Friday, September 1, 2017

Experiment - Soundmate M1 Wi-Fi music streaming receiver (low cost)

As the local SG prices for a proper audiophile grade streamers costing a bomb, I decided to give this low cost streaming receiver a try. Discovered the unit while searching for something else on the China version of eBay.  It is low cost but capable of receiving streaming from any device which supports Airplay, DLNA and QPLAY protocols - basically any Apple and/or Android device! Power is from an external adapter. Initial setup with password is optional.

The theory is the device will act as a pass-thru for material streamed from my iPad. It will be connected via TOSLINK to the Marantz CDA-94 DAC. Hence the streamer will not be processing any of the audio material. Instead it will convert the material received wirelessly from the iPad, to the fibre optic TOSLINK protocol for processing by the Marantz CDA-94 DAC. Hence no audio processing will be performed by the el-cheapo facilities within the device. If you did decided to listen to the Soundmate M1 analogue output, quality it's what you paid for... yea, could not resist testing the waters for crocodiles!

Soundmate M1 on a CD cover
Connectivity on rear of the Soundmate M1

Always love listening to THE BREEZE when I was living in NZ, so why not use this as the initial session? Download a internet radio app, select the radio station of chocie and link the iPad to the Soundmate - easy as 1-2-3!
Access via iPad
Resolution available thru the internet radio app on  iPad

Sounds as good as my usual FM tuner, the Audiolab 8000T, so very decent quality indeed!

Did note the iPad performs flawlessly only when accessing the WI-FI AC facility. There were periodic pauses when not using the WIFI AC facility.


Streaming quality mode selector in Spotify


Works just as transparently with Spotify and other similar sources. Sometimes Spotify Premium in the Extreme streaming mode did not sound as good as the FM tuner app for some reason - probably due to the recorded material??? Other Spotify resolution lack the proper details in the reproduction and lackluster-ness prevails.

One strong bonus point is that this setup helps to provide a wonderful sampling opportunity (with decent quality) of what's available on the internet without the high cost of ownership for dedicated devices. You can then buy the CD or high definition version later.

Best of all, you can still use the iPad while it is streaming in the background eg games, internet, word processing, etc.

Hence if you are in the same scenario, you can enjoy the benefits without a large outlay IF you have all the pieces of the puzzle except the board to place the pieces!


Items required are :-
1. WIFI streaming device with TOSLINK
2. smartphone or tablet which supports Airplay, DLNA or QPLAY protocol
3. average quality TOSLINK cable
4. DAC or integrated amplifier with a TOSLINK interface


Enjoy and discover new content for less than SGD$50!!!


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