Bit-perfect digital from airport express?!


New member
Jan 2, 2008
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Dear All - I've tried searching for the answer to this but can't find a conclusive one.

I've made the switch from a squeezebox (using coax digital) to airport express using the digital out into my dac xp.

I noticed that the sound was quieter and different - and then I noticed in iTunes that the equaliser was set to "Jazz" and the volume was only set to 2/3rds in iTunes.

Is there a way to completely bypass iTunes' audio jiggery-pokery and just output the pure digital signal to my dac?

My research thus far seems to suggest that as long as the iTunes volume is set to max and the equaliser is turned off, then the airport express will output a pure unadulterated/unprocessed digital signal to my DAC?! I would much prefer to let my £2000 DAC do all the jiggery pokery than iTunes doing some silly nonsense which is then outputted as a digital signal to my DAC!!




If you keep volume at 100% and disable all EQ I'm pretty sure it's bit-perfect against the original data file. I read a report (don't remember where) of someone playing multichannel data into a receiver through iTunes and Airport Express - with the multichannel bitstream encoded into a standard WAV file. As long as they didn't touch volume or EQ everything was intact. As soon as they did, output turned to random garbage, which you would expect as any meddling with the bitstream will competely mess up the multi-channel decoding process.