Airplay or Optical-in integrated amp?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by netdog, Feb 9, 2013.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    My cheap NAD just went belly up and perhaps saved me from buying an Arcam DAC. We'll see.

    What I am hoping to find is an integrated amp with airplay or an integrated amp with an optical in to connect to my Airport Express via optical.

    Up until now, I've been relying on my Airport Express's DAC to do the translation, and that has been the weakest link in terms of sound. Now I am hoping to by the AE's DAC or even remove the AE from the equation altogether.

    Speakers are just B&W 685s which I will either upgrade or just make them my secondary speakers. Music is almost entirely ALAC.

    I really don't want to spend a lot. I'd prefer to be under £350-£400.


    Also, any feelings about the Zepplin Air versus the A5 as an AirPlay speaker to tote around the house?
  2. Uofmtiger macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    The answer will really depend on the DACs and features of the amp versus the DACs in the outboard DAC. I have a Denon 4311CI and prefer sending it an Airplay signal to using an outboard DAC (I have a PS Audio DLIII) with an Airport Express. The main reason is that Audyssey isn't employed with analog, but it is employed via Airplay or digital. For my space, the addition of Audyssey outweighs a quality outboard DAC. However, I suspect that different rooms, receivers, and DACs may get different results. My space, like most people, isn't ideal for audio, so Audyssey has made a huge difference in overall sound quality.

    I moved the PS Audio out of my main setup and use it with a headphone setup now, so it was a major plus for me to use my receiver's features.

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