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Bluetooth AptX HD vs AirPlay vs ??

Mr.Slips

Member
Jun 29, 2020
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0
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Hi all, new here so be nice. ;)
I‘ve recently purchased a Cambridge CXA61 amp. (after using an Onkyo AV thing for years). I’m really trying to determine the best way I can stream my music to get the most out both my new amp and Tidal’s HIFI/Master streaming platform. I’m currently using AirPlay via my Sky Q box. Not ideal I know. But it actually sounds brilliant. But is adding a dedicated streamer really going to change things that significantly? Since AirPlay, although lossless, is limited to 16bit; a streamer be it some £500+ thing or my Sky Q box is just the “enabler” for AirPlay to work no? My amp has Bluetooth AptX HD which can support 24bit (so Tidal Master). My current iPhone doesn’t have Bluetooth AptX HD, but there are plenty that do for a few hundred quid if that. So by getting one just as a dedicated device for full 24bit streaming is the answer right? Or is it? My (audiophile) brother states because it’s Bluetooth “it’ll be shite”. But if really is 24bit and better than CD quality how could it be shite? And it’ll better than AirPlay surely?
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
237
55
18,870
If you like the current way Tidal HiFi sounds then AirPlay at 16/44.1 is good enough. AirPlay is a lossless protocol at CD quality. If you have your Sky Q box connected to your amp by optical cable the DAC in the amp will do the decoding.

Streaming HiRes Master from Tidal will require quite some investment because you will a streaming solution that supports the proprietary MQA-format. MQA is currently not supported by Apple. https://www.whathifi.com/advice/mqa-audio-what-it-how-can-you-get-it
 
Last edited:

jjbomber

Well-known member
Dec 22, 2006
709
235
19,270
My current iPhone doesn’t have Bluetooth AptX HD, but there are plenty that do for a few hundred quid if that. So by getting one just as a dedicated device for full 24bit streaming is the answer right? Or is it? My (audiophile) brother states because it’s Bluetooth “it’ll be shite”. But if really is 24bit and better than CD quality how could it be shite? And it’ll better than AirPlay surely?
You need to change your brother!

The answer ,as always, is whether it is worth a few hundred quid to get hi-res. To some people that is pocket money and a bargain' to others it is well out of their league. The answer to all your questions is yes, but I think you know that anyway.
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
237
55
18,870
AptX HD won't be any better than AirPlay. If you have decent WiFi AirPlay streaming is extremely robust compared to bluetooth.
 

Mr.Slips

Member
Jun 29, 2020
2
0
20
AptX HD won't be any better than AirPlay. If you have decent WiFi AirPlay streaming is extremely robust compared to bluetooth.
Could you expand on why you say that? If AirPlay is 16bit tops and AptX HD is 24bit how could it not be better if I’m playing a Master quality album?
 

iMark

Well-known member
May 16, 2008
237
55
18,870
Because AptX HD is maxed out at 24/48. You won't be able to hear a difference with 16/44.1. That's what all reviews say.

People tend to forget that CD quality already is very, very good. It's the record companies that have tainted the quality by producing horrible sounding CDs since the loudness wars.
 

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