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What Apple Airport do I need for Streaming Apple Music?

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telemike

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The above test @ kenrockwell page is made using iTunes via MAC Pro. According to this post, using macOS, AirPlay 2 will always be lossless.
On the other hand, if we are using iOS, iPadOS / tvOS / HomePodOS, AirPlay2 will use lossy compression and 16/44.1 also could be lossy AAC as far as I've read.

I recognize that I'm so confused about this AirPlay 2 thing, that's why I am keep asking to put things together.
In my case for example, Yamaha WXC-50 which is using AirPlay 1, should be lossless 16/44.1 (I am using iOS/iPadOS) but my DAC shows 16/48 not 44.1 and at this point I don't know what to believe, not so sure if it's lossless or lossy.

Interesting and dissapointing if that is the case with IOS.

Using my iPhone 12 with a lightning to USB cable to the front USB port on my A14, I only get 44.1 Khz even with the High-Res setting enabled in Apple Music. I'll have to get a Lightning to USB-B cable to try the USB B input on the A14
 

cinemakinoeye

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Thanks for the info! Which one do you like better A) from a usability standpoint (responsiveness when air playing, reliability, connection issues?) and B) do you hear a difference between the two?
Regarding the Belkin "Soundform Connect" AirPlay 2 audio receiver vs. Apple Airport Express (A1392 2nd Gen) for Airplay 2 playback (no longer sold by Apple but widely available on the used market), can't comment on the sound as I've not used one, however, the aggregate reviews on the Belkin device are mixed, therefore, when I recently needed to expand my collection of Airport 2 compatible nodes, I purchased a used Airport Express to accompany the three I already owned. Right now, it is the best device of its ilk for either a wireless link to a headphone amplifier or multi-room listening setups using existing gear. It's nice that both offer analog and Toslink connections. Apple did a brilliant thing with the Airport Express, but it was ahead of its time, as it's not only until recently that the performance and capabilities of the device can really shine. With the most recent firmware available for the Airport Express (7.8.1) installed and the most recent version of iOS (15.1), I am able to play music from my iPhone or iPad to one or multiple Airport Express devices with drop-outs occurring only on rare occasion. With older versions of iOS, I experienced dropouts often, but the problem has been resolved with newer versions of iOS. With the Airport Utility on a Mac or iOS device, you can easily configure an AirPort Express and it reports to you the quality of the WiFi connection (both "Good" and "Average" connections offer virtually dropout-free performance).
 

BitPerfect_

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Interesting and dissapointing if that is the case with IOS.
Indeed.

Using my iPhone 12 with a lightning to USB cable to the front USB port on my A14, I only get 44.1 Khz even with the High-Res setting enabled in Apple Music. I'll have to get a Lightning to USB-B cable to try the USB B input on the A14
May be the front USB port of A14 not capable of more than 44.1.
 
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telemike

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Apple’s AirPort line may be discontinued, but AirPort Express got one heck of an update today. Firmware update 7.8 for the latest AirPort Express hardware (2012 2nd-gen model, no longer sold) adds support for AirPlay 2 and Apple’s Home app. The teaser for support has been present since iOS 11.4 beta, but support hasn’t been live before today’s version 7.8 firmware update.

So. if I downgrade the firmware it will be AirPlay 1 and then should be lossless ALAC?
 

BitPerfect_

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If you are using iOS/iPadOS and you are OK with lossless 16/44.1, it looks like that's the way :
iOS (iPhone)/ iPadOS (iPad), Apple Music via AirPlay > AirPort Express AirPlay 1 (lossless compression) ALAC 16/44.1 > DAC.

Using this scheme, anything above CD Quality will be resampled to 16/44.1 and will not be bit perfect anymore.
 
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Transmaniacon

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Interesting and dissapointing if that is the case with IOS.

Using my iPhone 12 with a lightning to USB cable to the front USB port on my A14, I only get 44.1 Khz even with the High-Res setting enabled in Apple Music. I'll have to get a Lightning to USB-B cable to try the USB B input on the A14

You have to use the lightning camera adapter in order to extra the hi-res audio from your phone. It’s $30 on Amazon and it will allow you send 24/192 content.
 

Transmaniacon

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telemike

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As long as AirPlay 1 works I’ll be good with streaming
 
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telemike

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Been listening to Apple Music sent from my iPhone 12 to the Airport on older firmware. 7.6.9. No dropouts or noises. Sounds amazing to my ears. I’d say comparable with CD. Although 320k Spotify was good sounding on my Raspberry Pi. Since switched to Apple Music for lossless.
 

cinemakinoeye

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The advantage of the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter ($39 USD) vs. the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter ($29 USD) is that the former allows charging while using the device. I've had success with the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with both the Schiit Modi and Jotunheim 2 (w/ Multibit card). Even if the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter works as well, I'm not sure why you would want to use an iOS device as a music player without the option of keeping the battery charged.
 
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telemike

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The advantage of the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter ($39 USD) vs. the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter ($29 USD) is that the former allows charging while using the device. I've had success with the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with both the Schiit Modi and Jotunheim 2 (w/ Multibit card). Even if the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter works as well, I'm not sure why you would want to use an iOS device as a music player without the option of keeping the battery charged.


Good info. I have the Aiport working fine with older firmware which should be giving me lossless streaming.
 

Transmaniacon

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The advantage of the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter ($39 USD) vs. the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter ($29 USD) is that the former allows charging while using the device. I've had success with the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter with both the Schiit Modi and Jotunheim 2 (w/ Multibit card). Even if the Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter works as well, I'm not sure why you would want to use an iOS device as a music player without the option of keeping the battery charged.

Is there anyway to remotely control the iPhone being used as a media player? It would be nice to use my current iPhone or an apple remote to control the music without having to get up.
 

cinemakinoeye

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Is there anyway to remotely control the iPhone being used as a media player? It would be nice to use my current iPhone or an apple remote to control the music without having to get up.
The accessibility feature in iOS allows one device to control the other, see How To Control An IPad Remotely for the steps to do this, it should work with any iOS device.

I have used the Apple Remote app to control Apple Music on my Mac with my iPhone, which is a nice feature since all of my Rebook files live on my Mac, but I've not tried the iOS to iOS device technique. If anyone has successfully used this, I would like to hear about it.
 

Transmaniacon

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The accessibility feature in iOS allows one device to control the other, see How To Control An IPad Remotely for the steps to do this, it should work with any iOS device.

I have used the Apple Remote app to control Apple Music on my Mac with my iPhone, which is a nice feature since all of my Rebook files live on my Mac, but I've not tried the iOS to iOS device technique. If anyone has successfully used this, I would like to hear about it.
I tried the control feature with iOs but I am not the biggest fan of it, it's kind of awkward to use. However, I did purchase a bluetooth media remote on Amazon for $40 that should let me play/pause/skip/volume adjust. We will see how it works!
 

cinemakinoeye

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I tried the control feature with iOs but I am not the biggest fan of it, it's kind of awkward to use. However, I did purchase a bluetooth media remote on Amazon for $40 that should let me play/pause/skip/volume adjust. We will see how it works!
Yea, I just played around with it and it's not an ideal solution. The best remote integration I've come across so far (and what I'm using at the moment) is between Apple Music on my Mac and controlling it with an iOS device using the iTunes Remote app which works quite well with Apple Music when I want to play tracks that reside on the Mac, otherwise, I stream directly from the iOS device to one of the four Airport Express nodes around the house. Who would have thought that Apple would breathe new life into these obsolete devices by adding Airplay 2 capability? And to think I almost sold them due to occasional dropouts as Airplay 1 nodes.
 

Transmaniacon

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Yea, I just played around with it and it's not an ideal solution. The best remote integration I've come across so far (and what I'm using at the moment) is between Apple Music on my Mac and controlling it with an iOS device using the iTunes Remote app which works quite well with Apple Music when I want to play tracks that reside on the Mac, otherwise, I stream directly from the iOS device to one of the four Airport Express nodes around the house. Who would have thought that Apple would breathe new life into these obsolete devices by adding Airplay 2 capability? And to think I almost sold them due to occasional dropouts as Airplay 1 nodes.
Yeah that seems like a good option, I don’t have a Mac however so I can’t send lossless audio from Windows to my stereo. I’d have to get a long USB as well and run it around from my PC to the stereo. CD quality audio via Airplay does sound great though, however it seems there is a bug with Airplay2 downgrading things to 256 AAC instead of sending lossless ALAC. Hopefully that gets resolved soon.
 

cinemakinoeye

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[...] seems there is a bug with Airplay2 downgrading things to 256 AAC instead of sending lossless ALAC. Hopefully that gets resolved soon.
I've been hard-pressed to discern a significant difference between Apple Music (playing downloaded Lossless tracks) on an iPad Mini streaming to an Airport Express, but my comparisons have not been methodically scientific.
 
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