Apple Mac Mini as Streamer.

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Imtiyaz Ahmad

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Hi FM's,
I am interested in purchasing latest M1 based Apple's Mac mini for streaming purpose . I request fm's to share their experience with regard to its sound quality, ease of use and other related functions.Is it possible to use iphone and control the streaming functions of Mac mini with it ? Moreover how it compares to other high end streamers like Lumin,Aurender........
Thanks & regards,
Imtiyaz Ahmad
 
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zeta148

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is it for streaming audio only? AFAIK Mac mini doesn't have an optical output anymore and you have to use USB input on your dac. if it is only for streaming Audio you could consider the use of roon (or Audirvana) on a intel NUC. The money saved by buying NUC instead of Mac mini can used for a roon endpoint such as the Allo usb digione signature. I am using Audirvana streaming via UPNP, to volumio on a Metrum Ambre. I am controlling it from my iphone. Intel NUcs come with optical output and you could use that directly into your DAC.
 

rikhav

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Hi FM's,
I am interested in purchasing latest M1 based Apple's Mac mini for streaming purpose . I request fm's to share their experience with regard to its sound quality, ease of use and other related functions.Is it possible to use iphone and control the streaming functions of Mac mini with it ? Moreover how it compares to other high end streamers like Lumin,Aurender........
Thanks & regards,
Imtiyaz Ahmad

If it's going to be a device / server which will directly connect to the dac it won't come close to lumin / Aurender.

That's a different part that Aurender / lumin / weiss and many more audio server's which can be directly connected to a dac have a very high price tag.
 

tusharshukla1991

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I think windows based devices will be better option here due to these points:
  1. Cheaper :)
  2. You can get one with optical out and full size HDMI
  3. "WASAPI output support" (for bit perfect output)
  4. Better apps (mostly)
  5. More customisation options (check the forum for details)
So, I'll also vote for an intel NUC
 

Imtiyaz Ahmad

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is it for streaming audio only? AFAIK Mac mini doesn't have an optical output anymore and you have to use USB input on your dac. if it is only for streaming Audio you could consider the use of roon (or Audirvana) on a intel NUC. The money saved by buying NUC instead of Mac mini can used for a roon endpoint such as the Allo usb digione signature. I am using Audirvana streaming via UPNP, to volumio on a Metrum Ambre. I am controlling it from my iphone. Intel NUcs come with optical output and you could use that directly into your DAC.
Presently I am using Allo digione Signature as streamer with battery power supplied to dirty board and runs on volumio.Its coaxial output is being fed to Topping D90 dac.I am very much satisfied with its sound quality but i have no idea how to operate Apple music with Allo digione signature. This being the reason why I want to choose Mac mini route for streaming purpose.
 

OM_2K19

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Roon + NUC will offer more flexibility with your Audio Chain and VFM. What are your primary source, Streaming, or FLAC files?
 

Smadhu

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Roon + NUC will offer more flexibility with your Audio Chain and VFM. What are your primary source, Streaming, or FLAC files?
Roon integrates only Qobuz and Tidal, not apple music so wouldn't make sense for the ask of the OP.

Allo digione Signature as streamer
I believe Moode and volumio has Airplay plug-in which should help in streaming Apple Music. I am not sure, others might chip in here.
 

superczar

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Hi FM's,
I am interested in purchasing latest M1 based Apple's Mac mini for streaming purpose . I request fm's to share their experience with regard to its sound quality, ease of use and other related functions.Is it possible to use iphone and control the streaming functions of Mac mini with it ? Moreover how it compares to other high end streamers like Lumin,Aurender........
Thanks & regards,
Imtiyaz Ahmad
if you are not hung up on very high sample rates and are OK with 44.1/48, try and find a airport express if you can.
Super convenient remote streaming and controls via iphone/ipad
I managed to gather 4 of em somehow via ebay and olx :)

Alternatively, if you are ok with 48khz fixed output, apple TV is another alternative.
Personally, I think M1 mini will be overkill just for use as a streamer
 

OM_2K19

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Roon integrates only Qobuz and Tidal, not apple music so wouldn't make sense for the ask of the OP.
Oh, my bad, I missed that he is looking for Apple Music. I was under the impression that he is looking for a generic streamer, and that's why I advised taking the Roon/NUC route. Thanks for pointing this out.

Edit:- Volumio/Pi4/NUC can act as an Airplay endpoint. You can connect this setup to your audio chain via HDMI/3.5mm and stream the Apple Music to the Speakers via Volumio Airplay endpoint. Although Airplay (Airplay 2 supports 24/96) is limited to 16/48, the sound fidelity is pretty good.
 
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drkrack

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Hi FM's,
I am interested in purchasing latest M1 based Apple's Mac mini for streaming purpose . I request fm's to share their experience with regard to its sound quality, ease of use and other related functions.Is it possible to use iphone and control the streaming functions of Mac mini with it ? Moreover how it compares to other high end streamers like Lumin,Aurender........
Thanks & regards,
Imtiyaz Ahmad
I am Using Mac Mini M1 as a Roon Server, Which Replaced my 2012 MacBook pro doing the Roon Server job.
I have Connected it Via USB to My Terminator DAC and its sounding good, but not a major SQ advantage over older generation macbook Pro.
Whereas browsing the files, and Roon Server Jobs its quite fast. I have connected via the USB C to Usb B cable as well but found the regular USB cable to be good enough.

One Reason for not Going with NUC for Roon Server Jobs was the ability of Mac Mini M1 to play Apple Music Lossless to USB DAC which is quite good.
For me its working Perfectly Fine, but Since my usage scenario is different as I'll be getting a different Roon Endpoint (with I2S out) instead of Connecting M1 to the the DAC, If you are Planning to use M1 Solely as a Streamer ; you're better served with dedicated Streamer. As far as my experience goes, Avoid USB as much as possible in the digital audio chain. Or consider using a DDCs before the DAC to get best SQ possible.
 

zeta148

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I am Using Mac Mini M1 as a Roon Server, Which Replaced my 2012 MacBook pro doing the Roon Server job.
I have Connected it Via USB to My Terminator DAC and its sounding good, but not a major SQ advantage over older generation macbook Pro.
Whereas browsing the files, and Roon Server Jobs its quite fast. I have connected via the USB C to Usb B cable as well but found the regular USB cable to be good enough.

One Reason for not Going with NUC for Roon Server Jobs was the ability of Mac Mini M1 to play Apple Music Lossless to USB DAC which is quite good.
For me its working Perfectly Fine, but Since my usage scenario is different as I'll be getting a different Roon Endpoint (with I2S out) instead of Connecting M1 to the the DAC, If you are Planning to use M1 Solely as a Streamer ; you're better served with dedicated Streamer. As far as my experience goes, Avoid USB as much as possible in the digital audio chain. Or consider using a DDCs before the DAC to get best SQ possible.
HI DrKrack,
what software are you using to play Apple Music Lossless?
Thanks
 

Imtiyaz Ahmad

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Actually I have watched a video on use of Mac mini as a streamer by Mr.Paul CEO PS Audio wherein he praised the sound quality using a Mac mini.Please see the you tube video link and share your ideas.
 

msankadi

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overkill...you can go for intel nuc for a cheaper alternative or allo raspbery pi boards for even cheaper...you can get multiple streamers in the price of 1 mini

Or you can invest the savings in getting a decent dac which is bound to be much better than the internal dac on mini
 

OM_2K19

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My primary source is streaming and occasionally FLAC files .I also lean towards high resolution audio.
Since you are primarily into streaming and if you are flexible with your Streaming platform and can switch to Tidal, probably Volumio/Pi4/Allo Boss is another worthy option. The entire cost of this project is around 10K, and you will get yourself an excellent streamer for Tidal/Spotify/Local FLAC files.
 

Imtiyaz Ahmad

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Since you are primarily into streaming and if you are flexible with your Streaming platform and can switch to Tidal, probably Volumio/Pi4/Allo Boss is another worthy option. The entire cost of this project is around 10K, and you will get yourself an excellent streamer for Tidal/Spotify/Local FLAC files.
As already mentioned I am using Allo digione signature with volumio installed and fed by external dac and am pleased with the results. But what about Apple high resolution music ?
 

OM_2K19

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As already mentioned I am using Allo digione signature with volumio installed and fed by external dac and am pleased with the results. But what about Apple high resolution music ?
Airplay is the most convenient option for Streaming Apple Music. Since you already have the Volumio, why don't you use it as an Airplay endpoint and Stream Apple Music from your iPhone (I assume you already have an iPhone)?
 
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