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Best system for streaming music and playing CDs for around $1200

Luxman Amplifiers India


New Member
Dec 31, 2013
Washington DC
Hi. I just joined HiFiVision and this is, in fact, my first post. I am looking to build a low budget computer audio system and I would really appreciate any help that I can get.

My main source of listening to music is music streaming services like Pandora or MOG. I also listen to CDs and am looking to also have the option of listening to music files that I have on my Macbook.

I was looking at the Marantz M-CR610 which seems to have all the functionality that I need. It is priced at $700 and it seems any decent pair of speakers cost at least $500. So I set my budget around $1200. I wish I could go higher, but being a PhD student I can't go too much higher than $1200 right now.

Are there better options than the Marantz at that price range? Which speakers are the best that go with it? I previously had a Marantz M-CR603 with Dali Lektor 2 speakers when I was in India, but I mostly used to play CDs on it or music from my iPod. It was a good system considering the price, but I never did try streaming music on it or connecting to my laptop.

Now I live near Washington DC. Are there any places nearby where I can go to hear some of these low budget systems?

Thanks for all your help!


Well-Known Member
Dec 22, 2008
That is a lot of money for the Marantz. Looks like your mind might be made up, but if you are looking for pure streaming, you can even go for something like apple TV or even roku. That is only $100. You can get powered or active speakers instead. Like audioengine or active monitors.

I will admit I am saying this on a theoretical basis. What prompted me was the factthat the Marantz model seemed to have poor specs. It is not a strong amp for the price. And for the money, you could even build a small form factor PC that can act as a dedicated music server and even do htpc duty.
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