Chromecast audio - can anyone comment on sound quality?
Jun 12, 2016 at 4:51 PM Post #182 of 538

markbrauer

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Just used the Android app to access device settings for my Chromecast Audio and notice they have changed the name of the dynamic range setting from "High Dynamic Range" to "Full Dynamic Range". I haven't noticed any change in sound quality but this new name should cause less confusion about the effect this option is intended to have.
 
Jun 14, 2016 at 2:02 AM Post #183 of 538

slex

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Hi, has anyone compare sound quality of the digital out against ipad 4 which i believe will output default 16bit/44.1khz against 24bit/96khz of this chromecast audio?
 
Jun 21, 2016 at 10:05 AM Post #184 of 538

buchignani

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I've had one of these tiny things for just 24 hours but have to say that I am astonished at its capabilities.
 
Because my chief intended use for it is to drive a very good headphone amp in a location away from my main setup I did however immediately come across one issue: no equalization. Ditto other DSP effects.
 
As of yet, I can't seem to find any Android apps that can 'cast' local music files with equalization. The equalizers packaged into those players that are chromecast ready do not seem to work when casting. Neither do the so-called universal equalizers that I have tried that are intended to affect the audio of the whole android platform.  This holds true even for playing files located right on the same device. This sucks.
 
People seem to have been complaining to Google about this far before the Chromecast Audio version came out, obviously to no effect.
 
To me, this is a serious issue. We all know how dramatically different the sound of different headphones are, and I have grown accustomed to developing an equalization for each of those I use.
 
Does anyone out there have a solution? As I said, I am only 24 hours into this world and may have missed something.
 
Jun 21, 2016 at 7:49 PM Post #185 of 538

yay101

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I've had one of these tiny things for just 24 hours but have to say that I am astonished at its capabilities.

Because my chief intended use for it is to drive a very good headphone amp in a location away from my main setup I did however immediately come across one issue: no equalization. Ditto other DSP effects.

As of yet, I can't seem to find any Android apps that can 'cast' local music files with equalization. The equalizers packaged into those players that are chromecast ready do not seem to work when casting. Neither do the so-called universal equalizers that I have tried that are intended to affect the audio of the whole android platform.  This holds true even for playing files located right on the same device. This sucks.

People seem to have been complaining to Google about this far before the Chromecast Audio version came out, obviously to no effect.

To me, this is a serious issue. We all know how dramatically different the sound of different headphones are, and I have grown accustomed to developing an equalization for each of those I use.

Does anyone out there have a solution? As I said, I am only 24 hours into this world and may have missed something.


System casting will allow you DSP. It will also limit you to your OEMS bitdepth:rate and drain your battery and may sound worse. There is no equalisation because when you cast a file that isn't local the Chromecast plays from the source, not from your phone just like upnp. In theory a developer could make their app do DSP then cast "locally" but it will just destroy your battery life for the gain of DSP.

Just a FYI, google could implement DSP on the Chromecast if they wanted, alsa has a whole chain of DSP options but since 99% of users won't use them I wouldn't count on them being added.
 
Jun 22, 2016 at 10:16 AM Post #186 of 538

buchignani

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System casting will allow you DSP. It will also limit you to your OEMS bitdepth:rate and drain your battery and may sound worse. There is no equalisation because when you cast a file that isn't local the Chromecast plays from the source, not from your phone just like upnp. In theory a developer could make their app do DSP then cast "locally" but it will just destroy your battery life for the gain of DSP.

Just a FYI, google could implement DSP on the Chromecast if they wanted, alsa has a whole chain of DSP options but since 99% of users won't use them I wouldn't count on them being added.

 
Thanks for the quick reply. I think I am about 80% of the way there, understanding wise.
 
I can see the issues that could arise when, like me, you are controlling the casting process on a tablet, but when the music files are elsewhere on the local system (an NAS, another computer, etc.). But I can't fully understand how there would be any issues when casting files that actually are in residence on the tablet. They after all have to be grabbed by the player and sent along by WiFi to the Chromecast Audio device  whether there is DSP added via a tablet app or not.
 
In my case I've got about 100GB of audio files on the tablet in question linked for updating to Dropbox. In my now 48 hours of Chromecast Audio experience casting maximum quality mp3 files from the tablet to the CA device works flawlessly (hint: you have to change the default mp3 settings in the Chromecast app to the maximum). It does not seem to drain the battery quickly. Certainly the battery demands are less than when playing the same files from the tablet directly into insensitive earphones. So unless I am missing something adding and equalizer to play same device files shouldn't be any burden at all.
 
Have I got something wrong here?
 
Jun 22, 2016 at 6:40 PM Post #187 of 538

yay101

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Thanks for the quick reply. I think I am about 80% of the way there, understanding wise.

I can see the issues that could arise when, like me, you are controlling the casting process on a tablet, but when the music files are elsewhere on the local system (an NAS, another computer, etc.). But I can't fully understand how there would be any issues when casting files that actually are in residence on the tablet. They after all have to be grabbed by the player and sent along by WiFi to the Chromecast Audio device  whether there is DSP added via a tablet app or not.

In my case I've got about 100GB of audio files on the tablet in question linked for updating to Dropbox. In my now 48 hours of Chromecast Audio experience casting maximum quality mp3 files from the tablet to the CA device works flawlessly (hint: you have to change the default mp3 settings in the Chromecast app to the maximum). It does not seem to drain the battery quickly. Certainly the battery demands are less than when playing the same files from the tablet directly into insensitive earphones. So unless I am missing something adding and equalizer to play same device files shouldn't be any burden at all.

Have I got something wrong here?


The problem is its not as easy. To add casting playback to a music app is as simple as copy/ pasting the api into your app and adjusting for your media type. As soon as you want to do DSP you have to manually write the library to do so yourself, and as its one area I haven't looked into android app wise I'm not even sure how easy that would be. At the very least you would need 2 different casting functions based on whether the user is using DSP or not.

Re battery draining, its relative. You are comparing local playback to local playback, there shouldn't be a big difference there. The difference is from users casting from a nas or cloud storage/ streaming service to the Chromecast. In that case the device just sends a link telling the Chromecast where to grab the data from, after that you could turn off your phone for all the Chromecast cares, its got its link. If you do DSP however even from a streaming service battery drain will be at least as bad as it is with local playback.
 
Jun 25, 2016 at 1:27 PM Post #188 of 538

markbrauer

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  As of yet, I can't seem to find any Android apps that can 'cast' local music files with equalization.... Neither do the so-called universal equalizers that I have tried that are intended to affect the audio of the whole android platform.  This holds true even for playing files located right on the same device. This sucks.
 

 
I would have replied sooner but I was out of town and I wanted to try this out to make sure it worked...
 
I use an app called Folder Player to play local music on my Android.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.folderplayer&hl=en
It has a simple built-in equalizer.
 
The app itself does not have a casting option, but Androids have "screen casting" as a native capability - the ability to cast audio (video too) directly from the Android to a Chromecast device. It seemed to me that any equalization applied in the app should be cast by this method.
 
I tried it - and it indeed works!
 
I do not have any "universal" equalizers to try but it seems they should also work using this method, as should any other local music players with equalizers. You could even just ignore the casting abilities in players for music services, apply equalization on the Android, and use screen casting instead
 
Hope this help your enjoyment of Chromecast.
 
A warning though, whenever I have used the Android to both play and cast, the battery charge drops precipitously. Best to have it on the charger. 
 
Jun 25, 2016 at 7:39 PM Post #189 of 538

MothAudio

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CCA sounds cleaner with fewer artifacts than I remember. Firmware: 1.19.62825. Anyone else notice this?
 
Jun 26, 2016 at 1:42 PM Post #190 of 538

buchignani

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The app itself does not have a casting option, but Androids have "screen casting" as a native capability - the ability to cast audio (video too) directly from the Android to a Chromecast device. It seemed to me that any equalization applied in the app should be cast by this method.
 
I tried it - and it indeed works!
 
I do not have any "universal" equalizers to try but it seems they should also work using this method, as should any other local music players with equalizers. You could even just ignore the casting abilities in players for music services, apply equalization on the Android, and use screen casting instead
 
Hope this help your enjoyment of Chromecast.
 
A warning though, whenever I have used the Android to both play and cast, the battery charge drops precipitously. Best to have it on the charger. 

Thanks for the reply. I initially was trying to avoid using the local cast option. After your post I tried local casting of local files with several non-Chromecast ready player (PowerAmp, Neutron, etc.] and it worked just fine. The internal equalizer in Neutron worked also.
 
So I am quite content just now. I have a few minor beefs--particularly that player (whether Chromecast read or not) seem to sometimes lose control over volume in Chromecast  (always available in the Chromecast app), and that calling up a music file takes a lot longer than when playing the same file without Chromecast. FYI flac files seem to play just fine. On my Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 tablet battery drain seems unimportant: about 2-4% per album equivalent of Chromecast playing of local files.
 
I have been also playing music from my PC via WiFi and Serviio and that works fine also. Next stage: trying an NAS, which  is just now coming in the post.
 
Jun 27, 2016 at 12:35 AM Post #191 of 538

yay101

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As I said previously, remember that when using screen casting you are limited to the depth:rate your OEM has set, and all music goes through the android mixer before getting cast, but if you are happy with these limitations then more power to you.
 

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