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DAC to use with Firestick 4K

Bsmooth

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Jan 11, 2022
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New member here, just getting into streaming, but long time audio guy. Recently I wanted a way to stream Amazon HD music to my Audioengine 5+ powered speakers in my bedroom. I got a Firestick 4k after doing a little research. Just so happens we have a small tv there and I use it attached to the TV as I can see the menu from Amazon music and pick it out easily.
So on to mu main system in my living room: Yamaha RX-V757 AV receiver and Paradigm Atom speakers, which I know are ancient at this point. So I wanted to get something better than the Firestick. I heard the Bluesound Node 2i was a great piece of kit and ordered one from there Outlet store.
Hooking it up to the Yamaha was a pain, and made me use my also old Fire 8 tablet to use it with the BLUEOS app. I liked the way the Firestick was easy to use with the TV upstairs so I brought it down and compared it to the Node 2i.
What my old ears told me: first the Audioengine speakers sounded wayy better than my old Paradigm Atoms(that was a surprise), second I could not tell the difference in sound between the Node 2i and the Firestick.
So I'm sending the Node 2i back and getting a second Firestick.
My long drawn out question is(tada) Would putting a better DAC inline between the Firestick and my Yamaha produce any better sound?
 

litemotiv

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Apr 10, 2021
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My long drawn out question is(tada) Would putting a better DAC inline between the Firestick and my Yamaha produce any better sound?

Probably not. Eventually the sound will have to be processed by the Yamaha, so that will always determine the final output quality. Placing another DAC in front of it should not make a difference.
 

JoeBrooklyn

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Possibly. For stereo only, if you can get a coax or optical out of the firestick, if you bypass any corrections and processing done by the Yamaha.
Try a cheap Topping or Schiit dac.. Both about $100
 
OP
B

Bsmooth

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Thats the thing I'll run the Firestick to the DAC with 3.5 and it has to have 3.5 outputs as well to go to the powered speakers.
 

litemotiv

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Thats the thing I'll run the Firestick to the DAC with 3.5 and it has to have 3.5 outputs as well to go to the powered speakers.

That would be a bad idea, you are then doing 2x D/A for no good reason. For any scenario you will want to feed the Firestick digitally into either a DAC or the receiver, and then from there only have 1 analog feed to the speakers,. All approaches using 2x D/A will degrade the sound quality, potentially audibly.

If the Yamaha has HDMI inputs that would probably be the best and simplest option

If it doesn't then you're probably best off getting either one of these:

61e4yEZApkL._AC_SL1344_.jpg



To split the digital signal into audio and video so that you can feed the Coax or Optical input to the Yamaha, and from there to the speakers.

Or if you do intend to use a DAC which has an USB input, you can use an OTG-cable like this one:

71WykspzLBL._SL1500_.jpg


Whether this option works will depend on if the DAC has standard support under linux for audio over USB.
 
OP
B

Bsmooth

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I actually found a great solution for my bedroom. I had a small Yamaha CRX-332 receiver( https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/hifi_systems/crx-332/index.html). that I had used for streaming with a Klipsch Gate, but had lots of trouble with dropouts.
So I take the Firestick 4K and run in into a HDMI audio extractor, then run a 3.5 mm from that to the input of the Yamaha CRX-322. Then run another 3.5 from the headphone output of the Yamaha into my Audioengine M5+ powered speakers.
The living room took care of itself since I'm running the Firestick 4k into my RX-V757 AV recieiver, the receiver has its own DAC.
Great solutions to both issues, other than replacing my old Paradigm Atoms.
Thanks for all the great suggestion.
 

yoavf

New Member
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Feb 22, 2022
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New member here, just getting into streaming, but long time audio guy. Recently I wanted a way to stream Amazon HD music to my Audioengine 5+ powered speakers in my bedroom. I got a Firestick 4k after doing a little research. Just so happens we have a small tv there and I use it attached to the TV as I can see the menu from Amazon music and pick it out easily.
So on to mu main system in my living room: Yamaha RX-V757 AV receiver and Paradigm Atom speakers, which I know are ancient at this point. So I wanted to get something better than the Firestick. I heard the Bluesound Node 2i was a great piece of kit and ordered one from there Outlet store.
Hooking it up to the Yamaha was a pain, and made me use my also old Fire 8 tablet to use it with the BLUEOS app. I liked the way the Firestick was easy to use with the TV upstairs so I brought it down and compared it to the Node 2i.
What my old ears told me: first the Audioengine speakers sounded wayy better than my old Paradigm Atoms(that was a surprise), second I could not tell the difference in sound between the Node 2i and the Firestick.
So I'm sending the Node 2i back and getting a second Firestick.
My long drawn out question is(tada) Would putting a better DAC inline between the Firestick and my Yamaha produce any better sound?
Hi there I’ve done something similar but more advanced and frankly I cannot imagine I would find anything than remotely resembles its benefits for 100 times the price and you certainly don’t need a DAC in fact you need as little as possible in order to get the highest possible quality and you can get lossless 192 kHz over 24 bit easily from Amazon music that your Yamaha DAC will decode directly and only in this manner you’ll get this type of quality. The reason is this is not just about converting from digital to analog, these streams have “strings “attached to them such as HD CP and because they are over Hdmi, There are many other benefits such as potentially a lot of automation that you can get where devices would be turning on by itself and setting the correct input and the correct program but that requires a little intervention. In general fire stick is one of Amazon’s mini misses and the fact that it’s not offered as a device for audio and for example things like the Firestick max are offered with arc but only over Amazon echo speakers how ridiculous cannot be, shows how the company is shortsighted. Anyway what is amazing about fire stick is not only the exceptional diesel quality that you get out of it directly to your receiver that has it the ability to “handshake “but also it has to do enable synchronization in levels that yamaha does not come close to. Try to synchronize Bluetooth in one room with yamaha as a source even in another and you’ll realize it’s impossible. I’m not sure if you have a Alexacast on your model of Yamaha or if that came the following year but I do have it on the 685 and it does not link with any Amazon groups whatever device you run the van, and even when you use an analog output for Zone two, it will never synchronize with anything properly because the assumption is that always zone two be faster and that is not the case at all. what you need to do is the following: first of all if you don’t mind using a TV that’s OK however if you’re planning on using a mobile device be prepared for none of this to work without the TV. That is the really not very smart things and Amazon did it makes the biggest value in this device very difficult to attain. It is however possible and if you don’t mind the TV go ahead but if you do it also depends what kind of TV that says because it’s Hdmi you probably will not get Amazon music maximum bit rate and quality in there you have two options. One option is to get a receiver that has the ability to strip down layers of the stream but without decoding it on a cheap the dAC. What are you getting from Amazon is the real thing and it requires either that you “handshake “all the way to the visual part or have a safe means of ensuring that the handshake on your home theater receiver is the last one and The stream does not get copied. This is something that is worth getting if you think about expanding because one of these with one fire device can later be the source for multi room synchronous music whether you’re using a wired analog amplifier and that is different from using a DAC because you’re not decoding anything you’re just using the very well processed result of yamaha in multiple places but in a way that you can listen to it in complete synchronization because of what fired you can do. The more Amazon devices you have along the way and even if they are just echo dots that are part of a group not even playing or small speakers that Amazon has a way of gauging, you realize that not only does it synchronize it remembers so the next time you’re going to put something similar it will play *NSYNC and sometimes very surprisingly so. This makes it possible to mix-and-match almost anything. In my case I’m using Yamaha 685 which has the ability to strip scenes from the video component in the גיל ממיר Hdmi components but not necessarily the HDMI cec control which remains. That is very important If you want your device to control other devices and if you want to be able to control volume for example from other devices. Fire stick is notorious for its lack of volume control if you do not have cec Support unless do you have a fire cube or you have a blaster product that Amazon sells for their fire stick devices and if you don’t have CEC it’s worth getting. In general I would get a some kind of echo device because it is not only easier to do it with your voice, each of these devices can be paired with a fire TV device or any other Amazon device that you’re using even echo itself if you’re willing to live with lower quality music and create a group. We can then mix-and-match the groups and add additional components such as lighting other elements that you can just tell her to turn on turn off will play the group and it will do so relating to all of the above. With voice control you also get access to MusicCast app which gives you the option to create scenes That are not on per device are also across devices and that are important. You can get by without it but one thing Portland note is that you do need to have presets Because you want to make sure that the Hdmi you’re playing, is the one that does not have to end up on the TV since that could downgrade your music quality for a good amount of time because it is all being tracked and it can also in practical terms make it very difficult to use on systems that are not audio only. And most HDMI systems are primarily for video use. However you can create HDMI ports that will be completely video free. Using a phone or tablet device is not going to replace the role of the screen in this case. Using a DAC will Either not work at all, or he will end up with a far lower quality stream and I’m talking from experience and in this case you will have synchronization issues because The secret to this whole thing is the fire stick itself. When the music is coming from Firestick and it is able to synchronize it for you and you have a range between 0 to 500 ms of the lays an anion to do so, that is one of the greatest benefits in this whole thing. Of course anything that input that would potentially work anything if you did yield a reasonable result of a stream for example if you had an echo link Device from Amazon self you could get 192 kHz are in 24 bits (You would be paying 10 times as much for something that does a fraction but theoretically speaking). However if you compare the quality of the output from What Amazon terms an audiophille preamp, No to mention echo link amp, Add the class amplifier on top of that you will see the difference between the two and understand why you want yamaha to do the decoding for you Even if you had access to the same wrap data it from the cloud That Amazon has access to via The much more superior fire stick both in terms of audio potential automation and the synchronization not a virtual get in the expensive products from Amazon. The only thing that can come close to this perhaps is Sonos amp or yamaha MusicCast system each stereo pair of costing about $500-$1000 or not mistaken. I’m sure there are other models and also the 685 is quite old that can block the video from some channels I think it is worth making the effort because I try for a whole year without it and the only other way is if you’re willing to not use the receiver at all for any kind of video because once you connected to a video Albert and it recognizes fire stick in there it’ll block it and will block it for more than just the period of time that you’re watching TV. I have a firewall so I can see how these devices talk to the cloud and they talk. Anyway sorry for being so lengthy about it but I feel your cross roads and want to make sure you don’t get tempted by the wrong things. Sometimes the best things come in small sizes and in smaller Even price tags. If you have other audio equipment at home you’ll start realizing how even one fire stick will help you integrate it and if you had a couple a couple other Amazon end products, Can you get the full benefit
 
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