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Best DAC with Streaming under $300?

Discussion in 'DACs' started by bane.oh, Jun 17, 2018.

  1. bane.oh

    bane.oh Active Member

    Messages:
    115
    Right now I am streaming FLAC files from my laptop running Windows 10 to a Brightplay HD Apt-X Bluetooth receiver. Needless to say, the quality leaves a bit to be desired. I am looking for a way to wirelessly stream hi res files using a DAC with either Bluetooth or WiFi. Additionally I would like a DAC that also has a wired input to connect my PC or a music server in the future. I am just starting to venture in to the world of Hi-Fi digital so any advice is appreciated. Honestly I don't even know if a product that fits those requirements exists, but I thought I'd ask.
     

     

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  2. PAGS

    PAGS AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,122
    Location:
    North of Philly
    SMSL or Topping DAC (several options; take your pick) plus Chromecast Audio. Use optical (TOSLINK) cable between Chromecast Audio "puck" and preamp (amp).
     
  3. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,507
    You're really talking about two different components, sometimes bundled into one. DACs simply output an analog signal from a digital input. The other side is a renderer which accepts network input via ethernet or WiFi the content (usually via a smartphone app) and sends the digital stream to a DAC.

    PAGS offered the least expensive option. You could meet your budget by stepping up to a Raspberry PI based solution which offers more flexibility and can be upgraded for higher sound quality.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
  4. kurtgo

    kurtgo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    884
    Location:
    Piper, KS.
    check out the Fiio X5 Gen3 DAP. I think you can get it for around $335 or so now. I use the hell out of mine.
     
  5. bane.oh

    bane.oh Active Member

    Messages:
    115
    I like the idea of chromecast audio and a separate DAC, but that Raspberry Pi Boss DAC sounds pretty cool. Hmmmm. With the Chromecast and external DAC, I can run my computer in to the usb on the DAC and the Chromecast in to the optical. Then I can stream for convenience and use my desktop for the best quality.
     
    rxonmymind likes this.
  6. Silentnet

    Silentnet AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    811
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    Emotiva PT-100 plus their Bluetooth adapter would be like $350.
     

     

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  7. E-Stat

    E-Stat AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,507
    Alternately, you could still use an external DAC and use a S/PDIF digital output "Hat" for the RPi which has far less jitter than Toslink/optical. That's the approach I take with the garage system using a modified Music Hall DAC 25.3.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  8. doctorrazz

    doctorrazz New Member

    Messages:
    20
    You can still find Bluesound Node on eBay for under $300. Had mine a few years and excellent sound.
     
  9. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,698
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    As others have said - there are several great Raspberry Pi solutions.
    HifiBerry Dac+ bundle or Allo Boss Dac bundle with Max2Play or one of the other free music players on the Raspberry Pi. Under $200 bucks.

    I use the Raspberry Pi / DigiOne setup as a Roon network player.
     
    ldatlof likes this.

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