The seven streamers I feature in this video are:
1. Wiim Mini
The WiiM Mini which I showed off in a separate video on YouTube, embedded below, is an inexpensive super-sized Chromecast audio streamer, which in my view improves on the quality of the old ‘CCA’. It’s WiFi based, it can handle AirPlay 2, Bluetooth, Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect, and DLNA music NAS drives, and as well as its optical digital output it has an analogue output within the same 3.5mm socket. The App is very good too and an update not that long ago made the digital output bit perfect meaning no digital up-sampling is going on to lower sample rates – see the Apps video below. It’s Airplay capability means of course you can use it in Roon as a Roon Airplay end point.
2. Arylic S10 Pre-amp/ Streamer
The S10 is a WiFi and LAN based streamer with Bluetooth, which is principally designed as a pre-amp streamer by virtue of the remote control included, so you can connect it to a power amplifier for onward connection of speakers, or maybe a pair of active (powered) speakers – for instance Acoustic Energy’s AE1’s
3. Polyvection DAC 32
The DAC 32 is meant to be used as a WiFi capable Logitech Media Server / Squeezebox end point streamer with its RCA analogue outputs, but you can also use it in Roon over Airplay (1) and as a squeezebox player up to 96k resolutions – just remember to set the Squeezebox settings!
4. Octavio Stream
L-to-R : WiiM Mini, Arylic S10, Polyvection DAC32, Octavio Stream
A fast quad core processor substantiates the Octavio Stream‘s price over the others for this WiFi and LAN based streamer (with adapter for LAN connections – sold separately). It can play music off your NAS with DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) – essentially just a system of recognising media content between devices on a network. Also it can handle lots of streaming services within its own app, and it utilises a digital optical output and analogue output from the same 3.5mm socket – like the Arylic S10 does. It’s also Spotify Connect, Tidal Connect, Airplay 2, and Bluetooth capable.
Watch the full shoot-out 2 video on YouTube
5. Argon Audio Solo
Price goes up again but so does performance so you pays your money, you gets your dues….your SQ! But Solo is a WiFi streamer with Bluetooth, Spotify Connect, and with Analogue outputs and two digital outputs – coax and optical. But performance goes up beyond the next in the list using the Analogue connections. Also it is Chromecast capable – so resolutions up to 96k/24bit are possible here, beyond Airplay 2’s 48k/16bit. And also by being Roon Ready – the ability to exploit all of Roon’s high quality music sample rates means again the greater ability to exploit better music quality.
6. Bluesound Node 2021
I’ve said enough on the 2021 Node streamer already but suffice it to say this is the most capable all rounder that you can buy for connections, great BluOS app use, Roon Readiness, and features and good sound quality. Watch my review for a low down on what this product is all about.
7. Primare NP5 Mk.2
The NP5 Mk2 comes from an Audiophile brand stable, in Primare, with more focus just on sound quality which explains its transport only use (no analogue outputs – you direct it to where your DAC sits by virtue of the digital outputs – either from its optical or coaxial sockets). But it sounds better than the Solo and Node in this respect, as you might expect for price and transport only credentials. The App though is somewhat limited – at present no embedded Tidal or Qobuz (although Primare are working on it) to exploit full native sample rates of these platforms, although at present the Primare utilises highest sample rates from being Chromecast and Roon Ready capable. In addition, you get Airplay 2, Spotify Connect and Bluetooth.