iFi Audio introduces NEO Stream music streamer/DAC

iFi Audio has released its new music streamer/DAC, the NEO Stream – the second device in its NEO Series, the company’s mid-level mains-powered range for home use positioned between the ZEN and Pro Series. The NEO Stream boasts a desktop-size chassis and aluminium casework resembling the NEO iDSD (HFC 482), but the company claims that: “while its circuitry builds on existing iFi designs, its internal architecture and attendant attributes are unlike anything else on the market… Many audio streaming devices lock users into a specific platform… but if they want to select their preferred streaming platforms and apps without restriction, with the ability to adapt and evolve as requirements change, a device with an open-source architecture offers clear advantages.”

To this end, iFi says it has developed its own streaming engine, purpose-built to deliver flexibility and performance with a quad-core ARM Cortex processor and Linux-based operating system, which enables it to evolve over time ensuring users are not locked into a specific platform. It comes Roon Ready, will work with any DLNA/UPnP-compatible streaming app such as BubbleUPnP, mconnect, Audirvana etc, and can be used to control the NEO Stream and access audio content from online services and DLNA-certified network storage devices. It can stream directly from the Tidal and Spotify apps, has Integrated Airplay streaming from Apple devices and can operate as an NAA (Network Audio Adapter) in conjunction with Sygnalist HQPlayer software, which means it can direct packets of audio data received over wi-fi or Ethernet straight to the connected DAC without applying processing.

iFi says its Stream-iFi app is a simple tool to aid initial setup of the NEO Stream and initiate streaming from local storage devices and claims it can be used: “in two ways: connect to an amp and speakers via the onboard DAC stage and analogue outputs, or connect one of the available digital outputs to an external DAC. In the latter mode, the NEO Stream acts as a streaming transport or network bridge, like the ZEN Stream but with a higher level of ultra-resolution performance.”

The NEO Stream’s integral DAC stage is based around a Burr-Brown chipset and it can be positioned horizontally or vertically on the supplied stand with its display flipping automatically to suit the user’s preferred orientation. The retina-grade TFT colour display is a two-incher and it comes with an OptiBox optical LAN transceiver and optical cable; USB A-to-USB C cable; Ethernet cable; analogue RCA cable; iPower 2 power supply and aluminium stand for vertical orientation.

Available to buy now for £1,300, you can find out more about the NEO Stream here .

iFi Audio