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Chromecast Audio - Tell us you success stories

Discussion in 'Digital Sources' started by arbalest, Dec 15, 2017.

  1. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    The missing link...

    Despite the fact I was able to reach more or less of a Sound Quality parity between the CCA and a USB output from a PC into a quality USB->SPDIF converter the differences were still there, the CCA was still fuzzier around higher frequency details and not as airy. Enter the iFi SPDIF iPurifier. Got one today in the mail and the improvements while not in your face are immediately apparent, the fuzziness is gone and the sound while still a bit different is as good if not better than that from the USB source. Blame the jittery output on the CCA. Now, whether or not it will have as much of an effect in your system will depend on the jitter sensitivity of the optical input of your DAC. DACs with built-in ASRC, Schiit DACs of multi-bit variety, and Delta-Sigma DACs to a lesser degree are not very likely to reveal a very noticeable improvement, but my Parasound D/AC 1000 doesn't have all those niceties and this is definitely a good investment. I'm basically confirming an earlier report from Sonic who is no longer here, so the discovery credit goes to him, but as this is very relevant to CCA having it as a part of this discussion will hopefully be useful to others.
     
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  2. E.Auer

    E.Auer Super Member

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    https://audiosciencereview.com/foru...i-ipurifier-s-pdif-digital-audio-filter.2189/

    Eric
     
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  3. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    1,012
  4. jusmee

    jusmee Active Member

    Messages:
    333
    I have had no troubles with mine. I have 2 chromecasts and one chromecast audio, and 2 google home minis. They all seem to be happy to talk and do their thing.

    The thing about using a CCa from Google home is that the verbal interface is clunky and you need a paid subscription to really select the music you want. Even then you can't play your own music unless you want to upload it to the cloud. I have way to much to do this, especially as then I will then be plagued by the dropouts and buffering from the slow network unless I am very lucky.

    The final killer for the CCa is the sound. Playing music from my Raspberry Pi using Volumio through am external USB DAC sounds a lot better than the CCa, and I can use local storage for my music files, which means no glitches. So my CCa got unplugged for now.
     
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  5. drew_t

    drew_t Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    682
    The author of the "jittery" article states:
    "This is one of the most "jittery" results I have seen. Nonetheless, realize that 95dB is still a very big number and this is not going to pose an issue despite claims by the most golden-eared audiophile! "
    and
    " Before anyone freaks out about the result and what it means about the Chromecast, do realize that the tallest sidebands are still lower than 70dB amplitude from the primary signal at 24kHz! Considering that we're looking at a high amplitude 24kHz ultrasonic primary signal (not the kind of thing one should ever see in real recorded music, nor hear except for intermodulation products), I doubt the jitter anomaly would ever pose any issue. "

    The author of the article about the iPurifier concludes with:
    " Bottom line, I cannot find a real scenario where ifi iPurifier does any good. Yet it was easy to show that it does some harm. NOT RECOMMENDED."
     
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  6. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    Everyone is free to believe to whatever they read on the Internet, I usually believe my own ears. What my ears tell me in this case does not contradict that article, so chances are my ears are telling the truth. YMMV, but this is at least a second report here the CCA sounds better with the iPurifier with certain DACs.
     

     

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  7. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

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    Location:
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    The problem with "trusting your ears", is that ears are unreliable, and trusting them is why this hobby is rife with snake oil salesmen. Can you imagine for example the car industry making wild claims they can't backup?

    Lets look at another example. Most audio enthusiasts forums have a universal disdain for Bose product. Yet, bose is probably one of the most successful audio businesses of all time. They don't publish specs, sell the same product with little to no improvement for decades, have separate demo displays across the country, and are obviously still wildly profitable. This is the case because the majority of their customers "trust their ears".
     
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  8. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    I'm no Bose fan. In fact I'm pretty much OCD when it comes to audio. I wish I wasn't as I waste too much time A/B-ing every new audio gadget that gets in my hands. In this particular case I have no doubt the iPurifier brought a noticeable improvement to my CCA setup which I wasn't very happy with originally.
     
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  9. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,744
    Location:
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    Some of us are even professionally trained and train other people how to critically listen and we trust our ears. :biggrin:

    I do all the measurements and spec research but in the end my ears have the final say no matter what’s on the paper.
    :beerchug:
     
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  10. bigx5murf

    bigx5murf Super Member

    Messages:
    1,177
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    noticeable improvement /= distortion I find enjoyable

    Do you fail to recognize the irony that you, along with most people here aren't bose fans? Bose is a very profitable business, who's growth is mostly sustained by people who "trust their ears". The audio industry is filled with successful businesses that prey on getting people to "trust their ears", as a predatory sales tactic.
     
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  11. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Location:
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    But I know where my ears have been :cool:
     
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  12. gvl

    gvl Super Member

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    1,012
    The CCA is driving me nuts today, apps loosing the connection to it but it's still visible in the Google Home app, I have to restart my phone for the app, ie Spotify, to be able to connect again just to loose the connection again in a minute, but the CCA still streams after it has been lost. Annoying.
     
    arbalest likes this.
  13. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,744
    Location:
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    I have found with mine that if I “pause” on my iPhone for extended periods I have to close the app and reselect CCA. Not sure if it’s Spotify or iPhone issue as it doesn’t happen with my laptop or Kindle. Spotify is all I stream and it’s just back ground so it’s not that big of a deal. But I always expect technology to be buggy so I am not disappointed everyday all day long. :biggrin:
     
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  14. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Super Member

    Messages:
    1,660
    Yeah, my CCA acts weird too.

    Cast fine from the phone using the Home App, then just....stops. App says I'm still connected. A ping from my laptop shows the CCA is still on the wifi network and responds to the ping. Disconnect/reconnect from the Home App and it works again.

    I still can't figure out why my laptop cannot see/detect my CCA though - so I can't cast from my laptop anymore -used to.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
    arbalest likes this.
  15. GChief

    GChief AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,744
    Location:
    Eastern NC
    Mine seems to be a Spotify or Apple issue, works great every time from laptop and Kindle

    Edit: mine is only a problem when I pause Spotify for an extended period of time from my iPhone. Close the app, reselect CCA and it plays fine until the next time I stop it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
  16. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    I tried a couple of Android devices, same issue. Google Home can see it, reboot, etc. But apps are losing it.
     

     

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  17. psychoaudio

    psychoaudio I didn't do it Subscriber

    I have zero issues with CCA hooked up to my Mcintosh using spotify and iphone6
     
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  18. robert_kc

    robert_kc AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    843
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    I have problems with CCA occasionally. I mostly use CCA to play Spotify Premium, usually controlled via the Spotify app on an Android tablet. (Occasionally, I use Tune-In to listen to KUSC.)

    Switching gears - I recently acquired a Chromecast (video), because it was bundled with a Google Home smart-speaker for a cheap price. Chromecast works great – until it doesn’t. While watching a Netflix movie last night via streaming, the Android-based Netflix app lost control of the movie repeatedly. (Sometimes I couldn’t pause the movie. Or, sometimes after I had paused the movie, I couldn’t start it again. And the Android app sometimes would be out-of-synch with the TV.) Reboot everything – sometimes the app works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes I could go to the Google Home menu on my Android tablet, select Devices, select the Chromecast, and pause the movie from there. Sometimes works, sometimes not.

    The Google Home smart-speaker is an amazing way to control CCA and Chromecast, except when it doesn’t work. (And it seldom works satisfactorily for classical music.)

    These Chromecast, CCA and smart-speaker gizmos would be great if they worked reliably. Hopefully Google will iron out the bugs. Nonetheless, IMO CCA works well enough that it is a worthwhile way to enjoy music. (When I engage in serious listening of music, I employ SACD, hi-res FLAC downloads, Blu-ray (audio and video), and occasionally CDs, all via an Oppo UDP-205 (or BDP-105, BDP-95) universal player.)

    Bottom line regarding video, I haven’t decided if I’ll continue to use Chromecast for streaming movies. Based on my limited experience, it seems that Blu-ray discs and my Oppo player are a better solution for movies. (And Netflix’s library of video discs is much larger than their streaming library.)

    Bottom line regarding music, I’m primarily a “his-res discs, downloads, and Oppo” fan. However, given the cheap price of CCA and Spotify Premium, and the potentially convenient access to an enormous library of music, CCA and Spotify also have a role in my systems. I view these different technologies as complementary, not mutually exclusive.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  19. gvl

    gvl Super Member

    Messages:
    1,012
    I shuffled some of my gear around, moved another WiFi device further from the CCA, powered the CCA from a LPSU, so far so good (knocking on wood).
     
  20. Wildcat

    Wildcat Audio Sommelier

    Messages:
    4,911
    Location:
    MI, US
    That's me, in a nutshell. If it's background music while doing other activities, the CCA has been perfect for that. Serious listening is always done through my main system using a proper network player or vinyl.

    Google Home will definitely improve as time goes on. I'm using it for some home automation right now and it is working quite well.
     

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