If you are planning to purchase a music streaming player then there are several aspects that you will have to check to find the right player. Here, we will explore the most important aspects that you need to examine.
Finding the Right Music Streaming Player
Source of Music
You need to purchase a player according to your listening preferences. You should find a music streaming player that supports the music sources that you normally listen to. For instance, if you spend bulk of your time listening to streaming audio then you will have to look for a player with Wi-Fi connection. Similarly, if you play music saved on your hard drive, then the streamer should be capable of connecting to such drive.
Single Box with Multiple Capabilities
You should look for a player that is capable of handling music streaming, amplification, and file conversion. This way, you will have to just plug it in, connect all your speakers, and begin streaming. This becomes a straightforward way of managing your own hi-fi system without having to invest in dedicated amplifier.
Ability to Connect to a NAS
In case you already have a large archive of favorite songs that are stored on a hard disk, then you should look for a music streaming player that is capable of connecting to a NAS (Network Attached Storage). The NAS would be functioning as your media server and the player will be connecting to it through Universal Plus N Play (uPNP).
Audio, irrespective of whether from a hard disk or streamed online, has certain parameters that you need to keep note of. Two of the most important ones are the bit rate and the sample rate. In terms of quality of music, the higher these two numbers, the better. In addition, you should be aware of the type of music files that you normally listen to. However, when listening to streaming audio, the file type is less important since the streaming service determines the file type.
But, if you are more interested in listening to audio of highest quality then you will have to examine whether the player you are planning to buy is capable to handling certain file types. First one is the high resolution format MQA, which is used in Tidal streaming platform. The other one is DSD with very high sample rate. As such, you will have to find a music streaming player that is capable of translating such file types.
Lastly, you have to keep note of the fact that many of the input as well as output devices restrain file size, but will be playing such music files at a much lower resolution. For instance, optical inputs usually restrict size to 96 kHz and would scale down the audio to their compatible size.
As mentioned in the above sections, there are several important aspects that you need to focus on while selecting a music streaming player. By checking all the details, you will be able to purchase the right player that perfectly matches your expectations.