Streaming Amplifiers and how they can enhance your listening experience
What is a Streaming Amplifier?
Imagine listening to your music on your smartphone while on your way home. Once you get home you can continue listening to the same song through your home stereo. You don’t have to connect your smartphone to the stereo, or plug anything in: your smartphone can send the music to your wireless streaming amplifier. Here’s how this new breed of amplifier works.
Digital music, whether it be an MP3 or a WAV file, is stored as a series of ones and zeros. To hear it, you need a device that turns those numbers into an analogue signal that your speakers can reproduce. A Digital to Analogue Converter, or DAC, does this. You will find one of these DACs in your CD player, laptop and smartphone. The problem is, they’re usually not very good ones, and just like anything else that is of low quality, a poor quality DAC means low quality sound, and low quality sound means you enjoy your music less. That’s why music lovers buy stand-alone DACs, or make sure they have an amplifier with a high-quality DAC built in – it simply sounds better.
Rather than relying on the DAC in your smartphone or laptop, a streaming amplifier such as the Quad Vena has a high resolution DAC built in. This means it is going to sound far better than any smartphone ever will on its own, but its real magic lies in the fact that it’s also a wireless receiver. Sure, you can still plug your CD player into the back, but the Quad Vena is also on the lookout for signals coming from your laptop, your phone, your tablet – any device that has Bluetooth wireless connectivity.
Life is but a stream
Just as your smartphone connects by wi-fi or Bluetooth to the net, it can also connect to the Quad Vena. You can stream music to the amplifier from any Bluetooth device, and Vena also has the aptX codec built in for CD quality wireless transmission for better-sounding streaming.
Apart from the wireless audio streaming, you can connect a CD player to a wireless amplifier like the Quad Vena using cables. It also has a made for Apple IOS USB input, as well as a PC/MAC USB input on the back. There are also optical and coaxial digital inputs and outputs. And if you want to do some private high quality listening, Vena has a high quality headphone amplifier built in.
Wireless means freedom
What a streaming amplifier gives you is freedom. It will receive signals from your laptop, smartphone or tablet no matter where you are in the house, as long as you are within range, leaving you free to roam without the limitations of cables and wires; and able to listen to your music in any room. Let’s hear it for wireless hi fi!