• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required as is 20 years of participation in forums (not all true). Come here to have fun, be ready to be teased and not take online life too seriously. We now measure and review equipment for free! Click here for details.

Best DAC to pair with Chromecast

Sir Sanders Zingmore

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
501
Likes
749
Location
Melbourne, Australia
#1
Hi all, I’m after some advice.
I wish to move my headphone setup into a separate room from my main rig.
To do this, I’ll be using a chromecast Audio to stream. So I’m after some recommendations as to the best dac to pair it with.

No need for any amplification (I have this already), just a dac.

Thanks in advance
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,546
Likes
1,896
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#2
The analog output of the Chromecast Audio is already quite respectable. Therefore, are you sure you wish to incur the added expense? Granted the DAC could be used for other sources as well.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-of-chromecast-audio-analog-performance.4562/

P. S. If you do decide to forego a DAC, it's suggested that the high dynamic range setting be enabled within the Google Home application for the Chromecast... :cool:
 
OP
Sir Sanders Zingmore

Sir Sanders Zingmore

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
May 20, 2018
Messages
501
Likes
749
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Thread Starter #3
It probably doesn’t really matter, but the dac on the chromecast measures a bit worse than my main dac (Topping D10) and that will probably bug me !
So if there’s a relatively cheap dac that can improve the performance, I’m happy to buy one.
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
3,516
Likes
7,973
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
#7
The analog output of the Chromecast Audio is already quite respectable. Therefore, are you sure you wish to incur the added expense? Granted the DAC could be used for other sources as well.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-of-chromecast-audio-analog-performance.4562/

P. S. If you do decide to forego a DAC, it's suggested that the high dynamic range setting be enabled within the Google Home application for the Chromecast... :cool:
Did you ever try it with headphones? I just did...what a wacky but competent device... I keep finding more things to do with it.
0904191220.jpg
[/QUOTE]
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,546
Likes
1,896
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#8
Did you ever try it with headphones? I just did...
I may have discussed doing that here, although I'm sure I did elsewhere. However I've not gotten around to it yet.

My interest in doing the experiment was to see if it could be used on-the-go with ones cell phone. This may or may not work, as the Chromecast Audio is usually used linked to a LAN and the Net. However, I do recall my own once still being visible stand-alone during a Net outage that occured at my home somewhat recently - I didn't try streaming to it then, though in hindsight, it would have been the perfect opportunity to test... :cool:
 

M00ndancer

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 4, 2019
Messages
698
Likes
665
Location
Sweden
#9
I use one of my CCA as a headphone amp with a power bank when I want to listen to music on the patio or around the house when I'm not infront of my computer. My phone lack power so the CCA is perfect for that task.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2019
Messages
10
Likes
4
#10
The less expensive option would be FiiO Taishan.
And because HDR on CCA has been mentioned, there is a meaningful post on https://hydrogenaud.io/index.php/topic,110158.msg908860.html#msg908860:
"High Dynamic Range should be switched off in the Chromecast app for the majority of setups. From what I can tell, it does not do any dynamic range compression, it is simply a function to switch the Chromecast into full-power 2V RMS output mode, as opposed to a slightly weaker signal (1.4V RMS?) that is safer for equipment of unknown capability."
HDR option is therefore a simple line output level switch.
 

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
2,030
Likes
3,111
#11
The analogue output of the CCA is really rather good, so I would be surprised if a cheap DAC will be better. See here for more measurements: http://archimago.blogspot.com/2016/02/measurements-google-chromecast-audio.html I was pretty happy with it playing through some Quad 2805 electrostats. My new RME ADI-2 is better, but that owes at least as much to its perfomance as a preamplifier, compared to my old Quad 33. So by all means, get a really good rather than budget DAC if you are using a very good amplifier and headpones, but with anything less, there is no point.
Indeed, in most cases you should avoid the HDR setting for the analogue output.
 

Willem

Major Contributor
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
2,030
Likes
3,111
#14
No as the earlier link showed this is wrong, even though Google makes it hard to know this. It has nothing to do with dynamic range or compression: it is only a switch for analogue output level, and there are measurements to show this. So for most gear, do not turn HDR on as there is a fair chance that the signal will clip the input of the amplifier. Since it relates to the analogue output level, there is no equivalent if you use the optical digital output.
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,546
Likes
1,896
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#15
Re: HDR on Chromecast Audio

If you're getting surprisingly/insufficiently low output when running it analog, turn it on. If not, just leave it off. And, yes... it did just boost the output voltage... :p
 
Top Bottom