Which services do I need to look out for in a Network Audio Streamer?

If you're a fan of streaming services, you'll know how convenient they can be but might be worried that the quality isn't up to scratch.

A good network audio streamer won’t just playback hi-resolution files (anything above CD quality) from a USB hard drive or Network Assisted Storage (NAS) drive. It should also deliver every available detail from your subscription streaming service of choice. But which streaming services should you be on the look-out for?

For a truly immersive digital experience, look for a streamer that features Roon. Roon is a subscription service that places all of your content from TIDAL, Qobuz or digital downloads alongside each other in a seamless, engaging and user-friendly interface that has a huge amount of additional information that you just don't get on a record sleeve or CD cover. One for the connoisseur!

If you're a Spotify user then Spotify Connect is a must for casual listening. It lets you use the native Spotify app to control your selections and you then select your streamer as the output. Fast, familiar, super-convenient and great for parties.

For other audio applications, look to Chromecast and Apple Airplay. These features will let you send audio to your streamer from a vast array of apps with audio content. Great for services like Soundcloud which features mixes and tracks not available on other platforms.

As for fans of Cambridge Audio streamers? The CXN (V2) and Edge NQ are capable of all the above as well as having TIDAL and Qobuz built into the accompanying StreamMagic app for non-Roon users. So, whether you’re new to digital music or looking for an upgrade, they’re just the job when you need to get downstream.

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