Options for network streaming?


Active Member
May 5, 2014
Hello everyone,
I'm considering to build a stereo setup and my audio source is Spotify. I rely on Spotify connect to enjoy music and podcasts.
I have some FLAC files collection that I hear once in a while, but majorly it is Spotify.

In this process, I've encountered the following options and I'm wondering which is the best for my source preference: Spotify.
  1. Network streamer with inbuilt DAC + Amp (Eg: Yamaha R-N303)
  2. Chromecast audio + Stereo amplifier (without a DAC)
  3. Chromecast audio + DAC (Allo Boss / Khadas) + Stereo amplifier
  4. Raspberry Pi + DAC + Stereo amplifier
Would like to understand how the above chains qualify for music listening. Are all the options the same? Or, is one better over the other?
Kindly help me understand this space.

Thank you.
Well I would probably go with R-N 303 in this case. Since it's a single box solution, it's easy to setup and reduce the moving components in the audio chain.
If you are the kind who values convenience and ease of use, I would say that Option 2 is the way to go for your choice of streaming service ie Spotify. You would be able to get a much better amplifier (with DAC but no streamer) than the one in Yamaha R-N303. Marantz PM6006 comes to mind for about 35K or a used one for even less. CCA is probably on-par or even a shade better than the streamer in the Yammy.

Option 3 and 4 is a little fussy but you would be able to achieve a much higher audio quality for the same budget. However, you might not notice much of a difference if you are streaming only Spotify and not hires streaming or playing lossless audio.

Finally, just to confuse you more..In case, your mind is set on a one-box solution, then I recommend Yamaha WXA-50 which is also a streamer+DAC+Amp like R-N303. But WXA-50 is a Class D amp and is overall better reviewed than the other one. You should be able to find a decent bargain around 35K for this one.
I may select to have different components for different purposes like I may use mobile phone/ laptop as streaming device with Spotify, Tidal, USB Audio Player Pro etc apps then I may choose entry level dac like Topping d/e 30, Schiit modi 3, ifi Zen Dac etc . For amplifier, I may use pre owned amplifier (without DAC) with good power ratings. If budget permits I may scale up to higher models with similar configuration like Schiit modi multi bit dac or more muscluer amplifier specifically from CA, NAD,Rotal etc. In this case at every stage you get chance to upgrade with periodic interval of time.
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