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DAC/Streamer (+ Amp ?) under 1000


New Member
Jan 23, 2024
After a lot of research, I'm a bit confused on what's the best solution for me...
I'd like to upgrade parts of my system, to make it easier to use for my family while keeping the best sound quality possible.

What I'd use the system for :
- Music streaming (mainly classical) via Apple Music. I'm a professional musician, so it's both for analytical and casual listening.
Changing service is not really an option (love Apple classical app), so it seems the best way would be Airplay connection for casual and simplicity of use, wired (USB) for lossless listening.
- TV out (2 speakers system) for films, concerts,...
- CD player (but we almost don't use it anymore...)

What I have currently :
- Schiit Modi Multibit
- NAD C320BEE Amp
- NAD 521Bee CD player
- Acoustic Energy Evo 3 (8 ohms - specs : https://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/UM-Aegis-Three.pdf)

What I miss for the moment in term of simplicity of use :
- Bluetooth for Airplay
- Some kind of auto-switch input feature for TV, USB, Bluetooth connections.
- Ideally ability to connect the TV through HDMI (for volume control).

Budget : under 1000€

I already tried the Wiim Amp, which was perfect in term of usability, but felt like a big downgrade in term of sound.

I thought of 3 different options :

All integrated : Bluesound Powernode, Sonos Amp, or A/V stereo receiver like Marantz Stereo 70s
Definitely easy to use, but will I get a sound as good/better than my current setup?
Seems like the reviews for these devices are always mediocre in term of sound.

Streamer/Dac combo with HDMI in : Bluesound node x, ...
Still easy to use, HDMI in for TV, Bluetooth, and I can connect it to the NAD (or buy a better amp).
But I actually won't really use the streamer part, at least as long as Apple stays Apple...

DAC with bluetooth + AMP : Topping, SMSL,...
Probably the best sound for the money.
But is there a way to keep the system easy to use and have things like auto-switch input, power on with TV, easy volume control,... ?

Which road would you recommend, knowing my needs won't change for at least a few years ?

Do you think that the NAD Amp is still a good value today, or is it better to upgrade it as well ? Still works fine, I just have to buy a new remote...

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