Recommendations for a bridge / streamer without DAC

Hi, this’ll be my first post here and I hope that you can help point me in the right direction.

I’ve been listening to a Chord Hugo (original) through a pair of Audeze LCDx’s for a fair number of years now and loving the sound (signal supplied via laptop / usb to the Chord).
Unfortunately the Hugo has recently died so I’ve got back on the road of discovery re new DACs / amps etc and discovered the concept of streamers etc…

From what I’ve read (getting a demo isn’t an easy thing where I’m from) I’m thinking of two options. The first, and simplest, is to get a Naim Uniti Atom HE, super easy and apparently great sounding. The second is to stump up for a Chord TT2 and streamer / bridge, more complicated but I would think better sounding.

BTW I’d love to hear from anyone with experience of either of these two items as well!

So, what would you recommend as a streamer / bridge (not sure of the exact terminology, basically the thing that takes the roon / tidal connect and feeds it to my DAC / amp)? Its doesn’t need to network to other rooms, it doesn’t need to read files from a hard drive etc either as I’ll just be using online source(s).
Sound quality is more important than a flash user interface or looks although it wants to be operable by someone with little to no understanding of computers etc…

I’d much appreciate your thoughts, thanks.

RPi running Ropieee. Anything more is just flash.

Also, welcome!


My listening buddy had a TT2 for a while and i am an avid Chord listener myself.
The TT2 will appreciate a good sounding streamer/bridge (correct terminology) and like @Johnny_Ooooops is suggesting a Raspberry Pi will functionally work just fine, and be really cost effective.

No doubts you will hear benefits from stepping up a few notches though, like Lumïn U2 Mini or Auralic Aries (G1/1.1, G2/2.1) or why not the SOtM sMS-200 (Ultra/Neo).

There are also addons for Raspberrys making them compete soundwise to the other suggestions but at fractions of the cost.
Thinking IAN Canada PurePi and his reclocking solutions. A hobby within the hobby, yes.


Hi Simon, are you sure that the Hugo is beyond repair, i had mine refurbished by Chord for what i thought was a very reasonable amount. Im not trying to convince not to upgrade, but there could be a way to breathe life in to the old dog yet!


Hi Glimmer, I’m pretty sure it’s the batteries and whilst I know they can be repaired the dealer who can do it over here in Malaysia is being incredibly slow (apparently the new batteries will only be sent along with their next big order from Chord which could be anytime between now and forever…).
I’ve also started to to look at new gear and the itch has started, so it looks like I’ll be upgrading and someone will be getting a refurbed Hugo off of me very cheaply in the future (lucky them, its a great DAC/ Headphone AMP).
I only upgrade once in a blue moon so I’m happy to spend the money and enjoy the ride.

Thanks, how complicated is it to set up a RPi? Looking at them online it looks a little intimidating to be honest…

Thanks for the reply, so it’s similar to other source material and it is worth stepping up the game if your going into a reasonable DAC like the TT2? That’s interesting.

I had the chance to listen to a TT2 when travelling through Singapore recently, it sounded impressive (although this was with the latest version of the LCDX’s rather than my OG versions), much more detailed and ‘faster’ than my Hugo. Its was a little thin at times with some recordings though which keeps me from just ordering one. This was fed directly from an iphone though, not a dedicated streamer /bridge.

I do like the concept of the Uniti Atom HE, just dont know what it sounds like and unless it’s really quite special then I’d always be thinking about the TT2… They’re also more expensive over here at the equivalent of USD3,950 / GBP3,250. I can get a mint used TT2 for USD3,700 / GBP3,040…

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The Rpi route would be a great way forward and it is very easy to do, availability might be an issue, but the complete unit would not cost much more than the Hugo refurb.

Your op says without DAC the Naim Uniti Atom has a DAC built in its an all in one streaming preamp/headphone amplifier it’s not just a streamer.

Like some others here, I prefer to keep transport/bridge and DAC separate. Plenty of options are available.
As mentioned above the cheapest option is a Rpi with e.g. Ropieee. Apart from that other options that come to my mind:
Argon Audio Solo
Wiim Mini Pro
Bluesound Node
Waversa WStreamer
Holo Audio Red
Wattson Audio Emerson
Various products from Lumin and Auralic

My DAC is a Naim nDAC that is connected to a Waversa Wstreamer. Before that I used a Rpi with an Allo HAT (mainly because the nDAC does not have a USB input). While I thought I heard a difference between RPi and Wstreamer at the time, I am not sure I could tell them apart in a blind test today.

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Raspberry pi, if you want something that will do the job and cost relatively little.

Lumin / auralic if you want a pretty case, a name, and don’t mind spending the money for aesthetics and build.

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Holo Audio Red fits the bill in my opinion. A wonderfully flexible bit of hardware that will do Roon and Tidal connect plus a few other options if you ever need them. Configurable from a simple web page, you can simply tick Roon and Tidal connect then reboot and it is good to go.

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@Henry_McLeod, does Holo Audio Red work with wi-fi?

No. It has to be wired, but that can be done via a WiFi access point. My entire Roon rig is done that way and it works well.

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Why? I do the same (with a zen stream now) but not sure why, maybe it easy to upgrade

Thanks for the list

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It’s not hard but right now rpis are expensive. I might recommend a used microRendu instead.

I am just concerned that the streaming frontend becomes outdated (in terms of connectivity) with all the changes in this space and it is easier and hopefully cheaper to only replace the transport.
If you look at e.g. the 1st generation Naim all-in-one streamers, they are essentially worthless because they do not support the latest streaming services.

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Good argument, I was thinking the same but from the DAC point of view. As I do understand with my little knowledge and logic the bridge does not have “a sound” but the dac might… so after trying 100 speakers I would like to try 20 Dacs :slight_smile:

That’s the spirit!

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Another vote for the simple Raspberry Pi, running RoPieee, for the streamer. And a DAC with USB input, plugged into the Pi. For the Pi, I like the Cana kit for the Pi 4. The Pi is very simple to just snap together.