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WiFi DAC via iOS (not bluetooth, and with no third-party app required)?


New Member
Jun 1, 2024
Hello Forum Members,

I have a popular bluetooth DAC that plays music from my iPhone, but I find that the sound quality is poor enough that I rarely use it. Perhaps there are better ones (let me know), but I'm presuming that a WiFi-connected version could provide higher sound quality. So, what I'm looking for is:
  • WiFi streaming straight from an iPhone, e.g. via VLC.
  • NO third-party app necessary for connection or operation (don't want to rely on that), and no need for a user interface on the box (should just work through the iPhone).
  • Good single-ended stereo analog line-out is the only output necessity. This would go straight into my power amp or through a passive attenuator that I have.
  • I should hope for CD-quality sound, but without "audiophile" pricing silliness.
I'm from the stone-age when it comes to audio hardware, and know very little about the modern options out there. A few options I do see:
  • I wouldn't mind using a Mac Mini or a Linux box as a streaming device. This is attractive as I could then use my main speakers for video as well (I don't use a preamp or receiver to switch audio paths). But I'd really, really prefer to stream music from the phone, e.g. to select songs and adjust volume. Can Macs can work this way via WiFi out of the box? Or maybe via an Apple TV? These options likely don't have the very best sound, but I'd expect them to sound decently better than the bluetooth device, with the nice bonus of video out.
  • I have enough technical skill to get an RPi + something up and running (e.g. RPi + Hifiberry or equivalent). I'd much rather skip the inevitable frustrations, but at least that hardware and software would be under my control.
  • Of course, a simple WiFi equivalent to the bluetooth DAC box I have is OK too.
Any recommendations?

Thank you very much!
I use Apple's Airplay for this. Much higher quality than Bluetooth, uses WiFi. Music apps all support casting using it. I recommend using a $100 WiiM Mini as your streamer; Airplay 2 is builtin, has outputs to drive RCA or digital. That's pretty much the "WiFi equivalent to the bluetooth DAC box".

You can also get little circuit boards from AliExpress that can receive Airplay for $25 or so, but that's a fiddly DIY and hit-or-miss solution.
A raspberrypi 4 is cheap.. can install ropiee which supports AirPlay, then USB to your DAC. Otherwise thag WiiM for $100 a good option!
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