Audirvana for Windows as good as streamers, audio players?

Hi all,

Wondering if having Audirvana on my laptop is just as good as hasving an expensive streamer such as Auralic The site claims the software turns our laptop into a high end streamer by doing all sort of things. Is this true? Or I’m missing a much higher quality streaming from Auralic and the likes?

Hi Guscaldas!
Maybe you already noticed, here are many users that post a lot of complaints. But even the most angry ones would agree on one thing, sound is great. I have a streamer, a bit an older model. I hear no difference, but I enjoy the possibilities that come with Audirvana. Only drawback is, upsampling to DSD, which creates cracking noises.


I think it kind of depends what the rest of your system looks like (or what you want it to look like).
If your laptop with Audirvana is feeding your dac via USB, you are already using one of the best streamers available.
If your laptop is far away from your music system you need something else to get your music to your DAC (a streamer)
I’m using a simple Raspberry Pi and also a few USBridge from Allo (
This allows me to play music from my laptop to any system in the house using uPnp.
You can also purchase a high-end streamer, even with built-in dac, and that will give you some extra benefits like streaming spotify right to the streamer (from your phone).
Endless options and possibilities. Just pay attention to your wallet :slight_smile:

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you so much for your feedback! Greetings

Not all streamers are alike, some do more than streaming.

I own a Zen Stream so i can share a bit about it.
This streamer is apparently also (besides optimised high quality streaming) designed to reduce ‘digital’ noise - which can improve sound stage, depth & dynamics etc.

My DAC has the USB input from my ZS, which is part of my primary music listening chain and a alternative DAC optical SPDIF input direct from my PC. Using Audirvana for comparing both chains, the difference is obvious, the PC sounds like ‘regular’ converted & played digital audio whilst the ZS route is more delicate & detailed sounding; with larger sound stage and depth etc.

This is so far what i have gathered in trying to understand this area:
Digital noise (mainly from computers, incoming mains power supplies & device power supplies) IS a problem according to some audiophiles’ & others. i didn’t find a definitive/conclusive explanation yet but according to the theory & observation of some, the noise appears to taint the ‘digital audio’ somehow on it’s journey along the digital chain. The usual result being some degree of audible degradation coming out of the analogue DAC outputs.

This is the reason i bought the ZS; the USB output to my DAC (a Benchmark DAC2) is designed to be cleaner & also in a good optimized form for the DAC to do it’s job well. And the ZS is optimized to stream the digital audio directly from the network.

Additional i added an iFi Ethernet noise filter to reduce noise from the network connection which is the primary connection & ‘input’ for the ZS.

Not because I have this setup, but I think having a streamer in the chain can be an advantage especially with computer audio playback. My PC is only providing the hardware for Audirvana to run, the network & streaming from local drives into the network, This chain definitely makes for a reduction in computer noise (computers are not audiophile level). The Audirvana software takes control of the ZS & between them they control & organize the delicate task of ‘playing’ the digital audio & ensuring the DAC receives something of good structure & quality to convert.

I hope this is useful information to some members here.