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Chromecast Audio vs Hi-Fi Streamer

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jimbofisher

Well-known member
Aug 17, 2007
24
2
18,525
Have been thinking about this as my AEX has died recently. It doesn't have Airplay but really was only using the AEX when streaming youtube or some Spotify from the phone. My main streaming is done through a Squeezebox Touch.

For this price I couldn't resist!
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
rmatthew said:
stevee1966 said:
Went to Currys today to get a Chromecast Audio and to my surprise they are currently selling at half price - £15 offer on until Monday.

On the downside - i cannot get it to work. It made a noise when i did the setup and performed a 'test sound' so i think the chromecast itself works, however struggling to get anything from my andrioid phone to play through it.
Typical, price drops days after I bought it. *dash1*
I've ordered one. At just over a tenner it be silly not to.

I'll use it as an ear ring if Tidal won't be supported.
 

Jota180

Well-known member
May 14, 2010
21
1
18,520
Mine arrived this morning. A doddle to set up although the suggested webpage, www.chromecast.com/setup didn't seem to be the correct one, I just googled Chromecast Setup and found the webpage easy enough. You plug the power cable into the Chromecast thingy (technical term) and in my case I plugged an old pair of Sennheiser HD595 into the output. Downloaded the Chromecast setup app on an iPad and Nexus 9 and the setup takes 25 seconds or so. You select your home wifi network, stick in the password and then the app asks you to play a test tone.

Warning, take the effing headphones off before pressing 'Test'! Near blew my eardrums out. The volume was set to max by default, I may email Google support and query this. So once that was complete the Chromcast set about downloading a firmware update which took about 20 seconds.

Once that was done the app scans your device, the tablet, for applications that can cast music. It found my BubbleUPnP no problem and offered up a shortcut to open it. I started playing some tracks to hear what it sounded like and was surprised how loud this thing goes with the HD 595. They're only 50 Ohm impedence so the Chromecast could make them go way louder than my ears could cope with. The sound during my short test seemed really good, I heard no issues.

I switched to the HD 650 which have a 300 Ohm impedence and would be harder to drive loud and when I switched I noticed that for the same volume setting they were quieter than the HD595 but this was a volume setting of 20 out of 50. Turning it up, again, this thing could go louder than I could comfortably take. The Chromecast runs warm to the touch but not hot.

I'll try it a bit more tonight and try to do a comparison as best I can with the headphone output of the Hegel H160. The only problem is I have to unplug the 'phones from the Chromecast, plug it into the H160 then switch renderer in BubbleUPnP so it wont be an instant switch between the two.

Ultimately my idea is to buy a dedicated headphone amp/dac, connect the Chromecast with optical and stream my music to my headphones.

But for 15 quid, this must be the bargain of the HiFi/streaming world.

Edit, Curry's are back up to 30 quid but even at that it's still a bargain.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Jota180 said:
Mine arrived this morning. A doddle to set up although the suggested webpage, www.chromecast.com/setup didn't seem to be the correct one, I just googled Chromecast Setup and found the webpage easy enough. You plug the power cable into the Chromecast thingy (technical term) and in my case I plugged an old pair of Sennheiser HD595 into the output. Downloaded the Chromecast setup app on an iPad and Nexus 9 and the setup takes 25 seconds or so. You select your home wifi network, stick in the password and then the app asks you to play a test tone.

Warning, take the effing headphones off before pressing 'Test'! Near blew my eardrums out. The volume was set to max by default, I may email Google support and query this. So once that was complete the Chromcast set about downloading a firmware update which took about 20 seconds.

Once that was done the app scans your device, the tablet, for applications that can cast music. It found my BubbleUPnP no problem and offered up a shortcut to open it. I started playing some tracks to hear what it sounded like and was surprised how loud this thing goes with the HD 595. They're only 50 Ohm impedence so the Chromecast could make them go way louder than my ears could cope with. The sound during my short test seemed really good, I heard no issues.

I switched to the HD 650 which have a 300 Ohm impedence and would be harder to drive loud and when I switched I noticed that for the same volume setting they were quieter than the HD595 but this was a volume setting of 20 out of 50. Turning it up, again, this thing could go louder than I could comfortably take. The Chromecast runs warm to the touch but not hot.

I'll try it a bit more tonight and try to do a comparison as best I can with the headphone output of the Hegel H160. The only problem is I have to unplug the 'phones from the Chromecast, plug it into the H160 then switch renderer in BubbleUPnP so it wont be an instant switch between the two.

Ultimately my idea is to buy a dedicated headphone amp/dac, connect the Chromecast with optical and stream my music to my headphones.

But for 15 quid, this must be the bargain of the HiFi/streaming world.

Edit, Curry's are back up to 30 quid but even at that it's still a bargain.
Interesting. Mine arrived too. I'll try it at the weekend. Yes, £15 is laughable and that included tracked royal mail delivery.

Still no Tidal support.
 

KendalDave

New member
Mar 2, 2016
0
0
0
While Tidal isn't a supported Chromecast app, you can get it to play (on Android at least), via another app such as BubbleUPnP, which supports a number of "cloud" based streaming services, including Tidal. I've never tried Tidal, but I use this method for streaming Google Play music to a Raspberry Pi based player. You can also send playlists directly from the Google Play music app via the share menu, on to BubbleUPnP to either the Pi or the Chromecast. Maybe you can do something similar with Tidal.

Obviously if you use this method, the music will be streaming via your device to the Chromecast, but I haven't noticed any impact on sound quality.

While the Chromecast Audio is a bargain, it is not without its faults. Many people seem to suffer from connectivity problems of various kinds. It also won't do gapless playback, and has problems playing many hi-res files. Hopefully some, or all of these problems can be fixed, but in the meantime I am finding myself using my Raspberry Pi a lot more.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
KendalDave said:
While Tidal isn't a supported Chromecast app, you can get it to play (on Android at least), via another app such as BubbleUPnP, which supports a number of "cloud" based streaming services, including Tidal. I've never tried Tidal, but I use this method for streaming Google Play music to a Raspberry Pi based player. You can also send playlists directly from the Google Play music app via the share menu, on to BubbleUPnP to either the Pi or the Chromecast. Maybe you can do something similar with Tidal.

Obviously if you use this method, the music will be streaming via your device to the Chromecast, but I haven't noticed any impact on sound quality.

While the Chromecast Audio is a bargain, it is not without its faults. Many people seem to suffer from connectivity problems of various kinds. It also won't do gapless playback, and has problems playing many hi-res files. Hopefully some, or all of these problems can be fixed, but in the meantime I am finding myself using my Raspberry Pi a lot more.
Thank you Dave
 

Phileas

New member
May 5, 2012
0
0
0
Reading quickly through this thread I didn't see anyone mention this so just in case, the audio output (not optical) from the Chromecast appears to be dynamic range limited by default and requires a settings change to get full dynamic range.
 

Xanderzdad

New member
Jun 25, 2008
146
0
0
That's true. It's listed as a safety precaution against damaging smaller desktop type speakers.

I'm really impressed with the sound - but I am using the Google LAN adaptor (£15) to give me a wired connection, as I have thick walls in the lounge.

Streaming and remote control courtesy of Plex.
 

Freemomusic

New member
Mar 5, 2016
0
0
0
Nice to find someone else who is enjoying 753s

To improve the sound of CCA or sonos connect into your amp is to use a good DAC. I use Cyrus DAC master OK it's 22 years old but sounds so much better than straight to the amp. Plus you speakers do perform better with good power so maybe the way to go is an amp with a built in quality DAC. I noticed that these are becoming more available like the Cyrus 8dac or a pretty power set up or a move to biamping . your options are endless to get the set up you deserve

I got aCCA to test streaming and was impressed. Changed to sonos connect in my listening room and also got connect amp and pair of dali ikon 1 mk2 in my lounge. Both sounds fantastic

I hope this helps
 

rmatthew

New member
Feb 19, 2016
11
0
0
Freemomusic said:
Nice to find someone else who is enjoying 753s

To improve the sound of CCA or sonos connect into your amp is to use a good DAC. I use Cyrus DAC master OK it's 22 years old but sounds so much better than straight to the amp. Plus you speakers do perform better with good power so maybe the way to go is an amp with a built in quality DAC. I noticed that these are becoming more available like the Cyrus 8dac or a pretty power set up or a move to biamping . your options are endless to get the set up you deserve

I got aCCA to test streaming and was impressed. Changed to sonos connect in my listening room and also got connect amp and pair of dali ikon 1 mk2 in my lounge. Both sounds fantastic

I hope this helps
Thanks for the info. I'm actually in the process of getting a new amp and will bet getting a DAC to connect the CCA via optical.

Do you still have the 753's and what amp did you drive them with?
 

Freemomusic

New member
Mar 5, 2016
0
0
0
Hi, yes i still have the 753's used for 22 years with a Cyrus 3, i was going to change them to either ProArc or PMC but ended up adding a stereo 200 (wanted mono's but couldnt justify the ££££) using the 3 as a pre and they sound so good even at low levels (a friend has Copland CD and Amp with Kef ref 2's and although he has a deeper bass my 753's are so detailed I am happy, Sade, Terez Montclam, Tok Tok Tok, Stacey Kent all sound amazing, many hours now spent listenning.
 

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