- Naim Uniti Atom offers the best overall music streaming experience, with great design and sound quality.
- Bluesound NODE provides an affordable yet high-quality streaming option.
- Audioengine B-Fi is the best budget music streamer, with a simple design and solid performance.
- NAD Masters M33 is an excellent high-end music streamer with the unique feature of Dirac Live Room Correction.
- Wiim Mini offers the best plug-and-play music streaming solution with a compact design and extensive feature set.
- Auralic Aries G2.1 is the top choice for a music streamer without a DAC, delivering an exceptional streaming experience for high-end systems.
- Aurender A10 provides maximum internal storage, excellent sound quality, and a premium design.
Introduction: Why Music Streamers Matter
In today’s digital age, music streaming has become the norm, replacing physical formats like CDs and vinyl records. For audiophiles and casual music lovers alike, a dedicated music streamer is essential to get the most out of their favorite tunes. Music streamers can become the center of your hi-fi universe, making every listening session that much more enjoyable. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best music streamers of 2023, catering to every budget and need.
Best Overall Music Streamer: Naim Uniti Atom ($3,040)
Outstanding Sound and Design, Terrific Operating System
The Naim Uniti Atom is our top pick for the best overall music streamer. It works so well and effortlessly that it becomes an indispensable part of any audio setup. The operating system is virtually flawless, capable of playing music from just about any source, including streaming services like Spotify and Tidal, as well as external hard drives.
The Uniti Atom offers excellent sound quality, thanks to its integrated amp, producing audio that is crisp and detailed. The design is spectacular, with a nifty volume wheel and vibrant screen. The only downside is its high price and a fingerprint-prone remote. However, for those who seek the absolute best, the Naim Uniti Atom is worth every penny.
A More Affordable Streaming Option: Bluesound NODE ($599)
Affordable Streaming Without Compromising Sound Quality
For those who want a functional and affordable music streamer without sacrificing sound quality, the Bluesound NODE is the perfect choice. It offers simple operation, clean looks, and exceptional sound – whether used as a streaming DAC or standalone streamer. The touchscreen on top is clean and simple, giving quick access to both basic controls and presets.
The Bluesound NODE does have a few minor flaws, such as occasional software issues with its mobile app and desktop app. However, it remains an outstanding streamer that offers great value for money.
Best Budget Music Streamer: Audioengine B-Fi ($189)
Affordable and Effective Wireless Streaming Solution
The Audioengine B-Fi is the best budget music streamer on the market. It offers a simple and affordable way to make any system wireless, with crisp and clean sound quality. The design is old school, but it’s easy to use and small enough to hide if necessary.
The main downside of the B-Fi is its lack of advanced features and low file resolution. However, for those looking to stream music without breaking the bank, the Audioengine B-Fi is a solid choice.
Best High-End Music Streamer: NAD Masters M33 ($5,499)
Premium Features and Top-Notch Sound Quality
The NAD Masters M33 is a high-end music streamer that offers Dirac Live Room Correction, an advanced feature that optimizes audio performance based on your room’s acoustics. This streamer offers stunning sound quality, even when compared to other high-end options. It also supports a wide range of streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, and Qobuz.
The design is sleek, with a large color touchscreen that allows you to control all aspects of the device. The NAD Masters M33 comes with a high price tag, but it justifies it with top-notch performance and unique features.
Best Plug-and-Play Music Streamer: Wiim Mini ($249)
Compact Design with an Extensive Feature Set
The Wiim Mini offers the best plug-and-play music streaming experience. Its compact size makes it an easy fit for any audio system, and its simple setup process ensures you’ll be up and running in no time. The Wiim Mini supports a wide range of audio formats, including high-resolution files, and integrates seamlessly with popular streaming services like Spotify, Tidal, and Deezer.
The device’s small size means it does not have an onboard DAC or preamp, so you’ll need to use it with an external DAC or a system that has one built-in. Nevertheless, the Wiim Mini is an excellent choice for those seeking a hassle-free streaming solution with a compact design.
Best Music Streamer Without DAC: Auralic Aries G2.1 ($4,799)
Exceptional Streaming Experience for High-End Systems
The Auralic Aries G2.1 is our top choice for a music streamer without a DAC, catering to audiophiles who already have a high-quality DAC in their setup. The Aries G2.1 delivers an exceptional streaming experience, with fast and stable connectivity, support for a wide range of formats, and seamless integration with popular streaming services.
The Lightning DS operating system is intuitive and easy to use, offering access to all your music sources, including network-attached storage (NAS) devices, USB drives, and cloud storage. The Auralic Aries G2.1 is expensive, but it’s the perfect companion for those who want to elevate their high-end audio system.
Best Music Streamer with Maximum Internal Storage: Aurender A10 ($5,500)
Premium Design with Excellent Sound Quality and Storage
The Aurender A10 is the ideal choice for those who require massive internal storage. It boasts a built-in 4TB hard drive, allowing you to store a vast library of high-resolution music files. The A10 offers excellent sound quality, thanks to its high-performance DAC and meticulous engineering.
The device’s design is premium and eye-catching, with a large color display and sturdy construction. The Conductor app is user-friendly and provides quick access to your music library and streaming services. The Aurender A10 is costly, but it justifies its price with top-tier performance, design, and storage capacity.
Conclusion: Choosing the Right Music Streamer for You
There are plenty of music streamers on the market to suit every budget and need. From the best overall music streamer, the Naim Uniti Atom, to the affordable yet impressive Audioengine B-Fi, there’s a device for everyone. Consider your budget, desired features, and the compatibility of the streamer with your existing audio system before making a decision. With the right music streamer, you can elevate your audio experience and enjoy your favorite tunes like never before.