Potential new setup in listening area -- thoughts?

Thanks for your very helpful replies on my recent question to the Support area about using a Fire HD as an endpoint. (Short version: It didn’t work.) Now I’m thinking about creating the following setup at my listening chair:

iFi Zen Stream endpoint (Wifi, but could be hardwired to an Eero pod if I want to get fancy) → iFi Zen Dac V2 → headphones

In this scenario I’d use an iPad as a Roon Remote only.

Before I spend the several hundred smackers required – and I suspect there’s an obvious answer here, so please don’t throw things – would this setup represent a significant upgrade (in terms of sonics, usability and/or stability) over my current setup:

iPad endpoint (WiFi) → iFi Hip DAC V2 → headphones

Don’t get me wrong: My current setup is… y’know: Fine. But I have this terrible condition where I’m always looking for ways to up my game.

Many thanks for your thoughts on this.

Take this with a pinch of salt, as I have no experience with any of the components you mention, but looking at the specs there doesn’t seem to be a huge difference between the Hip DAC V2 and the Zen Dac V2 so I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve by swapping one for the other. That said, the Zen does match the Zen Stream, but do you really need the latter? Have you considered using a RPi 4 to replace the iPad? The Zen Stream won’t break the bank but a RPi 4 is quite a lot cheaper and, IMO, would do an equally good job of getting the bits from A to B.

Hi Bill I have this setup in my study, but I have the V1 Zen DAC. Very happy with it and the Stream after taking a long time to get software updates is now a really good device with good outputs on USB and SPDIF.

I’m not sure there will be a huge improvement, but I suspect that there will be some from the very good USB output from the Stream.

If you need usb filters and all that power filter nonsense the unit is bad designed to begin with.

A well measuring DAC has all the usb filters and clean power that you need. Just get a raspberry pi 4

Thanks for this. I’m sure the Pi works great, but I should have mentioned I’m looking for a turnkey solution.

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