Hi-Res Audio Streaming

L

leeverdon

Audiophyte
Good day,

I have researched a few of the standout hi-res streaming platforms i.e. Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer HiFi, and Amazon HD. They are all offering free trials, some of which even offer a 3 month trial which is very enticing. However, there are several factors that will determine which service I will try out.

- Price
- FLAC 24-bit up to 192 kHz availability
- Device compatibility
- Music catalog
- Sound Quality

My setup is as follows.

- Receiver - Pioneer Elite VSX45 (hi-res audio functionality), Airplay.
- Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series - 5.1 Surround Sound
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- ATT Fiber (averaging 400Mbps download on most devices)
- OnePlus 7 Pro (HD playback)

Right now, I can Airplay from my Mac or iPad Pro to my Receiver but I believe Airplay is restricted to CD quality audio (16bit / 44.1kHz) and Bluetooth is much the same. The Fire TV Cube will likely output audio at 320Kbps.

I want to experience the highest available audio (24-bit up to 192 kHz) wirelessly without having to buy any additional hardwired components. Can anyone advise what I can do to achieve the best possible audio?

Thanks in advance.
Lee
 
B

BriReeves629

Audioholic
Does your receiver have any services built in like Tidal or Deezer? That would be the easiest. I run Tidal through my Integra AVR. It is built in.

That said, Depending on the price, I would probably recommend the Amazon Music through your Amazon HD Fire Cube now that they offer High Definition. The nice thing about using your Fire Cube is that you can also watch music videos. Since you likely use the Fire Cube often for TV, it will be a seemless option for your music.

HiRes audio will not work via Bluetooth so you will need to be running through an Ethernet connection.
 
L

leeverdon

Audiophyte
Thanks for your suggestion.

Amazon has confirmed that the Fire TV Cube plays HD. However, I have read complaints that several devices including the Cube do not play Amazon HD or higher. In general, the user experience has been awful from what I gather.

I've also just read that some of the new Pioneer receivers are not able to play Amazon HD music either.
 
B

BriReeves629

Audioholic
Thanks for your suggestion.

Amazon has confirmed that the Fire TV Cube plays HD. However, I have read complaints that several devices including the Cube do not play Amazon HD or higher. In general, the user experience has been awful from what I gather.

I've also just read that some of the new Pioneer receivers are not able to play Amazon HD music either.
Perhaps that will change. Like I said, I use Tidal through my AVR which has an Ethernet connection to my router. I really enjoy Tidal Masters.
 
S

sterling shoote

Audioholic General
Good day,

I have researched a few of the standout hi-res streaming platforms i.e. Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer HiFi, and Amazon HD. They are all offering free trials, some of which even offer a 3 month trial which is very enticing. However, there are several factors that will determine which service I will try out.

- Price
- FLAC 24-bit up to 192 kHz availability
- Device compatibility
- Music catalog
- Sound Quality

My setup is as follows.

- Receiver - Pioneer Elite VSX45 (hi-res audio functionality),Airplay.
- Bowers & Wilkins 600 Series - 5.1 Surround Sound
- Amazon Fire TV Cube
- ATT Fiber (averaging 400Mbps download on most devices)
- OnePlus 7 Pro (HD playback)

Right now, I can Airplay from my Mac or iPad Pro to my Receiver but I believe Airplay is restricted to CD quality audio (16bit / 44.1kHz) and Bluetooth is much the same. The Fire TV Cube will likely output audio at 320Kbps.

I want to experience the highest available audio (24-bit up to 192 kHz) wirelessly without having to buy any additional hardwired components. Can anyone advise what I can do to achieve the best possible audio?

Thanks in advance.
Lee
Here's my experience: I have a multitude of 24/192 AIFF/ALAC downloads residing in my iTunes Library. I also have the same music in AAC from Apple Music. I pay Apple Music $9.99 monthly. The 24/192 downloads, mostly from HDtracks, cost about $30 average per album. Now, all of these files are sent from my PC via usb to OPPO-205 DAC which processes at 24/192 and outputs RCA to my Pre-Pro. In extensive critical listening experiments, for the most part, my ears cannot distinguish any divergence, in any manner divergence could be discerned, between the AAC files and AIFF/ALAC files. In other words, the downloads from Apple Music sound as nice as the HI-Res downloads and since I can download virtually any and all recorded music from the beginning of recorded music with Apple Music, I no longer believe the alternative outlets offering Hi-Res streaming/downloading have any meaningful value; thus, I have no interest in subscribing to any for stereo pleasure. At any rate, you might want to try out Apple Music. They have a free trial period too. With Apple Music you get a library, streaming, downloading, playlists, music suggestions, internet radio, CD burning, CD ripping, and iTunes Store for downloads you want to own.
 
Last edited:
John Parks

John Parks

Full Audioholic
@leeverdon From what I have been able to glean, and if it is still important to you, Qobuz is currently the only streaming service of the ones you mentioned that offers 24/192. Tidal's MQA maxes out at 24/96. Amazon calls their available service "Ultra HD" but is no better than CD quality (24 bit though). The same holds true for Deezer.

No, I am not stating that any service, sound quality-wise is better than another, just pointing out who supports the premise of the OP. Personally, I prefer Tidal as that is what I bought into and I have gotten used to their UI. I had a "trial period" for Qobuz (they tried to make it seem like I was a "beta" tester, but it really amounted to a 30 day free period). I liked that they show the resolution for hi-rez tracks (something Tidal does not do, aside from calling them "Masters") but the interface was clunky and, like I said, I was used to Tidal. I am currently signed up with Amazon's trial period and am evaluating what they have to offer and how it performs...

And as far as SQ goes - they all sound great!
 
L

leeverdon

Audiophyte
@sterling shoote Thank you for your post. Every individual has their own personal preferences and tastes. In my instance, I want the best possible quality music at home without spending money on any additional equipment and components. But most importantly, I want the best audio quality whilst being mobile i.e. at the gym, in my car, at the pool or anywhere else for that matter.

Let's keep the conversation going. It's an interesting topic much like the current Disney +, Apple TV +, HBO Max etc streaming war.
 
L

leeverdon

Audiophyte
@John Parks Thank you for your post. Qobuz is very interesting to me but I have read similar comments about the UI being clunky. I have been using Deezer for several years, their UI is good and they have an extensive catalog. It's a shame, my Pioneer AV Receiver only has Pandora and Spotify preinstalled but none of the others like Deezer, Tidal, Qobuz, or Amazon. I called Pioneer support yesterday to see how I could get these installed. Can't be done, I would have to buy a new receiver which is not an option.

I look forward to hearing about your experience with Amazon and how it performs with multiple devices.
 

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