Bit Perfect Streaming Recommendations, Please!

I’ve seen that Chromecast Audio devices (still available on Ebay for abut $30) can deliver a bit-perfect stream to a DAC - is there anyway to configure Audirvana 3.5 to play to Chromecast via Wifi?

If not, AirPlay seems to be a good option - what minimalist devices can achieve this objective (not looking to use a $2,000 to do what a $35 Chromecast could do :slight_smile:)


To get the full benefit out of Chromecast Audio you need a media server; Plex is a reasonable and cheap (or even free) option, it also has a good remote for every platform. Maybe Audirvana could expand to play this role as well, but currently it’s not an option. I’m actually looking into Audirvana for the exact opposite reason; I want to play stuff via an USB DDC/DAC with the best quality possible - but I still want a remote. The MacOS app for Plex isn’t able to use exclusive mode and switch DAC rates, at least not currently.

My only gripe with Plex+CCA is that it doesn’t do gapless FLAC album playback. CCA limit, I suppose, but with certain kinds of music and more concentrated listening it’s a really annoying tiny pause; The beat doesn’t go on…

Grouping works amazingly well, we have five CCA’s at home and can rock the whole house down, or just parts of it and play something else at the same time.
I’ve even used a CCA in a car just to try it out and it worked perfectly until we reached limits of civilization… One travels with me everywhere - with a 4G/wifi router though.

It’s a real shame that Google killed the product, there’s just nothing like it at any price. Even the closest competitors require something like Roon ($$$) and several times more expensive rendererers.

Oh… and the CCA DAC itself isn’t that bad. Only one of our five has an external one connected. $35, €39, whatever… What a steal.

When you say “media server”, is that not provided by the DLNA server on my NAS? I may be confused here.

An inability to do Gapless FLAC is a dealbreaker - but that’s Audirvana’s job, right?

In any case, I do use Audirvana on a MacBook/NAS via USB to my DAC and the quality is outstanding. I’m not in love with the v3.5 user interface, though. The previous one was actually much better, but I put up with it due to the superior sound quality.

A Raspberry Pi is my choice of streamer. Just a simple one if all you need is USB or with a ‘hat’ (E.g. HifiBerry) if you need anything else as output.
I have both RPi Model 2 and 3 all running DietPi (
Once they are up, Audirvana will show them in the list of outputs.
If you want to something that is plug and play, you can opt for a transport from Allo ( They come ready to play. I have 2 Allo USBridge as well and they are awesome although they got more expensive recently.

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Thanks, dabizi. Do you have a link to the RPi that you recommend? What do you mean by a “hat”? I was thinking of using Volumio software. is that a replacement for HifiBerry? Pros and cons?

The RPi is a little bit of a DIY. You need to buy the parts and mount everything yourself. I’m in Canada and I buy from a company in Ottawa:
I would recommend a starter kit since it has everything you need.
Once assembled (very easy) you need to download in install the operating system (DietPi) and enable the streaming software (included with the OS).
After that, you don’t need any other software. Audirvana will recognize the RPi and you can select it as an output. Connect your DAC to the USB of RPi and that’s it.

Hats are small boards that fit standard on the RPi’s extension slot. You will find lots of examples on the web site above. There is a hat for anything you want to do with the RPi!

Aha, thanks for that translation! Super useful.

Sorry to revive an older thread, but I wanted to ask whether there could or should be a list of streamer devices known to work well with Audirvana 3.5. I am used to using RPi boxes with various hats and USB DACs in a Squeezebox environment, but now wanting something more professional, polished and “appliance like.”

I feel that I have two broad choices: (1) buy a Mac Mini and have it run headless in my HiFi rack with USB connection to my DAC, or (2) find a streamer with a robust implementation of UPnP with gapless playback and DSD over PCM. A new Mac Mini with will set me back about US $1000 with Core i5 and 256GB, whereas most pro-quality streamers are in the $500 - $700 range (Bluesound Node 2i, Cambridge Audio CXN V2 for example).

It is almost impossible to find our whether one of these hardware streamers will work reliably with Audirvana. I do know a Mac Mini will work well and sound amazing, but I don’t know how to make it survive a power cut or being powered up in the wrong order with my NAS and still work first time every time! It’s that robust, appliance-like behavior that is so challenging to achieve.

It would be nice to know which UPnP streamers Damian regularly tests with before making new releases. Having that commonality would be a good insurance policy against compatibility being Audirvana version-specific.

Does anyone out there have a hardware configuration that they’re really happy with and would recommend to others (preferably not ones that have me typing sudo apt-get install gstreamer1.0-alsa, etc.)

I don’t know about running headless but there’s really no need to get a new Mac. Running audio is generally a low-effort process for a computer, so you’re perfectly safe getting a laptop of mini that’s a few years old and save quite a lot of $$.

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@Crazzell1 you do not need to buy the latest Mac mini. At the opposite for audio it is better to buy a used mid 2012 Mac mini, as they support external power supply kits, which make a great difference with sound:
I rarely need a monitor, but if so, I have connected my TV through HDMI to the Mac and use it as a monitor.

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