Audio streaming quality with smartphone to amp BT connection.

rob_wales

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
17
14
4,525
Visit site
I have a Marantz PM6007 amp and a pair of Dali Spektor 2 speakers, and I'm very happy with the sound quality. I listen (mostly classical) from my Samsung S20 FE connecting to the Marantz using a BT adaptor in the amp. My music comes from Amazon Music, and some of the content is ultra HD.

If I connected a cheaper phone such as a Samsung A54 or similar instead of the S20 would I notice any difference in the sound quality? Am I right in thinking there are two DACs here - one in the phone and one in the amp? And if so does the amp DAC get used?

Obviously if I'm listening from the phone direct to headphones the DAC in the cheaper phone would not sound as good, but what if the phone connects to the amp as detailed above and I plug the headphones into the amp - which DAC is used?
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

Well-known member
It is the DAC in the amplifier being used (processing the digital BT signal it is being sent). Unless your BT adaptor is external to the amplifier and plugged in via RCA in which case the BT adaptor's DAC is being used. The phone DAC is not being used when sending via BT.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rob_wales and Gray

rob_wales

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
17
14
4,525
Visit site
It is the DAC in the amplifier being used (processing the digital BT signal it is being sent). Unless your BT adaptor is external to the amplifier and plugged in via RCA in which case the BT adaptor's DAC is being used. The phone DAC is not being used when sending via BT.
Thanks. I thought as much. So is it worth having an expensive smartphone if one of the primary uses is audio music? I see a lot of reviews that talk about the sound quality of flagship phones, but they usually are talking about listening just on the phone, and often through the phone speakers.
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

Well-known member
I can't disagree with you.
Others are more knowledgable and might suggest a different transmission line than BT (WiFi for example) and / or the use of a dedicated streamer to access higher quality music.
For instance, a WiiM mini plugged into the optical of your receiver might be an improvement. Irrespective, it's probably the same price / cheaper than purchasing a new phone as source.
That said, you mention "I'm very happy with the sound quality" so why change anything?
 
Last edited:

Tinman1952

Well-known member
I have a Marantz PM6007 amp and a pair of Dali Spektor 2 speakers, and I'm very happy with the sound quality. I listen (mostly classical) from my Samsung S20 FE connecting to the Marantz using a BT adaptor in the amp. My music comes from Amazon Music, and some of the content is ultra HD.

If I connected a cheaper phone such as a Samsung A54 or similar instead of the S20 would I notice any difference in the sound quality? Am I right in thinking there are two DACs here - one in the phone and one in the amp? And if so does the amp DAC get used?

Obviously if I'm listening from the phone direct to headphones the DAC in the cheaper phone would not sound as good, but what if the phone connects to the amp as detailed above and I plug the headphones into the amp - which DAC is used?
Bluetooth is convenient...I've used it myself at family gatherings for background music in the garden, but really although you say you are happy with the sound, you are not hearing what your amp and speakers are capable of. Bluetooth is 'lossy' and compressed for transmission. A different phone will make no difference...the limiting factor may indeed be the BT adaptor as many only do 'basic' bluetooth. With Amazon Music you are certainly not hearing 'ultra HD'! It is being 'mangled' (technical term...) by the bluetooth protocol.
I would rather plug the phone directly into my amp via the headphone output then use bluetooth...
A Wiim mini or Pro plugged into your amp would allow you to stream Amazon Music through it using just a control app on your phone and you would then hear Amazon Music UHD in all it's glory...
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

Well-known member
Summarising my thoughts and those of Tinman:

1. get the cheaper phone (provided it meets your other needs); and
2. plug a WiiM (mini / pro (depending on budget)) into your amp via optical lead with the savings made by purchasing a cheaper phone,

and enjoy what should be better sounding music!
 
Last edited:

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
I have a Marantz PM6007 amp and a pair of Dali Spektor 2 speakers, and I'm very happy with the sound quality. I listen (mostly classical) from my Samsung S20 FE connecting to the Marantz using a BT adaptor in the amp. My music comes from Amazon Music, and some of the content is ultra HD.

If I connected a cheaper phone such as a Samsung A54 or similar instead of the S20 would I notice any difference in the sound quality? Am I right in thinking there are two DACs here - one in the phone and one in the amp? And if so does the amp DAC get used?

Obviously if I'm listening from the phone direct to headphones the DAC in the cheaper phone would not sound as good, but what if the phone connects to the amp as detailed above and I plug the headphones into the amp - which DAC is used?
I have no interest on phones and do nothing with mine that requires a fancy model. I have a Samsung A12 that I paid £120 for three years ago. How much you spend on a phone is all down to what functionality or fashion you want. By reputation IPhone were always considered better for music, not sure ifnthat is still true.

As for music playback, if you are happy with it stick with what you have. If you want to try something better, as already mentioned it doesn't have to cost a fortune. A WiiM mini is £89 (often reduced to £80) and is fantastic. The DAC isn't up to much, so I use an external DAC, an SMSL SU-1 also £80, as my Marantz is much older than yours and doesn't have a DAC.
 

DiggyGun

Well-known member
Mar 2, 2021
150
97
4,670
Visit site
I have a Marantz PM6007 amp and a pair of Dali Spektor 2 speakers, and I'm very happy with the sound quality. I listen (mostly classical) from my Samsung S20 FE connecting to the Marantz using a BT adaptor in the amp. My music comes from Amazon Music, and some of the content is ultra HD.

If I connected a cheaper phone such as a Samsung A54 or similar instead of the S20 would I notice any difference in the sound quality? Am I right in thinking there are two DACs here - one in the phone and one in the amp? And if so does the amp DAC get used?

Obviously if I'm listening from the phone direct to headphones the DAC in the cheaper phone would not sound as good, but what if the phone connects to the amp as detailed above and I plug the headphones into the amp - which DAC is used?
If you are using BT, are you not sending a digital signal to the external DAC in the amp, so the one in the phone is not working.

DG…
 

DCarmi

Well-known member
Your PM6007 has 2 Toslink connections to its internal DAC . If you get a Wiim either Mini or a Pro and connect that using Toslink, you will get a better quality of stream from Amazon Music, than using Bluetooth.

With either Wiim, install the Wiim app and follow the instructions for the app to turn off volume control and equaliser in the Wiim itself (bit perfect mode) and also follow the instructions to link your Amazon account through the app. It is simpler than it sounds!

You then control the volume etc. from your amp's remote only and select music directly from the Amazon Music app.

The audio is the independent of the phone model, since you are streaming direct to the Wiim and your phone is just a music selector.

The main difference between the Wiim mini and Pro, other than extra connectors, is that the Pro can do Chromecast as well.

I have a PM6006 with a Wiim Pro connected. I also have a Denon DM41Dab upstairs with a Wiim Mini attached.
 

rob_wales

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
17
14
4,525
Visit site
Bluetooth is convenient...I've used it myself at family gatherings for background music in the garden, but really although you say you are happy with the sound, you are not hearing what your amp and speakers are capable of. Bluetooth is 'lossy' and compressed for transmission. A different phone will make no difference...the limiting factor may indeed be the BT adaptor as many only do 'basic' bluetooth. With Amazon Music you are certainly not hearing 'ultra HD'! It is being 'mangled' (technical term...) by the bluetooth protocol.
I would rather plug the phone directly into my amp via the headphone output then use bluetooth...
A Wiim mini or Pro plugged into your amp would allow you to stream Amazon Music through it using just a control app on your phone and you would then hear Amazon Music UHD in all it's glory...
I just tried an experiment.

I played David Bowie's Lets Dance from the S20 phone to the amp via my BT connector - this one BT Connector It sounded fine. The attached screen shot shows the connection and playback data which is 24 bit 96KHz for the original source, the device, and the output.

I then disconnected the BT device and plugged an RCA to 3.5mm cable with a 3.5mm to USBC adapter which is plugged into the USB at the bottom of my phone (my phone has no headphone jack). I didn't alter the volume control on the amp but the sound level seemed to be about 40% louder than using the BT. It was a noticable difference. Also, the sound quality seemed to be better - a slightly richer and deeper sound. The playback data was just the same as BT - 24 bit 96KHz.

I looked up the Wiim device and the only thing that seems extra to my setup is the ability to go to 24 bit 192 KHz, and I'm not sure if that would make any appreciable difference. I phoned Richer Sounds and spoke to a very helpful guy who said if I'm happy with a direct connection rather than BT I will get better quality sound and it will be more reliable. He said the Wiim would only make a difference for the BT connection. The only slight drawback with direct connection is you can't have the phone in your hand to change tracks etc, but I got around that by using an extension lead on the RCA/3.5mm cable which now stretches the distance considerably.

So why is everyone using BT connections? Obviously, headphones when you are on the move are easier using BT, but in the house?
 

Attachments

  • 260124Screenshot_20240126_093728_Amazon Music.jpg
    260124Screenshot_20240126_093728_Amazon Music.jpg
    57.6 KB · Views: 3
  • Like
Reactions: Tinman1952

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
I just tried an experiment.

I played David Bowie's Lets Dance from the S20 phone to the amp via my BT connector - this one BT Connector It sounded fine. The attached screen shot shows the connection and playback data which is 24 bit 96KHz for the original source, the device, and the output.

I then disconnected the BT device and plugged an RCA to 3.5mm cable with a 3.5mm to USBC adapter which is plugged into the USB at the bottom of my phone (my phone has no headphone jack). I didn't alter the volume control on the amp but the sound level seemed to be about 40% louder than using the BT. It was a noticable difference. Also, the sound quality seemed to be better - a slightly richer and deeper sound. The playback data was just the same as BT - 24 bit 96KHz.

I looked up the Wiim device and the only thing that seems extra to my setup is the ability to go to 24 bit 192 KHz, and I'm not sure if that would make any appreciable difference. I phoned Richer Sounds and spoke to a very helpful guy who said if I'm happy with a direct connection rather than BT I will get better quality sound and it will be more reliable. He said the Wiim would only make a difference for the BT connection. The only slight drawback with direct connection is you can't have the phone in your hand to change tracks etc, but I got around that by using an extension lead on the RCA/3.5mm cable which now stretches the distance considerably.

So why is everyone using BT connections? Obviously, headphones when you are on the move are easier using BT, but in the house?
I'm not sure many people are using Bluetooth beyond "smart speakers" and in car. A streamer like the wiim uses WiFi not BT, that's how it has more bandwidth. The mobile phone in this scenario is just a controller, no more than a remote control. Your way of using an RCA cable, your phone is taking the role of streamer and DAC, you are taking away the limitations of BT, but still have the limitations of your phone and its DAC, and the streaming quality of phone does vary. The only person I know who uses their phone as a streamer uses it via an audioquest dragonfly. I have never heard their system, but they are happy with it.

Cabe, BT, or streaming, there is no one size fits all, its just what suits each individual and their needs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: rob_wales

daveh75

Well-known member
The reality is most people can't even discern between low bitrate lossy codecs and CD quality, let alone Hi-res under blind test conditions.

So claims of hearing differences between BT, WiFi and different DACs is purely subjective opinion not borne out in reality.

So do what suits you, in the knowledge that you'd be unlikely to hear a difference in SQ and ignore the perceived wisdom of audiophiles would be my advice
 
  • Like
Reactions: Juzzie Wuzzie

rob_wales

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
17
14
4,525
Visit site
So do what suits you, in the knowledge that you'd be unlikely to hear a difference in SQ and ignore the perceived wisdom of audiophiles would be my advice
I think you are right here. The same can be said for wine. I paid £18 last week for a bottle in a supermarket and I also bought a £6 bottle which was reasonably good quality. The £18 bottle tasted like industrial grade paint-stripper. But I'm sure some oenophile lurking somewhere (probably in an up-market off-licence) would have assured me that the £18 bottle should have been excellent.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1

Tinman1952

Well-known member
The reality is most people can't even discern between low bitrate lossy codecs and CD quality, let alone Hi-res under blind test conditions.

So claims of hearing differences between BT, WiFi and different DACs is purely subjective opinion not borne out in reality.

So do what suits you, in the knowledge that you'd be unlikely to hear a difference in SQ and ignore the perceived wisdom of audiophiles would be my advice
Well that is your subjective opinion but it is not borne out by facts...
...plus this is a Hi-Fi forum! 🙂
 
  • Like
Reactions: jjbomber

Tinman1952

Well-known member
I just tried an experiment.

I played David Bowie's Lets Dance from the S20 phone to the amp via my BT connector - this one BT Connector It sounded fine. The attached screen shot shows the connection and playback data which is 24 bit 96KHz for the original source, the device, and the output.

I then disconnected the BT device and plugged an RCA to 3.5mm cable with a 3.5mm to USBC adapter which is plugged into the USB at the bottom of my phone (my phone has no headphone jack). I didn't alter the volume control on the amp but the sound level seemed to be about 40% louder than using the BT. It was a noticable difference. Also, the sound quality seemed to be better - a slightly richer and deeper sound. The playback data was just the same as BT - 24 bit 96KHz.

I looked up the Wiim device and the only thing that seems extra to my setup is the ability to go to 24 bit 192 KHz, and I'm not sure if that would make any appreciable difference. I phoned Richer Sounds and spoke to a very helpful guy who said if I'm happy with a direct connection rather than BT I will get better quality sound and it will be more reliable. He said the Wiim would only make a difference for the BT connection. The only slight drawback with direct connection is you can't have the phone in your hand to change tracks etc, but I got around that by using an extension lead on the RCA/3.5mm cable which now stretches the distance considerably.

So why is everyone using BT connections? Obviously, headphones when you are on the move are easier using BT, but in the house?
I am glad you heard the difference in sound quality..🙂 However you have made one mistaken assumption. Your screen shot may well say 24/96 as playback data but that is not what you are hearing with bluetooth. It is being heavily compressed for bluetooth transmission.
24/96 playback would be a data rate of 4608 kbps ... but with bluetooth 'mangling' you are getting (at best) around 600 kbps! Hence the difference in audio quality...a lot has been lost!
 

Fandango Andy

Well-known member
The reality is most people can't even discern between low bitrate lossy codecs and CD quality, let alone Hi-res under blind test conditions.

So claims of hearing differences between BT, WiFi and different DACs is purely subjective opinion not borne out in reality.

So do what suits you, in the knowledge that you'd be unlikely to hear a difference in SQ and ignore the perceived wisdom of audiophiles would be my advice
Totally agree most people can't discern between "low bitrate lossy codecs and CD quality", I certainly can't. But we can recognise if something sounds better than something else, and these things are often but not always connected.

On a tangent, I mainly use amazon to stream, and a lot of classic 70s albums are now only available in remastered versions. When I compare these to CD and vinyl versions, a lot of them have less dynamic range than the original versions. Some of the remasters have better clarity or a more pronounced soundstage. Some have no noticeable difference. Most are louder so when you do a direct comparison sound better until you equalise the volume.
 

My2Cents

Well-known member
Nov 10, 2023
349
261
770
Visit site
The Samsung S20 uses scaleable Bluetooth 5.0 and is actually capable of 24/96. However, it's still a highly compressed transmission. Your Bluetooth receiver has an unknown DAC in it (most likely an AKM).
Using a WiiM pro with optical or coax out to the Marantz should afford you better sound theoretically (using the WiiM app to stream from Amazon). Even if the the PM6007 has the same DAC as the Mii one would expect it to be more thoughtfully integrated with the rest of the amps circuitry.
In reality, with your current equipment, I doubt that you will actually hear much difference.
Most of the difference in sound comes from the quality of the recording, placement of speakers and the room that you are listening in.
If you are happy with the current sound just enjoy it.
I sometimes stream Qobuz 24/192 files using Bluetooth from a MacBook Air M1 to my Yamaha R-N800 and if I do an A/B comaparisson with the same source material (streaming direct from my router from the Qobuz servers) there is almost no percievable difference. If my amp and speakers were 3 times the price then perhaps there would be (partly why Spotify hasn't gone ultra Hi Res yet).
Music that has been specifically mastered for streaming often sounds better when streamed using a compressed streaming delivery method (e.g. Bluetooth).
Classical music is, however, the exception. But with your gear you would probably have to be sitting right in the sweet spot and in a well treated room to notice much difference.
 
Last edited:

rob_wales

Well-known member
Feb 1, 2020
17
14
4,525
Visit site
The Samsung S20 uses scaleable Bluetooth 5.0 and is actually capable of 24/96. However, it's still a highly compressed transmission. Your Bluetooth receiver has an unknown DAC in it (most likely an AKM).
Using a WiiM pro with optical or coax out to the Marantz should afford you better sound theoretically (using the WiiM app to stream from Amazon). Even if the the PM6007 has the same DAC as the Mii one would expect it to be more thoughtfully integrated with the rest of the amps circuitry.
In reality, with your current equipment, I doubt that you will actually hear much difference.
Most of the difference in sound comes from the quality of the recording, placement of speakers and the room that you are listening in.
If you are happy with the current sound just enjoy it.
I sometimes stream Qobuz 24/192 files using Bluetooth from a MacBook Air M1 to my Yamaha R-N800 and if I do an A/B comaparisson with the same source material (streaming direct from my router from the Qobuz servers) there is almost no percievable difference. If my amp and speakers were 3 times the price then perhaps there would be (partly why Spotify hasn't gone ultra Hi Res yet).
Music that has been specifically mastered for streaming often sounds better when streamed using a compressed streaming delivery method (e.g. Bluetooth).
Classical music is, however, the exception. But with your gear you would probably have to be sitting right in the sweet spot and in a well treated room to notice much difference.
Thank you, that was very useful. It's not possible to listen to two versions of the same music on different gear at the same time, so any comparison you make is just in your head. With photography you can shoot the same scene on two sets of different gear, one better than the other, then print them and visually compare them up close and detect the differences, but you can't do that with music because you need to remember the first version. It's the same with food - if you were tasting a range of cheeses the first one is going to throw out your perception of the following ones. Also, a lot of what makes up 'taste' is actually visual and if you can't see the food it distorts your sense of taste.

The difference in perception between two things is always going to be tricky, but I think if you just experience one thing and it really is bad you will soon realize it without any comparison.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1

Witterings

Well-known member
Totally agree most people can't discern between "low bitrate lossy codecs and CD quality", I certainly can't. But we can recognise if something sounds better than something else, and these things are often but not always connected.

I agree with this .... a while back I kept switching my WiiM's HD/UHD on / off to see if I could notice a difference.
I'd say I don't feel the lower resolution was missing anything in paticular but the higher reolution just felt fuller and warmer giving the impression there was more to it.

I don't feel I could walk into a friends house and hear them playing something and ask why they've got the high res turned off as you only really notice it doing a switch from one straight to the other.

My only other comment would be I think humans sensory preception is actually a lot better than it's credited for and maybe that minor difference is somethng we do pick up on without being aware of what or why it is and would just have a minor and subconscious preference for one vs the other.
 
Last edited:

Revolutions

Well-known member
Aug 6, 2023
567
596
1,270
Visit site
I agree with this .... a while back I kept switching my WiiM's HD/UHD on / off to see if I could notice a difference.
I'd say I don't feel the lower resolution was missing anything in paticular but the higher reolution just felt fuller and warmer giving the impression there was more to it.

I don't feel I could walk into a friends house and hear them playing something and ask why they've got the high res turned off as you only really notice it doing a switch from one straight to the other.

My only other comment would be I think humans sensory preception is actually a lot better than it's actually credited for and maybe that minor difference is somethng we do pick up on without being aware of what or why it is and would just have a minor and subconscious preference for one vs the other.
You’re probably hearing a boost in volume to notice that much difference between HD & UHD.

I have fairly sensitive hearing and can only notice the difference between 320kpbs & cd in slightly crisper cymbal hits. Pretty much imperceptible for everything else.

You make an interesting point about sensory perception. And you’re 50% right. Almost all sensory data is handled unconsciously. There’s a good reason that it’s so hard to replicate complex acoustic sounds like orchestras vs hearing it in person: even though we can’t hear the frequencies, we feel them. How those vibrations enter our body completely change the sound. So there is a lot more to sound than what we can “hear”. Also remember this is waves, and pressure, so ambient temperature & height above sea level can make huge differences.

The other 50% is that we don’t really perceive reality at all. We’re essentially living in an illusion created by our consciousness, based on that sensory data. brains are designed to be as efficient as possible, so we’re constantly making predictions based on “good enough” sensory information. In your field of sight, you can probably only really see something the size of your palm; the rest of it is a patchwork of micro-memories, mini freeze frames, where your brain is making a (very good) guess at what the wider frame looks like.

Donald Hoffman has done so much cool work around this - like exploring optical illusions. His book ‘the case against reality’ goes into a lot of compelling arguments about quite how false our world is. And it makes sense when you think how much of our perception is entirely subjective; colours, sounds, taste, feel et. He goes on to argue that our lives are similar to controlling a character in grand theft auto. I found that concept almost as challenging as considering an endless universe in the sky; totally opposite to how our brains want the illusion of control and quantifiable information to feel comfortable,

(Sorry, went on a bit there)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Messiah

Ecafhsif

Active member
Apr 20, 2024
3
1
25
Visit site
I have a Marantz PM6007 amp and a pair of Dali Spektor 2 speakers, and I'm very happy with the sound quality. I listen (mostly classical) from my Samsung S20 FE connecting to the Marantz using a BT adaptor in the amp. My music comes from Amazon Music, and some of the content is ultra HD.

If I connected a cheaper phone such as a Samsung A54 or similar instead of the S20 would I notice any difference in the sound quality? Am I right in thinking there are two DACs here - one in the phone and one in the amp? And if so does the amp DAC get used?

Obviously if I'm listening from the phone direct to headphones the DAC in the cheaper phone would not sound as good, but what if the phone connects to the amp as detailed above and I plug the headphones into the amp - which DAC is used?
I'm interested to learn what you did in the end.
I bought a wiim mini in January and I connect it to my Sony STR DH790 receiver using RCA connections ( red and white leads into the back of the amp) and stream over wifi with Amazon Music, I can control the tracks on either the wiim app or amazon music app.

I did connect an optical lead but I prefered the RCA connection, it just seemed fuller sounding to me.

I did also play the same track over bluetooth and it did feel different again, more echoey.
 

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts