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Best non-B&O Streamer for Beolabs

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MichaelFrilund
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MichaelFrilund posted on Fri, Oct 16 2020 1:13 AM

Hello everyone,

I am a new member, located in Finland. Not sure if this has been asked several times before, so please do not get upset with me.

What do you think about a streamer from another brand with Beolabs, especially Naim ND 555, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Hegel HD 30 and Primare Pre35 DAC? I do not want a Beovision in the room the Beolabs will be in.

Should be connected with a digital cable?

Thank you

Michael

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Curly
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Curly replied on Fri, Oct 16 2020 2:02 AM

Hi Michael, specifically which BeoLabs are you driving?

Currently: BeoSound Core, BeoLab 17, BeoLab 18

Previously: BeoSound 1 non-GVA

MichaelFrilund
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It will be either the 50s or 90s, the room is large enough for both models.

Jaffrey2230
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If you’re in the Apple ecosystem, your system would benefit from the Naim Uniti Atom. Worth taking a look at.

My B&O Home: 

 

  • Beolab 8002 + Beolab 2 + Beosound Core with Essence Remote (Office)
  • Beolab 6000 + Beolab 11 + Beosound Core (Bedroom)
  • Beoplay A9 Mk2 (Living Room)
  • Beosound 1 with wireless dock (Portable)
  • Beoplay M5 (Dining)
  • Beoplay H95 (Focused listening, travel)
  • Beoplay H9 (3rd gen) (retired)
  • Beoplay P6 (Portable)
  • Beotime wall clock (hallway entrance)
  • Beoremote X (better than Eclipse and Halo Big Smile)

 

 

 

TWG
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TWG replied on Fri, Oct 16 2020 4:21 AM

Pioneer N-70AE

seethroughyou
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I’ve listened to many very expensive streamers from NAIM, DCS, Auralic, Aurender and I could not hear a difference when outputting digital. If you use the inbuilt DAC, in these machines, the difference is there but very subtle and more a question of which sonic flavour you prefer (if you can hear any difference- most can’t). No one machine is better than another machine.

The important question is: which streaming service do you like and can the machine/device deliver a great user experience with finding music, creating playlists, etc. Is the G.U.I right for you?

If you mostly stream your own files on a NAS Or hard drive, then Roon is the way to go but you don’t need an Innuos or Nucleus streamer because you can Roon from your laptop to BL50/90. I have BL90 and experimented with above options. Don’t spend silly money on a streamer. If you like Spotify and Deezer, a Core from B&O is as good as anything.

If you like multichannel SACD, get a used Oppo and more speakers like BL3 or BL17s for the surround effect. My opinion is that multichannel can outperform stereo.

seethroughyou
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MichaelFrilund:

Should be connected with a digital cable?

Thank you

Michael

Yes you should go digital out from your streamer to digital in on the speaker.

However, if you connect to BL50/90 using an analogue signal from your streamer, you won’t hear much/any difference at all. The converters on the BL50/90s are transparent.
Brendan
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Sounds like excellent advice!

To the OP.  There are a lot of good YouTube reviews, I like the style of John Darko, there is another guy (Aussie living in Tokyo) who's channel is called Currawong.  The Auralic and Naim both looks really nice.  

My B&O Apartment:

(cabled but unseen ;-) WISA as indicated):

Lounge:

  • BV7 32" MK5 TV
  • BeoLab 7-1 (Centre)
  • BeoLab 3 on Stands (Fronts)
  • BeoLab 6002 (Surround - WISA)
  • BeoLab 19 (Sub - WISA)

Bedroom:

  • BP V1 32" TV (on ceiling cables)
  • BP V1 (centre)
  • BeoVox 2-1 In Wall "Passive" Speakers (Fronts)
  • BeoLab 3's (Surround Height STB BL-3-CM Ceiling Brackets)
  • BeoLab 6000 (Surround - WISA)
  • BeoLab 11 (Sub)
  • BeoAmp Passive

Coming Soon:

  • BeoPlay H95 HP's (outdoors)
  • BeoLab 15 Motorised in Ceiling (lounge)
  • BeoSound 9000 (lounge)
  • BeoSound Core (lounge)
  • Meze Emperyan Open Back HP's (indoors)
Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Fri, Oct 16 2020 6:35 AM
I’m going to slightly disagree with some of the other responses

Yes the streaming transport probably doesn’t matter very much, so whether it’s a Core , a Naim or whatever else, this makes minimal if any difference

For my 50s that are about to be installed though, I have bought a streamer/DAC rather than just a streamer though

Here you can start to notice a difference

The Naim sound is a bit less relaxed than the what you get from Linn, for example. I’ve gone for a Linn streamer DAC unit, which will connect via RCA to the 50s.

And this, or many other brands’ units, allow me to use Roon. That’s a big deal for me, as the B&O app is very poor as an overall music experience. Roon is the gold standard by comparison

The above will depend on how sensitive you are when listening.
Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Fri, Oct 16 2020 6:48 AM
MichaelFrilund:

Hello everyone,

I am a new member, located in Finland. Not sure if this has been asked several times before, so please do not get upset with me.

What do you think about a streamer from another brand with Beolabs, especially Naim ND 555, PS Audio Direct Stream DAC, Hegel HD 30 and Primare Pre35 DAC? I do not want a Beovision in the room the Beolabs will be in.

Should be connected with a digital cable?

Thank you

Michael

And remember that whatever unit you get, if your want to take advantage of the DAC part of the unit, you’ll need to connect to the 50s/90s using analogue out to analogue in on the speakers.

MichaelFrilund
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I have heard so much about how wonderful Naim's DAC is, so I am rather looking forward to trying one. And it can stream almost anything.

To be honest, I am probably not blessed with audiophile ears. Would I hear a difference? Probably not.

Also, I like the Marantz SA10, should I connect it as a streamer to any DAC if I get one?

Sandyb
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Sandyb replied on Fri, Oct 16 2020 9:42 AM
I’m which case, go with a Core, or a Roon capable streamer if you want that interface

Naim are very good, though they each have their own little differences in presentation. That’s just then a question of preference

But for me (and that’s just me), with something like the 50s, using the B&O app is short selling the experience and Roon is the opposite, I.e maximising my engagement when listening to music

As you say though, if you’re not overly particular about the subtlety of different presentation, then it makes no sense spending thousands on additional equipment
MaxH
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MaxH replied on Fri, Oct 16 2020 10:57 AM

Dac/streamer is the way to go although the sound differences between the various brands are really subtle and unlikely to be noticed unless in a concentrated AB comparison.

I will make the move when someone comes up with a UI that I can get on with although Roon is the closest at the moment but it still has a lack of features that forces me back to using a phone/iPad outside of their system.

 

MichaelFrilund
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There are many skilled people at B&O, someone should make a grand DAC with a streamer. Now their best solution is a black round thing with only optical and a few other things. I might be missing something.

Millemissen
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Disclaimer! Sorry for being a ‘non-audiophile-gear-proponent‘ in this matter.

 

But why would you need a DAC, when you are planning ro use the 50’s/90’?

They already have a ‘DAC’ built-in.....means no matter how you feed it, the ‘sound’ will be processed there.

All you need is something that lets you transport the sound (= the digital stream) into the speakers.

Using the digital/optical output of a Chromecast Audio device could do that - it could even function as a Roon endpoint, if you are into the possibilities of Roon and its gui.

This Darko video gives a bit of background for Chromecast and Roon Ready:

https://youtu.be/qX2LbNfMAS4

If you want to take that a step further (which I would do), get a Beosound Core and use the digital/optical output there to connect to the 50’s/90’s.

The built-in Chromecast support can serve as an endpoint for Roon....in addition to the Airplay, Spotify Connect and TuneIn options there.

If you want a handy volume control, just use an Essence Remote or - even better - the new Halo remote.

No need to go grazy on ‘audiophile gear’, when B&O offers all you need.

You could even connect a turntable to the Core....if you are into that, too.

 

Darko was mentioned earlier. He recently made a video about the Naim’s Uniti Atom. You can read it here (do watch the video too).

https://darko.audio/2020/06/a-pragmatists-preference-roon-spotify-and-chromecast/    

However you won’t need the DAC, the amplifier and the display built-in there and you don’t need to pay that much.

Why go over the water after water, when B&O already offers, what you’d need.

 

For desert......those of you, who have a Chromecast dongle connected to their BV or built-in AND are interested in Roon, please watch this video;

https://youtu.be/TONHIcO3D2E

 

MM 

There is a tv - and there is a BV.

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