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High-resolution audio: everything you need to know

nexpose

Member
Jul 29, 2020
1
0
20
So I'm using Amazon music HD service and have a Sony 1080 receiver. What I want to do is make sure I get 24bit / 192khz. Do I need to hook one of the music streamers up to my 1080 receiver in order to make this happen? Since I know through my S9+ phone I can't achieve ultimate sound. I'm new to HD streaming or hoping to stream in Ultra HD as Amazon music HD calls it. Thank you and appreciate any help
 

superhans

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2020
31
10
45
So I'm using Amazon music HD service and have a Sony 1080 receiver. What I want to do is make sure I get 24bit / 192khz. Do I need to hook one of the music streamers up to my 1080 receiver in order to make this happen? Since I know through my S9+ phone I can't achieve ultimate sound. I'm new to HD streaming or hoping to stream in Ultra HD as Amazon music HD calls it. Thank you and appreciate any help
I have the same set-up. You could buy a bluesound 2i streamer to get the full 24bit / 192khz but I would suggest you first try out LDAC over bluetooth. Set the amp and your s9+ phone to prefer LDAC and you'll get 24bit / 96khz (990kbps)
Sounds fantastic and costs nothing! I doubt you'd hear any noticeable difference between the bluesound vs Sony LDAC
My Sony is hooked up to Dali Oberon 5 and I'm very happy with how it sounds using bluetooth/LDAC
Note: Most recent android phones support LDAC and can be configured via 'Developer Options'
Chromecast on the amp has not been updated by Sony and currently does not support HD streams from Amazon. If you don't want to use bluetooth, then you could (if you can find one) hook up an old 'Chromecast audio' This would also give you HD from Amazon
 

yorkslad

Member
Dec 1, 2020
1
0
20
Presto Classical (prestomusic) is an excellent site and has a large library of classical and jazz flac downloads to purchase.
 

stephenk

Active member
Dec 22, 2020
4
2
25
For various reasons, including downsizing, I have just discovered high-res streaming and downloading. So I got what I thought was a pretty good set up but none of the elements featurin your review !
I'm using my old Arcam amplifier and I listen through my Lyn Keilidh speakers.
So.....
For audio I subscribe to Primephonic. (I found Tidal more difficult to navigate). I use a Firefly DAC to take sound from my laptop or my smartphone (Redmi Note9 PRO) to my ARCAM DELTA90 amplifier. I am not allowed to take downloads to my laptop but only to my phone or tablet., Which is very irritating because I travel, but I seem to have adequate storage on my phone at least for primephonic downloads.
For combined high quality video and sound (my preference) I have subscribed to Medici TV, and I take the sound from my new LG Smart TV out through an optical cable output through a CYP AUD3-192 DAC to my amp.
All this is very new to me. I'm disturbed that you haven't reviewed my streaming services or the firefly and I wonder if I made some big mistakes?
 

DrAIX

Active member
Feb 23, 2021
1
3
25
I was a member of the CEA High-End Audio Board for 8 years, operate a high-resolution download site (itrax.com), am a university professor teaching audio engineering, authored an 880-page book on high-end audio, and completed an AES presentation on high-resolution audio for last fall's convention. The amount of misinformation in this article is astounding! I'm not sure where to start. Amazon Music HD is not high-resolution audio according to the definition issued by the CEA in 2014. Amazon HD simply shifted CD - or standard resolution - to the HD category for marketing purposes. And it doesn't matter anyway because virtually every recording available in download or streaming format fail to meet the frequency response and dynamics of a standard compact disc. The statement "going 16bit to 24bit can deliver a noticeable leap in quality" is patently untrue. I survey over 500 audiophiles in my research and the results showed that people had as good a chance at picking a native HD file over a CD as a random coin toss. Hi-Res audio and MQA are simply attempts by those in the music and audio business to grab more money. It's a shame that the authors of this piece failed to do adequate research before writing a useless article.
 

superhans

Well-known member
Oct 19, 2020
31
10
45
I was a member of the CEA High-End Audio Board for 8 years, operate a high-resolution download site (itrax.com), am a university professor teaching audio engineering, authored an 880-page book on high-end audio, and completed an AES presentation on high-resolution audio for last fall's convention. The amount of misinformation in this article is astounding! I'm not sure where to start. Amazon Music HD is not high-resolution audio according to the definition issued by the CEA in 2014. Amazon HD simply shifted CD - or standard resolution - to the HD category for marketing purposes. And it doesn't matter anyway because virtually every recording available in download or streaming format fail to meet the frequency response and dynamics of a standard compact disc. The statement "going 16bit to 24bit can deliver a noticeable leap in quality" is patently untrue. I survey over 500 audiophiles in my research and the results showed that people had as good a chance at picking a native HD file over a CD as a random coin toss. Hi-Res audio and MQA are simply attempts by those in the music and audio business to grab more money. It's a shame that the authors of this piece failed to do adequate research before writing a useless article.
Fantastic post and I agree. Over last 6 months, I've listened extensively to Qobuz, Amazon HD, Tidal MQA and I think 'Hi-Res' is a snake oil cash grab. Most of the music that has blown my skirt up - were good old CD 16/44.1 quality.
The mastering is more important than the sample rate is my conclusion. Once Spotify give us the new 'CD' quality tier that will meet my needs. Don't care about anything above that.
 
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Dan J

Active member
Mar 20, 2021
2
1
25
I am learning a lot about HiFi streaming in articles such as these, but difficulty figuring out how best to use my current equipment.

1) I have an amp (Denon DRA-800h) that lets me log in to Tidal HiFi- that streams natively at CD quality only...(16-bit/44.1kHz is indicated on the screen of the TV that the amp is hooked to).

2) I have a Chromecast Ultra hooked into the same amp that just indcates "HiFi" on the TV when I cast to it using the Tidal app on my phone (the app on the phone is a much better experience than on the Amplifier)...I suspect this is also 16-bit/44.1khz)

3) I have a Chromecast Audio that I am not using, but could hook up to the Amp either with aux or TOSLINK.

4) I could purchase a more specialized streamer that streams at MQA, but would still be putting it into the same amp/speakers via HDMI or TOSLINK.

I (subjectively) think #1 sounds better than #2
#2 is a lot easier and simpler to use
I suspect the best is option #4, but I am not ready for the cost.
I realize that all of the above probably do better than my middle age ears can resolve, but they also definitely sound better than my Youtube Music subscription did...

My Question:
Can someone advise me on the difference in audio quality between the Chromecast Ultra and the Chromecast Audio? I can never find the bit rate of the CC Ultra to be able to compare it to the CC Audio...and then I wonder the HDMI of the CC Ultra isn't better than the TOSLINK of the CC Audio...

Thanks!
 

CHFels

Well-known member
Jun 21, 2011
2
0
18,520
I am learning a lot about HiFi streaming in articles such as these, but difficulty figuring out how best to use my current equipment.

1) I have an amp (Denon DRA-800h) that lets me log in to Tidal HiFi- that streams natively at CD quality only...(16-bit/44.1kHz is indicated on the screen of the TV that the amp is hooked to).

2) I have a Chromecast Ultra hooked into the same amp that just indcates "HiFi" on the TV when I cast to it using the Tidal app on my phone (the app on the phone is a much better experience than on the Amplifier)...I suspect this is also 16-bit/44.1khz)

3) I have a Chromecast Audio that I am not using, but could hook up to the Amp either with aux or TOSLINK.

4) I could purchase a more specialized streamer that streams at MQA, but would still be putting it into the same amp/speakers via HDMI or TOSLINK.

I (subjectively) think #1 sounds better than #2
#2 is a lot easier and simpler to use
I suspect the best is option #4, but I am not ready for the cost.
I realize that all of the above probably do better than my middle age ears can resolve, but they also definitely sound better than my Youtube Music subscription did...

My Question:
Can someone advise me on the difference in audio quality between the Chromecast Ultra and the Chromecast Audio? I can never find the bit rate of the CC Ultra to be able to compare it to the CC Audio...and then I wonder the HDMI of the CC Ultra isn't better than the TOSLINK of the CC Audio...

Thanks!
Chromecast Ultra is limited to 48khz for audio, and I have seen it suggested that it might upsample all audio to that frequency. Not sure if it will pass on 24 bits, or only 16. Either way, it should be able to sound as good as the built-in Tidal app. If it doesn't, to your ears, that may be evidence that (badly done) re-sampling is done by the CCU, or that your Denon amp does not handle HDMI audio as well as it should. But another possibility to keep in mind is that you are not level-matching and you simply prefer #1 over #2 because it's a bit louder. (No offence meant, everybody is subject to this effect and it is hard to guard against).

The Chromecast Audio can pass on 24/96 audio to the Denon via Toslink, so in theory that should be your preferred option. Whether it will sound better, same, or worse than the CCU depends on how your Denon handles Toslink input data, compared to HDMI input data. (And once again, watch out for volume differences if you try to compare the two!)
 

Dan J

Active member
Mar 20, 2021
2
1
25
Thanks!
I'll give the Toslink on CCA a try.
You're right, by the way, I've caught myself enjoying the louder of two choices a few times so I turn up the Chromecast all the way when comparing...
 
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