AirPlay streaming question please

Well, it's been YEARS since I posted here and was once a regular.
Have migrated my music to a MacBook Pro now and seek to make my current streaming set up in my office sound "better".

Currently run the MacBook to an Arcam AirPlay Dac. Works OK and sounds "fine" but I cant use music streaming from services as the Arcam must be the "network" selected as well. It's odd.

Anyway, I only use Apple products so I seek the "best" AirPlay streaming set up just to get the signal over. It's about 12' from my computer to stereo. Will be getting new DAC as well, probably Benchmark DAC2.

I do have Apple TV upstairs and I could get an old one with TOSLINK (instead of just HDMI). But, wanted to check here to see if you have some ideas.

No video, no multi-room, just a two channel set up in my office in the basement. Belles amp/Benchmark DAC (coming) and Dynaudio Special 40s.


Hi Ian,

Check out which can broadcast any audio on your computer to any airplay device.

You should be able to broadcast anything to your airDAC that way without selecting it as your wifi network.  Make sure your airDAC is properly configured to join your wireless network and not to broadcast it's own network. When your Benchmark comes in, I'd try using the Coax out on the airDAC to feed the Benchmark - since you already have it and it would probably result in the least dropouts.

I use Airfoil to airport expresses in my house and it works great, but have found that the airport expresses only works with some DACs.  Some work great, and some can't maintain a lock on the optical signal.  By using the airDAC as the airplay receiver I'd expect this to work reliably.
Ian, one problem you might encounter with Airport Express is slow DAC syncing.  Computers transfers just plain data to AE and the clock for this data on Toslink out,  is created first time by AE.  During gaps in the music there is no clock and DAC has to be fast enough to sync again to clock.  Few people reported loosing few seconds at the beginning of each song.  Benchmark DAC1 and Benchmark DAC3 were working great with my Airport Express - no problems.  I would only recommend, if you go Wi-Fi, to get dual band router since 2.4GHz has only 3 non overlapping channels causing constant dropouts.  Once I switched to 5GHz band never had a single dropout.