Hello All Network Audio Experts,
I’m sure this has been covered in several threads before, but I can’t seem to find clear advice regarding use of Bridge II for streaming. I’ve seen lots of negative press for the MConnect app in various forms, but have also seen some positive reviews for BubbleUPnP app.
My hypothetical system would be Bridge II in DS DAC used for streaming either Tidal, Qobuz or maybe both. No plans to have files stored on any PC hardware. I am also leaning toward purchase of an Android tablet for user interface to allow use of Bubble (currently all phones are iOS).
EDIT: Current setup is very simple, but lacks SQ at times. Streaming AmazonHDMusic via WiFi to my phone and then via BlueTooth to Audioengine interface into DS DAC coax input. Not bad, but seems a bit variable in terms of sound quality.
Any guidance would be most appreciated from this great community.
If Kurt has no objection, I would like to tag on to his request for assistance in decision making.
I am a new owner of a Directstream after testing out an assortment of other products through the courtesy of Amazon’s return policy. Right now, I am trying to figure out what would be the most ideal music player to use, prioritized by:
- music quality transmission
- easy-to-use features for playing where flexibility is key (to provide for a finicky mind that has access to a rather diverse music genre of over 15,000 tracks)
- burn-in cost as well as long-term (my preference is “free with some work to get to content” to " a modest cost to make audio enjoyment painless"
So far, I have tried MConnect, MControl, Audirvana, Roon, and Hifi Cast. They all have some quirks but Hifi Cast appears to be winning some points yet I’m questioning the music quality at times.
Gentlemen and ladies, any advice would be much appreciated!!!
@CT_Jerry, I have no problem with your “tagging on”.
UPDATE: Being a horribly impatient person, I’ve already pulled the trigger on a used Bridge II. I’ve also purchased a Fire HD tablet (8" for $50 on Amazon) and plan to use the BubbleUPnP app unless someone has advice for a better Android (or iOS) app. I have also just joined Qobuz and find the high res streaming with my existing (primitive) system to sound better than AmazonHDMusic streaming wirelessly to my phone and then to Audioengine Bluetooth to DS DAC.
You will really love Qobuz. I let my Tidal sub go once Qobuz was up and running here. Their digital file prices are competitive with other sources. I do not have the top level subscription (yet). It brings the price of digital files way down if you are interested in purchasing as well as listening.
I am a long time Roon user. I’m also not a Bridge ii fan. PS Audio will be coming out with Octave at some point which will be worth a look. The DS DAC is a great unit. I’d look at pairing it with a Sonore microrendu which with their 2.8 software is very flexible. I have a Sonore Ultradigital in the chain so I can use I2S over HDMI with my W4S DAC. With Roon, a connected source like the microRendu was better than the Bridge ii when I owned a DSJr.
One thing you will get is a ton of different responses. Having said that here is mine.
I’m both a Tidal and Qobuz user. I personally listen to Tidal more because of their catalog. I had let my Qobuz subscription expire (was dong the trail) because to me it wasn’t enough for me to switch. When Qobuz came out with their special pricing, I added it. This is why I now have both. Try the trail of both and see which one fits your needs.
I use the Bridge II card in my DSD and it works great for what I need. I did try the opticalRendu but didn’t keep it. It is a nice unit but not enough for me to replace my Bridge II card. If I didn’t already own the Bridge II card I would have kept it.
Now I haven’t used MConnect or Bubble UPnP so I can’t help you there.
Used all kind of control points with BridgeII (currently streaming via Melco>usb>matrix>hdmi>DS and dismantled the Bridge). Highly prefer Bubble however -FWIW- one needs the mConnect app to unfold Tidal’s MQA. Bubble is rock solid and has way better interface. Last but not least with the Android share function one simply can browse the Tidal/Qobuz native apps selecting tracks/albums/playlists to enqueue and play with Bubble (active in background). Great feature!
Get that Android tab, leave bluetooth, wire the Bridge, experience the several control points and enjoy
None of the above?
I have not tried Bubble UPnP but I have tried mConnect (and still fiddle with it occasionally).
For ease of use, JRiver Media Center’s (JRMC) JRemote is preferable to mconnectControl. I just don’t care for mconnectControl’s UI. Depending on the track, there’s not much difference in sound quality playing my digital files, but I like JRemote a lot better – a personal preference I am sure.
JRMC is bit of a pain as archival software but I prefer JRemote.
I have not used Bubble UPnP, but have used MControl HD and JRemote on my iPad. MControl is pretty lame and occasionally has buggy connectivity, but it gets the job done for streaming. JRemote is good for playing files off my PC, though I’ve had some connectivity issues with it too. As far as I can tell (please correct me if I am wrong) JRemote is not an answer for streaming. JRiver offers streaming options on my PC, but JRemote only offers a handful of JRiver curated “Radio” stations. In the past I have managed to get links to streaming radio, e.g., SOMAFM, to work, but with each upgrade of JRiver I seem to lose the knack for doing it. Bottom line (for me), all of the software has issues, it’s a matter finding one whose foibles don’t get under your craw.
Yes (@kcleveland123), I did not perceive what the OP meant by “streaming” on the first pass. I think of listening to my files wirelessly (iMac via Wi-Fi) to my router and eventually to Bridge II and the DS as streaming. Not the same thing as internet streaming (which I tend to prefer via Roon Remote with my Qobuz and Tidal subscriptions).
Let us know what you go end up going with.
I’d also strongly recommend BubbleUPnP as a control app. Several years ago I tried MControl and other control apps but none were as bug free or solid in their performance as BubbleUPnP. I started out looking for an app to run on iOS devices but ended up buying an Android tablet purely to use with BubbleUPnP - it is that good.
Last night, inspired by this thread and one about tracks with an ethereal or enveloping quality, I did some Qobuz exploring using the mconnectContorl app. on my iPhone. True streaming in the sense that music was pulled from Qobuz over the interwebs and routed to the DS via Bridge II. I was really enjoying the experience (found some great new music and just-for-fun ear candy) and had put together a nice queue.
So far, so good…and then…Boom! – my carefully curated “playlist” (just the queue, since I did not create and save a playlist) spontaneously disappeared leaving me with only song I was listening to.
I was so disgusted that after the track ended I shut it all down and went to bed; reminded of why I tend to not use the app.
First world problems…
Thanks all for the useful feedback. I’ll report back after getting set up late next week.
But it was really good/fun while it lasted…
Thanks for all the great feedback. I’m trying to take this a bit(e) at a time. I’ve got a few new applications to try out and see which will work best. On the plus side of things, I have an arsenal of laptops and tablets to use even though some of them are older models. I do plan on using a tablet to stream music from my own network as well as from the web.
I will report back after I dive deeper into the new apps suggested. In the meantime, I didn’t manage to set up my Nvidia Shield TV play through my DS and am enjoying the upgraded music along with the video-enhanced eye candy on my television (hehe). Thanks again for the help and TTFN.
I have seen some post that the LUMIN app may work with the Bridge? Is anyone doing that?
The Lumin app follows the Linn protocol so it may work. If it does then Linn Kazoo may also work.
Lumin app works fine (local files, Tidal -without MQA unfolding-, Qobuz), as does 8playerPro (local files only). Remember “mConnect control” is designed for phones, “mconnect control HD” for tablets…
@wijber are you saying the Lumin app on an IPhone will control the Bridge streaming Qobuz? If so that might be the best option. I’ve heard the Lumin app is great.
Dismantled BridgeII some time ago having the Matrix in my system.
The Lumin app on my i-Pad air definitely controls my Melco/matrix/DS, not completely sure about it but thought to remember I could select / switch between playing over BridgeII and Melco-usb using Lumin (just like Bubble).
Lumin is a nice and stable app, still use it occasionally but overall prefer Bubble.