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Streamer recommendations and streamer Vs. PC

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by smodtactical, Nov 15, 2018.
  1. smodtactical
    Would like to bring some modern 2018 discussion of streamers vs pc. With high end gear and high end dacs is there something to gain from streamers vs a traditional desktop with a good usb cable? Can people share their experiences between the two?

    Also: ----------

    Right now im using wasapi flacs on foobar2000 -> ifi usb cable into a ipurifier 2.0 into terminator -> he9. I want to get the most out of my chain as possible. So I'm looking at getting a streamer/music server to isolate and optimize audio and get more out of my components.

    I am looking at the SOTM 200 ultra but wants to get more recommendations. Willing to spend 2-3k if its justified purely for audio performance.

    Some streamers here i looked at:


    Ideally want to get something end game for my budget. Are these pricey naim devices worth it?

    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  2. smodtactical
  3. smodtactical
    added to the post a question about pc vs streamers... theres been older threads but id like updated thoughts please
  4. albertmuc
    Thinking about switching from Mac/Mojave to Streamer, „Pro-ject Stream Box S2 Ultra“ seems to be promising >>> click Review >>> click
  5. gimmeheadroom
    Streamers seem like a good option to me. The only thing is I have not found one that does everything a PC can be forced to do.

    I have a small form-factor PC about the size of a paperback book running foobar2000. It can play any format of music (high rate DSD, SACD ISO, flac, you name it). It goes into various DACs via USB and I am feeding it music via Samba. But it can also run off local files or dlna. It also runs the Tidal hifi app so I can play MQA files since one of my DACs supports MQA.

    I just got a Bluesound node 2i which can stream Tidal hifi (MQA) and most other music services. It will run off local USB and can see Samba shares. But it does not play DSD or SACD ISO which I have quite a lot of. And it doesn't support dlna.

    As far as I know, Windows cannot run headless. This is a pain in the ass that causes you to need a keyboard and screen. The streamers run semi-headless. You can access them via phone, Windows, tablet, etc.

    There are certainly streamers that do more than the node 2i and can stream DSD etc. I don't know if any of them will stream SACD ISO. Well I guess Dune and Zappiti and maybe some others will but I'm not sure the DACs are so great. So right now I can't dump foobar and I have to dedicate a box *just* for that since I don't use Windows for anything else. The reason I got the streamer is to play Tidal hifi over a system in another room.

    No clear answers, just some thought spewage that I hope will be useful.
  6. Roseval
    It can be done e.g. using the Remote Desktop.
    There is even a RDP version for Android by Microsoft

    If you don't need the full Windows interface, you can control it using DLNA (Win media sharing = DLNA)
  7. gimmeheadroom
    I am aware of RDP but I didn't consider it a way to run Windows headless. I noticed with Win 10 there has started to be a local administrator prompt when doing certain actions (install/uninstall etc.) Does RDP allow the remote guy to do administrative actions or just to run apps?

    And will Windows 10 run with no keyboard or monitor attached? I haven't tried it since I was not aware of a way to access it. I also don't know whether RDP is safe over the net for example does it encrypt the entire RDP session, does it offer key-based (RSA) authentication etc. or only userid/password?
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2018
  8. Roseval
    To the best of my knowledge this depends on your credentials.
    If you login with credentials to do admin jobs, you can do admin jobs.
  9. bfreedma

    RDP will work exactly the same way as using a local keyboard/mouse, so if you have admin privileges, nothing changes If you want to remove the administrator notifications entirely, follow the instructions in this link to change UAC notifications

    Windows 10 runs perfectly with no monitor and keyboard attached. If you want something a little easier to use than RDP, try Splashtop - it's free for controlling systems on your local network, and subscription based if you want to access your systems from outside of your firewall via the internet. Local and internet connections are secure, using TLS with 256-bit AES encryption
  10. gimmeheadroom
    Thanks, this is interesting! I generally don't trust third party tunnelling solutions unless they're generally-known VPNs or stuff like OpenSSH. It would be very cool to set up X-forwarding over SSH using cygwin or something like that and run foobar2000 headlessly. I was not aware Windows will run without a keyboard and screen. Cool! Thanks @Roseval and @bfreedma
  11. bfreedma

    If you want to run foobar headlessly, consider MonkeyMoteHD if you have an iOS device. Has a small foobar component and the iOS app is really clean. I’ve been using it for years without issue.

    One nice thing about Splashtop personal is that it uses the same platform as their enterprise support product so is more robust than most personal remote apps. It’s a competitor to TeamViewer and LogMeIn in the enterprise support space.
  12. davehg
    Why not a Roon Nucleus? I just installed mine, and no PC screen or keyboard is needed, just an iPhone or iPad. You can hook a USB DAC directly to it, or buy a streamer device like a Microrendu. Or just use an old Squeezebox like I am doing. Works perfect with Tidal, and you can add a hard drive to the Nucleus to store your ripped music or just add a NAS drive or your PC to the network and Roon will find and add your music collection.

    I love not having to turn on a PC. I also love that it controls my other systems in other rooms including my a Sonos and my Marantz AV receiver. It is fanless so no noise in my listening room.

    You can build your own Roon Server using an Intel NUC in a fanless case for a lot less, but it was worth my time to have a device that was dedicated and took all of 10 min to setup.

    Another option is the new Bel Canto e.one Stream. It has a built in DAC that can render MQA files, or you can add an external DAC. It is also a Roon Ready.

    I’m thinking of adding the Bel Canto - will compare to my existing DAC and Squeezebox setup. I also have a Sony HapZ1es mentioned above, and it streamsSpotify but not Tidal. It sounds fantastic but I want something Tidal or Qubuzz compatible.
  13. tabloid
    If you use roon you can also consider the Metrum Acoustics Ambre with i2s connection.
  14. tabloid
    It's possible use ambre also with qobuz.
  15. Windseeker
    I've found Mojo+Poly to be quite a competent streamer (currently my bedside streamer ... using my smartphone and/or iPad as a remote) both in terms of sound quality and versatility.

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