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Chromecast Audio Vs PC/ Mac via USB

inbox4

Well-known member
Aug 27, 2007
32
0
18,540
Has anyone compared the performance of a CCA connected to a DAC via optical Vs a PC/ Mac connected to the same DAC via an asynchronous USB input (Primarily streaming Tidal lossless)?

I'd been very interested to hear how the CCA compared.
 

andyjm

New member
Jul 20, 2012
15
0
0
All other things being equal, an async USB link allows for better jitter management than an optical S/PDIF link.

Things however are rarely equal. It comes down to many factors, jitter mitigation in the DAC - perhaps it does a really good job with optical, galvanic linkage to the PC - maybe the PC has a noisy ground which gets exported down the USB link or perhaps the design of the DAC is poor in the first place .... and so on and so on.

All of these factors could favour one input over the other irrespective of the quality of the link or source of the digital data. My guess is with a decent DAC, you won't be able to tell the difference between your two proposed setups if you conducted a blind test.
 

inbox4

Well-known member
Aug 27, 2007
32
0
18,540
Thanks for the reply.

You make some very good points and I share those experiences.

It's hard to imagine the Chromecast can be a contender and as good as people say given is price!
 

Hawkwind16

Well-known member
May 22, 2016
54
13
4,545
The Chromecast is very cheap, and gives good results, why not buy it and try it ? USB cables are cheap too - do your own comparison.

I think the conventional wisdon is that a direct link via USB cable is the best, and that reflects the experience in my system. BUT Hi Fi Choice this month has an article 'Lets get digital' in which it says 'The USB option is simple and cheap....The streaming approach can potentially offer better quality'

Intrigueing ! They may be referring to Bluetooth Apt X (?)
 

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