OK why no Network support?


#1

I was seriously considering picking a Sprout up recently but in the end I was put off by lack of lossless wireless streaming options like Airplay and DLNA. Leaving network support like these out seems like a huge oversight to me. I’m pretty sure that I am in the precise demographic Sprout is aimed at, I’m nearly 30 and all of my music digital, stored either on my phone or my computer, which is a Macbook. AptX is OK but is sometimes unreliable and at the end of the day is still lossy and simply not as good as Airplay for Mac users.

I’m mainly posting this not to bash what I think is still a great product but in the hopes that my feedback might help lead to the second generation Sprout having network support. For me that would make Sprout perfect.

Cheers!


#2

Network support is tough business and not for the faint of heart in the engineering department. We provide it in our more advanced DAC products and it take an entire PC card to do so. Though there are smaller modules available and Sprout may someday get this, it won’t happen any time soon.

We do appreciate you thinking about Sprout and driving us further into making it perfect!


#3

computeraudiophile.com has put together a couple of do-it-yourself network renderers that can easily built for $75 or less. They can connect to the Sprout via USB. I built the BeagleBone Black one to use in a secondary system and it was dead easy and works well. That one doesn’t do Wi-Fi but this one does: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/how-is-ted-coding-the-fpgaent/638-geek-speak-raspberry-pi-hifi-here/

You would also need to run server software (with your music) on a computer or NAS drive. I use JRiver Music Center (Mac or PC but not NAS) and the JRemote iDevice controller app (or minimserver, which runs on PCs, Macs and many NASs, and the BubbleUPnP Android controller app). As Paul said, network audio is not for the faint of heart, but neither is it rocket science.