Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Free Shipping on ALL Products
How to enjoy true Hifi sound from your PC Gordon Laing , October 2009
  Ultimate PC Audio: The Streaming appliance

Streaming appliances offer an attractive alternative to a PC that’s directly-connected to your Hifi.

They access your audio collection over a wired or wireless network, allowing you to banish the potentially large and noisy PC to another room and have a small, silent and easily controlled device as your ‘front-end’.

My favourite streaming appliance is Slim Devices’ Squeezebox 3. It’s a compact device with wired or wireless network links and the choice of analogue or digital outputs (both coaxial and optical) to your Hifi.

The unit is dominated by a large vacuum fluorescent display and operated either by infra-red remote control or a web browser. It also supports native decoding and playback of FLAC audio files.

The Squeezebox 3 already sounds pretty good, especially if you take the digital output direct to your Hifi and lock the variable output. But it ain’t high-end Hifi by a long margin. There are however several companies offering various modifications to the Squeezebox to improve its audiophile credentials. Colorado-based Bolder Cable offers a variety of options, including a number for the latest Duet model. I went for its ‘Squeezebox 3 Digital Only Mods’ costing $250 USD at the time of writing, which delivers a cleaner digital signal and fits a more substantial RCA jack for the coaxial output.

Another limiting factor is the budget mains power supply which comes with the Squeezebox. Bolder offers a number of modifications to third party power supplies along with its own high-end ‘Ultimate power supply’, although the latter was too expensive for my initial budget. Instead I opted for the more affordable VDC-SB power supply from Channel Islands Audio (also in the USA), costing around $259 USD and available with either 120 or 240v inputs; there’s also a version available for Duet models.

Bolder requires you to send a Squeezebox to them for modification, but if you’re based outside the US, consider ordering one from an online store in the US and having it delivered domestically as it’s cheaper than sending from abroad. Bolder can then ship the modified product to its final destination.


The modified Squeezebox sounded cleaner and more detailed than a standard unit even using the original power supply. Swapping to the new power supply further refined the output with steadier imaging. In each case it was as if a veil had been lifted, and while still no match for the more involving output from my Meridian CD 500 transport, it still sounded very good indeed.

Since then, Bolder has introduced new enhancements costing around $175 USD extra which equip a Squeezebox with a second power input (in place of the headphone jack), allowing a separate clean voltage to be fed to the digital section and clock. An external switcher costing around $200 USD connects to any Squeezebox power supply and splits the voltage as required.

Buying PC parts?
Support us by shopping here!

Squeezebox fanatics may also wonder how the high-end Transporter compares. I haven’t had a chance to evaluate one in person, but I do know much of its cost is devoted to improved analogue output. So if you only intend to take a digital output to a Hifi DAC, you’ll probably achieve a better result spending a similar (or lower) amount on a modified Squeezebox or Duet with an improved power supply.

Gordon's other hardware configurations for great sound quality!

The sound card: an M-Audio AP 2496 running the right software.

The ultimate solution: the small but perfectly-formed Benchmark DAC1 PRE.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs