The Stack Audio LINK is an audiophile USB music player that adds streaming capability from all sources to existing hi-fi systems, giving you maximum flexibility. It is available in Black or Silver anodised aluminium.
The LINK is a bridge between music files from all sources and a DAC with a USB connection. Music files can be on PCs and laptops, connected NAS drives on home networks with carefully archived CD libraries, internet radio and subscription services like Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify. The Link can take all these files and feed them into an existing hi-fi system.
Multi-stage ultra-low noise linear regulated power circuit
USB audio optimized output provides jitter free audio playback
Advanced clock circuitry re-clocks any USB input
Machined from a solid billet of aluminium
Incorporates EMI absorbing material and AVDC vibration traps
Ships with external 18v DC power supply
2 x USB inputs, 1 x USB B detox input, Ethernet input
1 x dedicated USB audio output
HDMI output to TV/video monitor/touch screens for control (not i2s)
The LINK can be connected to any streaming input. The output is connected by cable to a USB equipped DAC. If your system doesn’t have a DAC with a USB input, the AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt is an excellent way to use a LINK connecting directly to the line inputs of an amplifier.
Shairport-sync (Apple compatibility)
Roon ready (In progress)
UPnP AV protocol with audio streaming extension (OpenHome)
MQA (only if DAC supports hardware unfolding)
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)
Alan Sircom, HiFi+ September 2019:
(The LINK) supports files to DSD and MQA standards, alongside the usual suspects of PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, WAV, and the Compressed Twins (AAC and MP3). The DAC needs to support MQA hardware unfolding, because the Stack treats all of these sources in the same ‘get out of the way’ style.
And that’s the Stack’s big – make that huge – strength. It gets out of the way better than most. It helps push other parts of the chain that might get in the way out of the way (in particular, USB inputs). That makes it an extremely neutral performer. And what you then discover is just how few ‘extremely neutral performers’ exist in streaming-land, or at least how few exist at anything close to real-world prices.
Jason Kennedy, the-ear.net:
I have to say that the Stack Audio Link is a remarkably great sounding and well made piece of kit, you can buy considerably less impressive streamers at this price and they usually come in plastic or tinny boxes. The Link is small but perfectly formed and sounds very good indeed if you have a decent source and DAC, yet also enhances the performance of more modest PC sources. Heartily recommended to anyone who wants to know why streaming is where it’s at when it comes to digital audio.
http://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/stack-audio-link-streaming-bridgeThe Hans Beekhuyzen Channel:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27rHPjysfH4