Bluesound Node 2I vs NUC 10 Sound Quality

Has anyone done a direct comparison into the same DAC of the Node 2I vs NUC 10 to see how they perform?

I know the Node 2I is well regarded but can it be beaten by reducing the hops to the DAC with a direct connection?

The general consensus is that directly connecting to the nuc is worse for SQ than going through a network streamer. I have my doubts so I just connect directly to the nuc.

I have not compared the 2 but I am really enjoying what I am listening to.

I use an SMSL SU-8 connected via USB to the nuc for my headphone rig and connect the HDMI out of the nuc to my TV receiver for my speaker rig. Works great.

As may be expected, in my experience it depends on the configuration and the file formats.

I use a ethernet wired NUCi7 ROCK and a TEAC NT-505 streamer connected to the TEAC CG-10M clock. In general the USB connection to the NUC sounds marginally better. But the same MQA album via Tidal sound better when connected to the streamer RC-45 connecter of this streamer than the same Qobuz Hires album from the NUC via USB to my streamer.
This difference is probably caused by TEAC NT-505 having internally an MQA decoder including upsampling/filtering in a very good manner.

And as always, let your ears judge when the settings of the different configurations are optimised.