Best quality way to stream/hook up source to receiver



What do you all think is the best way to stream audio? currently using tidal on my mac that is hooked to my receiver via hdmi. in my small amount of experimenting, this seems like a better quality way than using a 3.5 to rca cord to go from the computer to the receiver.

I am new to tidal/hi fi streaming and i was under the impression the only way to get hifi on tidal was to have the desktop app, but i believe you only have to have that for the mqa files? so for ease i was thinking of using my apple tv with the tidal app hooked through the receiver, obviously with audio via hdmi.

These options are my ideas/choices for my old pioneer receiver I'm currently using. no bluetooth, but has hdmi and other digital and analog inputs. looking for anything that may be a better option for the time being.

also considering getting a new amp, looking at something like a rotel a-12, cambridge cxa61, or similar. maybe this would be best for another thread but what would be the best way to stream with an integrated stereo amp? only interested in streaming. no cd player, no record player, etc. Would i be better off looking into something like a network audio streamer? a Cambridge CXN for example.

overall looking for the best sound quality over anything else, (around the $1000 max mark)


I stream Tidal Masters exclusively as you do. I would first recommend this for Tidal use:

The Integra products have Tidal and MQA built-in so you can use the Integra app to control everything. I use my Integra AVR and streaming Tidal Masters works very well as long as it is direct connected to your router via Ethernet.

Here is another Integrated I have been researching as well for my bedroom:

It seems to check all of the boxes as well.

The NAD 368 with built-in BluOS is another option, but is outside of your budget.


If you're seriously considering a 2 channel integrated, the NAD C 338 has Chromecast built in. I believe Tidal can cast to Chromecast. $699 new, $449.99 refurbished at Safe and Sound.
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John Parks

John Parks

Audioholic Chief
@traviswedley I stream to my 2-channel integrated system with a Bluesound Node 2i and am very, very happy with it. The Bluesound will stream Tidal (MQA) Qobuz, Amazon HD, Spotify, Deezer (whatever you have a subscription to) internet radio, etc. and sounds great. I use Roon as well and can stream wirelessly any music on my computer (Bluesound can do this too, but it is a bit of a convoluted process, plus Roon has a better interface).

This is a great solution for me and would be for anyone using an older integrated/receiver that does not have streaming capabilities. The Node 2i is $500.


Audioholic Intern
I really should raise this as a question in another thread, but I wanted to mention it here in case this is somehow of some help to you.

I was using HEOS to stream Tidal - supposedly Hi-Def - to my Marantz SR6013. It sounded terrible. And I don't know why. Note that
  • Playing a CD via an optical connection (using receiver DAC and Amp) sounds fine
  • Playing a CD via an analog connection (using the receiver amp) sounds fine
So, I'm not saying "the DAC sucks" or "the amp sucks."

I got Tidal because I think internet streams at 128kbps or below sound terrible, and 192 is often tolerable, but easily noticeably less good. But I don't have magic ears, and find that 256 (and especially above 300) actually sounds pretty darn reasonable.

So I'm not trying to split magic hairs here. If HEOS/Tidal/Marantz are actually doing what they're supposed to be doing, what they SAY they're doing - streaming Tidal at CD quality - it should sound completely fine. But it most definitely does NOT sound fine, and I don't know where to point the finger...

My sample size is only "1 receiver," but I can't recommend streaming Tidal with HEOS on Marantz based on my experience. I hope this data point is helpful.


My Chromecast Audio via optical works great, but unfortunately NLA.

  • SVS Sound Subwoofers
  • Experience the Martin Logan Montis