Bayan Audio Streamport Universal review

The Bayan sucks the life and energy out of music, and that’s never a good thing, whatever the price Tested at £60

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

The Bayan sucks the life and energy out of music, and that’s never a good thing, whatever the price


  • +

    NFC pairing and aptX Bluetooth

  • +

    Decent levels of detail


  • -

    Music sounds compressed and congested

  • -

    Lacks clarity and dynamics

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Products like the Arcam miniBlink have set a high bar for Bluetooth DACs – can the Streamport Universal follow in its footsteps?


In the Bayan’s favour is price (£30 cheaper than the Arcam) and the fact it features NFC connectivity. That means you can hover a compatible smartphone over the top of the DAC, pair and stream via Bluetooth (including aptX) without the hassle of having to delve into your smartphone’s menus.

There’s a small power button on top of the Streamport Universal – if you can’t pair via NFC, you need to press and hold for around eight seconds to kick-start the pairing process. It’s signified by white and blue LEDs blinking on the front of the unit.

You can connect the DAC up to an amp through either its 3.5mm output or analogue RCA sockets – and you get both sets of cables supplied in the box, an added convenience some rivals just ignore.

If you do want to use the Bayan’s analogue outputs, we’d suggest swapping the supplied interconnects for proper cables at some stage – the difference between the packaged ones and a decent pair such as the Wireworld Luna 7 is night and day.


From the off, the Bayan doesn’t sound as open, clear or spacious as its close rivals, despite picking out a decent amount of detail.

Where DACs like the Crystal Acoustics BluDAC bring clarity and a fine sense of spaciousness to music, the Bayan sounds more compressed and congested.

Vance Joy’s spritely, playful and folky Riptide sounds like it’s had the sparkle and life sucked out of it.

The normally plucky-sounding strings and percussion come across as indifferent and disinterested. Switch to Kings Of Leon’s Work On Me and the DAC fails to convey the ebb and flow of that ducking, weaving bass guitar.


You can forgive some products for subtle nuances in sound, but the Streamport Universal makes music less interesting and appealing.

This isn’t something we could live with long-term.

MORE: See all our DAC reviews

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What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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