Marantz NA6006, questions on spotify and tidal

ASCA81

Novice Member
Dear All,


I am new to the forum, You seem to be very expert and I am sure to get proper answer to these tricky topics :)

I would like to share with You some questions on my recent purchase: Marantz NA6006 streamer.
I matched it with a Marantz PM6005 and two System Audio SAXO30 floorstand speakers and I also download HEOS app on my iPhone 7.
I have some questions about the audio qualities when using Spotify or TIDAL.

As far as I know Spotify allows you to select the music quality levels when you use it from your phone.
When clicking on Spotify from the HEOS app music sources it simply redirects you to the spotify application.
From there I'm allowed to play music on the Marantz by using Spotify connect.
In such condition I have no idea of what kind of quality level is applicable to the reproduced audio.
Is the audio taken straight from Spotify servers at the highest quality available (in this case do you know the audio quality) OR is it transmitted via airplay from my iphone towards the Marantz (in this case I think that this is a downgraded quality)?

For TIDAL the thing is a little bit different. When I select TIDAL from music sources of HEOS app it opens an internal menu which seems that allows to select TIDAL music within HEOS App.
In this condition same question applies: do you know what quality applies to reproduced audio?

If I open the TIDAL app it allows me to select the MARANTZ NA6006 from airplay available devices, anyhow after that it allows me to select the audio quality from the app (HIFI, MASTER etc).
In such case it is not clear to me whether MARANTZ gets the music straight from TIDAL servers or music is streamed via airplay from iphone towards MARANTZ.


I hope that I’ve been clear enough in my questions, please let me know!

Thanks
 

Cebolla

Member
Spotify Connect supporting devices always stream the audio file tracks directly from Spotify's online server and at the highest quality available for the Spotify account plan that you are on, regardless of the quality setting selected on the Spotify app used to start the playback on the device via Spotify Connect:
Spotify Free - 'High quality' lossy Ogg Vorbis audio at 160 kbps;
Spotify Premium - 'Very high quality' lossy Ogg Vorbis audio at 320 kbps.
Audio quality - Spotify

Using AirPlay on your iPhone with the Spotify app is not actually using Spotify Connect and would get the NA6006 to stream the audio via your iPhone, so not directly from Spotify's online server. Be careful not to confuse the two completely different network audio streaming methods & select the wrong one by mistake, as your Marantz supports both (so will appear as both an AirPlay device & a Spotify Connect device).


Similarly, using AirPlay on your iPhone with the TIDAL app would get the NA6006 to stream the audio via your iPhone and therefore not directly from TIDAL's online server.

TIDAL very recently (last month) introduced TIDAL Connect, equivalent to Spotify Connect in getting the supporting device to stream the audio directly from the music service's online server, but as far as I'm aware Marantz/Denon HEOS devices as yet don't support this feature.
So the only way of currently getting HEOS devices to stream directly from TIDAL's online server is either via the HEOS app or a UPnP/DLNA controller app that supports TIDAL (eg mconnect Player, free Lite version available for testing).

BTW, the HEOS & TIDAL supporting UPnP/DLNA controller apps are totally independent of TIDAL's own app (the TIDAL app doesn't need to be installed on your iPhone). So the audio quality setting of the TIDAL app has absolutely nothing to do with those apps:
  • The HEOS app automatically sets the audio quality depending on your TIDAL subscription. So, either 'HiFi' quality lossless FLAC audio at CD-res 16-bit/44.1kHz (~700kbps) on a HiFi subscription, or 'High' quality lossy AAC audio at 320 kbps on a Premium subscription (see HEOS™ by Denon - TIDAL);
  • TIDAL supporting UPnP/DLNA controller apps have a TIDAL stream quality setting, so similar to the official TIDAL app.
 
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ASCA81

Novice Member
Dear Cebolla,

thanks for your answer.
In regard to Spotify I took a quick test on my phone.
When Spotify app is open you can select MARANTZ as audio output in two manners: one is enabling it from spotify connect by clicking the little loudspeaker and then select the MARANTZ device.
The other option is select Airplay and then select MARANTZ device.
In spotify connect case, to be fully sure that my Marantz was streaming from spotify server I run the following test: I started the track from my phone and then turned off the phone.
The track playing was not interrupted. Moreover I can confirm that while playing music from MARANTZ under spotify connect the audio quality cannot be modified and it is 320 kpbs as you said.
Then I started streaming a track via airplay from my phone, when phone has been turned off the track stopped (as the source was no longer transmitting).
By the way I can assure that the audio quality between spotify connect and spotify via airplay is absolutely different (in other words audio via airplay sucks).

In regard to TIDAL I did the same test.
If I start to play a track from TIDAL within the HEOS app and then turn off the phone the track goes on, therefore the data are taken straight from TIDAL server.
Then i ran TIDAL iphone app, from there it is only possible to select the MARANTZ via airplay. I run the same as before and after turning off the phone the track stops.
My very last question is: do you know the audio quality for TIDAL (under HEOS app of course)?

The very last decision I need to take is whether to mantain my spotify premium account (320 kbps) or move to TIDAL (do you know the quality?).
I tried to play a song first via spotify connect and then via TIDAL (within HEOS app) and to be honest I don't hear any difference.

thanks for your support
 

ASCA81

Novice Member
After looking very quickly on the web I found out that when TIDAL is run under HEOS app the audio quality is the following:
  • for TIDAL HiFi subscription the audio quality is FLAC Lossless 16 bit/44,1kHz
  • for TIDAL Premium is AAC 320kbps.

I am having the trial period for TIDAL Hi-Fi but as said before I don't find any tangible difference from TIDAL FLAC audio and Spotify 320kbps.
What is your opinion on that?
 

Cebolla

Member
Yes, sorry you probably missed reading the audio quality for TIDAL, as I edited my post a few minutes ago to add it before seeing your latest posts!

TIDAL HiFi is lossless CD resolution audio; Spotify 320kbps is lossy audio but very near CD quality - only your ears will know if there's a difference :).
 

Cebolla

Member
I should add that TIDAL also rather complicates things with its higher than CD resolution but lossy MQA 'Masters' encoded audio file track streams, which HEOS devices don't currently support - requires an MQA Ltd licensed MQA decoder.

Notice the HEOS app is fixed to get the device to stream 'HiFi quality', ie, lossless CD-res tracks on a TIDAL HiFi account, so has no access to the 'Masters' quality lossy hi-res MQA tracks.
 

ASCA81

Novice Member
Thank you my friend.
As told before I actually cannot hear any difference in my setup (Marantz NA6006 streamer, AMP Marantz PM6005 and two System Audio SAXO30) between TIDAL FLAC and Spotify 320 kbps.
My setup is an entry level but I think it is pretty decent, so the very last question is:
does it really make sense to pay the HI-FI subscription for TIDAL (20 Euros here in Italy) even if with a decent setup there is no difference?
I would be interested in knowing your opinions on that.

thanks
 

Cebolla

Member
TBH, I believe you've already answered your own question given that you cannot hear a difference.

Also, bear in mind with some of the TIDAL supposed lossless CD-res tracks, you may actually be getting the lossy MQA-CD abominations to compare with Spotify, instead of the original CD versions. TIDAL replaced many of its CDs from the Warner Music catalogue, following a recent expansion of their audio streams supplied encoded in MQA (eg Pink Floyd's albums are all now MQA encoded even the CD-res ones - not just the hi-res ones).

Unlike TIDAL, Qobuz's tracks are all lossless, you don't require special licensed decoder hardware/software for hi-res and costs less at 15 euros/month. The mconnect Player Lite app also supports Qobuz and you should be able to use it with your Marantz.
 
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haltny

Active Member
TBH, I believe you've already answered your own question given that you cannot hear a difference.

Also, bear in mind with some of the TIDAL supposed lossless CD-res tracks, you may actually be getting the lossy MQA-CD abominations to compare with Spotify, instead of the original CD versions. TIDAL replaced many of its CDs from the Warner Music catalogue, following a recent expansion of their audio streams supplied encoded in MQA (eg Pink Floyd's albums are all now MQA encoded even the CD-res ones - not just the hi-res ones).

Unlike TIDAL, Qobuz's tracks are all lossless, you don't require special licensed decoder hardware/software for hi-res and costs less at 15 euros/month. The mconnect Player Lite app also supports Qobuz and you should be able to use it with your Marantz.

Hi Cebolla,

I hope this thread is still monitored.

I currently use a USB cable direct to my amp to stream Quobuz as my amp has a decent built in DAC but the wire can be irritating so I was thinking about adding a streamer. I had a Cambridge Audio 851N, which I have just sold, which I experimented with, but I could for the life of me not get Quobuz to work with Stream Magic through their app. As that is now sold, I am now looking to get a slightly more budget streamer.

There is someone selling a Marantz NA6006 which I am interested in. I use Quobuz and I was trying to find out if it would work with the Marantz as the guy selling didn't seem to think it was compatible. Please could you elaborate on the mconnect player lite application. Have you used it with quobuz, is it any good? Ideally I would like something that works seamlessly not full of irritating bugs and glitches.

Thanks
 

DannyNoonan

Novice Member
Hi - I'm new to the forum and just got a Marantz PM7000N and B&W 700 series speakers. Kind of a "beginner audiophile" setup that I like. Like others here I'm experimenting with Spotify Connect and Tidal/HEOS, trying to see if I can hear a difference. I'm not sure I can. The HEOS app is a little clunky but I "feel" like I'm getting better quality in general on Tidal vs Spotify. Is that objectively true in my case, or is beauty in the ear of the beholder? Like I feel like I'll listen to my mixes on Spotify, but if I want a higher audio "album" experience, it's HEOS/Tidal. Agree/Disagree?

Finally, how do albums compare, in my setup? I have a ProJect Essential III through the Marantz.

THANKS!

Matt
 

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