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Streaming service Embedded in software VS Airplay


Established Member
Hi Guys,

I find it hard to figure out, so looking for some thoughts...

currently streaming with a Simpel Audio roomplayer and looking for something else as of all the problems there still are with this streamer. on the SA streamer Tidal is embedded in the software.

I thought that a Arcam Airdac might be worth a shot, but as far as I know it has no native Tidal function, it can be played via Airplay.

I don't really know how to explain it right so I hope you understand me.. but when playing via Airplay, will the Iphone be the source or the Airdac? played via Airplay would it then sound the same as when the Airdac would had have Tidal in it's software?


Prominent Member
When using AirPlay, the sender (in your case the iPhone) is the source of the music. The Airdac as the receiver (or as Apple likes to call these devices, the 'AirPlay Speaker' - hate the term, BTW), just plays the streamed audio data provided by AirPlay. In fact any sound producing app on the iDevice can be used as the source with AirPlay, not just the TIDAL app.

As to whether indirectly streaming like this via AirPlay should sound the same as an application with a direct connection to the same original source, in theory yes, so long as the source resolution is no higher than normal CD quality, 16bit/44.1kHz. This is because AirPlay streams its data using the lossless ALAC music file format, at a fixed resolution of 16/44.1kHz after bit perfectly capturing the digital audio signal being produced by the source app. In practice, however some of the 'bits' can be dropped by the receiver in order to keep the the receiver in sync with the sender, eg as when lipsyncing the sound from a video being played on the iDevice.
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Established Member
Thanks for the quick feedback Cebolla!

I hope I can test the theory in practice at my dealer soon..

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