Ultimate sound quality? Largest choice of music? Convenience? Whatever your priorities when exploring, accessing and listening to music via "computer" - these are our recommendations for sound quality, wireless streaming devices and streaming apps.


    Peachtree Recommends . . .



    For Best Sound Quality

    For the ultimate sound quality from your digital music library - including high-resolution (>48kHz) files - connect a personal computer (or other file server) to an external DAC (or amplifier with built-in DAC) using a USB cable.

    Macbook and Peachtrees


    Recommended Wireless Streaming Devices


    Peachtree BT1 Bluetooth Receiver

    BT1

      Pros:
    • Any Bluetooth device can stream audio wirelessly to it
    • Direct wireless connection (no network setup)
    • Works with all operating systems; iOS, Android, Mac and PC
    • aptX for excellent Bluetooth sound quality (similar sound quality to 320kbps MP3 files)
      Cons:
    • Limited to ~33 feet distance
    • Utilizes compression with larger audio files
    • Bluetooth Audio Codec (similar sound quality to 320kbps MP3 files)


    Apple TV 3 (3rd generation version with HDMI + optical outputs)

    Apple TV 3

      Pros:
    • Wi-Fi connection (any Apple device or iTunes library on a PC on the network can stream audio to it)
    • Optical digital audio output for external DACs
    • Limited multi-room capability (stream audio to one or more Apple TVs from a personal computer)
    • Extremely reliable
    • Inexpensive
      Cons:
    • Limited to 48kHz (higher resolution audio files down-converted in the background automatically)
    • Limited to Apple's eco-system of devices and software


    Apple TV 4 (The taller 4th generation version with HDMI output only)

    Apple TV 4

      Pros:
    • Wi-Fi connection (any Apple device or iTunes library on a PC on the network can stream audio to it)
    • Limited multi-room capability (stream audio to one or more Apple TVs from a personal computer)
    • Reliable
      Cons:
    • No optical digital audio output! (requires a device like this HDMI® Audio Converter to connect to a TV AND an external DAC)
    • Limited to 48kHz (higher resolution audio files down-converted in the background automatically)
    • Limited to Apple's eco-system of devices and software


    Google Chromecast - Audio-only version

    Google Chromecast

      Pros:
    • Wi-Fi connection (any compatible app* on the network can stream audio to it)
    • *Spotify, Pandora (except from a PC) and Google Play are compatible. Tidal is reportedly working on an update to add compatibility. Apple Music compatibility is currently unknown.
    • Optical digital audio output for external DACs
    • 96kHz compatible
    • Multi-room capable (stream audio to one or more Chromecasts)
    • Extremely reliable
    • Very Inexpensive
      Cons:
    • Limited to compatible apps only (not all major streaming services supported)


    Sonos Connect

    Sonos Connect

      Pros:
    • Wi-Fi connection (any Sonos controller on the network can stream audio to it)
    • Optical and coaxial digital audio outputs for external DACs
    • Multi-room capable (stream audio to one or more Sonos devices)
    • Extremely reliable
      Cons:
    • Limited to 48kHz (higher resolution audio files will NOT play)
    • Limited to the Sonos eco-system of devices and supported streaming services (Pandora, Spotify, Tidal and many others supported. Apple Music to be added soon)


    Recommended Wireless Streaming Apps


    If your priority is music selection, convenience and ease of use consider Apple Music or Spotify. They typically have the widest selection of content and the best user interfaces across devices. The audio quality is compressed MP3 or AAC.

    Apple Music Spotify

    Very good, but there is a better sounding option . . .


    If your priority is sound quality Tidal or Qobuz are your best options. They cost more but can stream in lossless CD-quality (16-bit/44.1kHz or 1411kbps).

    Tidal Qobuz


    And if you are looking for something even better than CD quality . . . your only option is to purchase files from HDtracks.com or similar and stream them (typically over a wired USB connection) to a DAC from a computer or other type of audio file server.

    HDtracks

    These files are very large, take up a lot of storage space and are not typically Wi-Fi friendly, but IF they are well recorded and thoughtfully mastered (with an extra emphasis on IF), they can sound absolutely amazing! But buyer beware! There is a lot of content available in high-resolution that doesn’t sound as good as you may expect, either because of poor recording, transfer and/or mastering techniques. Think of it this way…if audio was a digital picture and the subject in the camera frame is out of focus, a higher resolution camera won’t make the picture have clearer focus!