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post #1 of 9 Old 11-18-2019, 01:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi-Res Audio Streaming

Good day,

I have researched a few of the standout hi-res streaming platforms i.e. Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer HiFi, and Amazon HD. They are all offering free trials, some of which even offer a 3 month trial which is very enticing. However, there are several factors that will determine which service I will try out.

- Price
- FLAC 24-bit up to 192 kHz availability
- Device compatibility
- Music catalog
- Sound Quality

My setup is as follows.

- Receiver - Pioneer Elite VSX45 (hi-res audio functionality),Airplay.
- Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series - 5.1 Surround Sound
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- ATT Fiber (averaging 400Mbps download on most devices)
- OnePlus 7 Pro (HD playback)

Right now, I can Airplay from my Mac or iPad Pro to my Receiver but I believe Airplay is restricted to CD quality audio (16bit / 44.1kHz) and Bluetooth is much the same. The Fire TV Cube will likely output audio at 320Kbps.

I want to experience the highest available audio (24-bit up to 192 kHz) wirelessly without having to buy any additional hardwired components. Can anyone advise what I can do to achieve the best possible audio?

Thanks in advance.
Lee
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post #2 of 9 Old 11-18-2019, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeverdon View Post
I want to experience the highest available audio (24-bit up to 192 kHz) wirelessly without having to buy any additional hardwired components. Can anyone advise what I can do to achieve the best possible audio?

Thanks in advance.
Lee
Forget streaming services if you really want the best possible audio. They don't tell you the source of the audio they are sending out, most of it is probably upscaled from CD sources. Download files from any one of the available sources, buy SACD's, but blu-ray audio discs, etc. Of course you'll need a player for most of that, unless the receiver is able to playback files from network or USB.
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post #3 of 9 Old 11-18-2019, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by rdgrimes View Post
Forget streaming services if you really want the best possible audio. They don't tell you the source of the audio they are sending out, most of it is probably upscaled from CD sources. Download files from any one of the available sources, buy SACD's, but blu-ray audio discs, etc. Of course you'll need a player for most of that, unless the receiver is able to playback files from network or USB.
NEWS FLASH!

Calling all fans of high fidelity! Deezer has just taken FLAC quality sound to every device. Wherever you are, Deezer HiFi is now bringing 52 million tunes to your mobile or web.

All of Deezer’s HiFi tracks can be downloaded, so you don’t have to compromise on quality when you listen to music offline. Plug in your high fidelity headphones and you’ll also get these added features with Deezer HiFi:

- Over 52 million songs all in FLAC quality
- No adverts interrupting your tunes
- Download all tracks, playlists or mixes and listen offline
- Listen on FLAC supported devices, including Android, iOS, web & desktop
- Groundbreaking 360 Reality Audio tracks in the ‘360 by Deezer’ app

I will be trying this out now, 3 month trial period then $14.99 a month. Very reasonable.
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post #4 of 9 Old 11-19-2019, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leeverdon View Post
NEWS FLASH!

Calling all fans of high fidelity! Deezer has just taken FLAC quality sound to every device. Wherever you are, Deezer HiFi is now bringing 52 million tunes to your mobile or web.

All of Deezer’s HiFi tracks can be downloaded, so you don’t have to compromise on quality when you listen to music offline. Plug in your high fidelity headphones and you’ll also get these added features with Deezer HiFi:

- Over 52 million songs all in FLAC quality
- No adverts interrupting your tunes
- Download all tracks, playlists or mixes and listen offline
- Listen on FLAC supported devices, including Android, iOS, web & desktop
- Groundbreaking 360 Reality Audio tracks in the ‘360 by Deezer’ app

I will be trying this out now, 3 month trial period then $14.99 a month. Very reasonable.

How funny!!

What is "flac quality"? I can record my 1912 scratchy old Edison recordings using my daughters hasbro plastic microphone to my benchmark ADC set to 192khz/24 bit in flac. What is the point? Are they going to verify that ALL of these 52 million songs were originally recorded in this "quality"? Are they going to run into the same issue as Amazon that they are not making software that can play back their "quality" files?

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post #5 of 9 Old 11-19-2019, 01:51 PM
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Just goes to show that marketing works.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-26-2019, 12:05 AM
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OP, here's my experience: I subscribe to Apple Music. I stream and download music from them for about $9.99 monthly. Some of the Apple Music downloads I have compared and contrasted to stereo SACDs and 24/192 downloads from HDtracks and others of the same music and, for the most part, playing from iTunes Library to OPPO-205 usb B DAC up sampling to 24/192, I cannot distinguish the Hi-Res downloads from the AAC presentations. It all sounds great; and thus, I no longer have any interest in downloading expensive Hi-Res, and I no longer have any compulsion to subscribe to a streaming service which delivers Hi-Res. I am totally satisfied with Apple Music/iTunes for a multitude of reasons: Deluxe Library Functions, Browsing, CD Burning/Ripping, Playlists, Music Recommendations, iPhone synchronization, Airplay, Remote Control and so much more, which permits me to enjoy pretty much any music ever recorded in the history of recorded music from anywhere I might be on the Planet. At any rate, you might want to try out Apple Music and hear for yourself.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-26-2019, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by csludwig2 View Post
OP, here's my experience: I subscribe to Apple Music. I stream and download music from them for about $9.99 monthly. Some of the Apple Music downloads I have compared and contrasted to stereo SACDs and 24/192 downloads from HDtracks and others of the same music and, for the most part, playing from iTunes Library to OPPO-205 usb B DAC up sampling to 24/192, I cannot distinguish the Hi-Res downloads from the AAC presentations. It all sounds great; and thus, I no longer have any interest in downloading expensive Hi-Res, and I no longer have any compulsion to subscribe to a streaming service which delivers Hi-Res. I am totally satisfied with Apple Music/iTunes for a multitude of reasons: Deluxe Library Functions, Browsing, CD Burning/Ripping, Playlists, Music Recommendations, iPhone synchronization, Airplay, Remote Control and so much more, which permits me to enjoy pretty much any music ever recorded in the history of recorded music from anywhere I might be on the Planet. At any rate, you might want to try out Apple Music and hear for yourself.
It is almost a guarantee that the music that you are playing was never recorded in Hi-Res. This means that the "hi-res" versions that you are hearing are nothing more than the standard versions padded with lots of zeros. You cannot hear any difference because there really is none!

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Last edited by mlknez; 12-27-2019 at 10:04 PM.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-06-2020, 07:06 PM
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Question Can anyone respond to Lee's original question or my update?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leeverdon View Post
Good day,

I want to experience the highest available audio (24-bit up to 192 kHz) wirelessly without having to buy any additional hardwired components. Can anyone advise what I can do to achieve the best possible audio?

Thanks in advance.
Lee
Can anyone respond to Lee's question or my update? Lee, what have you learned since you posted?
I am looking for a similar solution. Currently I stream on Google Play music (up to 320kbps). I have listened to FLAC files and appreciate the difference in audio quality over streaming or bluetooth both of which are acceptable for things like Car Stereo or jogging with headphones. When I really sit down and listen to music, I want higher quality - at least CD quality (44.1kHz/16bit as I understand).
I recently got the Amazon HD and Deezer HiFi trial subscriptions. After comparing between the same tracks with CD, FLAC, Google, Amazon HD, Deezer, I want to stream high resolution. I find that I hear a lot of difference between Google and all the rest listed. I hear subtle differences between CD and the high res streams of Amazon and Deezer. My goal is now to get a streaming service that is capable of CD and higher quality (when it matters). See my equipment list below.
  • Pioneer LX701 receiver
  • Native Amazon, Google, Deezer, Tidal apps. Not sure if the Amazon app supports HD or how many bits. From listening, it is better than Google so I believe I might be getting CD quality.
  • - It is chromecast ready so the Google music is playing directly from WiFi and going to the DAC in the receiver (a good thing). I don't know the internals of this or how good the transfer is. It sounds better than through my Chromecast audio connected via optical.
  • Definitive Audio BP-9060 speakers (5.1.4 with all the surrounds)
  • Nvidia Shield Pro TV (2019) - Connected via HDMI to receiver. I can use the Amazon app and Deezer app here. I believe the Shield up-samples to 48kHz/16 bit from what I read. This can destroy CD quality recordings if they go from 44.1 to 48kHz from what I read.
  • Chromecast audio - Connected via optical TOS. It is likely too old to do what I want and will likely be dropped by google for support.

Here is my assessment so far between Deezer HiFi and Amazon HD:
1. I cannot find a way to stream Amazon using the Google ecosystem. That is a no-go for me as I have multiple Google speakers as is my Pioneer.
2. Deezer will integrate with Google Home - this is the reason I chose it over Tidal and Qobuz. Tidal also uses MQA which I read requires special decoding. I would rather stay with open source FLAC if possible.
3. Both sound about the same. They are both better sounding using the apps on my receiver than using apps on the Nvidia Shield. (Google sounds about the same)
4. Amazon app is easier to use on my phone. I have used it before and I am getting used to the Deezer app.
5. Deezer integrated on Google home is a bit finicky when playing songs or playlists.

At some point when I choose my next high res service, I will need to migrate my library and playlists from Google to the new service. I have 3 months trial with Amazon and Deezer so my clock is ticking to decide.

So what do you in the forum recommend for me and Lee? Any comments advice is welcomed. I am a newby to this high quality music and reading online to learn. Your comments are much appreciated.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-06-2020, 07:55 PM
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I use and like tidal. with their discount packages, its 10 bux a month or so for 2 users...I think....a deal

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