Question LDAC streaming but dull sound

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Leon74

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Anything that doesn't preserve the bitrate is lossy. FLAC is initially at a lower bitrate but gets uncompressed to the original format after decoding, hence lossless.
True. But lossy or lossless... both are a Fata Morgana... whether music is captured/listened to in a lossy or lossless format....it's just bits, zeros and ones, always only an approximation of reality.
 

Leon74

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What the BluMe's display is reporting as kbps in LDAC mode is simply the theoretical max. and NOT what is actually occurring in real time:
You are at the mercy of your phone... many are set to default LDAC at 330kbps.
Changing to 'best efforts' varies wildly depending on the phone make and model.
aptX and SBC can actually outperform LDAC when LDAC streams at 330kbps, which is the default chosen by many phones.
I guess having a Sony phone would be the best bet for best performance of LDAC as it's a Sony proprietary codec.

PhoneLG V30+Samsung Galaxy Note 8Huawei P20 ProHuawei P20Google Pixel 3 XLGoogle Pixel 3
LDAC 'Best Effort' Setting990kbps660kbps660kbps660kbps330kbps330kbps

There is an app that does the job and changes the quality according to your wishes:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.amrg.bluetooth_codec_converter&hl=en_US

The BluMe doesn't report the LDAC quality. Just that it is streaming LDAC.
 

Stuart83

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The trouble is you do not know that you are getting 990kbps...
That is the 'maximum' but it usually drops back to 660kbps (or less...) for stability and you won't know because there is no way to know what the ACTUAL transmission rate is. Bluetooth is definitely a convenience connection...and very difficult to judge sound quality from a lossy compressed codec that is CONSTANTLY changing.....
There is if you have an ifizen and a few other options to constantly see what's being received at the point if receiving.

The Ifizen logo as said constantly changes whenever you either switch track or the transmission changes within its logo key.

Changing phone options etc only gives a theoretical output.
 

Leon74

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There is if you have an ifizen and a few other options to constantly see what's being received at the point if receiving.

The Ifizen logo as said constantly changes whenever you either switch track or the transmission changes within its logo key.

Changing phone options etc only gives a theoretical output.
Can your Ifizen also receive the AAC codec? I am curious which codec sounds better for you, LDAC or AAC:

 

daveh75

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(Although, I've previously seen it suggested on here, that FLAC is not a lossless CODEC).

It's more that a certain poster doesn't understand the different compression levels FLAC offers....

But they also think that because their overpriced/hyped streamer has a 1Gb ethernet connection that it warrants a Gigabit broadband connection to make the most of it 🤣
 
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Tinman1952

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There is if you have an ifizen and a few other options to constantly see what's being received at the point if receiving.

The Ifizen logo as said constantly changes whenever you either switch track or the transmission changes within its logo key.

Changing phone options etc only gives a theoretical output.
My understanding is that the Zen blue indicators change colour based on the Bluetooth protocol used and the sample rate of the source file. It will not indicate anything if the connection bandwidth alters whilst playing a file.......
 
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Stuart83

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My understanding is that the Zen blue indicators change colour based on the Bluetooth protocol used and the sample rate of the source file. It will not indicate anything if the connection bandwidth alters whilst playing a file.......
The Ifizen indicates format and sample rate (afterall bitrates can be calculated from the sample rate) which is usually enough then a quick check of the music tracks tag data within the "mediainfo" app if using a phone when needed .

If something's suspect it can be further checked but I've never seen bandwidth alter much, especially enough to effect the tiny amount that music needs with today's equipment.

There is live analytical software to constantly monitor bandwidth/bitrate but after a long time of sporadic checking and not seeing much change I don't dont bother now unless something was to become suspect.......
 
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Leon74

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If only that were true...sadly it isn't. LDAC is a variable codec designed by Sony to avoid dropouts when connection quality drops.....
No, that is not true: There is a "best effort" setting that prioritizes conenction and there is a setting that optimises audio quality and always uses 990 kbps.
 

Stuart83

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No, that is not true: There is a "best effort" setting that prioritizes conenction and there is a setting that optimises audio quality and always uses 990 kbps.
It still depends on what the source bitrate (the bitrate of the track ) is irrespective of settings I'm afraid.

You can't improve an already recorded tracks bitrate by sending it with LDAC if it's not done with a higher bitrate to begin with.
 
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Stuart83

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It's a lot more complicated on how LDAC works as a format.

An good analogy is if you copy a load of old muffled tapes to a CD you won't improve the sound to CD quality irrespective of CD capability of always 1,411 kilobits per second you will simply get a CD with the muffled tapes on it 🙂 aka the original source quality.

If the information isn't there it isn't there.

A chap called "Vincent kars"on your other thread eludes to how it works with padding out of the the signal etc but it is "content aware" regardless of being forced via a phones settings etc.
He says-

"AAC uses the psycho-acoustic model (yes, it is the heir of MP3). LDAC is most of all a SBC (Sideband Codec). One might argue that AAC is simply more clever than LDAC. Does this compensate for 256 kbs (common AAC) versus 900 (LDAC)?
LDAC does 24/96. If you play 16/44.1 it reserves a hell of a lot of bandwidth for information that is not there.

However, LDAC is source aware. If the app calling LDAC tells it the source is 16/44.1, it will use its full bandwidth to compress this source.
If the app doesn't, maybe this explains the dull sound."

This is also my findings.

Ldac can't change a tracks recorded quality by increasing a bit depth that isn't there.
I've used software in the past to see what's sent using its "optimised packetization” of the data.
It adapts to whatever is sent regardless of being forced via settings as it cannot as a format alter, add, rewrite and improve an already recorded bitrate.

Another analogy is to send 10 people on the bullet train, then 10 people on a bus from the same place to the same place.

Both parties turn up EXACTLY the "same people" but one gets there a lot lot faster.

It's not what LDAC is for, maybe you misunderstood it's use.

Ldac is there to take advantage of streams and sending music that has a higher bitrate to begin with and utilise it within its much higher 990kbps bandwidth (if its there) otherwise it's just using a faster connection to send less data.

The platforms that boast Hi Def music etc that can utilise LDAC's superior bitrate can be misleading too as not everything they have is indeed in high definition either.

I can tell your shown interest dictates you will get to the bottom of whatever is causing your 'dull sound" using LDAC if everything is set up right you really should hear a difference in line with the vast majority.

It would maybe help to download a track from another music platform on another device/phone entirely that you know to be in high Def by checking it's "data tag" first and send it with the new device to see if it's a fault with your existing source and go from there.

A process of elimination is always the best way if one doesn't find the problem first.

There is an app called "mediainfo" to check a downloaded tracks bitrate first.

I'm bowing out on this one now.....

However I hope you get to the bottom of things as it can be very frustrating if one is expecting better than your actually getting.
 
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My2Cents

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At the end of the day, a Bluetooth connection is a pretty sucky way to transmit digital music for serious listening... it's a 'convenience' connection (but it is improving slowly with time).
 

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