Chromecast audio - can anyone comment on sound quality?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by peddler, Oct 3, 2015.
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  1. rkw
    A CCA will work fine, but just don't expect it to make an improvement over Bluetooth in a car. Even if you have a high end car stereo, the environment noise and poor acoustics will completely overwhelm any differences. As for cost, there are inexpensive (less than $30) aptX and even aptX HD receivers (check Amazon).
  2. Ggroch
    It may work less well. "Compression" in car audio (meaning in this case dynamic compression) is a good thing. Experiencing the full dynamic range of live music in a car ranges from inaudible ( low levels masked by road noise) to dangerous (high levels masking sirens). No reason not to try it, and you can choose to limit dynamic range in the chromecast settings if you are using the analog outputs.
  3. Baroninkjet
    By compression, I meant how BT (even aptx HD) compresses file size 4:1 to send, then expands it after received.
  4. Ggroch
    I understood that. I was making a parallel point using the same term a different way and perhaps trying to be too clever.

    I concur with those who have said that the effects of data compression while audible in a home environment should not impact the quality of the mobile audio experience, unless the vehicle is parked with the engine off in a quiet place.

    However, it sounds like it would not be too expensive or time consuming to try it out. I would be interested to hear what you discover.
  5. gibby
    1202172115a~2.jpg 1202172115~2.jpg 1202172116~2.jpg I'm happy with this setup. Sounds great. Using Plex.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  6. Hikoki
    I haven't tried going all the way to 6db, but I am extremely excited about this new feature ( it's been a long time coming) which finally gives me enough bass for my DT880 600ohm. I actually find the bass rather good, definitely not distorted in my setup and on my phones.
  7. MBit
    What's your source? I used Spotify Premium for my first test. Doing it again with Tidal Hifi seems different though - a bit muffled at +6db but not much distortion if any. So the CCA EQ might make compressed material sound worse...
    And would you also agree with Ggroch on an increase in mid-bass on your setup?
  8. Hikoki
    Hi. I am using Spotify Premium mostly, but stream also flac music off my server. I might have done the testing using uncompressed music, don't remember, really, so you might be right. As for the mid-bass increase, I might not be that much of a discerning listener, or it might be the rather bass shy DT880, but I just appreciate the overall warmness and fullness of the lower register as such that I can't really tell exactly. But maybe, because the mid-bass is what the DT880 600ohm lack a great deal , they do benefit from the increase in this area more than other phones and, as a result, improve the overall SQ in the bass register. So yes, Ggroch might be right. But it's not a big deal for me, anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  9. jgazal
    Sorry to make such a noob questions.
    I have an old dac that only converts LCPM to analog.
    I want to use Spotify.
    Would CCA transcode AAC from Spotify to LCPM that my dac understand?
    If not, is there any device besides a computer that does that in real time? For instance, a blue ray player?
    Do I really need to buy a new DAC that accepts AAC?
  10. gibby
    Do you have a CCA now? Spotify see's my CCA on my network and asks to stream to it. Have you connected a CCA to your DAC yet? If it works with CCA alone, it should work with Spotify.
  11. jgazal
    I don’t have cca yet.
    I read cca can cast LPCM files from a local library.
    If cca keeps the AAC code in the toslink output then my DAC won’t decode it.
    I cannot find this spec anywhere.
    Perhaps is better to buy it anyway...
  12. Baroninkjet
    I'm dumbfounded that nobody has done a quality add-on Spotify Connect receiver yet. I have had a Yamaha receiver with it built in for years now -- would be better for 44.1 than Goog-A.
  13. Ggroch
    Chromecast Audio's Digital Output is LPCM, not AAC, and should work with any DAC. I have not heard of a DAC that it was not compatible with as long as it has an Optical Toslink Input.

    Coincidentally I had a conversation today with the owner/founder of a company that makes Wi-Fi Speakers that have the DTS Play-Fi System ( a CCA competitor) built in. He told me that whether you are using a Play-Fi compatible product, or an Amazon Echo Product, or CCA, they all use the same Spotify Connect system, not their own systems, when playing Spotify. That is why you do not have to fire up the Play-Fi App, or Google Home, or the Alexa App to play Spotify on your wireless speakers. Just fire up the Spotify App and you see the speakers under available devices. The Google Home/Alexa/Play-Fi Software literally just kicks you over to the Spotify System. (I think Sonos may work differently and have more total integration, but the others don't).

    SO, there would be little purpose to creating a Spotify ONLY add-on receiver when these other systems all do the same thing...but with the benefits of additional streaming sources. I own several speakers that use the Linkplay (also called Audiocast) system, and some of their Add on receivers have, like Chromecast, Optical Digital Outputs. The limitation is that the Spotify system is not designed to be super high resolution (like say DSD), but rather universally compatible. So, I am not sure there would be a sonic benefit to creating a $500 audiophile Spotify add on, when the signal itself is so limited.

    That said, there are $500 "Audiophile" Bluetooth only receivers. IMHO that's ridiculous, no matter how great the receiver is, Bluetooth signals (at least until the new Bluetooth formats released in the last year or so) have been so compressed it could not possibly sound as good as a $35 CCA. Same reason you do not see to many Audiophile AM radios. The limitation is the signal, not the decoding receiver.
    jgazal likes this.
  14. rkw
    What do you mean by a quality add-on Spotify Connect receiver? There are many multi-function streamer products that support Spotify Connect, and they are available at all levels up to high end. Some are listed here. Nobody is interested in making a receiver that is only for Spotify Connect. Also, I didn't understand what you meant by "would be better for 44.1 than Goog-A".
  15. Baroninkjet
    That is fascinating, and it makes perfect sense since they do pretty much the same thing.

    I'm curious how the 44.1/48k gets handled. Isn't Chromecast Audio 48k only?

    A big disadvantage of Chromecast is Google restrictions on using it in a car setting with a phone hotspot. I read someplace that an update had broken this unofficial functionality, and have yet to find anyone who is still using it currently. I have some free Google $$ to spend, might buy one to see.
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