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Inexpensive Streaming Box Options

RC231

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Joined
Jul 31, 2020
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#1
Hi, new member here.

I have a decent but older system that I use for 90% music (2.1) 10% movies (3.1) consisting of a B&K AVR202 Receiver, NHT Classic 2 mains, Power sound Audio 15" sub and an extra set of NHT Absolute Zeros that I currently use one of for a center but have used as a second zone in the past (previous house). I feed my audio from Spotify premium through a first generation amazon fire TV box over optical to the B&K.

The fire TV is now 5 years old and is becoming less and less reliable for holding spotify connect and we upgraded to a smart TV a couple years back and no longer use it for video. I am looking at options to replace it that maintain the same functionality and sound quality for cheap. I am looking for suggestions on where the best bang for the buck is and possibly interested in trying something that could support a higher res audio source, likely amazon HD. I lean towards continuing to use the DAC in the B&K but am open to a streamer with an integrated DAC if it will maintain sound quality. Control device is iphone/ipod

Currently looking at:
Dayton WBA31: Cheap not 100% sure it is on spotify connect, likely not supported on other services
Amazon Echo Link: Overpriced but would work with HD music, mixed reviews unlikely to buy
Martin Logan Unison: same price as the echo, room correction, should work with spotify connect and airplay, poorly review app for other services, looking like it is EOL with questionable future support

Any comparison between these?
How will the ARC room correction work with the 2.1 system downstream. the B&K has a fixed 80hz crossover the speakers are set to small and the sub is fed both an LFE and a pre-out to help it kick on better, I forget where the internal crossover is set.

Is the room correction in the ML worth 4x the price of the dayton for my setup?
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
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#2
My streaming system at home is based around Roon running off an old PC, so I’m using mainly Raspberry Pis running Roopiee as streamers. Roon can also do room correction via REW and a calibrated mic (UMIK-1 <$100), so that’s a definite bonus.

I’ve been thinking about alternatives to Roon, as they’re dependent on Qobuz and Tidal, which don’t seem like they’ll be the long-term winners in the streaming wars. BluOS from NAD seems like a good alternative, as they feature Amazon HD and have NAD behind them But their stuff is pricey. The Bluesound Node 2i is $600 but looks like it does everything. Reviews seem to suggest that it has an excellent built-in DAC, too, and it supports 2.1 with a subwoofer out.

If Roon kicks the bucket, I’ll probably head down this admittedly pricey route. Hopefully, there will be more choice in BluOS devices by then.
 

Jimbob54

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Oct 25, 2019
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#4
My streaming system at home is based around Roon running off an old PC, so I’m using mainly Raspberry Pis running Roopiee as streamers. Roon can also do room correction via REW and a calibrated mic (UMIK-1 <$100), so that’s a definite bonus.

I’ve been thinking about alternatives to Roon, as they’re dependent on Qobuz and Tidal, which don’t seem like they’ll be the long-term winners in the streaming wars. BluOS from NAD seems like a good alternative, as they feature Amazon HD and have NAD behind them But their stuff is pricey. The Bluesound Node 2i is $600 but looks like it does everything. Reviews seem to suggest that it has an excellent built-in DAC, too, and it supports 2.1 with a subwoofer out.

If Roon kicks the bucket, I’ll probably head down this admittedly pricey route. Hopefully, there will be more choice in BluOS devices by then.
The Node 2i has been measured here and also subjectively reviewed as less than great using its internal DAC. As a streaming interface, you pay your money , you takes your choice. What hifi love it.
 
Joined
Jun 22, 2020
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#5
Oh, I hadn’t seen that review. The numbers for the DAC speak for themselves. Oh well....
 

Sophoheilip

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Oct 5, 2019
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#6
Given your situation, I would go with a Raspberry Pi and the Hifiberry Digi HAT. With, for example the Moodeaudio image or Volumio, you have a wide range of possibilities. Including spotify connect. And all for roughly 100 bucks.
 

Jmudrick

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Oct 7, 2018
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#7
I have the Paradigm version of the M-L Unison and am thrilled with it. ARC room correction works great and while the Play-Fi app isn't great it works and you can opt to use the Spotify app and Spotify Connect and bypass Play-Fi for everyday listening. Limited to 24/48k in the optical output so not the choice if you insist on piping high rez to an outside DAC but that's the only issue I see with it.
 
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