iFi has been slowly growing the mid-level NEO series. And the brand has recently added a second device to the range, the NEO Stream music streamer, and DAC.
Desktop USB DAC with high-grade circuitry and built-in high-performance headphone amp. Position the iFi NEO iDSD either horizontally and vertically on your desk and get better sound from your computer or phone.
At its core, the NEO Stream comes with a clean-sheet design, and it boasts the proprietary tech from iFi. The brand aims this streamer for music lovers who want access to their music through their chosen music platform or control app.
It got the name “NEO” because of the first device that debuted in the series, the NEO iDSD. That device sports an all-new design and several key features that are new to the category.
So, what was the iDSD all about? It is a DAC/headphone amplifier with USB, Bluetooth connectivity, and S/PDIF ports.
The NEO Stream’s design closely resembles the aluminum casework and desktop-size chassis of the NEO iDSD. And that is one of the things that makes the new device fit perfectly in the NEO series.
Now, although the design and the chassis are pretty similar, the attributes and internal architecture of the device are totally different. It basically has an open-source architecture.
While most streaming devices lock the users to a particular platform, the NEO Stream is different. The users are not locked to a specific platform.
Under the hood, the open-source streamer has a quad-core ARM cortex CPU. It relies on a Linux-based operating system, which is open-source as well. Combined with this open-source OS, iFi plans to make the system evolve over time.
The brand has also developed its own streaming engine. It mainly aims to offer users high overall performance and flexibility.
iFi has designed it from the ground up with the sole purpose of providing high-quality audio streaming performance. This bespoke streaming engine first came into use in Zen Stream, and from there, it has evolved significantly.
Nonetheless, the iFi NEO stream utilizes the latest version of the firmware. And it enhances the overall functionality by utilizing advanced hardware. The device can interface with several online streaming services, thanks to being Roon Ready.
You will also be capable of streaming music through the local network. And the good news is that the compatibility will expand over time.
During the launch, the streamer is compatible with DLNA/UPnP apps, including mconnect, BubbleUPnP, Audirvana, and many others.
You can use either of the apps to control the NEO stream and access the audio content available in online services. Also, DLNA-certified storage devices are directly compatible with the device at the launch stage.
Slava is a man of mystery and no-one seems to know exactly where he is at any point in time. When he isn't enjoying writing about all things audio and technical he can be found researching his next project of interest. The man never rests.
This post was last updated on 2022-12-08 / Some images from Amazon Product API & some links may be affiliate links which may earn us a commission from purchases.