iFi Audio Neo Stream - The Official Thread

dh33

New Member
Feb 1, 2023
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Thank you for your reply. Please don't take my questions the wrong way. It's just stuff I have to check, a routine. I'll forward this concern to RND. If you want, you can also make a ticket in our support system to receive additional help an info which I can't provide.
Besides that, how do you feel about the Neo Stream?
Cheers
No problem with the questions, happy to provide as much detail as I can.

I'll raise a ticket as you suggest.

Absolutely love the Neo Stream (NS). I was looking for something that would enable me to play DSD files and the (crazy) high resolution PCM stuff that is out there without having to convert and the NS fits the bill perfectly and sounds wonderful. Also like all the versatility e.g I'd not heard of NAA prior to getting the NS and am now sitting here listening via NAA as I type. TBH I doubt I'll go beyond the trial period but it's nice to have the option and fun to try.

One thing I would like (although too late for me now) would be to have it available in black. A purely personal aesthetic choice I know but that would have been a nice option.

Dennis
 
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AMR / iFi audio

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No problem with the questions, happy to provide as much detail as I can.

I'll raise a ticket as you suggest.

Absolutely love the Neo Stream (NS). I was looking for something that would enable me to play DSD files and the (crazy) high resolution PCM stuff that is out there without having to convert and the NS fits the bill perfectly and sounds wonderful. Also like all the versatility e.g I'd not heard of NAA prior to getting the NS and am now sitting here listening via NAA as I type. TBH I doubt I'll go beyond the trial period but it's nice to have the option and fun to try.

One thing I would like (although too late for me now) would be to have it available in black. A purely personal aesthetic choice I know but that would have been a nice option.

Dennis
Thank you for your feedback and kind words. We are happy to hear that you love it!
Are you using it as a digital transport, or with analogue out?
 

dh33

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Feb 1, 2023
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Thank you for your feedback and kind words. We are happy to hear that you love it!
Are you using it as a digital transport, or with analogue out?
Some years ago I looked at my system and decided I wanted to reduce the number of "boxes". Back then I still had cassette, tuner, CD player all now gone. All CD's and cassettes are ripped and stored on a central server and played via the Neo Stream, analogue out to a passive pre-amp. I do still have a record player:)

By the way I've had a response to my support ticket to say they are aware of the issue and a fix will be considered in a future firmware update.

Thanks for your help.
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Some years ago I looked at my system and decided I wanted to reduce the number of "boxes". Back then I still had cassette, tuner, CD player all now gone. All CD's and cassettes are ripped and stored on a central server and played via the Neo Stream, analogue out to a passive pre-amp. I do still have a record player:)

By the way I've had a response to my support ticket to say they are aware of the issue and a fix will be considered in a future firmware update.

Thanks for your help.
I have also ripped all of my CD's to files. I'm streaming them through Roon to the Neo Stream. Analogue out to the Zen CAN Signature HFM. Fabulous solution as you know :)
Happy to know, that you got a response from the support so fast.
Best
 
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steffenegede

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Feb 12, 2023
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Hi, I've searched around but can't seem to find any information about using the NS as a Windows audio output. I'm currently using an USB/Spdif converter to connect to my receiver (from the Windows PC). Is it possible to connect my pc through the USB port on the NS and get audio for movies etc? Best regards Steffen
 
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AMR / iFi audio

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Hi, I've searched around but can't seem to find any information about using the NS as a Windows audio output. I'm currently using an USB/Spdif converter to connect to my receiver (from the Windows PC). Is it possible to connect my pc through the USB port on the NS and get audio for movies etc? Best regards Steffen
Hi Steffen!
The Neo Stream doesn't feature USB audio inputs. It is focused solely on receiving audio via network, or by connecting a USB drive. Perhaps, you looking for a DAC?
 

Audionutt

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Mar 6, 2023
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Have an IFI Neo Stream. Over the past month or so, when playing (Roon Ready Mode OR AIO)a playlist that has a mixture of MQA and PCM tracks, I will sometimes get a "pop" when going from a pcm to MQA track. It will play fine, but then going back from MQA to pcm, the unit just goes silent. I know the track is still playing because I see the timing clock to the song still going forward.. The ONLY fix is to switch to digital out, then back to analog out, or reboot the stream. Then it will usually happen again the next time the pcm switches to MQA and so on.

I have contacted support at IFI, and all they respond with it "we will forward to the software people and hopefully address in a future upgrade". In other words, they have no idea what's going on.

I have played with cache settings (increasing, decreasing) with no effect whatsoever. I have reset to factory settings, no effect whatsoever.

After paying over $1200 for this piece of equipment, I would expect for it to at least play music the way it's intended to. I feel defrauded and ripped off.

Anyone else dealt with this or have a suggested fix?? Ifi themselves have left me out in the cold.

Thanks!!
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Hi. I'm sorry to hear that. If you can, please send me a message with your unit's current software number and your ticket number, so I can help you resolve this issue.
 

Audionutt

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Mar 6, 2023
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It's amazing to me that a company like IFI sells expensive equipment that will NOT perform as advertised, and then will do absolutely nothing to fix it. That is fraud! I honestly hope anyone doing research on IFI finds this and see's how I have been RIPPED OFF.
 

Gregadd

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Apr 20, 2010
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How have you been ripped off? Is this a software problem?
 

Audionutt

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I have been ripped off because I bought the unit expecting it to function as IFI themselves say it will. It does not. How would you feel if it were YOUR $1200 that you paid expecting a function and it simply did not work?
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Aug 21, 2019
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I have been ripped off because I bought the unit expecting it to function as IFI themselves say it will. It does not. How would you feel if it were YOUR $1200 that you paid expecting a function and it simply did not work?
Hey @Audionutt, I'm sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience. Rest assured, your case has been already forwarded to RnD, I am currently awaiting a response. I won't stop until your issue is resolved, which you can be sure of. :)
 

ridom

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Jan 26, 2021
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Hello again
I am now contacting you because I want to use a 2 tb SS drive connected to the NS via USB as the main source for music files. I had now the drive that I used previously in an Antipodes CX and the NS does not recognize it. I don't know if this is due to the big capacity of the drive (2 TB) or to the fact that it was formatted by the Antipodes, I guess as a Linux-based drive. Does the NS read Linux formatted drives? O do I have to reformat it under a different standard (which one in this case)? Thx in advance for the answer,
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
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Hello again
I am now contacting you because I want to use a 2 tb SS drive connected to the NS via USB as the main source for music files. I had now the drive that I used previously in an Antipodes CX and the NS does not recognize it. I don't know if this is due to the big capacity of the drive (2 TB) or to the fact that it was formatted by the Antipodes, I guess as a Linux-based drive. Does the NS read Linux formatted drives? O do I have to reformat it under a different standard (which one in this case)? Thx in advance for the answer,
Hello! I'd like to suggest contacting customer support here - they will surely have the answer ready for you faster than we do right here. If anything happens, please let me know. :)
 

Audionutt

New Member
Mar 6, 2023
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I have been ripped off because I bought the unit expecting it to function as IFI themselves say it will. It does not. How would you feel if it were YOUR $1200 that you paid expecting a function and it simply does not work??
Hey @Audionutt, I'm sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience. Rest assured, your case has been already forwarded to RnD, I am currently awaiting a response. I won't stop until your issue is resolved, which you can be sure of. :)
Well, been about 2 MONTHS, and have not heard a thing. Problem still occurring. Looks like you stopped. No updates, no solutions, the sound of crickets chirping is deafening.
 

AMR / iFi audio

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Well, been about 2 MONTHS, and have not heard a thing. Problem still occurring. Looks like you stopped. No updates, no solutions, the sound of crickets chirping is deafening.
Hello there. I'm sorry that your issue has still not been resolved. Have you tried contacting your dealer about it? That way may also be effective in resolving your issue. Unfortunately, a software update is quite a complex process and your patience in this case is invaluable. Once again, I'm deeply sorry about this situation.
 

pennpencil

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Nov 9, 2020
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I’m delighted to have stumbled across this forum. I have had the Neo Stream for several weeks. In general, it’s been great. I upgraded from zen stream. In terms of constructive feedback, I’d say one of the biggest issues at the start is the documentation. The manuals label features but don’t tell us how to use them. There’s almost no info on the settings. I’ve figured out most but I still have no idea what turning on or off the link (paper clip) icon does. There is no discussion about which outputs are optimal. For example, should I run usb or aes to my external DAC? Do I have to buy an AES cable to find out? Also, I had no idea how to bypass the internal dac. I looked for a long while on the internet. Nothing. How could I know if I was playing the output of the DAC into my DAC? I assume using the usb out instead of the RCAs bypasses the dac. It’s so simple to document that. I stumbled upon beautiful YouTube videos. Please refer to those in the instructions. Also, please call out iFi-local in the instructions and why you’d use it. I had to stumble upon that. Also, tell me why I would enable the Wi-Fi. I use the optibox input. But I set up Wi-Fi in case it was needed. Having read through this forum, I gather enabling Wi-Fi was a bad choice. Also, for the ignorant like me, tell people the optibox needs power. I thought the small slot was for a different optical cable and of course the unit didn’t work at all. I opened a ticket and then stumbled across the ifi videos on YouTube. Functionally, I have two issues. the first is that the unit sometimes forgets which output to use between power cycles. I’m on the latest firmware and Saved the output in iFi-local. Automatically recognizing my dac was a bit magical btw. Second, Qobuz sounds better on my system than Tidal, Amazon, or Apple. I’ve read that many have the same experience. I just can’t understand why iFi would not choose to play this major (some would say the best) streaming service natively. I use the paid version of mConnect and it’s passable at best. Very crappy in many respects. I know you use Roon but I don’t want yet another subscription. I see the NS accepts Airplay 2. Does that mean I can use my apple iPad to connect to the NS and use the Qobuz app on my iPad? I assume the UI software has no impact on the sound quality. How do I switch to airplay 2? Again, the documentation is insufficient. With the docs, you have to tell us how to USE the features, not just that they’re in the box. So that these comments are not misunderstood, I‘m really enjoying the NS. Documentation would have avoided initial frustration. Even though I still don’t understand a few things, I’m enjoying the NS a lot.
 

AMR / iFi audio

Industry Expert
Aug 21, 2019
2,636
1,153
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ifi-audio.com
I’m delighted to have stumbled across this forum. I have had the Neo Stream for several weeks. In general, it’s been great. I upgraded from zen stream. In terms of constructive feedback, I’d say one of the biggest issues at the start is the documentation. The manuals label features but don’t tell us how to use them. There’s almost no info on the settings. I’ve figured out most but I still have no idea what turning on or off the link (paper clip) icon does. There is no discussion about which outputs are optimal. For example, should I run usb or aes to my external DAC? Do I have to buy an AES cable to find out? Also, I had no idea how to bypass the internal dac. I looked for a long while on the internet. Nothing. How could I know if I was playing the output of the DAC into my DAC? I assume using the usb out instead of the RCAs bypasses the dac. It’s so simple to document that. I stumbled upon beautiful YouTube videos. Please refer to those in the instructions. Also, please call out iFi-local in the instructions and why you’d use it. I had to stumble upon that. Also, tell me why I would enable the Wi-Fi. I use the optibox input. But I set up Wi-Fi in case it was needed. Having read through this forum, I gather enabling Wi-Fi was a bad choice. Also, for the ignorant like me, tell people the optibox needs power. I thought the small slot was for a different optical cable and of course the unit didn’t work at all. I opened a ticket and then stumbled across the ifi videos on YouTube. Functionally, I have two issues. the first is that the unit sometimes forgets which output to use between power cycles. I’m on the latest firmware and Saved the output in iFi-local. Automatically recognizing my dac was a bit magical btw. Second, Qobuz sounds better on my system than Tidal, Amazon, or Apple. I’ve read that many have the same experience. I just can’t understand why iFi would not choose to play this major (some would say the best) streaming service natively. I use the paid version of mConnect and it’s passable at best. Very crappy in many respects. I know you use Roon but I don’t want yet another subscription. I see the NS accepts Airplay 2. Does that mean I can use my apple iPad to connect to the NS and use the Qobuz app on my iPad? I assume the UI software has no impact on the sound quality. How do I switch to airplay 2? Again, the documentation is insufficient. With the docs, you have to tell us how to USE the features, not just that they’re in the box. So that these comments are not misunderstood, I‘m really enjoying the NS. Documentation would have avoided initial frustration. Even though I still don’t understand a few things, I’m enjoying the NS a lot.
Thank you for your valuable feedback. I'll forward it to the team so they can figure out a better way to inform you guys about the functions.

Let me address your questions here:
1. Optimal outputs depend usually more on the DAC, than the streamer. Usually, DACs (especially older ones) sound better with COAX/AES inputs than USB, but it is really case-dependent. No one good answer here, sorry.
2. To bypass internal DAC, just use digital outputs. DAC as is in the name provides the analogue outputs. Everything digital is taken before it, so no worries about it :)
3. WiFi is usually the least recommended network connection. If you have one stable connection, you can disable the rest. The optical one is the best.
4. The USB output will be active only when NS sees an active USB receiver. So when you turn your system on, please turn your DAC first, so NS can automatically latch onto that.
5. Quobuz, I have no knowledge about whether it is planned to be integrated or not. Can't help here, sorry.
6. Yes, you can use AirPlay 2 to connect your iPad to NS. It will be detected and selected automatically.

If I missed anything please let me know :)
 

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