SOtM sMS 200 Neo Network Player Review and Comments

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by Phil Hinton, Aug 2, 2019.


    1. Ed Selley

      Ed Selley
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    2. rosscouk

      rosscouk
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      I am really pleased you are reviewing more network audio content. As a Roon user, I subscribed a couple of years ago, and as a result I have never listened to so much music as I do now. I have my own content (stored on a Synology NAS) and I subscribe to Qobuz and its an excellent experience. I am hardly rolling in cash, but Roon proposition is so good I couldn't walk away. My Core is installed on an Intel NUC miniPC. I am always banging on about Roon as I would like others to enjoy it as much as I have.

      Anyway, coming back to this streamer, I currently use a couple cheaper options from a company called Allo, a USBridge (included in this is Allo's own version of a Raspberry Pi, the 'Sparky'), and, you guessed it, its a USB streamer straight into my Mytek Libery DAC. And a Digione (includes a Raspberry PI and HAT), with a SPDif connection into my Arcam irDACII. These Allo devices are both good, and depending on what you do with the PSU's you connect to them e.g. buying a Linear one, which can be expensive, they can be had for a few hundred quid.They are a bit more 'home-brew' than the sMS 200 but that is accounted for in the price.

      My quandary now, if I want to improve my streaming set-up set-up, I need to spend many times the amount of the Allo products, but I am not sure I am going to get many times the amount of performance! I have started to look at the Project Stream Box S2 Ultra as its sits, price-wise, between the Allo products and the SoTM device.

      Lots of people using Roon are also spending very little on streaming devices, you can use raspberry Pi's with software like RooPie (free) and you can be up and running for under £50. Similarly, there are others with Google chromecast audio using those successfully. Bascially there is a streamer for any pocket and even the cheapest still sound good.
       
      Last edited: Aug 2, 2019
    3. ShanePJ

      ShanePJ
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      Well done for reviewing something by SOtM. I've got one the SOtM tX-USBexp cards in my media PC and its fantastic. I thought "what am I doing spending all that money on a USB card", but it worth every penny. I do think that along with some of the other software additions included which sacks most of Windows baggage really helps bring music to life in my system

      You need to do some software testing now with Fidelizer Pro and Audiophile Optimizer being some of the biggies in my opinion

      In my opinion Fidelizer is transformative and Audiophile Optimizer refines the PC afterwards (which technically it does beforehand)
       
    4. Khazul

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      Interesting review.

      I can see this becoming of great interest to many Roon users. I still wonder if it maybe not a little on the expensive side for what it does (but maybe not next to a nucleus or nucleus+), but it is a huge improvement over the 800 or whatever euros that Proj-ect ask for and probably a better user experience and seems to have some evidence of a lot more effort on the software side if it does truly help the DAC sound better (which I do confess to being a little skeptical, but open to the possibility, of), then great.

      My real issue with these kind of sound improvement from USB filtering devices and/or embedded electronics is if they improve the sound of a pricey DAC - then that really makes me question the electronics in the DAC.

      I guess the problem of price is probably the market is still too niche at this time.

      Good to see this kind of thing getting reviewed and including use of Roon :thumbsup:
       
      Last edited: Aug 8, 2019
    5. Lord Essex

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      I tried one of these with a chord 2qute dac and a pc running jriver , and to my ears couldn’t really hear a difference. In fact I was planning on putting it up for sale in the classifieds but never got round to it.
       
    6. Khazul

      Khazul
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      @Ed Selley - a week or so on, are you still convinced you can hear a positive and repeatable difference with this device inline with you DAC?


      @Lord Essex
      In the past I have tried moving DACs around host devices. Originally because one of them had a very definite problem that resulted in the drop out and/or clicks. In the end I think it started to sound better when I left in plugged into a host that worked properly and I stopped worrying about it and giving it any thought :)
       

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