I just tried slacker radio, and I'm not getting any static at low volume like I did with pandora. I'm not really sure of the reason, but I'll give slacker a try for now. I had not used it before. Thanks for the tip...
Back here to edit this-actually i am getting static with slacker too.
Are you referring to occasional pops, that appear in quiet moments in
the song, or during heavy sonic changes, and tend to come and go, but
not more often than about one per second? If so, I think I hear it.
I did some experiments. The pops do not appear to be an analog signal
effect. They do not get amplified, when the volume is increased, or the
Intellivolume is changed. I do not hear the same effect on other sources.
Only iRadio. I also do not hear the same effect, when playing music via DLNA server,
which should use the same digital to analog conversion channel as iRadio. This
leads me to believe that the problem is coming from lost/incorrect packets or bugs
in the iRadio buffering/rendering/filtering. Certain bit rates seem to be worse than
others. Using VTuner, I hear more pops when the station is outputting 64Kbps, 16 bit,
22.05KHz. I do not hear as much, when the station is outputting 128Kbps, 16 bit,
44.1KHz. However it can get very noticeable, even at 128Kbps, during certain songs.
Especially light percussion solos etc. The effect reminds me of listening to a turntable
on a slightly torn speaker. It does well, except during certain segments, that
aggravate the tear. Dust on the record provides the random pop. To test where
the problem lies, we would need to try feeding the source in from a PC or media
streamer. If a PC can render the the music, without pops, then it is not likely a
packet issue. I am still puzzled by the pops not being amplified. This might
suggest the pops are null gaps in the rendering, or some sort of coupling between
the preamp and amplifier stages, post amplification. Hooking a separate amp to
the preamp outputs might shed some light there.
On a side note, for those who are researching the 270, this is not a huge problem.
iRadio sounds pretty darn good, even with the occasional imperfection. Much better
than old school FM. It could just use a bit more attention, on Onkyo's part, to make
it "silky smooth" ...