Deezer HiFi to Apple Music dilemma with Pioneer AVR


Standard Member
I’m considering switching from Deezer HiFi to Apple Music. This is mainly because I have a Pioneer DDJ-200 DJ controller which is compatible with Apple Music but connecting any other steaming service seems problematic due to requiring additional DJ software subscriptions, which I’m trying to avoid as it is something only used occasionally for fun. Another bugbear is that since the iOS15 update Deezer doesn’t work with CarPlay and it looks like a fix may take some time.

I have an Apple Music trial running currently and my dilemma is that it sounds noticeably worse than Deezer through my Pioneer LX701’s built in Deezer app. I’m listening through KEF Q9 speakers and a BK Electronics XXLS400 sub and have the Apple Lossless/Hi-Res settings enabled. I’ve tried over Airplay although after much research on these forums appreciate the limitations this method brings. I also have a cheap Amazon ESR USB-C to 3.5mm adapter and an Apple USB-C to 3.5mm adapter either of which I use to connect my iPad air/DJ controller to the receiver via an RCA-to 3.5mm lead into the receivers ‘CD’ input, these also don’t sound great.

I understand Apple TV could be an option but comes with limitations and I didn’t really want to go down this route anyhow.

I’m considering buying a better DAC like a Drangonfly Black or Cyrus Soundkey but am concerned that this won’t sound any better than the setup I have currently. I also wondered if it would be better to get something like a Nobsound Douk Audio U2 as it utilises a digital coax or optical connection to the receiver as opposed to an RCA?

The system doesn’t get used an awful amount for music so I don’t want to spend a fortune although I’m struggling to accept making the subscription move for convenience at the expense of a noticeable decrease in quality on my main system.

Any opinions as to whether a better DAC would be worth the purchase greatly appreciated.

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