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CAMBRIDGE AUDIOSTREAM MAGIC 6 - Alternative

NeilH

Established Member
Hi,

I was ready to buy the Magic 6 until I discovered that it doesn't stream Spotify.

It does pretty much everything else I am looking for.

Any suggestions for a similar box that does what the Magic 6 does but with the addition of Spotify?

Thanks in advance. :)

Neil.
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
Sonos CONNECT or Squuezebox Touch.
 

NeilH

Established Member
Hi,

I haven't yet listened to the Squeezebox product but an audition of the Sonos product showed that the sound quality of the Cambridge box was much higher.

I kind of ruled it out at that stage.

However, perhaps a separate DAC would get round that?
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
Might it not be more convenient to either;
- Connect a computer over USB
or
-spec the bluetooth module on the Stream Magic 6 and use your phone

on the occasions you wanted to use Spotify?
 

NeilH

Established Member
I use Spotify quite a lot and couldn't be bothered with the hassle of connecting/disconnecting.

Also, I use the MacBook for pretty much everything and wouldn't want it tied up
being connected to the amp.

Similarly, Bluetooth is out as I don't really use anything with Bluetooth for music.

Any thoughts on a similar device that supports Spotify?
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
NeilH said:
I use Spotify quite a lot and couldn't be bothered with the hassle of connecting/disconnecting.

Also, I use the MacBook for pretty much everything and wouldn't want it tied up
being connected to the amp.

Similarly, Bluetooth is out as I don't really use anything with Bluetooth for music.

Any thoughts on a similar device that supports Spotify?

The problem is that as far as I know, nothing other than Sonos or the SBT has a Spotify plugin. Spotify isn't very easy to integrate and as such anything sold in less than olympic quantities hasn't done so.
 

NeilH

Established Member
The problem is that as far as I know, nothing other than Sonos or the SBT has a Spotify plugin. Spotify isn't very easy to integrate and as such anything sold in less than olympic quantities hasn't done so.

I asked why the Magic 6 didn't come with Spotify built in and was told that the cost of the licence would be prohibitively expensive for such a small company.

Oh well, back to the drawing board. :thumbsdow
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
I asked why the Magic 6 didn't come with Spotify built in and was told that the cost of the licence would be prohibitively expensive for such a small company.

Oh well, back to the drawing board. :thumbsdow

The costs aren't small but the main problem is that there isn't a basic plugin for it. If you want to integrate it, you have to do so from scratch. This is a very time consuming undertaking for a service that isn't available in every market yet and isn't something that every purchaser is guarenteed to have. Some rival services in the US like Rhapsody and Pandora supply much more information to manufacturers which is why the Stream Magic 6 supports those despite them having almost no presence in Europe.
 

amcluesent

Distinguished Member
Yep, Spotify keeps a tight grip on the encryption they use on the stream. IIRC the Squeezebox applet was co-developed with Spotify who supplied a binary for their secret-sauce.

OP, if you are just after Spotify, how about a 2nd hand iPod Touch with Spotify app in a dock?
 

NeilH

Established Member
-spec the bluetooth module on the Stream Magic 6 and use your phone

on the occasions you wanted to use Spotify?

At the risk of contradicting my earlier answer (and because I'm running out of ideas!), what do you think the sound quality of that would be like running from the Macbook?
 

NeilH

Established Member
Yep, Spotify keeps a tight grip on the encryption they use on the stream. IIRC the Squeezebox applet was co-developed with Spotify who supplied a binary for their secret-sauce.

OP, if you are just after Spotify, how about a 2nd hand iPod Touch with Spotify app in a dock?

Not just looking for Spotify but that's worth a thought. However, ideally I want to exploit the sound quality of my existing setup.
 

Ed Selley

Hi-Fi Editor
NeilH said:
At the risk of contradicting my earlier answer (and because I'm running out of ideas!), what do you think the sound quality of that would be like running from the Macbook?

The Cambridge asynchronous USB implementation is very good- it should be at least as good as a plug in and probably easier to search too.
 

NeilH

Established Member
Well, having listened to a couple of other options today, my budget just got blown out of the water. ;)

I auditioned both a Linn Majik DS and a Naim ND5 XS.

The step-up in sound quality from the streamers I have listened to previously was pretty dramatic (as should be expected at the price).

However, my main surprise was how much better the Nain system sounded compared to the Linn.

I had expected a different sound, but wasn't prepared for how much better the Naim system sounded.

I actually preferred the UI of the Linn app but the sound quality was inferior on pretty much every track I listened to.

Next step is to get the Naim home for a trial in my own system.

Thanks for everyone's input so far.
 

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