Recommendations for a bridge / streamer without DAC

That depends on which DAC you use. Rob Watts recommends using Spdif instead of USB for his FPGA Qutest DAC. I’ve tried it and can confirm it. I use a Silverstar BNC cable between the NP5 and the Qutest and am still happy without the slightest desire to change.
I also tested other streamers on this Qutest, all set with the same resolution, of course.
By far the worst was a Chromecast dongle. Followed closely by a Pi over USB.