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  • Is an audio media transport really better than PC?

    Hello guys,

    I'm having some doubts about purchasing an audio grade media transport or music streamer.
    Wouldn't say I'm a sole PC Hi-FI dude, by recently I've been seeing a lot of reviews and articles talking about using a audio streamer to play music can certainly outperform PC playing, like the sound quality and stuff.
    I normally use Roon to play music by my PC, which is not bad, but of course not heavenly I'd say haha... anyways, so recently I did some researches about some audio streamer/media transport with fair prices, there's one called Munich M1T, the price is worth a shot, and it's Roon Ready certified, but I'm just still hesitating that if I should buy it.

    Can anyone share some insights with me? I'll be grateful big timeee~

  • #2
    I’d recommend borrowing a streamer for as long as possible before committing. It’s not that I don’t trust reviews it’s purely that in my view what’s important to some people is less so for others. I think you need time to assess options at home, which is not always easy.

    I use a Mac mini as a Roon core which my pre/pro picks up as it has a network card (it’s an old Meridian 861v4 with ID40 card) as the end point. Some guys formerly at Meridian moved to Roon so there is good support (for now at least) for their legacy items, the 861v4 is very old!

    I also have an Oppo 203 which can also be used as a Roon endpoint. I’ve not critically compared but initial impressions between the Oppo and Meridian are….well I am not sure I can tell a difference. Your mileage may vary, of course.

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    • #3
      Hi preston8452, To get a decent sound from a media streamer it really needs to be played through a reasonable system, a PC sound card and Desktop speakers may not get the best from a media player, some media players come with a built in amplifier so you could just add some speakers, if you have a good Hi Fi shop near you go and talk about what you are looking for, a good dealer will let you have a demo at home.

      Steve

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      • #4
        I am not streaming, but as far as i know.......
        As it was written before, next to a reasonable hifi, the DAC in the system is important to the sound you will get when you change digital to analog.
        The DAC i(soundcard) in a laptop is mostly a cheap one and you can easily upgrade with an external soundcard, which might be a low investment.
        I don't have a streamer, but I think the one that is named above will have a better inbuilt DAC, so that the sound you might get will be a better one, as far as your Hifi is able to reproduce it !

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        • #5
          HI everyone,

          my first post here, just joined today and first up I saw this thread regarding whether a stand alone Server/Streamer is worth the investment. For what it is worth what I have found is the source is just about the most important part of any system. The old saying of Rubbish flows down hill, springs to mind, the better the source the better any system will ultimately sound. Yes DAC's are very important but if the source is at best average then the DAC will struggle to provide the rest of the system with best sound.

          One caveat I will add to my above comments, in my opinion synergy is the most important thing in any decent HiFi system, so finding out what components synergise best in ones system and room can take quite a bit of swapping gear in and out to work out what sounds best.

          Cheers,
          Terry
          Last edited by TerryO; 10-26-2022, 05:28 AM.

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          • #6

            Hello Terry,
            first of all a warm welcome!
            I can't quite understand your post (which may be because I don't speak English well) 😀 If you mean the digital stream by the source, it should of course be as good as possible (highres). But this does not come from one of our devices when streaming, but from our provider. (if I understand that right as a non-streamer). But if the digital signal is not converted well (DAC) then the rest of the hi-fi system is not able to improve anything either. I completely agree with you that the system has to harmonize with each other! But maybe I'm completely wrong as a streaming layman?​

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            • #7
              Mariner, I don't think many streaming services offer more than CD quality - despite the claims of HiRes audio. I agree with others. Try a media streamer at home if you can. If it has the features and sound you're looking for and is within your budget, then that's the way to go. I wonder if the Raspberry Pi Audio Streamer is an option? The concept intrigues me.

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