With 9 channels of Dolby Atmos and DTS:X 3D surround sound plus a single channel for sub-bass frequencies, you get a soundbar, a sub, plus rear-surrounds for less than $1000. The rear-surrounds are optional add-ons in many other systems, so this makes the JBL Bar 9.1 stand out in terms of the value you get. We think the Bar 9.1 is priced to open...
Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra
Getting Started Guide
If you are reading this it is likely you are either a lucky new owner of a Pro-Ject Stream Box S2 Ultra, or perhaps you are considering buying one and wondering how the setup will go. For those of you who are new owners, congratulations! At Audio Advice, we love the sophisticated look and sound of Pro-Ject products.
As with most things that can offer greater performance than the competition, going through a few steps first will help you get the most out of your Stream Box.
For a really deep dive into your Stream Box S2 Ultra, you can download a very detailed owner's manual on the Pro-ject website. This short guide is meant to get you up and running with your Stream Box quickly.
Table Of Contents:
Before you begin setting up your Stream Box S2 Ultra with your WIFI network, you may need a few of these items, first.
- The WIFI password for the wireless network you want Stream Box S2 to join.
- A laptop (PC or Mac is fine) if you prefer to set up Stream Box S2 via a browser.
- An Ethernet cable long enough to reach your router, if you plan to connect the Stream Box S2 directly to the router.
- Attach the included antenna on the rear of the unit, if you plan to use Stream Box S2 wirelessly.
- USB cable to connect Stream Box S2 to your DAC.
We recommend that you download the Pro-Ject Play App from the Google Play Store for Android or the App Store for Apple iOS devices. Additional features will be coming via Over The Air updates using the Pro-Ject Play App.
The Pro-Ject Play app gives you access to streaming content (Tidal, Spotify), internet radio as well as directly connected USB storage and Network Attached Storages. With the App, you can control your Stream Box S2 Ultra with your phone or tablet. You can also customize your screen with different backgrounds.
What The LED Lights Mean
One thing that will help you get up and running quickly is knowing what the LED lights on the front panel mean. Getting started begins by connecting the unit to its included power supply and powering on the device.
On the front panel, three LED lights illuminate blue or red to show you the status and functional state of the unit. The first LED will glow solid blue when the unit is powered on, or solid red to indicate the unit is in standby mode — pressing the large push-button from the front panel turns the unit on or returns it back to standby mode.
The second LED light will glow blue after a successful network connection, and the third LED will glow blue and only illuminate when the “USB/PC” button is toggled.
It’s important to note that powering on the device and returning it to standby mode takes some time. The LED light will blink red and blue to show you that it’s switching states from “on” to “standby mode.” In the beginning, this confused us because it wasn’t clear at first what was happening. Thankfully, the user manual is well written, but we’ll take a moment to break it down some more, next.
The Raspberry Pi computer inside processes the signal it receives when the power button is pressed. The pre-installed Linux-based software safeguards your Stream Box S2 Ultra and the data stored on any USB peripherals connected to it from data loss. The Stream Box S2 Ultra will flash a red and blue LED light to ensure any open files and data are closed safely before it switches to standby mode.
This process takes about one minute to complete — once it switches to standby, the power button LED light will glow solid red to show you the status.
Pressing the power button again will re-activate fully functional status, making the LED glow solid blue to show you that it’s booting. After about one minute, the second LED marked “Net” will automatically glow solid blue as soon as the unit is finished booting and ready for you to use.
The third and final LED will illuminate solid blue only when the smaller push-button marked “USB/PC” is toggled. When this feature is inactive, the LED light does not illuminate, letting you know your Stream Box S2 Ultra is in “streaming” mode and available on the network as a network-attached device.
Connecting Stream Box S2 Ultra to the network is done in one of two ways. The unit can be connected to the network or the internet via an ethernet connection that you plug directly into your router for a “hard-wired” connection or with a wireless connection.
Pro-Ject recommends using the ethernet connection to ensure a stable connection to your network music library and internet service. When playing back high-resolution music files and streaming services, the ethernet connection will offer the most stable network performance. If connecting wirelessly, you’ll need to position the included antenna onto the back of the unit for the best streaming performance. Stream Box S2 Ultra will be compatible with any 802.11 WIFI standard.
Joining Your WIFI Network
At this point, search for available WIFI networks from settings on your phone or computer. Just select the Stream Box S2 Ultra as the WIFI network you want to join, and away you go. The “welcome page” will pop up automatically on your smartphone, tablet, or computer guiding you the rest of the way.
If you set up your device using the browser method as we did, be sure you are entering the correct password for your WIFI network. The unit will reconnect to the selected WiFi network at every reboot, using the password that you entered during the initial setup.
Should your streamer be disconnected from the network, this is an awesome feature that makes getting it back online with your network automatic and convenient — as long as the password was entered correctly.
Important Next Steps To Consider
It’s important to note that the Stream Box S2 Ultra needs a DAC and a headphone amp to operate. If you’re in the market for a proper DAC/headphone amp, Pro-Ject designed the Pre Box S2 Digital to complement your little streaming toolbox. We really like the Pre Box S2 Digital, but you can use any USB DAC/Amp. We’ve created some helpful tips to fine-tune your home audio even more.
These are great places to start if you need to upgrade your DAC:
- Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 Digital
- Best DACs Under $500
- AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC Comparison
- ifi headphone amp and DAC lineup review
General Tips and Tricks:
We hope this quick guide will help you achieve great results quickly. As always, the team at Audio Advice is here to support you. If you have any questions at all, you can always reach out to us via chat, phone or email.
We wish the user interface of the browser-method had provided some clearer feedback when we entered the wrong password for our network — that would have helped us to get up and running faster with less time scratching our heads. At Audio Advice, we’re here to save you time — so you can get set up and ready to rock ’n roll!
The cool thing is that the advanced Raspberry Pi processor inside is a fully-fledged computer, so it’s completely updatable and accessible with a mouse, keyboard, and an external monitor or a touch screen. Using the HDMI port and one of the USB ports included on the back of the unit, we were able to access the system settings and restore it back to factory default settings using a TV monitor and a USB mouse. Problem solved.
Completely open-source and backed by a strong community, this could be improved with a software update in the future. Raspberry Pi is based on an open-source project that has a large community behind it. This guarantees full support and future improvements. The newest and best way to get started with the streamer is available using the Pro-Ject Play app.
If you’re not sure that you have the right password to your WIFI network, we suggest downloading the new official remote control “Pro-Ject Play” app from the App Store or Google Play Store to set up the Stream Box S2 Ultra with your wireless network instead. It’s free, and once you download it, the app can set up and control your little Stream Box S2 Ultra from any smartphone or tablet, wirelessly! It’s so easy and so convenient!
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