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Lossless/HiDef Configuration

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I'm using audio|acacia and liking the interface. Am I getting HD/lossless on the system though? I can't tell if I'm losing fidelity by using the software. Is there a way to monitor bitrate?



asked Jan 6, 2016 by user1327 (2 points)
retagged Jan 6, 2016 by user1

1 Answer

0 votes

Audio output fidelity will be dependent upon both the source material and ultimately constrained by the capabilities of the output device.

  • Apple AirPlay devices will always be in 16-bit 44.1kHz format, even when digitally connected to an AV Receiver. This is a limitation of AirPlay. However, it has been observed that the DACs in the wall-wart generation of AirPort Expresses aren't that good. You'll likely get better audio quality if you digitally connect the AirPort Express to an AV Receiver via a mini-Toslink to Toslink optical cable so that the AV Receiver's DAC is used instead.
  • Sonos devices are limited to a maximum of 16-bit 48kHz, even when digitally connecting a "Sonos Connect" to a high quality DAC. This is a combination of a hardware limitation and a Sonos streaming protocol limitation.
  • Google Cast devices are currently limited to 16-bit 44.1kHz. However some devices including, the new "Chromecast Audio" devices, have 24-bit 192kHz DACs. So hopefully this higher resolution will be supported by audio|acacia in the future.
  • "This Browser" audio end-points are currently software constrained by audio|acacia to 16-bit 44.1kHz.
  • Computer Soundcard audio end-points vary drastically in the quality of their DACs, generally with capabilities from 16-bit 44.1kHz to 32-bit 384kHz, so perceived audio fidelity will vary.

"I can't tell if I'm losing fidelity by using your software. Is there a way to monitor bitrate?"

Unfortunately there is not currently a way to monitor/view the output audio fidelity, but you can vote on such a feature request here. But I guess if you can't tell, that's a good thing right? :)

answered Jan 6, 2016 by user66 (450 points)
Is streaming audio truncated to 16-bit 44KHz even for more capable devices?