Chromecast audio - can anyone comment on sound quality?
Jul 25, 2016 at 6:27 AM Post #211 of 538

Ggroch

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I found that article too after audiojun's initial remark.  He does say it is at least 70DB below the signal and should be inaudible.  What is and is not inaudible varies by individual I am sure.  The article is great, well worth reading and the author is very impressed by the bit-perfect performance of this cheap device. 
 
Stutter Anyone? 
 
I have another problem that is definitely audible, Played through toslink and my Yulong D200 DAC I am now getting stutter (not jitter) after about 3 minutes of use.   The stutter is brief pauses (maybe 1/4 second) where the DAC loses the 44K signal (the LCD and input lights briefly dim and sound stops for just a bit).  This may happen twice in about 4 seconds....and then again a couple of minutes later. 
 
I have tried 2 different CAs (same problem). The Yulong play other sources (Optical from my soundblaster and USB) just fine.  Anyone have Stutter?   I have only noticed this since the last firmware update.  I am hoping the Yulong is not bad, cause its supposed to be under warranty but I would have to ship it to China. 
 
I do not hear the problem through the other DAC I have tried.  Just the Yulong. 
 
Jul 25, 2016 at 1:16 PM Post #212 of 538

markbrauer

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  I get tons of jitter from chromecast. So sound quality is meh. But it sure is cheap though.

I can't say whether it's jitter or not, but I get a big improvement in sound quality with battery power. My son loaned me one of those USB battery packs to charge my smartphone on a trip. When back at home I thought "why not try it with the Chromecast". It really does sound better - everything is smoother and more controlled. Dynamics seem better too. I went out and bought a 12,000 mAh model on sale for $20 and based on the built-in charge monitor it is good for about 40 hours of streaming between charges. I do need to unplug it when not playing music as the Chromecast seems to draw the same amount whether streaming or not.
 
Jul 25, 2016 at 2:24 PM Post #213 of 538

audiojun

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For everday normal use for normal people the jitter won't matter much, but for the audiophile it matters a lot. But for $35 it sure is great at the price point.
 
Jul 26, 2016 at 10:18 AM Post #215 of 538

audiojun

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No, measuring jitter properly requires $100,000 lab equipment. Most manufactors don't even report jitter numbers.

By ear the chromecast audio was tied for the most jittery source with my motherboard s/pdif optical output. (drop outs make chromecast less reliable than an computer optical connection, but even the computer is prone to drop outs. Coaxial is just about always better than optical if you ever had a choice of inputs.)

Then the m2tech USB interface on my DAC is leagues better than it, (like way better).

Then followed by a uptone regen USB reclocked into that m2tech USB interface that further reduces the jitter.

Lastly mutec 1.2 usb s/pdif convertor was the best source I have tried.

Reducing jitter makes things clear, the background is blacker, the edges are sharper. There is a haze with chromecast that is very noticable when I switch my source from my USB regened input to chromecast optical.

Chromecast is useful to get audio out over WiFi, but I wouldn't use it for high end audio.
 
Jul 26, 2016 at 4:13 PM Post #216 of 538

reginalb

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For what it's worth, I just use the analog output, with the supplied 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable on one, a monoprice 3.5mm to RCA, and a Sony speaker with Google Cast built in, and none of the 3 have audible jitter. 
 
If you're curious what jitter sounds like, here you go: http://www.sereneaudio.com/blog/what-does-jitter-sound-like
 
I haven't tried the optical output, so I can't comment on that, just the analog.
 
Also, I use Play Music All Access. While my library is actually available to my Plex server, I've never actually played my library that way through the CC audio. I have also used Apple Music, Tidal, and Deezer through it. And at some point will be trying Spotify (going to write up a comparison).
 
So with my far different playback system, there isn't audible jitter. 
 
Aug 1, 2016 at 12:19 AM Post #218 of 538

REXNFX

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  You get a sort of haze, reminds me of a time when usb to spdif convertors where schiit. If you want to listen to jitter just listen to chromecast audio vs not using chromecast audio.
 
edit quick google search found this.
http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio_27.html

Archimago says he hears no difference between USB>DAC and CCA>DAC. I think your findings are either due to using a poor Toslink cable or your DAC has a poor Toslink input. Try the CCA with a battery pack and use the analog out, I think you'll be surprised at the SQ.
 
Aug 11, 2016 at 8:45 AM Post #219 of 538

stouf78

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  I found that article too after audiojun's initial remark.  He does say it is at least 70DB below the signal and should be inaudible.  What is and is not inaudible varies by individual I am sure.  The article is great, well worth reading and the author is very impressed by the bit-perfect performance of this cheap device. 
 
Stutter Anyone? 
 
I have another problem that is definitely audible, Played through toslink and my Yulong D200 DAC I am now getting stutter (not jitter) after about 3 minutes of use.   The stutter is brief pauses (maybe 1/4 second) where the DAC loses the 44K signal (the LCD and input lights briefly dim and sound stops for just a bit).  This may happen twice in about 4 seconds....and then again a couple of minutes later. 
 
I have tried 2 different CAs (same problem). The Yulong play other sources (Optical from my soundblaster and USB) just fine.  Anyone have Stutter?   I have only noticed this since the last firmware update.  I am hoping the Yulong is not bad, cause its supposed to be under warranty but I would have to ship it to China. 
 
I do not hear the problem through the other DAC I have tried.  Just the Yulong. 

Hi,
 
Got the same issue since the last update. My problem is with an Audio GD DAC with ES9018 chip. I contacted Google about that on their forum, they seemed very awake at the beginning then nothing changed.
So, I replaced my Chromecast Audio by a Sonos Connect, and no more issue.
 
Aug 11, 2016 at 8:52 AM Post #220 of 538

Ggroch

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  Got the same issue since the last update. My problem is with an Audio GD DAC with ES9018 chip. I contacted Google about that on their forum, they seemed very awake at the beginning then nothing changed.
So, I replaced my Chromecast Audio by a Sonos Connect, and no more issue.

 
Thank you very much for taking the time to reply   My Yulong uses an ES9016 chip so it is possible the programming and stutter issues are similar.  I have other DACs with no problem.  Knowing others have the issue means I do not have to worry about sending the Yulong back to China for repair.   I will stick with Chromecast for now because of the price difference, but will provide input on the forums on this issue. 
 
Aug 11, 2016 at 11:43 AM Post #221 of 538

stouf78

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Hi,
 
The forum is here for that :)
I thought too my DAC had an issue, especially when I tested the Chromecast simultaneously plugged to a Cambridge DAC Magic who didn't dropped at all.
 
Here is the link of the thread on the Chromecast forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/?hl=fr-CA#!topic/chromecast/rHtqtn08RpI;context-place=topicsearchin/chromecast/ess9018
 
Aug 11, 2016 at 8:44 PM Post #222 of 538

Ggroch

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Thanks for the link. I see the last posting was June 1 and there has been at least 1 firmware update since then.  So I have rehooked the Yulong and will test it with the newest firmware so I will have something to contribute to the thread. 
 
Aug 28, 2016 at 2:21 AM Post #224 of 538

Simon Morris

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Anything encountering a similar issue to me?
 
I'm playing FLAC 96/24 from my PC via Foobar and Bubble uPnP to my CCA and using my Fiio E17 as DAC/AMP
 
CCA->E17 via analogue sounds great
CCA->E17 via optical is noisy as hell - clicks, hiss, audio cutouts - virtually unlistenable
 
but CCA->E17 via optical 48/16 playing playing 320kbps MP3 or M4A sounds great
 
I've tried listening to the FLAC 96/24 files PC->E17 via USB - the occasional stutter, can even manage to downsample 192/24 FLAC sample files pretty well with only occasional stutter
 
Oct 13, 2016 at 10:54 PM Post #225 of 538

RobertUSA

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CCA sound quality is quite acceptable.
 
I use CCA optical and/or analog output for driving AV, HiFi, and Cambridge Audio radios - whole house simulcast sound managed by Chromecast Groups.

I use a separate CCA for "roaming" use, plugging into headphones (Philips SHP9500) or earbuds and the analog power is substantially more powerful and cleaner than what is available on my phone or tablet. When "roaming" I either plug in using the a USB charger, a power brick, or laptop/netbook usb port.

If you are really getting into digital audio on-the-cheap the $30 CCA and existing earbuds/headphones will suffice. Of course, SHP9500's, SR850's, HD681's, or other modestly priced headphones might be a step up if you are using inexpensive earbuds

Really, you are getting better dynamic range, lower distortion, and higher volume compared to your smartphone/tablet. And by auditioning and upgrading headphones, you may get the a very good improvement in sound for $30 plus the cost of headphones.

Not bad for an introduction to digital streaming, without purchasing more expensive digital components.

In fact, you might only own a smartphone and simply add Chromecast Audio and a decent set of headphones and have a great digital audio experience for $100 :)
 

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