Adding high quality audio streaming capabilities to my Denon X4500H and Ceol N11DAB?

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Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
I have a Denon X4500H receiver and have come to realise that the streaming capabilities (i.e. from phone or tablet) of this device are chockingly limited. Same thing goes for my brand new Denon Ceol N11DAB integrated stereo amp / streamer. Neither the Bluetooth, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect or HEOS streaming capabilities of these Denon products support high quality streaming, such as that provided by TIDAL and other HiFi-oriented streaming services. So, is there a way for me to add this capability to my system(s)? I'm looking at streamers that have all the bells and whistles in terms of streaming and audio decoding capabilities (support for TIDAL connect, Bluetooth with aptX Adaptive, MQA decoding etc.), but then I'm not sure whether or how I can connect these to my system(s) and enjoy the full quality as well as the capabilities of my system (e.g. my Audyssey room correction on my X4500H).

Some guidance would be deeply appreciated.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
I have a Denon X4500H receiver and have come to realise that the streaming capabilities (i.e. from phone or tablet) of this device are chockingly limited. Same thing goes for my brand new Denon Ceol N11DAB integrated stereo amp / streamer. Neither the Bluetooth, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect or HEOS streaming capabilities of these Denon products support high quality streaming, such as that provided by TIDAL and other HiFi-oriented streaming services. So, is there a way for me to add this capability to my system(s)? I'm looking at streamers that have all the bells and whistles in terms of streaming and audio decoding capabilities (support for TIDAL connect, Bluetooth with aptX Adaptive, MQA decoding etc.), but then I'm not sure whether or how I can connect these to my system(s) and enjoy the full quality as well as the capabilities of my system (e.g. my Audyssey room correction on my X4500H).

Some guidance would be deeply appreciated.
Yeah, but at the end of the day, can we really truly hear a difference between 192kHz/24bit vs 44kHz/16bit ? :D

I think the ORIGINAL recording/source is significantly more important than the bitrate.

There have been a few published comparisons between the different bitrates (like DTS-HD MA vs DTS) and I think they found that there wasn’t a significant difference- if different at all. I agree based on my own experience throughout the years.

What’s more important to me is consistent streaming capability of the streamer. Does it work all the time whenever I need it to work?

But for people who must have 192kHz/24bit, Yamaha MusicCast streaming is capable of 5.6 Mhz for DSD and 192kHz/24bit for WAV, FLAC when streaming from your Phone, iPad, and PC/Network to your Yamaha AVR/AVP.
 
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P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
I have a Denon X4500H receiver and have come to realise that the streaming capabilities (i.e. from phone or tablet) of this device are chockingly limited. Same thing goes for my brand new Denon Ceol N11DAB integrated stereo amp / streamer. Neither the Bluetooth, Airplay 2, Spotify Connect or HEOS streaming capabilities of these Denon products support high quality streaming, such as that provided by TIDAL and other HiFi-oriented streaming services. So, is there a way for me to add this capability to my system(s)? I'm looking at streamers that have all the bells and whistles in terms of streaming and audio decoding capabilities (support for TIDAL connect, Bluetooth with aptX Adaptive, MQA decoding etc.), but then I'm not sure whether or how I can connect these to my system(s) and enjoy the full quality as well as the capabilities of my system (e.g. my Audyssey room correction on my X4500H).

Some guidance would be deeply appreciated.
You are right, AVRs and AVPs don't offer high quality streaming capabilities regardless of the so called HEOS, Music cast of whatever the manufacturers call them. Those things are for convenience than anything else. As ADTG mentioned, it is the quality of the original contents that matters most, not bit rate and bit depth. That being said, I do find (by my own experience) while many audio contents in 16bit/44.1 kHz do have excellent recording/mastering quality, in terms of proportion (%), there seem to be more high quality recording/mastering contents in the 24bit/48 kHz, DSD 2.8 or higher, such as 24bit/352kHz and DSD256.

You can try TIDAL and/or similar services and compare for yourself if they offer free trials. If bitrates and bit depths are important to you, then you probably should try streaming from a PC desktop or laptop. If you do, then you can get the highest bit rates/depths you want whether you can hear a difference or not. I really only use PCs, windows or MacOS to stream and use smart phones only when in the car.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
There is a difference in quality among the different service apps. Many may offer up lossless and some hi-res, but that doesn’t mean it comes over very well. Sorry Deezer. Get those free trials from everybody and see what works best for you. Tidal MQA doesn’t live up to the hype and I doubt you’d hear a difference when comparing it to something over Airplay 2 which supports lossless but I believe converts everything 44.1/16.

If you want to enjoy Atmos tracks, you will need to select specific devices. If hi-res is the goal, I’d check out Qobuz. Only Yamaha supports them with their receivers using MusicCast and an external device is needed for other brand receivers. That service sounds great over anything. It doesn’t require MQA unfolding devices like Tidal or an external DAC like Apple Music for hi-res. Check out the Bluesound Node as it supports MQA if Tidal is a must. Or, as was mentioned, use a PC or Mac.
 
I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
Even if a recording is of high quality, a low bit rate stream will rob you of that quality.
Bluetooth (SBC codec, which is the one supported by Denon) = bit rates up to 345kbps (realistically 256kbps)
Spotify connect = bit rates up to 320 kbps
Etc.

To my understanding, none of the supported streaming technologies built into the Denon products support high-res audio such as that provided by Apple, Tidal etc. With regards to Apple high-res, you need a wired connection, you can't stream it via Airplay 2 from your phone or tablet without downconversion. With regards to Tidal, you either need a wireless connection that supports high-res audio (like Bluetooth with aptx HD or adaptive) or a wired connection. Hence my thread. Please correct me if I have misunderstood something.
 
L

Leemix

Audioholic General
Pretty sure i did Tidal cd quality with HEOS on my Marantz processor. I use a bluesound node usually so it was just to test. With MQA you can get less than CD quality unless the digital pre-analogue parts in the chain are MQA certified.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Yeah, but at the end of the day, can we really truly hear a difference between 192kHz/24bit vs 44kHz/16bit ? :D
Absolutely! The difference is palpable, but let me try explain this to you, but if this goes over your head please don't ask questions as I really can't dumb it down more or your system and ears are not resolving enough. Besides, I'm very busy listing to my latest cable risers where I'm experimenting with dildos.

16 bits sounds far more coarse than 24 bits. You can compare this with a sieve where the more finely masked one (24 bits) keeps more of the music than the coarse one (16 bits). By using 16 instead of 24 bits you're loosing musical bits for sure. Try it!

As for sampling frequency something similar happens in that you are loosing something vital. To again make the sieve analogy (see what I did there?) is that 192 kHz is swinging the grid so fast, compared to 44 kHz, that the musical bits have less of a chance to escape the sieve, thus more of the music is conserved. You wrote 44 kHz, but the standard is actually 44.1 kHz, which is marginally better. Recall that any increase of sampling rate is beneficial and even a minute increase of it will improve the music!

In the best of all worlds you want the highest sampling rate and bit depth you can get!

:D
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Warlord
Raspberry PI with Volumio and a good DAC HAT is all you need.

It is not plug and play, but it is not difficult to configure and step by step instructions are available online. In many ways, this is an ideal setup.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Are you questioning my audio sieve analogy? Or was it the cable risers I'm experimenting with?

What I've found with dildos is that they should be perpendicular to the flow of musical bits, but if you buy devices and cables that is really high-end the dildo can be more curvy to achieve the same effect. This is really great news of us older folks!
 
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TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Absolutely! The difference is palpable, but let me try explain this to you, but if this goes over your head please don't ask questions as I really can't dumb it down more or your system and ears are not resolving enough. Besides, I'm very busy listing to my latest cable risers where I'm experimenting with dildos.

16 bits sounds far more coarse than 24 bits. You can compare this with a sieve where the more finely masked one (24 bits) keeps more of the music than the coarse one (16 bits). By using 16 instead of 24 bits you're loosing musical bits for sure. Try it!

As for sampling frequency something similar happens in that you are loosing something vital. To again make the sieve analogy (see what I did there?) is that 192 kHz is swinging the grid so fast, compared to 44 kHz, that the musical bits have less of a chance to escape the sieve, thus more of the music is conserved. You wrote 44 kHz, but the standard is actually 44.1 kHz, which is marginally better. Recall that any increase of sampling rate is beneficial and even a minute increase of it will improve the music!

In the best of all worlds you want the highest sampling rate and bit depth you can get!

:D
Great send up Trell! Absolutely hilarious, but so true.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Even if a recording is of high quality, a low bit rate stream will rob you of that quality.
We are talking about compressed audio here I hope. If the quality of recording is good, 16bit/44.1 kHz, i.e. CD quality is good enough for probably 99% of the population.

16b/44.1 kHz does not "rob you of....." in the audio band of 20-20,000 Hz.

According to wifi:
High-resolution audio - Wikipedia

High-resolution audio (high-definition audio or HD audio) is a term for audio files with greater than 44.1 kHz sample rate or higher than 16-bit audio bit depth. It commonly refers to 96 or 192 kHz sample rates. However, there also exist 44.1 kHz/24-bit, 48 kHz/24-bit and 88.2 kHz/24-bit recordings that are labeled HD Audio.

Bluetooth (SBC codec, which is the one supported by Denon) = bit rates up to 345kbps (realistically 256kbps)
That is not correct.
Take a look of the following linked on Denon's HEOS:
HEOS | Denon

HEOS® Built-in lets you stream from the world’s leading music platforms, including Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, Napster, TuneIn, Mood Mix, and Amazon Music HD. Plus, it lets you stream in high resolution, and while that currently means anything between 16-bit/44.1kHz and 24-bit/192kHz, HEOS® Built-in is already equipped to go higher.

You should know that, as you have the X4500H right?
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
The seasoned members are making an important point here. 16/44.1 is actually perfectly adequate for most music sources. There are only a very few works that might benefit from slightly higher rates. These very high bit rates are pure audiophoolery, and a total waste of bits and streaming bandwidth.

What really matters is the care with which the original broadcast or stream is made.

I subscribe to the BPO Digital Concert Hall, and love it. They stream lossless FLAC. The quality is excellent. Their new Atmos stream has definite issues, which I will go into in another thread.

The BBC Proms 2022 are on now. We are two weeks in, it ends September 9, after 72 live concerts and available in iPlayer and BBC Sounds.

I can access via VPN. The bit rate is 320 kbs AAC. However, that stream is the best I know of, and by a significant margin. The reason is that the BBC have a century of experience behind them. The quality this year is really outstanding. I see from their site that they have now resurrected the old Decca Microphone Tree, as the principal source, with gently applied spot mics. I have always thought that Decca recodings from times past made with the Decca Tree, are among the best ever made. The bass is especially good and natural with that technique.

I find this interesting, as it may mean that the BBC are staring to experiment with Atmos. I have been reviewing research papers, and see that the Decca Tree, with mods, may well turn out to be the best choice for Atmos audio. I can see why that should be so.

It is nice to see that practice and techniques from the Golden Age of British Audio, will continue to influence audio practice for years to come.

So the quality and skill of the original engineers trumps any stream over 16/44.1
 
WookieGR

WookieGR

Full Audioholic
I did a setup and review video of the CocktailAudio X45 and it does everything I ever dreamed it would. I spent far too much time testing audio streamers and AVR's internal methods to try and get the ultimate access to full bitrate audio both via streaming and my own personal collection and I am perfectly content with the X45 as an all in one perfect HD audio device. It even records flawless 24bit 192Khz audio from records and all its inputs plus it rips audio CD's. It's a ridiculous invention and I suggest people check it out. -> CocktailAudio X45 review
 
I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
Thanks for your replies, even though they do not answer my original question.. I guess no body knows.

From your answers, it seems you do not understand my concern either. I'm not concerned about the quality of the recording. I'm pretty sure all major streaming service providers have access to the same high quality files on their end since the files are provided to them by the studios that own the rights. The issue is that different streaming providers offer different bandwidth and codecs AND that the technology (Bluetooth, Airplay etc.) that you use to transfer music from your phone or tablet to your system offers different bandwidth and encodes as well. A high quality recording can be completely destroyed if it is compressed, and compression will happen if the bandwidth of the streaming service and/or transfer technology is less than that of the recording.

We are talking about compressed audio here I hope. If the quality of recording is good, 16bit/44.1 kHz, i.e. CD quality is good enough for probably 99% of the population. 16b/44.1 kHz does not "rob you of....." in the audio band of 20-20,000 Hz.
Well, 16b/44.1 kHz = 1411.20 bit rate. Very few streaming service providers and transfer technologies support that, so compression will be applied, even if the source is of high quality.

HEOS® Built-in lets you stream from the world’s leading music platforms, including Spotify, Deezer, TIDAL, Napster, TuneIn, Mood Mix, and Amazon Music HD. Plus, it lets you stream in high resolution, and while that currently means anything between 16-bit/44.1kHz and 24-bit/192kHz, HEOS® Built-in is already equipped to go higher.
Again, just because HEOS supports CD-quality and above does not mean that you will automatically get that. It depends on the streaming service provider. If you have a 24-bit/192kHz file on your own NAS, then yes. If there is a 24-bit/192kHz file on Spotify's server, then no.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
Thanks for your replies, even though they do not answer my original question.. I guess no body knows.

From your answers, it seems you do not understand my concern either. I'm not concerned about the quality of the recording. I'm pretty sure all major streaming service providers have access to the same high quality files on their end since the files are provided to them by the studios that own the rights. The issue is that different streaming providers offer different bandwidth and codecs AND that the technology (Bluetooth, Airplay etc.) that you use to transfer music from your phone or tablet to your system offers different bandwidth and encodes as well. A high quality recording can be completely destroyed if it is compressed, and compression will happen if the bandwidth of the streaming service and/or transfer technology is less than that of the recording.



Well, 16b/44.1 kHz = 1411.20 bit rate. Very few streaming service providers and transfer technologies support that, so compression will be applied, even if the source is of high quality.



Again, just because HEOS supports CD-quality and above does not mean that you will automatically get that. It depends on the streaming service provider. If you have a 24-bit/192kHz file on your own NAS, then yes. If there is a 24-bit/192kHz file on Spotify's server, then no.
With respect, I think you might be confusing digital compression with dynamic compression. The two are totally different and have nothing to do with each other. Digital compression does not change the db difference, between loud and soft. These compressions use psychoacoustic data that has determined which bits you can throw out, without noticing. It does not alter any dynamic levels. Now codecs for doing this do vary, but most are now using the AAC codec. Numerous studies have shown that using that codec, a reducing the bit rate to 320Kbs, even the most experienced listeners can not tell the difference, even on the finest equipment. It does not ruin the recording. If some sites, also use dynamic compression I don't know, in the pop world they might, but in the classical world they do not.

Now dynamic compression, where the db. difference between loud on soft is narrowed. That does affect sound. It is used so you can cut an LP, keep it within the dynamics of FM radio, or some streamers use it to make it more suitable for play back in a car. This form of compression can be undone by an expander.

Digital compression can not be undone once done, without going back to the original source master. Sure if you have a 48Kbs stream and compress to 128Kbs, you can reprocess it to expend it to 48Kbs or higher, but it will still sound like the 128Hbs stream. High levels of digital compression can NOT be undone at the user end, no matter how much you raise the bit or sampling rate.

So if you have a high quality stream, 320Kbs AAC, and up then, what makes the difference is the quality of the original production, and not the streaming bit rate.
So in the digital domain, you are totally dependent on the stream leaving the provider's server, and there is nothing you, or any piece of equipment, can do to change the situation. The only thing you can do is change the numbers upwards, but that is a complete waste of time and just wastes resources, for zero change in quality.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Thanks for your replies, even though they do not answer my original question.. I guess no body knows.
Isn't your original question the following?

So, is there a way for me to add this capability to my system(s)? I'm looking at streamers that have all the bells and whistles in terms of streaming and audio decoding capabilities (support for TIDAL connect, Bluetooth with aptX Adaptive, MQA decoding etc.), but then I'm not sure whether or how I can connect these to my system(s) and enjoy the full quality as well as the capabilities of my system (e.g. my Audyssey room correction on my X4500H).

If it is, then I think it has been answered, at least to some extent. Whether you like the answer or not is a different thing. May be you missed some of the responses such as the ones below.

In my first response, post#3:

You can try TIDAL and/or similar services and compare for yourself if they offer free trials. If bitrates and bit depths are important to you, then you probably should try streaming from a PC desktop or laptop. If you do, then you can get the highest bit rates/depths you want whether you can hear a difference or not. I really only use PCs, windows or MacOS to stream and use smart phones only when in the car.

In @Leemix response post#6 (@Trebdp83 post#4 said something similar):

Pretty sure i did Tidal cd quality with HEOS on my Marantz processor. I use a bluesound node usually so it was just to test. With MQA you can get less than CD quality unless the digital pre-analogue parts in the chain are MQA certified.

I prefer using a PC, Leemix and Trebdp83 suggested Bluesound node and they all can connect to your very capable and nice sounding AVR-X4500H and yes you can still listen with Audyssey RC. I just thought of another low cost device, the Amazon TV fire sticks streaming devices.

Well, 16b/44.1 kHz = 1411.20 bit rate. Very few streaming service providers and transfer technologies support that, so compression will be applied, even if the source is of high quality.
I don't quite understand what you are trying to say. You mentioned Tidal and MQA yourself, so what is your concern about compression being applied?

Again, just because HEOS supports CD-quality and above does not mean that you will automatically get that. It depends on the streaming service provider. If you have a 24-bit/192kHz file on your own NAS, then yes. If there is a 24-bit/192kHz file on Spotify's server, then no.
Agreed, but isn't that so obvious that no one need to say anything about that..:)
If you can find the source though, then again, as leemix told you in his post#6: ..Pretty sure i did Tidal cd quality with HEOS on my Marantz processor..

I have not tried HEOS with Tidal or any other online server but I have used Amazon Fire stick to stream from Amazon music and Amazon music unlimited and there is no problem getting 16 bit/44.1 kHz and 24 bit/192 kHz source to my AVR-X4400H without being down sampled.

If we missed your other questions please let us know, you can see that we are really trying to help here.
 
AcuDefTechGuy

AcuDefTechGuy

Audioholic Jedi
Another point I have tried to make in other threads is that Bitrates can easily be manipulated - easier than Upscaling 720p and 1080p to 4K video resolution.

You can easily take a 720p video and modify it to 2160p. You can easily take a lowly MP3 and modify it to 192kHz/24bit.

The point is, how do we even know for certain that these “192/24” audio files are truly ORIGINALLY 192/24 and not just upscale to 192/24? Legally speaking, if they are 192/24 in the END, then they are 192/24. But how many of these audio files were just upscale from MP3 files to 192/24? :D
 

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