Exclusive: Stack Audio Link USB streaming bridge

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USB interfaces, clocks, and soundcards
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Products:
Stack Audio Link
Exclusive: Stack Audio Link USB streaming bridge

OK, so let’s climb down from planet rave for a moment and set the Link in context. No-one with the dCS Network Bridge will feel troubled by this product, because the Link doesn’t quite hit those levels of performance. Also, there will be people who want to connect a DAC that doesn’t support USB (that’s one of the key conditions of a lot of network bridge devices), there are people who want ‘name’ brands that come with a fixed ecosystem of apps and devices, and there are those who simply can’t process the notion that something that costs hundreds might do as well or better than something that costs thousands. Note here that the performance (in terms of connectivity and sound) is not a function of most of these concerns, and the one time the sound becomes almost an issue, we’re talking several times as much money.

In fact, my biggest gripe with the Link is that I was really hoping not to spend any money on audio equipment for a few months and let my bank account recover from yet another assault. That ain’t going to happen now. 

Technical Specifications

Inputs: 

2 x USB inputs 

1 x USB B detox input 

Ethernet input 

18v 1amp- 1.5amp DC input 

Outputs 

1 x dedicated USB audio output 

HDMI output for connection to TV/video monitor/touch screens for control (not 

i2s) 

Streaming Protocols and Services 

• Shairport-sync (Apple compatibility) 

14 

Roon ready (In progress) 

UPnP AV protocol with audio streaming extension (OpenHome) 

Gapless Playback 

On-Device Playlist 

MQA (only if DAC supports hardware unfolding) 

TIDAL, Spotify, Qobuz 

Web radio: Shoutcast 

Communication Protocols 

Ethernet 

USB 

Wi-Fi – 802.11 b/g/n/d/e/h/i 

Bluetooth – Classic + EDR v2.1, v3.0, v4.0 and Low Energy 

Supported Audio File formats: 

Lossless: DSF (DSD), DIFF (DSD), DoP (DSD) 

PCM Lossless: FLAC, Apple Lossless (ALAC), WAV, AIFF Compressed (lossy) 

Audio: MP3, AAC (in M4A container) MQA (only if DAC supports hardware unfolding) 

Price: £725

Manufactured by Stack Audio

URL: stackaudio.co.uk

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