With regard to using RAAT, are there any general plusses or minuses to using a streaming DAC vs using separate bridge and DAC? It seems like avoiding the transmit and receive of USB or SPDIF would be a plus but I don’t know.
My Roon Ready streaming DAC is Ethernet in, analogue out. It is the definition of simplicity and you don’t need to worry about multiple boxes and cabling. Transfer between the streaming module and DAC is raw i2S so none of the complications of USB or the associated bits. It simply works and has been solid from day one.
Many (not all) of the streaming DACs limit DSD to DSD128. It’s the reason I use a streamer into the DAC. I can do DSD256 and soon DSD512 (not that there is any worthwhile content at 512).
I guess to some extent it depends on what bridge device you are giving up. I’ve had an original DigiOne since they were launched ( two or three years?). If I had a new SMS Ultra Neo I might be less inclined to make the switch.
Just from general systems design theory, reducing the number of components generally improves reliability. But as Einstein once said, “as simple as possible, but no simpler”.