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Connecting DAC for listening to streaming (Tidal)

Bliman

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#1
Hi,
I am looking to buy a dac(Oktoresearch stereo Dac or RME ADI DAC). Now they both have USB connections.
Now these dacs are intended for upstairs in my main system with speakers.
The problem is that I have no computer or laptop upstairs. I do have wifi signal upstairs.
Now most of the time I also listen to music when I fall asleep. Now my question is.
How would I stream Tidal to these DACS?
Do people connect to the DAC with the smartphone? Or is there another way without buying a computer or laptop?
Or is it possible with a tablet? And will you lose music quality if connected these ways?
 
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#2
Probably your best bet is to shop for a wireless audio receiver that is compatible with a software protocal that you use on your computer. For example, Apple Airplay, Roon, etc. I use a Raspberry pi running Diet pi OS. Takes some technical knowledge of software (DOS type shell) to set up. Of course there are other pre-packaged items out there that you can find on AMZN. Audio quality suspect. One item that looked better then most is NEXUM TuneBox2 TB20/21. Just read about so cant really comment on quality
 

BillG

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#3
Do people connect to the DAC with the smartphone? Or is it possible with a tablet? And will you lose music quality if connected these ways?
The audio subsystems on a number of smartphones and tablets are actually quite good when their analog line level output is measured. Therefore, depending upon which you choose, you'd not experience a loss in quality... :cool:

I did a brief write up on using an Android device as network streamer recently that you might find useful:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...lymdtEDDJ4Vv3BcNaMHpaT1f0kfhVgv-7NFz5OK5WMl4M
 
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Bliman

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Thread Starter #4
Thank you for the answers.
Now I am looking back at Matrix Audio. Because they seem to make great products.
Now they have the element m and the new element i, which include streamers (so I can just wirelessly connect the smartphone to them and listen to Tidal).
But then I read in the thread about the new Matrix Audio i that someone used the Google Chromecast Audio and get these same streamer qualities with the RME DAC. Now the price of the Matrix Audio M and the Matrix Audio Dac X Sabre Pro MQA are the same. Wouldn't it be wiser to buy the DAC?
Wouldn't I drag down audio quality with devices like the Google Chromecast Audio? Because I don't see the benefit of connecting such a device to the Matrix Audio or RME DAC if it drags down the audio quality.
 

BillG

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#5
Wouldn't I drag down audio quality with devices like the Google Chromecast Audio?
"Using a well-designed Dac like the Topping D50, there is no difference at all between Toslink from Chromecast or higher fidelity sources. All the jitter is filtered out resulting in the performance of the DAC itself being the limit."

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-of-chromecast-audio-digital-output.4544/

Even its analog output is sufficient:

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

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Thread Starter #6
"Using a well-designed Dac like the Topping D50, there is no difference at all between Toslink from Chromecast or higher fidelity sources. All the jitter is filtered out resulting in the performance of the DAC itself being the limit."

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-of-chromecast-audio-digital-output.4544/

Even its analog output is sufficient:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-of-chromecast-audio-analog-performance.4562/
"Using a well-designed Dac like the Topping D50, there is no difference at all between Toslink from Chromecast or higher fidelity sources. All the jitter is filtered out resulting in the performance of the DAC itself being the limit."

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ents-of-chromecast-audio-digital-output.4544/

Even its analog output is sufficient:

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...-of-chromecast-audio-analog-performance.4562/
Thank you,
It is so difficult. So would this always be the case? Like for example with a Yamaha WXAD-10? Or is it specific to what you buy?
That the DAC you connect it to controls the sound and what you connect to it doesn't matter?
Because why would otherwise buy a element M when you can buy the Sabre Pro MQA and get much better quality. Is it because you can get all in one package?
 

BillG

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#7
You're welcome.

If I understand your questions correctly, yes, the DAC is deciding factor when using Chromecast Audio's optical output.

With Chromecast Audio you'd be covered for the most popular formats up to 24/96 content. Higher resolutions beyond that, or formats such as DSD and MQA, would require conversion prior to the Chromecast Audio being able to play them, though - some applications do this on the fly.

The Chromecast Audio is just the least expensive, verifiably competent streamer available currently.

As to Matrix Audio's products, and why one would buy them: I suppose if one wants/needs their features and form, one would purchase from them...:cool:
 
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Bliman

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Thread Starter #8
Can someone recommend a quality streamer that can use the MQA capabilities of the Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro MQA for using with Tidal? And that isn't super expensive.
 

FAST

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#11
look at the Bluesound Node 2i
 

Sal1950

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#12
Can someone recommend a quality streamer that can use the MQA capabilities of the Matrix Audio X-Sabre Pro MQA for using with Tidal? And that isn't super expensive.
Friends don't let friends use MQA ;)
 

FAST

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#15
I am using the node 2i as the streamer and the RME-adi dac2 as the dac, major improvement in sound quality over the Node dac. I am guessing it has something to do with better specs on the DAC portion of the RME.
 
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#16
I'll bring this thread back as I'm looking at something similar. I just want to stream Tidal from my iphone/ipad > Dac > Amp at highest possible quality. Does it make sense to do the Matrix Audio Element X, or do the Pro-Ject Streamer to Topping D90? I'm mostly concerned that I'm missing some down-conversion (had read about airplay converting to apple lossless) from going iphone/ipad to network enabled dac, but maybe not?
 
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#17
AirPlay and Airplay 2 on the iPhone/Mac will only support up to 16/44-48. I believe the only way to escape this is not to use iPad or iPhone as the streaming device because of AirPlay and go with your alt solution.
 
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#18
AirPlay and Airplay 2 on the iPhone/Mac will only support up to 16/44-48. I believe the only way to escape this is not to use iPad or iPhone as the streaming device because of AirPlay and go with your alt solution.
I guess that's my question, does the Element X or Pro-Ject Streamer act as the streaming device and my ipad/phone is the remote, or is my ipad/phone acting as streaming device?
 
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#19
If your using AirPlay on the iPhone/Pad your phone is the streaming device and you are restricted bit rate wise. I believe the Matrix Element I has Tidal and Roon built in. Therefore you could then use the Roon app or the Matrix control app and the Matrix would pull the stream. The Iphone would then only be a control device that would instruct the Matrix to select/play music. No audio passes through the phone. This is why I paid up, as hard as it was, and got Roon. Very flexible software. I can control my music server, Mac Mini, from my laptop or phone (Or you can control the Matrix this way). I can turn off my phone or laptop and the music keeps playing independently. Also, I dont run my battery down on my device, get better audio, etc. Amir did a review of the Matrix Element I.
 
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#20
If your using AirPlay on the iPhone/Pad your phone is the streaming device and you are restricted bit rate wise. I believe the Matrix Element I has Tidal and Roon built in. Therefore you could then use the Roon app or the Matrix control app and the Matrix would pull the stream. The Iphone would then only be a control device that would instruct the Matrix to select/play music. No audio passes through the phone. This is why I paid up, as hard as it was, and got Roon. Very flexible software. I can control my music server, Mac Mini, from my laptop or phone (Or you can control the Matrix this way). I can turn off my phone or laptop and the music keeps playing independently. Also, I dont run my battery down on my device, get better audio, etc. Amir did a review of the Matrix Element I.
Got it, thanks! And I had missed that review, so will give it a look!
 
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