Chromecast audio - can anyone comment on sound quality?
Nov 14, 2015 at 6:42 AM Post #76 of 537

phile1

Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 9, 2013
Posts
74
Likes
20
Hi
I don't post much, but just received my CCA and hooked it up to the HiFi and really surprised at the quality and am now wondering about using it with a DAC.
How much would you have to spend on a DAC to improve the SQ? Is it good enough that you would need a fairly decent model to hear noticeable differences. I've yet to test it with my HD650s but remember that using a cable to the headamp (without a dac) sounded rather muddy.
Any thoughts/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.:)

hi brymuse,
my advise : no dac but full digital amplifier (FDA).
thus : sell your analog amp, to get some cash back.
then buy a FDA like I.AM.D v200 or stuff like that at 110usd on aliexpress.
plug your headphones on the speakers output. that's it.
then, connect your CCA on the toslink input of the FDA, since CCA has the nice feature of having a combo output analog /digital.
then : enjoy the music with large and flat audio spectrum.
Rgds
 
Nov 15, 2015 at 10:37 PM Post #77 of 537

mkozlows

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
294
Likes
85
   
Interesting. So if you've started a track using your phone, then taken a photo, done some editing, posted it to Facebook, answered a phone call, and made a new calendar entry, the hard volume controls will still be controlling the stereo? Or does the Chromecast app have to be the last app you used, so it's still "in front" as it were? ...
 
I may be wrong, but using your Chromecast means that there's no Schiit in the reproduction chain, doesn't it? You're depending on the wifi (and DAC?) in the little thumb drive, and if it uses Bluetooth it's a lossy signal, and doesn't it have to be plugged into your TV? I'm trying to control my Plex server or my iTunes server playing lossless and going through my receiver, and either using my Apple TV (in which I'm in a similar situation to you) or going from my Schiit DAC through audio cable to a motorized analogue volume control. The software I have to use to do all that doesn't seem lock-screen friendly.

 
To the first: The app you're using to play music to the Chromecast will only disappear if it's killed for memory pressure reasons. On my Nexus devices (5, 9, and 6P), I've had this happen when I've played games (which can be memory-hungry for obvious reasons), but not for other apps and not even for all games. As long as the app doing the streaming is still open, it'll appear on the lock screen and in the notification bar with playback controls.
 
To the latter: The Chromecast Audio has S/PDIF output, that can go to an external DAC (I'm using the Bifrost); there is no Bluetooth involved. You can use Plex to stream raw PCM or FLAC to the Chromecast; the one caveat is that there's a bug right now that will resample content to 48Khz regardless of its original sample rate. Google has confirmed this and says it will be fixed in an upcoming update.
 
Nov 17, 2015 at 11:35 AM Post #78 of 537

valiant66

1000+ Head-Fier
Joined
Mar 21, 2014
Posts
1,166
Likes
2,060
Location
Calgary, AB, Canada
  To the first: The app you're using to play music to the Chromecast will only disappear if it's killed for memory pressure reasons. On my Nexus devices (5, 9, and 6P), I've had this happen when I've played games (which can be memory-hungry for obvious reasons), but not for other apps and not even for all games. As long as the app doing the streaming is still open, it'll appear on the lock screen and in the notification bar with playback controls.
 
To the latter: The Chromecast Audio has S/PDIF output, that can go to an external DAC (I'm using the Bifrost); there is no Bluetooth involved. You can use Plex to stream raw PCM or FLAC to the Chromecast; the one caveat is that there's a bug right now that will resample content to 48Khz regardless of its original sample rate. Google has confirmed this and says it will be fixed in an upcoming update.

 
Thanks for the clarification. I haven't had time to try testing this on my rig yet, but I think the Apple TV similarly passes raw PCM through (in my case) the HDMI connection to the receiver, in which case I'm listening to the receiver's DAC, not the Schiit DAC. It would take a bunch of re-jigging to use the optical out and get the Schiit DAC in the loop. Right now the DAC lives in my home office - the obviously better place, since I spend a lot more time there in a day than in the living room.
 
Nov 18, 2015 at 9:06 PM Post #79 of 537

codyrigg

New Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Posts
5
Likes
0
  I'm planning to get some speakers for Christmas, and would like to add a some sort of receiver to stream music, movies, and games. 
Would I be able to use the CCA to stream all of my sound to the speakers rather than choosing what to cast? If not, can I cast youtube, netflix, itunes, foobar, and games?

Here's answering my own question in case it helps anyone. 
It looks like you can stream all of your audio to the CCA but you have to use a 3rd party tool called airparrot2. The problem being that it struggles when your computer is at full throttle. So during games, there is a lag. Itunes, would be fine though. 
For just internet, you can cast your entire chrome browser, although you can't cast netflix or youtube individually. 
 
Nov 21, 2015 at 12:27 PM Post #80 of 537

Ggroch

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Posts
772
Likes
646
hi brymuse,
my advise : no dac but full digital amplifier (FDA).
thus : sell your analog amp, to get some cash back.
then buy a FDA like I.AM.D v200 or stuff like that at 110usd on aliexpress.
plug your headphones on the speakers output. that's it.
then, connect your CCA on the toslink input of the FDA, since CCA has the nice feature of having a combo output analog /digital.
then : enjoy the music with large and flat audio spectrum.
Rgds

That I.AM.D v200 looks like a nice unit, particularly for use with speakers.  I had not seen that before.
 
The headphone jack on it is on the back and with no specifications for the headphone output listed, I would be concerned that it would not be a good match with the 300Ohm moderate efficiency HD650s.  Speaker outputs are not designed for 300 Ohms.  they might work, but would not be optimal. 
 
In my experience with the CCA, hooked to a lower priced DAC like the SMSL Sanskrit 6th Anniversary, and into my Objective 2 sounds much better than direct from the CCA audio outs into an amp or headphones.   My guess is it is not the DAC in the CCA that is the problem, but the tiny preamp/headphone amp in it.   So, my advice to brymuse is go for it.
 
When the CCA firmware updates to allow higher bitrate non-coverted digital out, the sound, and the difference with a good amp/dac, will be even greater.
 
Nov 22, 2015 at 10:34 AM Post #82 of 537

Ggroch

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Posts
772
Likes
646
Hey guys I just got this... Where can I find a 3.5mm to optical converter to use with optical speakers

And if I use 3.5mm jack will it loose audio quality compared to optical?

Its not a converter, it is just a smaller plug, everything stays optical, Plugs into the CCA headphone jack.  You lose no quality.
 
Like this one.   (the example is pretty and gold, but that makes no difference on an optical cable)
 
Nov 22, 2015 at 12:18 PM Post #84 of 537

markbrauer

Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 5, 2011
Posts
89
Likes
63
Hey guys I just got this... Where can I find a 3.5mm to optical converter to use with optical speakers

And if I use 3.5mm jack will it loose audio quality compared to optical?

I got mine at Best Buy when I purchased the Chromecast. Paid more than online but it was convenient.
 
With a 3.5mm optical adapter you lose no quality - digital data is sent directly to your DAC. If you use a 3.5mm analog output you are using the internal Chromecast DAC which may or may not be better than your external DAC. Why not try both options?
 
Nov 23, 2015 at 6:38 AM Post #85 of 537

brymuse

Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 6, 2012
Posts
53
Likes
10
Hi again.
So with regards Dac, I am now looking secondhand at a couple of possibilities, a Musical Fidelity X24K or a Benchmark Bushmaster Mk2 TC 7533. Both affordable for me. One is however, a lot older, although it was a very good model when released. Is there a comparison to be had here, or does the age rule out the Musical Fidelity?
Cheers:)
 
Nov 25, 2015 at 1:29 PM Post #87 of 537

ngsm13

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 26, 2008
Posts
112
Likes
10
Hooked up my CCA with Schiit Modi 2 Uber, LARGE improvement for my application. 
 
I'm using it to drive whole home audio currently, 12-channel amp with 6 zones throughout the house. Previously with the standard 3.5mm output, I suffered from lack of detail without High Dynamic Range turned on, and early clipping/distortion with HDR turned on. With the optical output to the Schiit DAC, it's great. More detailed, accurate reproduction with ability for full adjustment at each zone with no distortion even at high volumes. 
 
Highly recommend using with optical DAC. 
 
Nov 26, 2015 at 8:37 AM Post #88 of 537

Ggroch

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 2, 2014
Posts
772
Likes
646
If you got your $6 in Google Play credits (see below) and not used them to buy music yet, now is the time.   Google is running a 50% off any music album promo til Dec 1.  Details here:
 
https://play.google.com/store?code=50ALBUM2015

Use code: 50ALBUM2015 
 
You should be able to purchase most albums with just the credit. 
 
Quote:
  New Offer - $6 added to your Google Play account for each Chromecast Audio (and Nexus and Chromecast) you have.
 
Google has added a new offer that gives you $6 in play store credit to use on Android apps, music etc for each chromecast.  The offer says it is limited to $12 max, but I have 2 Chromecast audios and 1 Nexus player hooked up, and it worked for all three of them for $18 credit.  Purchased over a month ago, so they do not have to be new.
 
For windows desktop: you need to go to this url using the Chrome Browser (with Chromecast plugin installed): https://cast.google.com/chromecast/offers/ 
 
You should see the $6 credit offer, when you click it asks you to pick your chromecast device and then gives you credit.  If you have more than one device, go through the process for each device, picking a different one each time. 
 
 
I have not tried with an an android device, but it should work through the Chromecast app there (I think there is a special offers tab).

 
Nov 30, 2015 at 10:34 AM Post #89 of 537

SojiOkita

New Head-Fier
Joined
Nov 30, 2015
Posts
1
Likes
0
Hello everyone,
 
I'm thinking of buying a chromecast audio, mostly to get spotify on my current hi-fi system (i.e an "old" home cinema amplifier + speakers).
 
As i will use an HC amp, I can either use a Chromecast Audio (via RCA or Optical) or a Chromecast 2 (via HDMI).
Has anyone made a comparison between CCA and CC2 for audio quality?
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top