC a little different depending on the file type?
I've started only today to test the sound of different file types in my high-end stereo setup and I must confess I hear some differences I'm no more sure ALAC is the best or at least the same as the others.
I doubt all my streamers are badly engineered, maybe not optimized for each file type, from best to worst I have now: Yamaha NP-S2000, Linn Majik DS and a few Sonos. I keep Yamaha as reference since it's true balanced as the rest of the system (Electrocompaniet amp, Trenner & Friedl Pharoah speakers).
WAV seems a little more open, a little more reverb and subtle details. ALAC seems always a little compressed, closed-in and less dynamic. FLAC a little bit more coherent than ALAC even more than WAV in my system but maybe not better overall since WAV could highlight more system limits.
I'm quite sure ALAC in the Yamaha is not the best format, maybe since it's not fully supported, latest firmware just updated add 24/192 to WAV/FLAC only, ALAC limited to 24/96.
I'll do more tests, but something is happening differently depending on each file type.
I'm not happy at all to report that since now I'm considering which format to use for sound quality or which for compatibility and maybe I'll have to decode all my files again...