Answered Tidal - Chromecast Audio Digital Out

Discussion in 'Music Streamers' started by G7000, Nov 29, 2017.

  1. G7000

    G7000
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    Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone has had any experience in setting up a Chromecast Audio with their Hi-Fi system via the digital out and noticed a drop in sound quality?

    • Spotify (320KB) on a Windows 10 PC
    • PC connected to Chord Mojo DAC connect via USB
    • Chord Mojo DAC connected to Denon amp via RCA interconnects
    • Denon amp connected to Tannoy speakers

    The sound on this configuration sounds good. I thought I might improve the sound by using Tidal CD quality streams to a Chromecast. I came up with this method instead of running the Tidal application the Windows PC as I can't control the Tidal app on the PC via my mobile like I can with the Spotify app using Spotify Connect (the PC is a headless unit).

    With this in mind I did this:

    • Samsung Galaxy S6 running Tidal
    • Chromecast connected to Chord Mojo DAC via optical cable
    • Chord Mojo DAC connected to Denon amp via RCA interconnects
    • Denon amp connected to Tannoy speakers

    ...but for some reason the sound quality sounds flat and I can't understand why? It's defiantly a downgrade in performance compared to the Spotify setup which I didn't anticipate considering the lower bit rate and the same DAC is doing the processing.

    Some things I have done.

    • Checked Tidal is running at Hi-Fi quality
    • Checked the Chromecast if running in 'Full Dynamic Range'

    I have noticed that even when running via the optical out on the Chromecast the Google home application allows you to change the treble/bass as well as the volume level on the unit which make me think that the Chromecast is manipulating the digital signal presented to it from Tidal.

    Seems odd that the digital out would affect the sound quality in a detrimental way?

    Does anyone have any advice to offer? Maybe I should wait for Spotify to come up with it's CD quality service instead :) ?
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #4 by Cebolla, Nov 29, 2017 (1 points)
  3. drdocmatt

    drdocmatt
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    How did you send the audio to the Chromecast? If you are "casting" the audio from your phone it will be recompressed on the fly.
     
  4. G7000

    G7000
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    Thanks for the reply - In the Tidal app for Android there is a button in the bottom left (a circle with an arrow through it) which I click, I can then select the Chromecast and the music starts playing through the amp. Is this the correct way to do it?
     
  5. Cebolla

    Cebolla
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    Best Answer
    Getting the Chromecast Audio to stream a capture of the phone's own audio output would normally need you to use the Google Home app and engage its Cast Screen/Audio function.

    What you are describing isn't that and is the standard way of connecting the Chromecast Audio to stream the actual audio file tracks themselves, directly from TIDAL's online server. However, that still doesn't mean that your Chromecast Audio is streaming the lossless CD quality FLAC tracks. Who knows what you are streaming using TIDAL's own app for control?

    I'd be more inclined to trust a decent third party controller that supports TIDAL HiFi access and Chromecast devices, like the excellent BubbleUPnP Android app, which reports precisely what audio file type and resolution it is getting the streamer to play.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  6. G7000

    G7000
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    Thanks Cebolla.

    I took your advice and boutgh BubbleUPnp for Andriod, installed the server on my PC, installed Foobar with the UPnP extension. I can now run Tidal via the BubbleUPnP app and it sounds amazing! Night a day difference from the Chromecast method I was using.

    Also, I can see that Foobar is rendering the stream at the correct resolution.

    Thanks for your help!
     

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