iFi has released the new Neo Stream DAC, a hi-res capable midrange DAC and streamer in one.
The new Neo Stream from iFi has been designed from the ground up. The streaming heart is formed by their proprietary streaming engine, which iFi says is specifically designed for streaming high-quality audio. Pleasingly, it uses the open source operating system Linux as its base. In terms of hardware, iFi opted for a quadcore ARM Cortex CPU as the working horse in this streaming module. The DAC module is built around a chip from Burr Brown, which is also frequently used in other equipment from the manufacturer.
In terms of DAC capabilities, the iFi Neo Stream supports PCM up to 32 bit / 768 kHz, DSD512 plus single and double speed DXD. Those formats are available via usb, Ethernet as well as Wi-Fi. The latter only if you have a strong 5G wifi signal in your home. Optionally, there is the possibility of using iFi’s patented “Optical LAN”, which the manufacturer says should lead to “bit-accurate transmission of ultra resolution audio. Supported in addition to Wi-Fi are AirPlay and DLNA/UPnP, while the Neo Stream is also Roon Ready and MQA certified. Music services Tidal Connect and Spotify Connect are covered too. Via the accompanying Stream iFi app, you configure and control everything. The price of the Neo Stream is $1299.