FiiO BTR5 with Apple products
Apr 2, 2020 at 4:57 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 4

pjones5

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I just got the FiiO BTR5 in the mail today - first impressions from this beginner audiophile are that it’s a powerful little guy. Unfortunately, I’m quickly realizing that it’s somewhat limited in its performance when paired with Apple products (iPhone 8 and 2017 iMac). Don’t get me wrong, it improves the sound quality considerably, but I don’t think I’m getting the full benefits.

Two of my biggest questions...
1) Is transfer rate a proper indicator for sound quality, or should I pay attention to other things? For instance (and I should have looked into this before I ordered the BTR5), iPhone bluetooth is only compatible with AAC format which has a transfer rate up to 576 kb/s (although an article at soundguys.com says its actually 250 kb/s). I’m bummed about that because that means I don’t get to enjoy LDAC with its 990 kb/s rate. If I’m running Tidal and playing a ’Master Quality’ track with a 1411 kb/s, does that mean the transfer rate is going to be bottle necked by the limited AAC codec? So I could run a file at as high a rate as I want, but it doesn’t matter if the bluetooth doesn’t support it. Right?

2) How can I reap the full benefit of the USB-DAC feature with an iMac? I plugged it in and ran the Audio MDI utility and adjusted the frequency to a 32-bit, 386 htz (which sounds like a lot). Haven’t noticed a huge difference, however, so I suspect that the BTR5 is just running the sound straight from the Mac to the amp, bypassing the better and more efficient dual DAC. What do you guys think?

Any help is greatly appreciated!
 
Apr 2, 2020 at 5:30 PM Post #2 of 4

HipHopScribe

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1. People will have different opinions on this, but high bitrate AAC should be pretty transparent. Bluetooth is lossy regardless, whether you're using LDAC or AAC or any other codec, so they all technically have some loss in quality compared to the original audio, but is that something you can actually hear in most circumstances? Is the extra bandwidth of LDAC really making a difference in what you can hear compared to AAC? If it sounds good to you, I wouldn't worry about it, AAC should be fine.

2. Again, is this really something that makes a difference? Can human ears actually hear the difference between 16-bit/44.1khz, 24/192 and 32/384? I doubt it but you'll have people who swear they can. If your BTR5 says it's running 32/384 it probably is and you can't hear the difference because there isn't one to hear.
 
Apr 3, 2020 at 10:56 PM Post #4 of 4

tmb821

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I only have a btr3, but I ran it on my iPhone XR and my Samsung tab a. AAC vs ldac, I can’t tell a difference between the two. Only difference I noticed is I can use the eq with AAC, but not with ldac, so there’s that...
 

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