Get the Best for the Best
In a nutshell, many devices support lossless quality streaming. Today many integrated amplifiers and handheld devices like the iPhone (with the correct app) are built with streaming capability. However, if you like to move about, you might consider using a digital audio player (DAP). A DAP can operate alone or interface with your phone, offering greater power plus advanced digital-to-analog converters (DAC). The result is better sound plus the ability to drive more demanding audiophile headphones.
There is no point in paying for lossless quality to lose a ton of quality using standard audio equipment. However, DAPs from Astell & Kern, iBasso, or FiiO are robust devices that support up to 384Khz at 32 bits, more than enough for many lossless quality players. In addition, most Daps offer more advanced Bluetooth capabilities to connect to many output devices and a whopping 64 GB of storage which can be expanded further by a microSD card slot.
Keep the Phone?
If you listen to music through your phone and reply on the earbuds that came with it, streaming in high-res isn’t likely to impress you. But if you want a broader, more complex musical experience but want to use your phone, consider upgrading to a better headphone and use a portable headphone amp. Most are about the size of a smartphone but can expand the power and DAC capabilities of a phone. In addition, they use rechargeable batteries and connect to your phone, allowing you to use your favorite apps.
What About My Living Room?
Another path you might consider is a dedicated music streamer like the Bluesound Node. The cost is less than many DAPs while offering many unique features. Individuals with existing HiFi systems will enjoy the features and capabilities, plus a controller app for iPhones, Androids, Macs, and PCs. The Node supports up to 384Khz at 32 bits and fully integrates with the Amazon Echo platform. The Node also offers Bluetooth connectivity.
Click here to read more about the Bluesound Node