I play mostly rock and metal, not the best recorded, and like a warmer sound without brightnes. Which streamer? Cambridge cxnv2 or bluesound node? My system mf m5si amp, tannoy xt8f speakers. De cambridge would be 300,-- more than the Node.
Neither. Get a Wiim Mini for £89 as a streaming transport and an external DAC for £200 and you’ll have similar if not better performance. Many reviews say the Node DAC offers performance similar to an external DAC costing £100. You’re paying for convenience, but that may be worth it for you. The DAC in the CXNV2 is also fairly average as it’s fundamentally the same as the one in my CXA60. Way overpriced for what it offers, in my opinion of course.
Look on YouTube for DAC reviews by the likes of iFi, Topping, Sabaj and SMSL.
I personally have a Chromecast Audio plugged into my CXA60 in my living room and another to a Mojo 2 (over hyped and not recommended) in my office which I connect to an old Audiolab 8000a.
Spending more than £200 on a DAC is only worth it if you have a good system to get the best from it.
As a general rule your DAC should probably cost somewhere between 30 and 60 percent of the cost of your amp. Don’t spend 2k on a DAC to pair with a £500 amp. That’s like putting high performance tyres on a Fiesta. Potentially better, but 99.9% wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.
If you want a warmer sound signature you probably really need different speakers and/or amp. Most DACs are fairly neutral, though there are some, particularly Burr Brown that are warmer than some others. Don’t expect a warm DAC to transform your system.
Bluesound node. The Cambridge has better detail, more upfront. It will sound better with good recordings.
But with my music which is not so good recorded the Bluesound is better. It has a darker sound and important with my music mild highes. The Cambridge will highlighted bad recordings and the highs are too much for me.
I own a Cambridge Audio CXN (Not the CXN 2) and I can confirm that the CNX sounds great with good recorded music but poorly recorded music will sound very poor on it as the CNX as a very natural sound.
Also not all metal albums sound bad (not sure why some people believe this) as some of the best sounding albums I own (and I own lots of albums from across meany different genres of music) are metal albums like the album Still life by Opeth or the album Macro by Jinjer.