Wifi streaming adapter frustration (Suggeston for PS Audio)


#1

I’m just getting into this whole HiFi thing, and I find the lack of (wireless) network connectivity of modern hardware (or the lack of even simple Wifi adapters) to be very frustrating.

For the most part, I find the market full of overstuffed audio networking equipment. I don’t want a DAC or an ARM processor or storage or yet another software package or a display or ANYTHING else other than a WiFi adapter.

It seems as if the only readily available, simple Wifi adapter for audio, that’s not stuffed full of crap I don’t want or need, is Chromcast Audio, but even it has superfluous components (like its own DAC).

If Google can produce a Wifi adapter with a built-in DAC and bit perfect TosLink output that you can cast to and sell it for $35, surely there should be something even simpler available. Unfortunately its TosLink output introduces tons of jitter into the signal.

For me, all I want is a dummy Wifi network adapter. Something that receives the signal and passes it along, unaltered, to the DAC. Something that is Chromecast compatible. A simple USB dongle (possibly even externally powered) would suffice. Hell, even if a more expensive wifi adapter device with jitter correction hardware included would be welcomed because those features serve a purpose with respect to quality audio.

For that matter, if Wifi hardware is so inexpensive, shouldn’t simple wireless connectivity be built into DACs/preamps at this point, again without all the fulff? I now some need the features, but some baseline connectivity wouldn’t be difficult.

Am I missing something here? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Any hardware you could recommend?

EDIT:
So maybe this can morph into a suggestion: How about PS Audio make a prouduct like this or integrate SIMPLE Wifi connectivity and casting into its future DACs/Preamps?

Thanks!


#2

It’s called a wifi access point, operating in bridge mode. Turns your non-wifi enabled networked device into a wifi device. $20 on eBay. Case closed.


#3

Whole bunch of easy ways to bridge wifi. Even when a component is equipped to handle wifi, I attach to the network via hard wire whenever possible.


#4

So, for example with respect to the Stellar DAC. I’d need the network bridge to have either a USB or TosLink output, since there is no ethernet input. Casting support is also needed. That or software that can stream to the network device.

Any specific recommendations or advice?


#5

Microrendu for a low cost option.


#6

#7

Hi Tensor9,

I may be misunderstanding your request. When you say “WiFi adapter” do you mean a box that speaks wireless internet on one side, and has an Ethernet wired output on the other side?

If so, there are numerous (over-abundant) of these generic non-audio WiFi boxes. I use Apple WiFi products primarily because my wife uses a Mac and needs the auto-backup in Airport WiFi Time Capsule box. The AirPort Extreme has a built-in DAC even, but you can ignore it if you are using the wired Ethernet output.

On the audio side, there are now several products that take wired Ethernet as input (audio over IP) and convert the audio packets to be delivered over USB into the DAC. The Sonic Orbiter is an example. The Bridge II dispenses with the USB portion.

The audio contents are not modified.

So one possible set up is to use an AirPort Extreme to receive the WiFi signal (from your audio source, like a Roon Server/Core) and connect the Ethernet output of the Apple Extreme into your Bridge II or Microrendu.

Apologies if this explanation is too pedantic :slight_smile: just trying to be clear/helpful.


#8

The bridge 2 is out since we are talking about Stellar DAC.

Even with a wireless bridge device there still needs to be an Ethernet to USB renderer involved.


#9

Agree.

I was thinking the OP was asking about the WiFi end upstream, and maybe was in need of a simple box like the Apple Express.


#10

August Wifi Audío receiver. Ethernet, optical out, analog out.


#11

Got two of these little guys. One for each Sprout100 and I’m not missing anything at all.

August Streamer


#12

I’d be interested in what kind of clocking comes in that package, I’m not sure it’s gonna beat a chromecast.


#13

With the Sprout100 or SGCD as DAC it sure beats the chromecast. Is not better than the Allo DigiOne Player for sure. The August built in dac is prob as good as the CC, but it does have a chock full of features.


#14

Fundamentally, I’m complaining that most if not all modern external DACs, including Stellar, don’t have Wifi receivers built into them (or at least an inexpensive option available). I mean, after all the point is to connect some source to them, and what more convenient source, in a modern setting, is there than Wifi? Wifi receiver chips are very inexpensive.

Chromecast Audio + the SPIDF iPurifier (or jitterbug, etc) does what I want, but I was looking for an all in product with maybe the option of USB instead of SPIDF to stream audio from my PC to the DAC. A product withOUT any superfluous options, like storage or a built in DAC chip, just a casting enabled Wifi receiver that outputs bit-perfect, low jitter data via TOSlink or USB to the DAC input.


#15

I’m not sure a low jitter well clocked option really exists. Somebody correct me if I’m wrong but is there a WiFi device that has a Femto level clock like a crystek ?


#16

HiFiBerry RPI3 bridged in an inexpensive solution.


#17

They don’t have WiFi because WiFi is a radio transmitter, and you don’t want a radio transmitter parked right next to your DAC circuits.


#18

I use the IOGEAR Universal Ethernet to Wi-Fi N Adapter to connect my P3 Powerplant and my PerfectWave Transport to my network - currently $40 on Amazon. There probably are less expensive alternatives. However, this adapter is really easy to set up and has worked flawlessly for years. For $49.99 you can get a 300 mbps version.

IOGEAR Universal Ethernet to Wi-Fi N Adapter


#19

I’ve been using a power line adapter over my homes electrical system. I found it was faster than the WiFi bridge units. In my house at least. Your mileage may vary.


#20

What about one of these?

Maybe add an Audioquest Jitterbug, to eliminate any noise. I use one from a laptop to my DAC. Take it a step at a time, extender, Jitterbug, and then a really decent USB cable.