So I have some flac original recordings, lossless and essentially the original data. If I'm playing these I'd expect that a streamer should be decoding the data and outputting PCM to my DAC without touching it. It's being processed digitally.
If you want a high quality streamer without a DAC, with the same - if not better - functionality then get a cheap PC or Raspberry PI. This review just reinforces What HiFi's ineptitude and total lack of understanding of digital technology. More expensive does not necessarily mean better. The Melco does not produce better 1's & 0's than a £40 Raspberry PI once it's decoded a compressed media file using standard decompression algorithms they are the same 1's and 0's.