First unveiled back at the Munich High-End 2018 conference the Pro-ject Stream Box S2 Ultra uses a Raspberry Pi and customised open source operating system Volumio to create a small streaming box measuring just 105 x 105 x 37mm in size but priced at an eye watering £599, €699 or $849 depending on your location.
The streamer has been designed to provide a network endpoint using either Ethernet or Wi-Fi and serving its output to a DAC over USB. PCM up to 32bit/352.8kHz PCM and DSD256 and passing MQA signals to a DAC. Phil Wright from the Darko website explains a little more about the hands-on use and quality of the streamer.
“I ran the box headless, defeating the HDMI output to reduce noise (apparently). The Stream Ultra runs lukewarm so can be stowed away. Check Bluetooth reception in this scenario though – I noted regular dropouts (hardly surprising).
Power up/down takes around 30 seconds – rush at your peril. For primary use as a Roon endpoint, nothing else is needed – simply enable it as an audio zone inside the Roon app and you’re off to the races.
For Volumio, we must put the Pro-ject Play app (iOS/Android) on smart device or plug the Stream Ultra’s IP address into a web browser. The user interface is well short of Roon but serviceable. Controlling Tidal isn’t bad. Web radio is convenient. The file player sourcing music from a thumb drive or NAS (the latter via UPnP) is okay with a small library.”
For a full insight into exactly what you can expect from the seemingly expensive Pro-ject Stream Box S2 Ultra powered by a Raspberry Pi mini PC jump over to the Darko audio website by following the link below.