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Why do streaming audio players seem to be useless and overpriced bling to me?

doublebstyle

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For $50 - $60 all in, I have a Raspberry Pi Zero 2W based streamer running Volumio that holds my entire CD library, allows me to effortlessly connect to ~50 of my favorite radio stations, Spotify, Pandora, etc. and is accessible through a web browser from anywhere in my house. I can also create playslists of my favorite songs/ genres as well.

Why wouldn't you want to do this?
I have the same with moode with a good DAC also using Camilla via upnp
 

teched58

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You can look at measurements right on this sight that show you how different DACs perform.

Anecdotally, the only DACs I've encountered that were consistently audibly sub-par were on-board PC DACs (not MAC though - every Apple device seems to have good built in DAC stage, even their dongle 'adapters' measure pretty well.)

Curious, when you can have a state-of-art external DAC for under $100 with multiple inputs, why wouldn't you do that if it objectively measures so much better than that onboard PC DAC?

You're right; it makes obvious sense to try it. I probably will at some point. I haven't thus far, mainly because I've been focusing my efforts and purchases on my 5.1 system.
 

Cogito

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To the OP's post... What is considered "overpriced"? My Cambridge Audio MXN-10 cost me $500. It's build quality is very good, sounds great, contains a higher-end DAC, has competent software, supports all the formats/CODECs I'm interested in and it simply works without a hiccup. Money well spent in IMHO.
 

Cogito

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Just the music player s/w that comes with the (Synology) NAS.
"Audio Station"
View attachment 341009

View attachment 341011

... hooked to the hifi via a Topping D10 that was the kind "karma" gift from a fellow at the Polk forums.

(feel free to ignore the Yamaha components - or at least not to wonder about the presence of the tuner - in the photo ;) in this context!)

Apparently the "app" used to have an EQ built into it, but Synology deleted it on a (relatively) recent update. :facepalm:
What a gorgeous tuner!
 

Cogito

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Curious, does it do anything my $80 WiiM can't?
I'm assuming based upon the price, you are referring to the WiiM Mini. The quick answer is nothing of any importance really. They both basically perform the same function. But here are some differences.

1) 32-bit/768 kHz, DSD512 support.
2) An attractive all metal chassis that offers superior shielding, durability and a bit more heft that helps keep it from moving around.
3) No wall wart. Instead, a well built and regulated power supply.
4) Most importantly, the StreamMagic software.
 

Haskil

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I'm assuming based upon the price, you are referring to the WiiM Mini. The quick answer is nothing of any importance really. They both basically perform the same function. But here are some differences.

1) 32-bit/768 kHz, DSD512 support.
2) An attractive all metal chassis that offers superior shielding, durability and a bit more heft that helps keep it from moving around.
3) No wall wart. Instead, a well built and regulated power supply.
4) Most importantly, the StreamMagic software.
Everything is discussed, but
1) do you stream a lot of files in a format greater than 24/192? Do you stream it in DSD?
2) A case does not need to serve as shielding for a device to have exceptional measured performance
3) the size of a Wiim's 5 volt USB power supply is the same size as the standard three-pin plug on a power cable
4) Is Cambridge Audio's streamagic software really superior to Linkplay?

(I have a friend who has the high-end Cambridge Audio streamer in conjunction with a pair of Focal Trio 11 BE monitors: the result in a large room is exceptionally good and he has no problem with the control software )
 

Yorkshire Mouth

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In answer to the OP. I’ve streamed from my PC, and posted a thread myself asking if a streamer would be any advantage. The consensus was no.

But here’s what I’ve found. There’s too much DIY and too much faff with a PC. You could do with looking up entire threads full of argument, counter-argument, disagreement, etc., about exclusive mode, Windows, drivers, and so on.

EqualiserPro? Good luck if it works, lots of people have had issues.

Any you’re tied to what you need to put your PC, which can be an issue.

A good streamer should be plug and play. I have a £90 WiiM Mini and it completely sidesteps every issue I have streaming from my PC.

And guess what, whilst it’s currently a bit shoddy, there is a Windows app for WiiM. So, if you want to sit at your computer desk and use your PC to control your WiiM, you can.

Each to their own.
 

Joe Smith

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I keep trying to think of a reason to move up from the Wiim Mini and I can't find one for me personally...it's easy to use, easy to move around, I can control well from my iPhone. And I get a good connection from upstairs, even in our 1916 plaster-and-lath wall construction house.

If I had a setup where I had ethernet connectivity, I'd probably pop for a Wiim Pro Plus, but the one place we have direct cable from our router is in the upstairs study, where we never listen to music...
 

Cogito

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Everything is discussed, but
1) do you stream a lot of files in a format greater than 24/192? Do you stream it in DSD?
2) A case does not need to serve as shielding for a device to have exceptional measured performance
3) the size of a Wiim's 5 volt USB power supply is the same size as the standard three-pin plug on a power cable
4) Is Cambridge Audio's streamagic software really superior to Linkplay?

(I have a friend who has the high-end Cambridge Audio streamer in conjunction with a pair of Focal Trio 11 BE monitors: the result in a large room is exceptionally good and he has no problem with the control software )

1) None, as my DAC tops out at 24/192. No, but it's there if I decide to at some point.
2) RF Shielding. Let's face it, some systems are more sensitive than others. Regardless, it can't hurt. "Looks" way better too. Also, if you get the full width AXN-10 (Which now sells at the same price), you can stack components on it.
3) It's still a "wall wart", outsourced by the cheapest Chinese bidder.
4) Mostly, it's about personal preference.

Keep in mind, I'm not trashing the WiiM unit and when shopping for a streamer, the WiiM Pro Plus was on my short list. However, the added $280.00 for the superior build quality of the MXN-10 (Vs the "plasticky box") was inconsequential to me.
 
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