So I’m now ready to begin my streaming journey, having started to rip my CD collection. I’m aware there are 1000 ways to skin the streaming cat, so it might be easier to start with what I’d like to do, and then see what solution out there best fits.
- I’ll be streaming FLAC files from my laptop/HDD and using Spotify (not another service)
- I want to browse/play from my library using MusicBee (thanks @Gyroscope ) from my laptop and also a tablet (can be either iPad or Android)
- I want playing FLACs to sound equally as good, if not better, than playing a CD from my CDP (Rega Planet 2000 into a Nait 5i and Neat Elite SEs)
- I’d like Spotify to sound as good as possible. I know it’s inherently limited, but would an up-sampling product like a Lindeman Musicbook help?
- I ideally want a combined streamer & DAC unit, although happy to get separates if it would sound better for the money
- Budget is ideally around £1-1.5k but happy to stretch up to £3k if it’ll bring noticeable improvement. Also happy to get s/h.
- No Pi
- Can I store the music on my laptop (making backups of course) and access via a tablet and stream to device?
- If I store music on an external HDD (not NAS) that’s plugged into the streamer, can I still browse it via my laptop/tablet?
Bearing all those in mind, can anyone recommend a solution? In terms of joint streamer/DACs, I’m aware of the list below which are generally recommended. I don’t know if there are aspects of any that are better suited to my particular criteria above though. Or if I should be looking at something else.
Bluesound 2 (maybe as a budget option to compare others against)
Cambridge Audio 851N (as above)
Auralic Altair / Vega
Not so interested in Aurender or Melco as a) they’re generally more expensive; b) have heard mixed reports about reliability and user interface quality.
Many thanks in advance!