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

P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
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
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
You can only rely on what they tell you and that they are honest. Or if you are gifted with golden ears then you should be able to telk the differece easily.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
Any new network connectable receiver is more capable than many realize and built in platforms differ by brand. I’ll give it to Yamaha and MusicCast. It's a great app with great service apps support. Hate HEOS in Denons. Using Onkyos and a Yamaha these days myself.

While these receivers are very capable, they are limited in their built in apps and external devices and services can expand on their capabilities. Tidal’s MQA seems to be the one many agonize over because of the need for an external device that can perform the “unfolding” for hi-res. Apple is right up there for requiring an external DAC for their hi-res.

I’ve tried many services on many devices using third party software and apps. Some chase numbers and convince themselves that those higher numbers mean higher quality and that just is not always so. But, everybody has their preferences. I rip in AIFF. And, if I want to chase the 192/24 dragon through a streaming service, I chase it through Qobuz. That is one good sounding service no matter the device, app or software used to get it.

If a MAC or PC is available, try Audirvana or Roon for network connected playback of services to a network connected receiver. Ethernet or WiFi connections can actually expand on signals available to a receiver when the specs of its other ports and/or those of external devices limit them. But, anybody wanting to expand into full MQA rates, which are mostly and controversially somewhat lossy 96/24 and not really hi-res 192/24, must add a device capable of the second “unfolding” of the signal or settle for 48/24 at best from MQA tracks. That is why I mentioned the Node.
 
G

Golfx

Full 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.



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.
I have had Marantz/Denon AVRs and used HEOS to stream 24/192 from Amazon without issue and used Tidal to stream at 24/96. HEOS uses wi-if (or ethernet) to receive the streamed music signal from Amazon and Tidal directly NOT the HEOS app on your phone. So there will be no compression using HEOS.

In order to play hi-res music on your AVRs you will need to listen using “Direct“ or “Pure Direct” mode which will shutoff audyssey and other processes not related to audio. When audyssey (room correction software) is used the AVRs will downsample the stream music to 48khz because the AVR lacks the processing power to both play hi-res and use room correction at the same time. This is true with almost all brands.
 
I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
With respect, I think you might be confusing digital compression with dynamic compression.
I'm talking about the the compression that streaming service providers apply to transfer audio with "low" bandwidth requirements. I suppose that is digital compression for the most part.

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.
Many would claim otherwise. Can you link to those studies please?

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.
First off, not all streaming providers use AAC. Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis, for example. Secondly, it depends on how you transfer that stream to your system. Technologies that do not keep up with the bit rate of the stream will apply their own compression. So for example, Tidal through Bluetooth does not give you the actual bit rate of the stream. Thirdly, if your claim is true, why do streaming providers like Tidal, Apple and Amazon and hardware manufacturers like Bluesound etc. promote anything higher that 320 Kbs AAC? I don't believe that these companies would spend so much resources on this if there was nothing to it. That would be too risky.

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.
Correct, that was my question, and no one actually responded to that. You can run Tidal on the Denon via Bluetooth, Airplay2 or HEOS, but these all have their caveats. The first two have limited bandwidth and connectivity issues. Airplay is also limited iOS devices only, so that sucks when you have Android devices as well. HEOS allows you to use Tidal, but only the "HiFi" and not the "HiFi plus" subscription (i.e. no MQA, Dolby Atmos or other immersive formats), and you have to run everything through the HEOS app, which is complete garbage as it replaces the Tidal app and robs you of all of Tidal's functionality. Using Tidal through HEOS, or through a PC, is just not practical at all. The whole family should to be able to stream high quality music through tablets and phones of different brands.

After some research of my own I've figured out that I can simply add an external streaming box (like the Bluesound node, which has Tidal connect and other modern capabilities) and connect it via the digital input on my Denon (coaxial or toslink) to enable high quality streaming from all our devices in the latest formats while also enjoying Audyssey and all the upmixing capabilities of my AVR.
 
I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
I have had Marantz/Denon AVRs and used HEOS to stream 24/192 from Amazon without issue and used Tidal to stream at 24/96. HEOS uses wi-if (or ethernet) to receive the streamed music signal from Amazon and Tidal directly NOT the HEOS app on your phone. So there will be no compression using HEOS.
I've tried HEOS with Tidal, and the HEOS app itself just makes it an unattractive option. I'm not willing to sacrifice usability.

In order to play hi-res music on your AVRs you will need to listen using “Direct“ or “Pure Direct” mode which will shutoff audyssey and other processes not related to audio. When audyssey (room correction software) is used the AVRs will downsample the stream music to 48khz because the AVR lacks the processing power to both play hi-res and use room correction at the same time. This is true with almost all brands.
Where did you read this?
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
Just a few points to add on the down sample thing:

It is true that you can listen to 24bit/192 kHz on your Denon in direct and pure direct mode without down sampling.

It is not also true that if you do it with Audyssey on then the signal will get down sampled to 48 kHz because either the AVR lacks the processing power, or Denon/Marantz choose to do so because sampling rate of 48 kHz already guarantee there will be no information loss in the audible band that is widely accepted as 20-20,000 Hz (in that sense even 44.1 kHz is good as it guarantee no loss in 20 to 22 kHz, or for other reasons..

Other AVR manufacturers also would down sample to 48 kHz if RC (Audyssey, Dirac Live etc.) is used but some do it at higher rate in the most recent higher models such as Anthem, Yamaha's, example: up to 96 kHz or even up to 192 kHz in some cases (I assume it would be rare, apparently Yamaha's AVP such as the CX-A5200 can run YPAO at up to 192 kHz, without down sampling).

According to Gene:

Yamaha CX-A5100 11.2CH Surround Processor Review | Audioholics

64-Bit Processing for YPAO
Yamaha BoomerangThe CX-A5100’s new 64-bit architecture takes on-board power to a new level. It’s able to apply Yamaha’s YPAO room correction on lossless files at full 192 kHz/24-bit without down-sampling. In fact, Yamaha’s 64-bit architecture is powerful enough to apply room correction on lossless files while simultaneously applying any of its many on-board DSP modes. While I’m personally not a big fan of those artificial modes, it illustrates the power that Yamaha has buried under the hood of this new pre-pro.

I don't see any theoretical (audible effects) benefits of not down sampling but it makes lots of people feel good so why not..:D, as long as the gear has enough processing power to spare without sacrificing other things.
 
P

PENG

Audioholic Slumlord
To the OP, you seem to have done a lot of your own research, you must realize there are many myths (obviously some are valid to some extent) on the so called high resolution audio. You did not ask question on this as such but I wonder if you have read some of the following that you may find interesting.

The Myth of High-Resolution Audio | Performer Mag

For more in depth reading on the topic, also written by the same author
The Truth About High-Resolution Audio: Facts, Fiction and Findings - Audiophile Review

For easy reading:
24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed (xiph.org)

For those technically oriented, and have the time to read a 10 part series:
“High-Res” Audio: Part 1 – earfluff and eyecandy (tonmeister.ca)

For many AB blind test results:
Archimago's Musings: MQA Core vs. Hi-Res Blind Test Part II: Core Results
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Audioholic
Get an X-Box Series S or X. It has capabilities for music, movies, and gaming. I have never even gamed on mine yet, GREAT SQ and the 4K video. Just connect it via HDMI. It has native music streaming apps of Spotify Amazon HD, Deezer, and if you open the Pex app Tidal. It is also DLNA capable so you can stream to it with anything on your network that is DLNA friendly.

 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
I'm talking about the the compression that streaming service providers apply to transfer audio with "low" bandwidth requirements. I suppose that is digital compression for the most part.



Many would claim otherwise. Can you link to those studies please?



First off, not all streaming providers use AAC. Spotify uses Ogg Vorbis, for example. Secondly, it depends on how you transfer that stream to your system. Technologies that do not keep up with the bit rate of the stream will apply their own compression. So for example, Tidal through Bluetooth does not give you the actual bit rate of the stream. Thirdly, if your claim is true, why do streaming providers like Tidal, Apple and Amazon and hardware manufacturers like Bluesound etc. promote anything higher that 320 Kbs AAC? I don't believe that these companies would spend so much resources on this if there was nothing to it. That would be too risky.



Correct, that was my question, and no one actually responded to that. You can run Tidal on the Denon via Bluetooth, Airplay2 or HEOS, but these all have their caveats. The first two have limited bandwidth and connectivity issues. Airplay is also limited iOS devices only, so that sucks when you have Android devices as well. HEOS allows you to use Tidal, but only the "HiFi" and not the "HiFi plus" subscription (i.e. no MQA, Dolby Atmos or other immersive formats), and you have to run everything through the HEOS app, which is complete garbage as it replaces the Tidal app and robs you of all of Tidal's functionality. Using Tidal through HEOS, or through a PC, is just not practical at all. The whole family should to be able to stream high quality music through tablets and phones of different brands.

After some research of my own I've figured out that I can simply add an external streaming box (like the Bluesound node, which has Tidal connect and other modern capabilities) and connect it via the digital input on my Denon (coaxial or toslink) to enable high quality streaming from all our devices in the latest formats while also enjoying Audyssey and all the upmixing capabilities of my AVR.
This study is one you can access. I have let my membership in AES lapse some years go, when our local chapter dissolved, so I no longer have access to the AES journal.

However, there has never been a study that shows listeners can reliable tell a lossy AAC 320 bitstream from a lossless one.

I can assure you here is absolutely no point in streams above 48K. Streams higher than that are analogous to "funny wire."

Last night I watched/listened to a BBC Prom form the RAH, of Vaughn Williams Sea Symphony. The sound 320AAC, but sonically I think it was the most specular I have ever listened to. The perspective of the National Orchestra of Wales and the two huge choirs rising high above the orchestra either side of the huge organ was spectacular. The Baritone and Mezzo soloists were also perfectly balanced. The dynamic range was colossal. The sound stage was wider than my room and stretched out beyond it. The perspective of the choir rising up behind the orchestra was perfectly preserved. The organ was also perfectly balanced, and produced a solid foundation. You could also sense the dome above. I used the Dolby Digital upmixer to 7.2.4. It is staggering what that up mixer can do. I don't think I have ever heard a more spectacular recording. The most important point is that the quality of the engineering becomes dominant at a certain point, and done right a AAC 320 stream can really deliver.
I do wish the every engineer could spend time with the BBC.
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Audioholic
This study is one you can access. I have let my membership in AES lapse some years go, when our local chapter dissolved, so I no longer have access to the AES journal.

However, there has never been a study that shows listeners can reliable tell a lossy AAC 320 bitstream from a lossless one.

I can assure you here is absolutely no point in streams above 48K. Streams higher than that are analogous to "funny wire."

Last night I watched/listened to a BBC Prom form the RAH, of Vaughn Williams Sea Symphony. The sound 320AAC, but sonically I think it was the most specular I have ever listened to. The perspective of the National Orchestra of Wales and the two huge choirs rising high above the orchestra either side of the huge organ was spectacular. The Baritone and Mezzo soloists were also perfectly balanced. The dynamic range was colossal. The sound stage was wider than my room and stretched out beyond it. The perspective of the choir rising up behind the orchestra was perfectly preserved. The organ was also perfectly balanced, and produced a solid foundation. You could also sense the dome above. I used the Dolby Digital upmixer to 7.2.4. It is staggering what that up mixer can do. I don't think I have ever heard a more spectacular recording. The most important point is that the quality of the engineering becomes dominant at a certain point, and done right a AAC 320 stream can really deliver.
I do wish the every engineer could spend time with the BBC.
Here is an easy way to do your own test. Create a playlist of songs that are available in hirez and redbook (Tidal that would be Masters and Hifi). Same songs, but two versions of each song. Close your eyes and hit shuffle. Then note how many times you can pick the hirez track.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Here is an easy way to do your own test. Create a playlist of songs that are available in hirez and redbook (Tidal that would be Masters and Hifi). Same songs, but two versions of each song. Close your eyes and hit shuffle. Then note how many times you can pick the hirez track.
You don't think he has done so and knows how to do this test properly? Of course, don't use anything Tidal for this test, that is just plain dumb.

As for for hires: Most of my music collection that I've bought the last two decades is SACD, and I bought it for the multi-channel part. You can have fun switching between the CD and SACD stereo layer, but the CD layer does not have to come from the same master as the SACD stereo at all as they are totally independent layers where the manufactures of the SACD can put whatever they want on the layers, and they do.

For me it's multi-channel recordings that is not hires on SACD. Sounds much, much better.
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Audioholic
You don't think he has done so and knows how to do this test properly? Of course, don't use anything Tidal for this test, that is just plain dumb.

As for for hires: Most of my music collection that I've bought the last two decades is SACD, and I bought it for the multi-channel part. You can have fun switching between the CD and SACD stereo layer, but the CD layer does not have to come from the same master as the SACD stereo at all as they are totally independent layers where the manufactures of the SACD can put whatever they want on the layers, and they do.

For me it's multi-channel recordings that is not hires on SACD. Sounds much, much better.
Why are you upset because he knows (or doesn't) how to test? I agree with MCH recordings as a preference.
How extensive is your SACD collection? How much did you spend? You spent all that money on a dying format that never got enough traction and is being replaced by Spatial Audio and upmixing for much less money. Now who is dumb?
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Why are you upset because he knows (or doesn't) how to test?
He knows, you clearly don't, as evident by your dumb test.

I agree with MCH recordings as a preference.
It sure is, but this is also a clear audible difference compared to CD vs hires that is not. For my part it's a very clear improvement, which is why I buy it.

How extensive is your SACD collection? How much did you spend? You spent all that money on a dying format that never got enough traction and is being replaced by Spatial Audio and upmixing for much less money. Now who is dumb?
Why is it important to you how much money I spent? Does it matter? If so, why?

As for upmixing, I don't like the sound of it in my 5.2 setup for music, so I play stereo as stereo. Other people do, like TLS, for well-recorded classical, for instance.
 
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I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
Thanks for all the links. Lively discussion indeed :)

With regards to testing, I have worked as a researcher for years, so I do know a little something about how one ought to do a scientific evaluation of perceived audio quality, as well as how to assess whether a study is done in accordance with scientific standards. Believe me when I say, the "studies" linked above are NOT scientific studies, so take their findings with a large grain of salt. If anyone knows of rigorous peer-reviewed studies on the perceived audio quality of different codecs / bit rates / sampling frequencies, please link, I'd be interested to read.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Thanks for all the links. Lively discussion indeed :)

With regards to testing, I have worked as a researcher for years, so I do know a little something about how one ought to do a scientific evaluation of perceived audio quality, as well as how to assess whether a study is done in accordance with scientific standards. Believe me when I say, the "studies" linked above are NOT scientific studies, so take their findings with a large grain of salt. If anyone knows of rigorous peer-reviewed studies on the perceived audio quality of different codecs / bit rates / sampling frequencies, please link, I'd be interested to read.
Yet you think that using Tidal streaming is a valid way to differentiate between CD and hires resolutions as such. Btw, what is your research area, audio?
 
witchdoctor

witchdoctor

Audioholic
He knows, you clearly don't, as evident by your dumb test.



It sure is, but this is also a clear audible difference compared to CD vs hires that is not. For my part it's a very clear improvement, which is why I buy it.



Why is it important to you how much money I spent? Does it matter? If so, why?

As for upmixing, I don't like the sound of it in my 5.2 setup for music, so I play stereo as stereo. Other people do, like TLS, for well-recorded classical, for instance.
OK, so why is throwing good money after bad money into a money pit important. If you can't fathom that answer why should anyone take what you post seriously? Hey everyone listen to Trell, he is an expert on the (dead) SACD format. It demonstrates your lack of wisdom I suppose. They posted a notice about its death here 15 YEARS ago, you must have missed it (LOL):
:

 
I

Isak Öhrlund

Junior Audioholic
Yet you think that using Tidal streaming is a valid way to differentiate between CD and hires resolutions as such. Btw, what is your research area, audio?
Well, it could be, if that is what you want to test, but that is not the point. I don't know if I would hear a difference, but I am curious to know and willing to make the investment to get a convenient way of streaming "higher quality" music that what I currently have access to. My research is not in audio.
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
OK, so why is throwing good money after bad money into a money pit important. If you can't fathom that answer why should anyone take what you post seriously? Hey everyone listen to Trell, he is an expert on the (dead) SACD format. It demonstrates your lack of wisdom I suppose. They posted a notice about its death in SACD, you must have missed it (LOL):
:

So, how is that audible difference between CD and hires working out for you?
 
Trell

Trell

Audioholic Ninja
Well, it could be, if that is what you want to test, but that is not the point. I don't know if I would hear a difference, but I am curious to know and willing to make the investment to get a convenient way of streaming "higher quality" music that what I currently have access to. My research is not in audio.
It was pretty obvious that audio was not your area of research. Btw, there are many members here that have a research background, a few even in audio. ;)

As for sound quality: Go for issues that is well recorded, mixed and mastered. Of course, you'll also have to like the music you are listening to, and some of that have more quality than others (performance or otherwise). As for streaming "higher quality" you have to decide for yourself if the streaming quality is good enough for you. With high bitrate you won't notice, and high audio bitrate is negligible to what is required for video.
 

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