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Allo Boss2 review: superb budget audio streamer (video)

ahofer

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I did consider what you are suggesting but then read about RPI's electrically noisy USB. Is that not a thing?

Was *just barely* a thing with RPI3 (and only if you had a lousy DAC), and completely not a thing with RPI 4.
 

Lttlwing16

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if they care so much about 'fidelity' then why none of their products have balanced outputs/inputs?

literally most of their products (The Digis , the linear power supplies, and the USBridge) are playing into audiophoolery marketing bullshit.

there is literally a video of Darko almost blowing up the DigiOne Signature trying to use their 'battery powering pack', what careful execution that was.

Good thing no one is forcing you to use their products!
 

wannarock2

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the USBridge has no wifi and no bluetooth. which pretty much makes it the worst streamer on the face of the planet.
No, that’s not correct. USBridge is modified RPI and includes WiFi. Just requires a WiFi dongle.
See USBridge manual link below.
https://www.amazon.com/clouddrive/share/mdqz2PAtn3Fd76ScS3FzhCrgft8aCGXy9oNbD1gxL43

Also see Volumio OS WiFi setup instructions for USBridge
http://3.230.113.73:9011/Allocom/USBridgeSig/Player-Manuals/USBridgeSig-volumio-player.pdf
 

Theodore8

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Can the Roon volume control this streamer's volume? (with Diet Pi?) I'm guessing no.

One of my streamers is the PecanPi DAC, which has a more industrial look than this, but a much bigger screen and balanced outs. Roon volume works on it (in Roon Endpoint configuration). So screen and balanced out (and some other things that perhaps matter less) for quite a bit more.

https://orchardaudio.com/shop/ols/products/pecanpi-streamer-ultra

It’s 7.5"W X 4"H X 4.75"D
I use Moode to run the Allo Boss 2 as a Roon Endpoint, and, yes, Roon can control the volume in this configuration.
 

Seeker-Smith

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I noticed in the video it was stated that Airplay only supports 16b. Can I assume now that has changed with Apple hi rez?
 

PurdueDeep

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Good stuff, Amir, but I see streamers in a different way. To me, playing music from a computer is not in itself streaming, it is just using the computer as an audio player.

Streaming is all about where the music comes from. A streamer is a network music player, sourcing the content either from a local NAS or from an internet streaming site. This is the model used by Linn, Naim, and the rest. Yes, you can often attach USB storage and play music from that, but this is not actually streaming.

Controlling a streamer is a separate issue. Many can be controlled just like you would control a CD player, others can be controlled over Wi-Fi using an app or web interface. This is not what defines a streamer.

I understand the perspective but this is really what the majority of the world thinks of as ‘streaming audio’.

The central premise here, i hope we can agree on, is Moore’s law. Namely, that computers get twice as fast every three years. While not entirely true gives us a good idea of why you dont want the components so deep in the software realm to not be something you can swap out every few years.
 

AudioSceptic

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I understand the perspective but this is really what the majority of the world thinks of as ‘streaming audio’.

The central premise here, i hope we can agree on, is Moore’s law. Namely, that computers get twice as fast every three years. While not entirely true gives us a good idea of why you dont want the components so deep in the software realm to not be something you can swap out every few years.
I'm only saying that playing music over a network, at least internally over a LAN but optionally over the WAN (internet), is what defines streaming. Using a computer of any type to play music does not in itself mean you are streaming. Does a CD player not require some sort of "computer" to play music?
 

PurdueDeep

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I'm only saying that playing music over a network, at least internally over a LAN but optionally over the WAN (internet), is what defines streaming. Using a computer of any type to play music does not in itself mean you are streaming. Does a CD player not require some sort of "computer" to play music?
I get what you're saying here! We're actually on the same page.

Yes streaming does imply having a network, through which, you can access streams of data. CD is a network too in this more raw sense, that you read data out of in a stream(think about how the reader works).

I think everything 'needs' a computer to work 'better' haha, but I'm sure we could do (barely) as good of a job reproducing bits if we tried. :)

MDN's doc on streams in Javascript: https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/Streams_API

Just another example of the `CD as a network` paradigm. We stream data out of databases(local or over a network) so that we can process it in packets rather than have to wait for all of it be made available to us. It's existence as a methodology is to provide a style of addressing data. :D Hope this was informative/ we are on the same page!
 
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Rufus T. Firefly

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Agreed that having a "Cadillac" system is great, but my point is that this product is for a different customer. My guess is that most buyers are looking for a way to get into streaming and would be attaching it to more basic systems and network. Not sure what the carbon footprint of an additional server is, but it strikes me as wasteful. I hope some of the hardware manufactures will fund development of the Linux software to improve the experience on Pi based devices.

Although I tend to agree with AudioSceptic above that Roon is overpriced, my intent was not to dis Roon since I think it is probably worthwhile for those that want it.

And that would describe me. This product seems way too complicated to me. I want a plug and play component with hifi specs. If some kind soul could point me towards some highly recommended components like that on the tested list I would appreciate it greatly.
 

AudioSceptic

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And that would describe me. This product seems way too complicated to me. I want a plug and play component with hifi specs. If some kind soul could point me towards some highly recommended components like that on the tested list I would appreciate it greatly.
If you're saying the Allo Boss2 is too complicated, have you looked at the Yamaha MusicCast streamers? If you have ruled them out because the DAC performance might not be SotA, some have digital outputs so you could add a DAC if needed.
 

amper42

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I purchased the Allo Boss2 on Aug 12, 2021. It's Sept 9 and it's still not delivered. The $40.30 shipping fee for EMS is the worst value in shipping on the planet. You would think I ordered something from Mars to the USA instead of India. :D
 

Rufus T. Firefly

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If you're saying the Allo Boss2 is too complicated, have you looked at the Yamaha MusicCast streamers? If you have ruled them out because the DAC performance might not be SotA, some have digital outputs so you could add a DAC if needed.
I have not but thanks for the suggestion. I have looked briefly at the Cambridge Audio offerings.

How many DACs does a guy need in a system, more succinctly how many DACs are too many?
 

B&WTube

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One of my streamers is the PecanPi DAC, which has a more industrial look than this, but a much bigger screen and balanced outs.
Do you own/have you heard the Boss2 vs the PecanPi? Since both measure well, so I am trying to find a subjective comparison. Thanks, in advance.
 

ahofer

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Do you own/have you heard the Boss2 vs the PecanPi? Since both measure well, so I am trying to find a subjective comparison. Thanks, in advance.

I have never heard the Boss2, sorry
 

Phorize

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No worries. Not sure if anyone has heard both. Thanks for the reply.

You can trust the measurements with dacs. Orchards specs indicate that the pecan pi dac is transparent. Amir’s measurements of the allo likewise. Anyone who believes that they can hear a difference between the two is likely mistaken. In your shoes I’d buy on features and price.
 

Gaspar74

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happy to say Ive had the Allo Boss2 for around 5 months or so and Very happy. I bought just the Dac hat and installed it on RPI4 and used the Boss2 Dac modified case for the Both including LEd screen. The Boss2 I have poweered by a Linear supply and the RPI by El cheapo Supply. The perfromance is great and sound is detailed and not sharp or fatiguing. My only complaint if it is one is the remote is pure junk lol have to be within 5 feet for it to work.
 

amper42

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happy to say Ive had the Allo Boss2 for around 5 months or so and Very happy. I bought just the Dac hat and installed it on RPI4 and used the Boss2 Dac modified case for the Both including LEd screen. The Boss2 I have poweered by a Linear supply and the RPI by El cheapo Supply. The perfromance is great and sound is detailed and not sharp or fatiguing. My only complaint if it is one is the remote is pure junk lol have to be within 5 feet for it to work.

I don't use the Boss2 remote. I control Qobuz and local ripped music playback with Audirvana or local music with the Moode web interface. It works great. No need to use the remote at all as my phone, tablet or computer sends the data via UPnP. I would try the web interface if you don't have a favorite UPnP player. Distance is not an object with it.
 
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