tmurnin

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
I’m curious when I see these Network Streamer components from places like Cambridge or Rose or Naim. They’re usually priced well over $1k and I’m not sure I understand the point. Most modern AVRs or streaming devices like Roku or AppleTV all contain the same apps for Tidal/Qobuz/Spotify/whatever, so what do these devices add and why are they necessary? I guess if you’re running a 2 ch system and don’t have the AVR it might make sense, but even then you can get a Sonos Port for ~ $500 that does the same thing (I’m sure there are probably cheaper alternatives that I’m forgetting to). Are these just appealing to people with money to burn or is there something I’m missing?
 
adk highlander

adk highlander

pessimistic optimist
I think it really depends on the setup like you say. My integrated will stream but it is limited to AirPlay and I would prefer to use RAAT when using Roon. You are correct that price is really based on what you what to use it for. I have two Raspberry Pi's that do the same as my much more expensive Holo Red. When I saw the measurements of the Red I jumped on it. https://goldensound.audio/2023/02/09/holo-red-streamer-ddc-measurements/

I just ordered the WiiM amp which will power a pair of LS50's in my living room. That is a deal at $300 and will stream anything and has voice control for the lazy wife. :)
 
M

MrBoat

Audioholic Ninja
I often wonder the same thing. My buddy uses one because it's much cheaper than cable, but that's about all I ever heard anyone say as to why. I'm old fashioned so streaming from a PC or phone is like super high tech. Heck, I'm still amazed with the technology of CD.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
If there is an advantage at all to some expensive streamers, its that some are Roon Ready for those that use it. The WiiM Pro Plus as a stand alone music streamer is tough, if not impossible to beat at its price and feature set.
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
If there is an advantage at all to some expensive streamers, its that some are Roon Ready for those that use it. The WiiM Pro Plus as a stand alone music streamer is tough, if not impossible to beat at its price and feature set.
I bought a WIIM pro plus a few months ago and I listen to it all the time. It has some upgraded op amps and an AKM 4493SEQ DAC. Pretty impressive for the price and it sounds really good in my system. Highly recommended :)
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
I was considering one until Apple finally let my Mac mini M1's HDMI port out of 24/48 jail. Now, 24/192 is available over HDMI for streaming from various services. The WiiM is an amazing device that can be connected to any old or new integrated amp, processor or receiver for quality streaming of music from various sources.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Jedi
I think some just like to have a special box for the function, maybe like some still like to fondle knobs on an integrated amp ? Some do have feature sets that might have an advantage.....like maybe the ones with an optical drive that could rip/store cd's as well? I'm generally good with what's built into my avr (and bluray players, too) or what I can stream to it with a variety of devices or with an audio chromecast to older gear....
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I’m curious when I see these Network Streamer components from places like Cambridge or Rose or Naim. They’re usually priced well over $1k and I’m not sure I understand the point. Most modern AVRs or streaming devices like Roku or AppleTV all contain the same apps for Tidal/Qobuz/Spotify/whatever, so what do these devices add and why are they necessary? I guess if you’re running a 2 ch system and don’t have the AVR it might make sense, but even then you can get a Sonos Port for ~ $500 that does the same thing (I’m sure there are probably cheaper alternatives that I’m forgetting to). Are these just appealing to people with money to burn or is there something I’m missing?
My streamers are an HTPC (AV room and great room in wall system) and DAW. I do use apps on the TV, as I need the BPO app to get their Atmos stream, as there is no Windows app for it.
I do sometimes use Chromecast. All three systems do have Chromecast. I have not found a need for other stand alone streamers.
 
tmurnin

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
I just use my AppleTV as a streamer. The WiiM looks like an AppleTV, actually. I guess that device makes sense if you're connecting to a 2-channel/non-HDMI system but otherwise I assume the sound quality you get out of an AppleTV/Roku/Firestick/native AVR is no different?
 
tmurnin

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
If there is an advantage at all to some expensive streamers, its that some are Roon Ready for those that use it. The WiiM Pro Plus as a stand alone music streamer is tough, if not impossible to beat at its price and feature set.
Could be. I'll admit to not really understanding the benefit of Roon either. I can see how it makes sense if you have copies of music stored on various hard drives/NAS devices around your home, but now with the availability of high quality streaming at such a high level from QoBuz/Tidal/Amazon/Apple, I don't see the need for physical electronic storage either. I still have my CDs/vinyl when I want that but not sure why I'd need music stored on physical drives unless it's either very obscure/unavailable for streaming or if I needed DRM-free copies so I can edit it or whatever (in which case I'm not sure I'd use Roon anyway).

Am I missing something? I will say that the UI for Roon is really strong, just not sure that alone is worth the $$
 
davidscott

davidscott

Audioholic Ninja
I just use my AppleTV as a streamer. The WiiM looks like an AppleTV, actually. I guess that device makes sense if you're connecting to a 2-channel/non-HDMI system but otherwise I assume the sound quality you get out of an AppleTV/Roku/Firestick/native AVR is no different?
Thats exactly how I am using it with the RCA outs into the tape monitor ins of my 2 channel HK 3490 reciever.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Apparently, while the WiiM Pro is Roon Ready, the WiiM Pro Plus has yet to be certified. It seems to perform well.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
I just use my AppleTV as a streamer. The WiiM looks like an AppleTV, actually. I guess that device makes sense if you're connecting to a 2-channel/non-HDMI system but otherwise I assume the sound quality you get out of an AppleTV/Roku/Firestick/native AVR is no different?
It is a mess out there with services supporting different devices to varying degrees. For those using an Apple TV 4K for streaming music, only lossless audio from Apple Music is supported and everything is output at 24/48 no matter the sample rate and bit depth of the signal. Hi-res from Apple Music is only available from an iOS device or Mac. But, Dolby Atmos from Apple Music over HDMI is only available from the Apple TV 4K. It also supports Tidal’s Dolby Atmos tracks.

Amazon Fire TV Cube will support Amazon Music Unlimited hi-res and lossless but will output everything there at 24/192 with Best Available audio setting selected. It supports Dolby Atmos tracks from Amazon Music Unlimited as well as Tidal.

The Roku Ultra does not support hi res or Dolby Atmos from any service and I’m not sure it supports lossless from any of them. But, that doesn’t mean it sounds bad. There are many services and devices out there these days. Certain signal playback will require certain service and device combos.
 
cpp

cpp

Audioholic Ninja
The Roku Ultra does not support hi res or Dolby Atmos from any service and I’m not sure it supports lossless from any of them. But, that doesn’t mean it sounds bad. There are many services and devices out there these days. Certain signal playback will require certain service and device combos.
Roku and Atmos : A few interesting reads.

https://community.roku.com/t5/Solving-playback-issues/Roku-Ultra-4670X-Dolby-Atmos-is-not-working/td-p/719532/page/3.


It seems for some, turning off Volume leveling in Roku allowed Atmos.. I can't try this since I do not have a Atmos device.
 
tmurnin

tmurnin

Full Audioholic
Ex
It is a mess out there with services supporting different devices to varying degrees. For those using an Apple TV 4K for streaming music, only lossless audio from Apple Music is supported and everything is output at 24/48 no matter the sample rate and bit depth of the signal. Hi-res from Apple Music is only available from an iOS device or Mac. But, Dolby Atmos from Apple Music over HDMI is only available from the Apple TV 4K. It also supports Tidal’s Dolby Atmos tracks.

Amazon Fire TV Cube will support Amazon Music Unlimited hi-res and lossless but will output everything there at 24/192 with Best Available audio setting selected. It supports Dolby Atmos tracks from Amazon Music Unlimited as well as Tidal.

The Roku Ultra does not support hi res or Dolby Atmos from any service and I’m not sure it supports lossless from any of them. But, that doesn’t mean it sounds bad. There are many services and devices out there these days. Certain signal playback will require certain service and device combos.
I didn’t realize the AppleTV cap. I wonder if I could really notice a difference in the quality of output or if I’d just be chasing stats….
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Roku has the WORST audio settings of all streamers. There are different settings for different models and not all of them support Dolby Atmos. My Roku Ultra 4800X was not fun to set up. To clarify, my Roku Ultra 4800X does not support Dolby Atmos from any MUSIC streaming services but does do so from VIDEO streaming services.
 
C

cyclo

Audiophyte
I mostly use Spotify for streaming music. I have the WiiM Pro, Apple TV 4K Gen 3, and built in Spotify app on my LG TV connected to my Pre Pro. The WiiM Pro is conencted via both optical (using the Pre Pro's DAC) and analog (using the WiiM Pro's DAC). To be honest if I equalize for volume, I could not distinguish which one sounds better. I mostly end up using Spotify on my Apple TV or on my LG TV when listening to music on my setup since these are much more convenient to use as I can view the playlists and songs on the TV itself. With the WiiM Pro I have to use the Spotify app or WiiM app on my phone. The LG's Spotify app has better features than that of the Apple TV's which is rudimentary. With the LG's Spotify, you can do pretty much anything you can do with the PC desktop or phone app... like select songs to be added to the queue... This feature is missing with the Apple TV Spotify app.

For streaming TV shows and movies though, I only use the apps on the Apple TV.
 
J

jerrr

Audiophyte
It's fascinating to hear about your setup and how you've integrated different devices for streaming music. The convenience factor seems to play a significant role in your choice, especially with the ease of navigating playlists and songs directly on your LG TV or Apple TV.

Your observation about the differences in features between the LG and Apple TV Spotify apps is intriguing. Having a robust and versatile app on the TV itself, like the one on your LG, definitely enhances the overall experience. The ability to manage your playlist, queue songs, and enjoy a seamless interface without relying on a secondary device is undoubtedly a game-changer.

It seems you've found a balance that works well for you, utilizing different platforms for different purposes. Thanks for sharing your insights into your streaming setup! It's always interesting to learn how people personalize their audio-visual experiences. If you come across any other tips or discoveries in your setup, feel free to share!

I mostly use Spotify for streaming music. I have the WiiM Pro, Apple TV 4K Gen 3, and built in Spotify app on my LG TV connected to my Pre Pro. The WiiM Pro is conencted via both optical (using the Pre Pro's DAC) and analog (using the WiiM Pro's DAC). To be honest if I equalize for volume, I could not distinguish which one sounds better. I mostly end up using Spotify on my Apple TV or on my LG TV when listening to music on my setup since these are much more convenient to use as I can view the playlists and songs on the TV itself. With the WiiM Pro I have to use the Spotify app or WiiM app on my phone. The LG's Spotify app has better features than that of the Apple TV's which is rudimentary. With the LG's Spotify, you can do pretty much anything you can do with the PC desktop or phone app... like select songs to be added to the queue... This feature is missing with the Apple TV Spotify app.

For streaming TV shows and movies though, I only use the apps on the Apple TV.
 
J

jasonhorner

Audiophyte
Network streamers from high-end brands like Cambridge, Rose, or Naim target audiophiles seeking superior sound quality over budget options like AVRs/Roku/Sonos. While they offer similar streaming app access, they boast better DACs, dedicated circuitry, and audiophile-grade components for potentially noticeable sonic improvements, justifying their premium price tag. If sound quality isn't paramount, budget options likely suffice, but for discerning listeners, these pricier streamers potentially elevate their digital music experience.
 
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