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Or just local streaming of your own files? Give it a try. BubbleUPnP is available free. As for the processing capability – if true that would be amazing – and shocking – but frankly I would be surprised.

I do not have a What bit rate and sampling frequency will it go up to? You may also want to check your router specs – even though Mbps ports ought to be more than adequate even for hi-res and even current streamers have these I believe , if there is other LAN activity eg streaming hi-res TV when you are playing Tidal it may be stressing the LAN bandwidth more than the router can cope with. My wife and daughters were in earlier when I was playing those files, so probably using their phones.

And yes – great idea to test those hires Qobuz files. Thanks just downloading those now. Also needed to update the Windows 10 OS on the laptop. Wierdly, it just took over half an hour to do this, which is 10x longer than normal. Both sound very good, with some tonal differences. But there are so many factors that could account for that – e. The former sounded clearer and more real. My first Audirvana attempt was on a Mac Mini with a knackered HDD that sounded like a washing machine on spin cycle.

The Marantz PMN is all about sound quality. The result is a sound that beats several other streamers on this list, including more expensive ones from Denon and Primare. The Marantz PMN has a ridiculously wide soundstage and delivers audio that feels clean and crisp. Despite the stellar sound, there is one big black mark for the Marantz PMN.

Ugly buttons, zero imagination, and poor display make this music streamer hard to look at. See the Marantz PMN. You’re kidding, right? Linn make some absolutely superb music streamers, and we think the Selekt DSM is our favorite. You’ll definitely pay for the privilege — it’s the most expensive streamer in our list, far more so than the Naim Uniti Atom.

But the Selekt DSM manages to hold its own, offering an excellent range features. We also adore the sound quality. There’s no amplifier, although you do have the option to upgrade to one if you choose to.

The audio quality from the internal circuitry is lively and dynamic, and great fun to listen to. But here’s the catch. Yes, you get Ethernet, and Wi-Fi compatibility is being added on at a later date As good as this streamer is, you may want to wait a while before investing your hard earned dollars.

The Bryston BDA Bryston products have always put sound quality overlooks, and while the BDA It matches up well with other similarly priced streamers like the Auralic Aries G2. The BDA These are useful if you plan to make this stream are the hub of your home entertainment system and TV sound.

Bryston say they are planning to correct this with a future update, but at this price point, it feels like something rushed to market a little too fast. The BDA 3. See the Bryston BDA What We Don’t: Sound is a little dull. Then again, the DS-AG is a solid entry to the market. It looks superb, with its offset display and industrial aesthetic, and we appreciate the range of features. The audio quality is fine, but unexciting, and we kept wishing for more liveliness — especially in the bass. This is doubly surprising given how competent the app is, and the room calibration settings it offers.

How do we explain the Chord 2Go? Because it does take some explaining. Got that? Do you see what we mean when we say this is weirdly specific? We also really appreciate the auto switching function for inputs. You never need to manually change your input — just press play on your chosen source. The clever design makes the 2Go a winner, although there are definitely better options available for most people.

See the Chord Electronics 2Go. For starters, you probably already have a music streamer. You may even be reading this article on it. Your smartphone actually qualifies as a music streamer. It is capable of taking audio files stored in another location, like a music streaming service, and playing them. It won’t necessarily do a brilliant job — its internal circuitry, like its Digital-to-Analog Converter DAC , probably cost less than a dollar to manufacture – but by the strictest standards of what qualifies as a music streamer, it is one.

Think about that for a second. Think of how useful it is to be able to retrieve music this way, without necessarily having to rely on physical media. If you are serious about your music, then you want this retrieval to be as seamless as possible.

You want to extract the maximum amount of information from that audio file, no matter where it is located. You don’t want there to be any weak links in your audio chain, which means thinking about how you actually retrieve your music. A dedicated music streamer is the answer here: a single-box solution that can make sure your music is delivered in the purest possible way.

In many cases, you don’t even have to put down your phone to use them: almost all of the options on our list above come with a control app, which makes selecting and playing music a breeze. And if you don’t believe us, if you think this kind of audio product is a total waste of money, then we have a suggestion for you. We guarantee you’ll be wanting something a little bit more intense before long — and once you’re sucked in, you won’t believe just how rewarding music streamers can be.

You’ll see the term thrown around a lot in the world of music streaming and high-end audio, so it’s worth taking a minute or two to understand the difference between a DAC and a music streamer. A DAC’s job is to convert a digital music file into an analog signal ; to take the 1s and 0s that make up a file, and convert them into an electrical impulse that the human ear can actually pick up.

What it does not do is actually retrieve music from anywhere. It will take any file you feed it, and convert it into an audible signal, but it will not actually go and hunt down its own food.

That’s what a music streamer is for. The confusion comes because of the fact that many music streamers have DACs included in them, meaning they can both retrieve and convert audio. It has the ability to both stream music and to convert it to an analog signal – something it shares with many of the streamers on our list. It pushes this signal through a set of analog outputs, meaning you can connect it directly to an amplifier or a set of powered speakers.

But — and this is the clever part — it also contains digital outputs, meaning you can bypass its DAC entirely. You’d do this if you have a DAC already, one you are comfortable with and wish to continue to use. Essentially, what you need to understand is that a streamer and a DAC are two separate things, but it is entirely possible for them to both be contained in the same box.

By the way, you will sometimes see companies marketing their products as streaming DACs. They do this because they like confusing people. We kid: it’s because they wish to market their product as a DAC, first and foremost, only one that has streaming capabilities.

For all intents and purposes, you can consider these music streamers. But if we are talking streaming audio, then our wish would be for companies to agree, once and for all, on the terms they are going to use. Nothing is more confusing than stumbling across the term network player, and wondering if it means the same thing as music streamer, or if it’s something different, and whether or not a music server will actually stream music. So let’s demystify this, once and for all.

The key thing to bear in mind is that music streamers and network players are exactly the same thing. There is literally no difference. The terms can be used interchangeably. You’ll also sometimes see them called things like network media players, media streamers, and delightful whizbang machines one of those is made up.

That location can be a Spotify playlist, a hard drive, a USB stick, anything – as long as it’s not actually contained in the housing of the music streamer itself. Our top music streamer, if you haven’t read yet, is the stupendous — and stupendously expensive — Naim Uniti Atom. A music server is slightly different. It contains an internal hard drive, on which you can store music files.

A dedicated music server will not have the ability to retrieve audio from elsewhere — all the audio will come from files stored on its internal drive. The best of these have a CD ripper, and they are absolutely ideal if you want to convert a CD collection to digital files in high quality.

We made a conscious choice not to include music servers on our list above. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage, and it’s a term you’ll see often when looking at music streamers.

A NAS drive is a hard drive, or a bank of hard drives, connected directly to your router via an ethernet cable. You can store anything on these drives — photos, videos, whatever, including music. What this means is that you can use a NAS drive as a giant library for your music streamer to wirelessly pull from.

It’s ideal if you’ve converted your physical music collection to digital and need somewhere to store the files. You might reasonably ask why you would use a NAS drive instead of storing your files on the cloud. For starters, you don’t need to rely on a Wi-Fi connection to upload or download them.

You also won’t have to pay for additional space if you exceed limits — something you are unlikely to do with the physical hard drive, which is often much larger than a cloud server.

Storing files and retrieving them can be a lot quicker, and that means you are less likely to have a dropout when playing music from a music streamer.

Setting up a NAS drive and getting it to work with your streamer is a bit beyond the scope of what we want to do here, but there are several guides online. It’s essentially a common language between devices, allowing them to talk to each other.

They can discover each other on a home network, and access certain services. If a music streamer is set up for uPnP, it means you will be able to directly access any uPnP servers you have nearby on the same network, and control the files on them. This makes for an easy and effective way of dealing with huge troves of files.

A NAS drive is an actual physical thing, whereas uPnP is a method for that physical thing to talk to another physical thing. It’s a piece of software, and if you can get a handle on it, it works very well. We don’t really want to go into how to set up a uPnP server here — there are plenty of ways to do it, and it’s a little bit outside of the scope of this article. Be warned: not all music streamers have the ability to use uPnP, so definitely check before you buy.

One additional wrinkle. You will sometimes see the term DLNA. This stands for Digital Living Network Alliance, and it’s an actual organisation with people who work in it. It was created to define standards for digital media transmission, and it uses — you guessed it — uPnP.

We actually have a full explainer that breaks down not only how audio files work and what they’re made of, but just about every file type you can imagine.

However, that explainer is for a much more general audience, and deals with file types you probably won’t find on many streamers such as straight-up MP3s, for example.

So, let’s take the time to very briefly explain what audio files are made up of, and which ones you are likely to encounter if you buy a music streamer. There are two main things you need to know about a music streamer, and those two things are the largest bit depth and sample rate it can take. Sample rate refers to the amount of times a computer has taken a digital snapshot of a specific second of a music file — obviously, the more snapshots it takes, the more detailed the audio will be.

You’ll find this measured in Hertz Hz , with the occasional abbreviation of kiloHertz kHz , or a thousand Hertz. Bit depth refers to how much information is found in each snapshot, and again, the higher the number, the better. As you can imagine, those numbers are pretty good! There are many different types of audio files available, but the most common in the world of music streamers, we’d argue, are FLAC and MQA files. This is because these are the files used by the streaming service Tidal, which is easily among the most popular and wide-ranging high resolution streaming service — although it is being challenged by startups like Qobuz.

This means they are both quick to stream, and suitably detailed. Thanks Jim. It could literally be different things. Have you turned on task manager to watch what the CPU and memory are doing during these dropouts? Ditto for the network, especially if wifi.

Mine manages fine and handles 4K video streaming. You might have other services in the background interfering too. My opinion is that you are just asking for issues running it on minimal resources. In theory it should work, but reality is sometimes different. The ones that seemed certainly non-essential for running the PC I switched off, but that was only 3 or 4 things out of about The 8GiB recommendation is extremely conservative. My box with 4GIB always has 1. Audirvana uses up maybe a few hundred MiB at most.

I use a new, but low ish spec Lenovo mini PC. Of course if you are short on patience and have the money, buying a new device will probably fix the issue too.


 
 

Comparison: Naim vs Audirvāna Remote

 

Long may the compatibility of 3. In the settings change the buffer size. Screenshot at After several A-B comparisons between AS n 3. I can live with both- depending on the recording. I did not upgrade to A 3. I left Studio on overnight to complete analyzing my small tracks library.

It never completed and it crashed just now. But I must admit, I might be wrong. I think Audirvana in UPnP mode actually apples your audio settings such as upsampling, equalizing, etc. It is not really a simple pass-through as someone here said. Nope, you need to select Audio Settings, there is a whole host of settings for UPnP mode plus others, from upsampling including DSD, 24 bit vs 32 bit, signal polarity settings, audio units, audio volume, upsampling algorithms, etc.

Audirvarna Streaming Audio. I am by no means the only one using Audirvana – indeed I first learnt about it through other forum members… Anyway: I use Audirvana on a Mac Mini, using it as a renderer player – which is different from its use as a UPnP server, a relatively recent function it now offers. Many thanks again. Yes I know but I am referring to the system optimization only.

I have upsampling off. Or just local streaming of your own files? Give it a try. BubbleUPnP is available free. As for the processing capability – if true that would be amazing – and shocking – but frankly I would be surprised. I do not have a What bit rate and sampling frequency will it go up to? You may also want to check your router specs – even though Mbps ports ought to be more than adequate even for hi-res and even current streamers have these I believe , if there is other LAN activity eg streaming hi-res TV when you are playing Tidal it may be stressing the LAN bandwidth more than the router can cope with.

My wife and daughters were in earlier when I was playing those files, so probably using their phones. And yes – great idea to test those hires Qobuz files. Thanks just downloading those now. Remember, perception is subjective, I first believe in what I hear myself.

I have bought Fidelizer on my NUC. That means it will only run on the NUC from now on. Also, maybe to clear things up: It is a misconception that standard Windows has bloatware. They install lots of extra software bloatware on their computers, probably because they have commercial deals with software makers or to push their own products The first thing I always do when buying a DELL or HP or other brands is to de-install all the bloatware or reset Windows to factory settings.

I also optimized it fanless housing, Fidelizer and other stuff to do this as optimal as possible. For all other computer tasks I have laptops and a desktop computer. Really period. But the result is wonderful, at least for me.

I chosed PC fanless to avoid noise. An i3 Processor would be ok again. I preferred i7 because the price was not so high and i prefer, usually have a more powerful cpu not used at maximum of its possibilities than a minor power cpu used at maximum to avoid hot into case fanless. I have also a Nas that I use for my music files backup. I preferred windows 10 instead of mac because I prefer to manage and build pc on myself.

Mac is better for a lot of uses but is less customizable in my opinion than windows pc. I evaluated also Roon too expensive for me and Daphile but I had as my requirement the possibility to install and run also Dirac.

You clearly know more about computers than I do. Here are two things that I dislike about Audirvana: 1 I have to use a computer; and 2 the new remote requires me to toggle between two screens to view what I used to be able to see on one screen when I had the original remote. Some users probably prefer to see a large display of the album art on their iPads, but I prefer to see my customized metadata.

Just about any old MacPro desktop will suffice, although preferable a 5.

 

Audirvana naim free

 
Audirvana has been upgraded, just today, I think, and is now installed on my Mac. Free upgrade for my A+ version. Bluesound/NAD; Cary Audio; Aurender; Cambridge Audio; Meridian; Bel Canto; Auralic; Audirvana plus; Roon; Lumin; Naim; Serato; Astell&Kern; Devialet and. There is a free version option that will give you an idea: replace.me Via cable from DAC I play the music on a Naim audio system. Audirvāna Studio will now only be offered as a subscription service frankly, hardy ever have a problem-free listening session via UPnP. Let’s wait and see, they are offering a free trial and 1st year cheaper subscription for existing purchasers until July.❿
 
 

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