Streamers make listening to music convenient without needing to deal with wires and remote controls, providing superior sound quality for an unforgettable listening experience.
Integrating streaming into your hi-fi system doesn’t need to be costly; many integrated amplifiers come equipped with built-in streaming. Or consider one of Bluesound’s award-winning wireless hi-res multiroom systems for an easier solution.
Multi-room audio systems enable you to enjoy wireless music playback throughout the home, be it one room or multiple. They’re typically controlled with an app on a smartphone or tablet, although some systems (Alexa and Google Assistant) also support voice control. They’re much easier than traditional Hi-Fi systems – Sonos, Bluesound and Denon HEOS require no extra amplifiers or speakers – just plug and connect them directly to your network; some brands even provide soundbars so they can be seamlessly integrated into TV set-up.
Sonos, Bose and Russound are respected names in the multi-room market and offer outstanding sound performance with ease of use. Each has a comprehensive line-up of wireless speakers, soundbars and amplifiers which can be combined to build systems tailored specifically to meet your needs and budget.
All the major players offer multi-room audio speakers that are integrated with other smart home products, enabling voice control of these speakers. Additionally, these multi-room speakers are compatible with popular streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music and Tidal as well as providing access to your personal music collection stored on NAS drives or computer networks.
Many modern wireless hi-fi components support high-resolution streaming, allowing listeners to enjoy music up to 24-bit/96kHz quality. This is ideal for listeners who appreciate its clarity and detail – Apple HomePod, Sonos, Bluesound and Denon heOS all support hi-res streaming as does Amazon Echo and Google Assistant.
Multi-room systems offer great versatility, allowing you to play either identical tracks in each room, or different tracks in each. This feature can help set a festive atmosphere or simply set an atmosphere through music; multi-room audio systems like Sonos, Bose and Russound offer this functionality while being built to scale to add speakers as your needs shift.
High-resolution (or hi-res) audio offers superior sound quality when compared to MP3 music files, covering an expansive dynamic range from whispery vocals to thunderous drum solos and can play back at higher volumes without distortion. While some streaming services provide hi-res tiers, this content can also be downloaded and streamed using standalone devices such as network streamers or USB audio players.
A streamer is a component that connects directly to your existing hi-fi system and enables access to popular music services and internet radio, as well as drive-stored songs via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or hardwired Ethernet connections. The best streamers also include upgraded DACs that decode higher resolution digital music files for improved sound quality compared with phones or computers’ built-in DACs.
Streamers come in various forms, with some models combining an amplifier and digital-to-analogue converter (DAC). Such integrated streamers offer an ideal way to add streaming capability to an existing hi-fi system and can usually fit within the space taken up by a standard receiver or preamp.
Most integrated streamers include a USB port for playing high-res files stored on computers or smartphones, and HDMI eARC inputs to connect directly with TVs. Other streamers, like Bluesound’s NODE model, may even act as the centerpiece of high-end wireless hi-fi systems.
Audiophiles who love classical and jazz music will benefit greatly from a streamer that supports Direct Stream Digital (DSD), also known as Single Bit Direct Digital. DSD offers more detail in music as it features higher sample rates – 64 times that of CD up to DSD256 are all options available to them.
Streaming audio systems are easy to use with touch screens, remote controls and smart devices. Just select your song of choice and its desired room of playback; the system does the rest! No more stacks of media equipment in various rooms! Instead, this enables you to create customized playlists for parties or holidays throughout your home!
If your integrated amp or stereo receiver features a line-in connection, you can easily hook up streaming source components (Sonus, BluOS, HEOS, MusicCast or Roon) directly to it and enjoy music throughout your home in HD quality. Most streaming source components feature both analog and digital outputs for connecting traditional CD players or turntables while some offer the added flexibility of having control over volume for individual zones.
Add a wireless multi-room speaker system to your home for the best of both worlds. These systems often include built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and can stream popular services such as Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, iHeart Radio and SiriusXM; in addition, these systems offer high-resolution audio with superior upscaled sound as well as being capable of accessing content stored locally and in the cloud.
Professional multi-room audio systems can combine all your existing music components into an easy-to-use solution that distributes each track throughout your house, giving you the power to listen to classics while someone else listens to disco tunes in another room.
Your multi-room audio system can also integrate seamlessly with lighting and climate systems, so that pressing one button on a touch screen, smart device or keypad launches commands that change lighting settings, turn up music volumes and set the scene for a party.
Green Electronic Solutions can create the ideal audio system solution for you and your budget – be it 80s rock in the garage, Mozart in the living room or techno in the backyard! Simply contact us now to arrange a consultation session and experience high-quality audio firsthand!
Connecting Your Streamer
Streaming devices like Sonos speakers, Apple’s AirPlay technology, and Google Chromecast Audio make it simple to stream music from smartphones or computers through your home Wi-Fi network. They connect via speaker inputs of stereo systems and offer control via dedicated apps on smartphones; be sure to follow any manufacturer-provided instructions during setup for best results.
Major streaming services provide access to an enormous selection of music, with playlists and recommendations tailored specifically for you. They use your listening habits and feedback to improve their features and your experience; so if you’re considering switching over or adding streamer(s) to an existing system, take your time exploring all available options, compare features and prices before making a decision.
If you’re upgrading to include a high-quality streamer, we also suggest investing in quality speakers. While modern streaming stereo systems feature built-in speakers with limited power output, separates configurations offer greater control. Don’t forget to invest in suitable-length speaker cables so your new speakers get all of their potential power!
Some modern stereos feature integrated amplifiers equipped with digital audio inputs capable of handling lossless and hi-res music files, giving you the flexibility of connecting a streamer directly to your stereo system. We still recommend investing in a high-quality external DAC or integrated amplifier to get the full benefits of modern streamers.
To maximize performance from an audio streaming setup, we advise ensuring a stable internet connection of at least 20Mbps download speed and preferring wired Ethernet over Wi-Fi for better stability and reliability. Investing in some high-quality digital interconnects may also prove essential, particularly if connecting your streamer, DAC, or integrated amp to other hi-fi components with optical coaxial or USB connections.