New streamer

HoxtonBridge

Active member
May 28, 2022
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have been looking at the Audiolab, Quad, Volumio, Blusound, and Pro-ject streamers. I'm not settled on models yet, I am just interested in their respective software implementations e.g. BluOS; Play-fi etc. What experience has anyone had with these? Is Volumio worth the extra 3£ a month to stream Tidal, for example? Is Play-Fi a little temperamental?

Thanks in advance.
HB.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Of those you list, the Bluesound is always well liked. DTS PlayFi isn’t, unfortunately.

I use neither, as my Linn has its own software, though it is also usable with apps like Lumin’s for example.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2021
112
51
670
I have an Audiolab Omnia, using DTS PlayFi and it seems to be stable, after a few teething problems. It sounds great, without using a LAN cable and it works OK. I needed a full licence key, to get the thing singing, otherwise it would stop and drop, every few minutes. Infuriating. Oddly, my tunes sound better, via bluetooth, which is strange, as it's aptx low latency, but I'm not sure if it's HD also. Lossless bluetooth is waiting in the wings and should be out this year, on headphones etc. I'm not sure why the DTS sound is worse than the BT, as it's resampled at CD bitrate, on my laptop, in FLAC container format, before being sent to my Omnia. Even when connected to a LAN cable, it sounds worse than BT. Crackers. If I had zero HIFI kit, I would buy the Roksan Attessa, at £1495 and stick a pair of KEF LS50 metas, with matching stands, on the end of it. Be around £3k and would do me for a while. I'm sure the BluOS platform is easier to use, than the DTS one and won't give you a 5 second delay. Also, if you are using a phone to stream to the Omnia, you enjoy higher bitrates, including MQA files etc. A DTS support agent advised me that the Windows version of DTS PlayFi, maxes out at CD quality. I don't currently own a smartphone. Live and learn.
 
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Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
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Oddly, my tunes sound better, via bluetooth, which is strange
Interesting...I wonder if the bluetooth compression is taming an overly bright treble for you...?
In your position I would be tempted to get a cheap Samsung phone (or just borrow one... ) to see what I might be missing. 🙂
 

nopiano

Well-known member
If I had zero HIFI kit, I would buy the Roksan Attessa, at £1495 and stick a pair of KEF LS50 metas, with matching stands, on the end of it. Be around £3k and would do me for a while.
Or get wireless Wi-Fi connected LS50s, for less than three grand? Then stream with your phone or tablet. That’s the direction of travel now I think.
 

podknocker

Well-known member
Feb 5, 2021
112
51
670
Interesting...I wonder if the bluetooth compression is taming an overly bright treble for you...?
In your position I would be tempted to get a cheap Samsung phone (or just borrow one... ) to see what I might be missing. 🙂
If anything, there's more treble, than via DTS, which I prefer, although there's still not enough. I have been banging on about the Omnia and QA3030i combo, being a but soft and rolled off a bit too early, in the treble. I'm still looking for much brighter speakers. With the DTS in use, the sound is more 'forced' and woolly, lumpy, ploddy, droney and there is less detail, by an appreciable amount. With the DTS app, the bass is softer and not as well defined, or tuneful etc. Proper weird.

I've stopped using DTS now, not just because of this, but because of the 5 second delay, when switching through playlists etc. Also, I use iplayer, All 4 and Netflix, so there's no delay with these, if I don't engage DTS. I'm happy with the sound and the CD player appears to be more reliable, since I updated th servo version. The DTS app can also be annoying, if I wake my laptop from sleep mode, only to find the 'primary device driver' has stopped working. I can connect to the Omnia, but like many drivers, it's not initialised, when bringing it out of sleep. A reboot tends to sort it.

I am considering taking the plunge and getting a new phone. I'm not a Luddite, but they are big and tricky to carry and I might just get one and stick it on top of my new WIFI HIFI, just for tunes. I don't like the idea of having my entire virtual footprint, in my pocket and it gets dropped, or 'compromised' etc. You do hear some horror stories. I know I'm in the minority, using a standard phone, but losing access to your life, finances and, sometimes, identity, does fill me with dread.
 
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Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
1,453
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2,070
If anything, there's more treble, than via DTS, which I prefer, although there's still not enough. I have been banging on about the Omnia and QA3030i combo, being a but soft and rolled off a bit too early, in the treble. I'm still looking for much brighter speakers. With the DTS in use, the sound is more 'forced' and woolly, lumpy, ploddy, droney and there is less detail, by an appreciable amount. With the DTS app, the bass is softer and not as well defined, or tuneful etc. Proper weird. I've stopped using DTS now, not just because of this, but because of the 5 second delay, when switching through playlists etc. Also, I use iplayer, All 4 and Netflix, so there's no delay with these, if I don't engage DTS. I'm happy with the sound and the CD player appears to be more reliable, since I updated th servo version. The DTS app can also be annoying, if I wake my laptop from sleep mode, only to find the 'primary device driver' has stopped working. I can connect to the Omnia, but like many drivers, it's not initialised, when bringing it out of sleep. A reboot tends to sort it.
Annoying. It sounds like the DTS app is 'mangling'' the sound then! If other inputs sound ok then that seems to confirm it...
Have you tried using a DLNA app like mConnect for PC to send from your laptop (as a server) to the Omnia?
 
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Markmaguire

Well-known member
Mar 8, 2012
76
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18,545
I demo'd the Bluesound Node 2i against the Cambridge CXN V2 and the CXN was clearly better, especially in the bass. It was using Audiolab 6000A amp and Dali speakers (oberon 3 I think).

I also shortlisted the Audiolab 6000N streamer as I had the matching amp, but after a discussion about DTS PlayFi it didn't even get plugged in.

I stream from my Innuos Zen Mini Mk3 and Qobuz using Roon and internet radio direct to the CXN.

The CXN has had several firmware updates since I got it, enabling Chromecast and Roon. It's a great piece of kit and I'd really recommend it.
 

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