• 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.

Does the media source matter?

Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
85
Likes
33
#1
When connecting to the same unit as an input - which is of these is preferable and why?
  • External portable HDD
  • External portable SSD
  • USB stick
  • NAS via WiFi
  • NAS via Cable (any cable?)
  • DLNA streaming
Can the quality of the sound differ?

Thanks.
 

BillG

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 12, 2018
Messages
1,645
Likes
2,051
Location
Auckland, New Zealand
#2
It can make a difference if, and only if, one or more of the supporting subsystems/circuits is subpar.

My preferred method is WiFi at the moment. However, we've got very fast and reliable service at my home. I do use hardlines as well, but more for the simple convenience of plug-and-play, not sound quality as I've noticed no difference there.
 

BDWoody

Chief Cat Herder
Moderator
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 9, 2019
Messages
4,178
Likes
10,557
Location
Mid-Atlantic, USA. (Maryland)
#3
When connecting to the same unit as an input - which is of these is preferable and why?
  • External portable HDD
  • External portable SSD
  • USB stick
  • NAS via WiFi
  • NAS via Cable (any cable?)
  • DLNA streaming
Can the quality of the sound differ?

Thanks.
Assuming basic competence in your components and cables, no hierarchy of quality there. All should give the same result.
 

Jimbob54

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 25, 2019
Messages
5,851
Likes
6,558
#4
In the bad old days I experienced ridiculously slow iTunes performance with my music files on a NAS (wired or wireless) which negatively impacted my overall experience but not the sound quality specifically.
 

Kal Rubinson

Major Contributor
Industry Insider
Joined
Mar 23, 2016
Messages
3,066
Likes
4,573
Location
NYC/CT
#5
When connecting to the same unit as an input - which is of these is preferable and why?
  • External portable HDD
  • External portable SSD
  • USB stick
  • NAS via WiFi
  • NAS via Cable (any cable?)
  • DLNA streaming
Can the quality of the sound differ?

Thanks.
DLNA streaming sticks out as different from the others in that it is a protocol with defined parameters while the others are hardware/communications devices. One can (and does) run DLNA over some of them but it is not required.
 

SJ777

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
894
Likes
1,382
Location
UK
#6
When connecting to the same unit as an input - which is of these is preferable and why?
  • External portable HDD
  • External portable SSD
  • USB stick
  • NAS via WiFi
  • NAS via Cable (any cable?)
  • DLNA streaming
Can the quality of the sound differ?

Thanks.
At the level of media source you need to differentiate between SQ and functionality.

Basically if sources works properly (functionality) and the actual recorded format is the same then there won't be a SQ difference.

Functionality and SQ are often conflated on other sites and this leads to the perpetuation of myths. An example of this might be usb vs spdif audio. Because there are instances where usb audio doesn't work properly (and, in those instances, spdif does) this has lead to the misplaced belief that spdif can somehow improve SQ. This is the conflation of functionality and SQ.

To summarise -if it works, it works. And once it works - enjoy!
 
OP
A
Joined
Oct 14, 2020
Messages
85
Likes
33
Thread Starter #7
At the level of media source you need to differentiate between SQ and functionality.

Basically if sources works properly (functionality) and the actual recorded format is the same then there won't be a SQ difference.

Functionality and SQ are often conflated on other sites and this leads to the perpetuation of myths. An example of this might be usb vs spdif audio. Because there are instances where usb audio doesn't work properly (and, in those instances, spdif does) this has lead to the misplaced belief that spdif can somehow improve SQ. This is the conflation of functionality and SQ.

To summarise -if it works, it works. And once it works - enjoy!
Well, good to hear (and to know), thanks.
 
Top Bottom