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Best solution for streaming when I dont own a DAC?

Discussion in 'Streamers & Network Music Players' started by -DT-, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. -DT-

    -DT- Member

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    Hello!

    Apologies if this has been asked before, (it probably has), and I have spent some time reading the forum, but there are so many different options/ answers, it is hard to know where to start.

    So I have an Audiolab 8000S & P amp setup (The original ones from the 80's). These obviously have no digital/ optical inputs. My goal is to be able to stream music from Spotify and a NAS without having an intermediate device (i.e. have something like a DAC/ streamer do the streaming and just use an iPad/ Android phone/ laptop as a remote). Also I want to be able to stream from my local iTunes on my laptop to the hifi.

    I think there are basically 2 ways I could go:

    1) Sonos
    2) Apple TV/ Aiport

    My questions are as follows:

    1) With the Sonos (Speicifically the Connect) I get the impression that the DAC is not particularly good, it is quite expensive for what it is (esp if like me there is no other Sonos device in the house), and the Spotify implementation is not great. BUT I think it 'supports' Spotify natively, meaning I am just controlling Spotify on the Sonos from a remote device?

    2) With the Apple solution, I get the impression this always relies on something else to stream off - i.e. a laptop or iPad for Spotify. Also the DAC is likely to be quite poor, so I am likely to end up buying an external one anyway, and sending a digital signal to this DAC for the Audiolabs.

    Does this sound about right? is there any other approach I should be looking at? I am looking to keep the cost to around £300 or so.

    Thanks
  2. amcluesent

    amcluesent Moderator

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    Realistically a 2nd hand Sonos ZP80 at the £200 mark is your best bet. Spotify is compressed 320kpbs anyway so super-DACs would be completely OTT.
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  3. -DT-

    -DT- Member

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    Thanks. Do these Sonos devices work with Spotify directly.. I.e. not streaming via a PC etc?
  4. rorton

    rorton Member

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    Yep. Control via iOS device or computer. Sonos directly connects to the Internet to stream.
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  5. -DT-

    -DT- Member

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    Thanks again. Going forward, I take it my Audiolab 8000S/P combo and JMLab 816 floorstanders would benefit from a better DAC - for playing lossless CD rips and so on through the Sonos?

    Ta
  6. therixonator

    therixonator Member

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    There is also squeezebox you could look at. Logitech don't make then anymore but you could go second hand. The advantage of this is that the dac is already very good and the cost is low and the software is open source and well supported.

    The disadvantage is that the software in comparison to Sonos is not as polished and wife proof. And Sonos has an excellent support system.

    If you're tech savvy and looking for a bargain go squeezebox. If you're looking for a bit of kit that is intuitive and a four year old can use it, go for Sonos. You can buy a dac later. If you've got lots of apple gear and like the apple closed ecosystem, go for the express.

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