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Spotify from ipad into hi-fi?

Discussion in 'Streaming Services' started by Neo-Luddite, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    If you go with Roon, I would just stick with Airplay for everything. The Roon Airplay features are first rate and probably the best on the market, other than maybe Airfoil. For the NAS route, many of them use their own software. Synology, for example, has Airplay built into most of their NAS if you use their DS Audio app. Of course, apps like Filebrowser can simply access hard drives plugged into your router and you can Airplay from the app using an iPhone or iPad.

    The main downside to Airplay is it plays everything at 16/44.1 resolution no matter what it is fed. It is bit perfect with that bit rate, though.
     
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  2. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I just hooked the Airport express to the Integrated amp without the Vault2 and it plays fine. An old one I had did not sound good so I thought it should have a dac. I do suspect after a very brief trial that the Vault is somewhat better sound but that is just a quick reaction. I tried to use the Dragonfly Red USB DAC from the Airport Express into the amp, but nothing. Is that USB port not an outlet for sound?
     
  3. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    No, the USB port on the Airport is for Printers, external drives and such.

    Eric
     
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  4. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So to add a DAC between the AE and the amp you use the Ethernet slot as you do for the Bluesound Vault? Or are you limited to the single little headphone cable as I am now using direct w/o external DAC?

    Thanks for the education.
     
  5. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    Mini toslink from the Audio Jack of the AE, as it should double as optical out. I assume the Vault has a optical input so that should work, just check what kind of input that is.

    Eric
     
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  6. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks Eric. I mean with no Vault to simply use the Airport Express to an amp, I guess one is limited to the headphone audio jack out? "
     
  7. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    Yes. But the AE has a very decent DAC so should sound fine.

    You can always get another DAC later if you feel like trying different things, or a Optical to USB converter for the AE to Dragonfly connection.
    That said I know nothing about Optical to USB converters, and cant say if that introduces any other Issues or not as far as SQ goes.

    Eric
     
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  8. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks again. It took me years to get this far but the boost was traveling away from my music collection. The best part for me is to hear new albums without the gamble of buying them first. It is like back in the day when you could go into a used album store and test out a bunch of music to buy. I could never get enthused about cable tv music stations sound.
     
  9. E.Auer

    E.Auer Well-Known Member

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    Kevin, I would not want to be without streaming music either.

    These are great times for Music lovers.

    Eric
     
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  10. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I have subscribed to music magazines to keep up, as you see from my signature. It is still a good source of inspiration for streaming. :)
     
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  11. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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  12. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill Forever Contemplative Subscriber

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    There are many of us who use AirportExpress successfully. Mine is connected via Ethernet cable to my D-Link router (bridge mode IIRC). I can't speak to Roon specifically but other streaming sources work fine. I'm sure others use Extreme without issue as well. With that said the router is key in all of this.
     
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  13. Rex81

    Rex81 Well-Known Member

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    I agree, the DAC inside the AE is excellent. I have done a blind comparison against other DACs costing up to $1,000 and the AE is warmer and fuller across the board. I would be very surprised if a Dragonfly between the AE and your amp would make it sound any better. I can't say for sure as the Dragonfly was not part of the comparison.

    I would avoid any kind of converter, but that's just me.
     
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  14. Rex81

    Rex81 Well-Known Member

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    Kevin, just so you're clear: Since you have a Bluesound Vault in your main system, the only reason to have the AE in there at all would be so you don't have to use the BlueOS app, if you really don't like it. But that's actually a pretty extreme option because you're adding complexity to your system and the beauty of the Bluesound products is that they're so simple. Plus, as uofmtiger mentioned, you lose any high-res capability, including MQA, which is one of the great features of the Bluesound products. I don't think BlueOS is that bad. They've actually made some nice updates to it that don't show up in the What Hi-Fi review.

    So I guess if it were me, I would simply run the Vault in your main system, hardwired with ethernet from your Airport Extreme and then analog out to your amp. No DAC needed, it has a great one onboard. Bite the bullet and learn to love the BlueOS app, warts and all. :)

    Then in the secondary system, run an Airport Express hooked up wirelessly to your Airport Extreme, running analog out to your amp. Again, no DAC needed. In this system you can run the native apps using Airplay to stream to your amp.

    This is what I do. No 3rd party apps to buy and no inferior DACs. Others may disagree, but it works for me.
     
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  15. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Thanks Rex and Rocky, and all. So I am probably overthinking it as a rookie streamer. It does work and sound good with just the AE which was a surprise. I did as suggested and moved the Bluesound Vault 2 to my music room (aka "guest room"). Now in busy living room kitchen where my wife watches movies etc I use just AE streaming without Bluesound.

    I dug out the Cobblestone Muso which wouldn't connect to my network after having worked already. It woke up. It works fine now but it also has it's own app which is not anywhere near as good as the Blue app so I will go back to the AE simply with Tidal. The Cobblestone may sound as good or better as the AE but that app. Makes no sense when the AE works.

    I agree that the Bluesound app is not so bad. I am enjoying the Vault so much that when I moved it to the music room, I ordered a Node 2 for the living room just so it can access my Vault's big collection of stored cds.

    Also thanks to CKDC and others who helped further back on this venture.
     
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  16. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    They seem to be referring to using them for your network's wifi system and not really discussing using the APE for audio only and receiving a wifi signal. The new thing in routers these days are the "mesh" systems described in the article. The Airport Extreme can't currently compete on that level and there was plenty of discussion earlier in the year that Apple moved the people from the Airport division in with the AppleTV division, which is why they are speculating that Apple routers are done. Of course, Apple never said they were done, so it could just be they want a full featured hub for TV/Smart home combined with wifi networking.

    However, if they discontinue them, you may not see regular updates for security and that might pose a problem down the road.
     
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  17. Markoneswift

    Markoneswift Quartz locked n ready to rock Subscriber

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    Just dropping in to give a big +1 to the APE for streaming. I have one and use it solely for streaming FLAC files from my PC. I convert my PC audio output to an Airplay stream using Airfoil (brilliant little program) and then send it over to the APE. It then goes out through the headphone jack to twin RCAs using a good quality cable and straight into my Yamaha R-S700. Sounds great :)
     
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  18. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I have Airplay devices all over the house and never have issues. I think Roon has a negative attitude about Apple, in general, so I would take some of their comments about Apple/Airplay with a grain of salt:

    Per their COO:
    "Apple is not allowing any integrations, so Roon is definitely not next.

    I think they are doing Sonos begrudgingly, as Sonos has such a large market share. It's very uncharacteristic for them to care, but they are afraid of Spotify."

    His contradictory comments above show a general unhappiness with Apple. I doubt that Apple is "afraid of Spotify". If they were so afraid, they could pull out few billion from the $250 billion in the coffers and buy them. They see Spotify as a competitor only to their music service and I doubt Apple Music makes it to their top ten in priorities (the first 9 things on the list would be related to the iPhone). What bothers me about his comments is the fact that it makes it harder for him to deal with Apple in the future. Apple has opened Siri in the last couple of years to services like Uber and Whatsapp and they have Apple Music on Android and Sonos. He doesn't know what Apple will do in the future, so why burn that bridge? Also, his point about there being better router options than the Airport Extreme was correct, but why not just recommend routers rather than bashing Apple's routers? I didn't see a long list of outdated crappy routers by other companies (many of which are worse than the Extreme) in his article.

    Anyway, that being said, Roon worked great with Airplay when I tested it last year. You could group zones and easily control everything from an iPad. I didn't stick with them because of price and because it isn't Siri compatible, however, it is a fantastic product if you don't mind paying for it.... also, if you want paid streaming, your are stuck with Tidal.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  19. KevinCorr

    KevinCorr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Well, I have never used any music software but Tidal and Bluesound app and the Muzo app. I never used iTunes or jriver etc.

    uofmtiger: "... I didn't see a long list of outdated crappy routers by other companies (many of which are worse than the Extreme) in his article."

    So you don't like this list by Roon:

    "Opt for a single 802.11ac router with a good reputation like the ASUS RT-AC88U, or hop on a train to the future with a mesh network by NETGEAR (Orbi), Google, or Eero, and you’ll be on your way to uninterrupted multiroom audio streaming. Even if you don’t have a high performance router or mesh network, avoiding some of the pitfalls outlined in this article will have you on your way to a robust, headache-free network."
     
  20. uofmtiger

    uofmtiger Super Member

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    I think they should have just started with the list rather than putting the bash against Apple routers at the top. If I am looking to find out what routers work best with Roon, I would rather look at the list above first and then they can bash anyone they want after that because the comments after that are irrelevant. Note that if you pull the top 20 routers up on Amazon, Apple doesn't even make the top 20. Maybe you put the Apple information toward the top if it is listed at the top of Amazon's charts, but there really isn't much reason to start with a long discussion about a router that isn't really all that popular these days. The provided cable router is probably much more popular, but he started with Apple in this discussion?

    By the way, I have the Orbi and it is great.
     
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