In order to play your digital music, an internet connection is often necessary. Indeed, whether it is for searching, listening to or playing digital file, most of the possible configurations require an internet access.
Hi-Fi devices use the UPnP/DLNA protocol: UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) protocol enables several devices to connect to each other through the local network around a router via a wired or a Wi-Fi connection. Most of the time, this connection is automatic and requires no technical operation. The DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) standard is designed for general public devices, shares information and controls the multimedia device.
3 connection types are mainly used for digital music, namely a Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection.
A wireless connection: Bluetooth
Bluetooth is a communication process that allows you to listen to your digital music wirelessly. Bluetooth is based on a short-distance radio wave system for sharing and exchanging information between two devices.
For example, this standard allows you to connect your computer or NAS to your network player if it handles this communication mode. However, the latter does not feature it, there are Bluetooth adapters. Hence, you can add this option to your network player.
The advantage of Bluetooth is that it does not operate with Internet and can therefore work everywhere. However, this communication mode is very useful for exchanging low quantities of data and not for digital files that are too heavy, at the risk of poor transmission quality.
Wireless internet connection: Wi-Fi
The Wi-Fi (Wireless Fidelity) connection is a wireless communication protocol used to transmit wireless data between the devices of a computer network via a router. Indeed, Wi-Fi devices are becoming increasingly common, and devices with this type of communication type are widespread. You will also easily find network players, Hi-Fi amps or audio systems that work in Wi-Fi.
This system allows you to listen to your digital music from your computer or Smartphone directly on your Hi-Fi system. The advantage of this communication mode is that you can listen to your music library from any room in our home.
Apple's special wireless connection: Airplay
This technology is a Plug and Play protocol designed by Apple that is broadcasts digital content on compatible devices (Example: network player) For example, Airplay can share your iTunes library throughout the home. Very easy to use, all you do is select the receiver device so that it can play the music. This technology is now featured as standard in all Macs and PCs that have iTunes.
An Ethernet wired connection
The Ethernet connection is a wired network connection that uses RJ-45 sockets. This communication mode is very reliable as the connection has a bit rate that can reach up to 10 Gbit/s, more than enough to send the digital files from your storage server to the player.
There are several categories of Ethernet cables that affect sound quality. It is preferable to use category 5, 6 or 7 category shielded cables to ensure a good audio link between the devices.
To enjoy audiophile listening quality of your music library, it is recommended that you use an Ethernet wired connection. Indeed, this is the one with the highest bit rate, perfect for carrying your digital files in the best manner.
Indeed, by using a wireless connection, the listening will depend on the quality of the transmission, and hence the bit rate. However, any use of Wi-Fi will preferably be made upstream in the system, that is limited to the downloading of the files for example. Connecting your storage server to your system directly by cable will maintain the best quality for the files so that they are sent to the DAC with no deterioration or interruption related to the network.
Below are 5 different possibilities for playing your digital music. Note that we have inserted an optional DAC each time as it is built into each source. Nevertheless, an external DAC will allow you to obtain a superior listening quality.