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Chromecast Audio

Kumar Kane

New member
CC working fine

CC working fine

My installed CC started delivering music within 5 minutes of unboxing, and is performing flawlessly. However, the distance to the wireless transmitter is just 6 feet, line of sight.

Martin, how far away from your wifi base station is your CC? There is the solution of wiring, but unfortunately the more the distance, the more the wiring inconvenience as well. Something true of all such systems.
 
Solved

Solved

The wifi problem is solved, i had some problems with my different routers. the dynamic setting is on but i think the sound is thinner than my sonos or cd but good enough for it's purpose to serve the whole family and guests. for 29 euro's a great tool! i haven't tried the connection with the beresford dac yet...
 

ssfas

Well-known member
Mains/wireless audio?

Mains/wireless audio?

On the computer audio thing generally, I tried streaming from a server internet over mains and there was a totally unacceptable level of noise. The noise may come from somewhere else and I have a bridge (on sale or return) that will see where the problem lies.

I fear I may be reverting to a new audio server from the same supplier - a processor, choice of operating systems, 1TB SSD hard drive (max. 4 drives can be plugged in), specialist audio usb output card (costs about £270 on its own) and low noise power supply. They sell it as a kit or for about £100 more they will put it together (takes about an hour if you know how). For set-up they supply a keyboard and you need to plug it into the TV, then it just sits on its own.

It is effectively a slave computer optimised for audio, mainly the usb card and power supply, basically at component cost.

Although I hate Windows, I like jRiver, which works best on Windows.

It may be the end result because wireless and internet over the mains audio seems much poorer than a quality direct usb or wired RJ45 connection to a DAC.
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Great CC

Great CC

the dynamic setting is on
I have found the sound with dynamic setting on, 2 volts, to be just as good as from Sonos or a CDP. With the setting off, the sound levels drop and the sound becomes congested. However that may be just a function of the signal level dropping to 1.4 volts.

I would say that the 1.4 volts is a compressed setting and the 2 volts, what Google calls high dynamic range is normal. I have my 2 volts going into the aux input of a Rotel stereo amp, but cheaper kit/boomboxes may find that too much to handle without clipping and hence need the 1.4 volts setting that is all they can handle. That's my theory, at any rate.

But listening and using the CC has proved to me that Google hasn't oversold the device. And while the USD 35 seems a steal, it seems too much when the gadget is handled, it is like a small plastic hockey puck. But that doesn't impact what it delivers which is excellent quality sound source, worthy of any downstream appliance one may use it with.

The promised multi room upgrade will take it to the next level - provided that WiFi reach and range don't get to be deal breaking issues.
 
Level match

Level match

I have found the sound with dynamic setting on, 2 volts, to be just as good as from Sonos or a CDP. .
It is more close than I thought only the sound level in comparison with sonos/dac is a fraction lower.

Is it also possible to stream music from the pc to the CC ( just like sonos) with a special app ?

{Moderator's comment: Don't forget: any change in voltage level WILL change your perception of sound balance and quality. That is how human hearing works}
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Straming

Straming

Is it also possible to stream music from the pc to the CC ( just like sonos) with a special app ?
Using apps like BubbleUpnP, or Localcast one can stream music from a wired NAS to the amplifier, via the CC/handheld controller giving the start streaming command.

I still haven't tried this, but I would think that a pc containing music ought to be able to work as a music server, like the NAS does.
 
Not a Sonos substitute

Not a Sonos substitute

Using apps like BubbleUpnP, or Localcast one can stream music from a wired NAS to the amplifier, via the CC/handheld controller giving the start streaming command.

I still haven't tried this, but I would think that a pc containing music ought to be able to work as a music server, like the NAS does.
Thanks, cannot find Bubbleupnp and Localhost won't show up with the apps CC can handle.

I thought it would automatically stream music from the pc or nas (just like sonos does) but this is totally different, you need to pay for the right app...
 

willem

Well-known member
Independent tests?

Independent tests?

Is there any news yet on the sound quality of the inbuilt DAC? I have tried to find some proper measurements, but I have found none thus far.

Of course there is the digital optical output, and that should be completely transparent, but requires a separate optical dac if you do not have one.
 

willem

Well-known member
Browser control

Browser control

From the PC you can apparently cast from a tab in the chrome browser. I am sure Firefox will follow soon enough.
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Sonos and progress

Sonos and progress

Is there any news yet on the sound quality of the inbuilt DAC? I have tried to find some proper measurements, but I have found none thus far.

Of course there is the digital optical output, and that should be completely transparent, but requires a separate optical dac if you do not have one.
Many active speakers come with optical inputs now that allows their built in DAC to be accessed, for these there isn't a need for the DAC you refer to. That said the maker of a well known active speaker in the UK makes it very clear on his website that his DAC is also just a commodity like many others and not something to be seen as a big differentiator for his speaker. If I had similar kit, I would choose between analog/optical based simply on what cable was lying around.

Proper measurements for any audio kit are hard to come by. The one place I know that consistently puts these out is Stereophile magazine though they hardly ever bother to correlate them with the usually styled subjective comments in the accompanying review. I can't see them testing CC in a hurry though, but I may be wrong! All I know is they haven't yet.

When I moved from a USD 2500 external DAC+CDP front end to a Sonos Connect in 2011, I did so after as good testing as I could do at home, to satisfy myself that I wasn't sacrificing quality for convenience. This listening was based on my ears and of a couple of friends, no measurements. I thought, and I still do, that if I can't hear any difference in an imperfect test, there isn't much likelihood of that surfacing by perfecting the test. I also use the analog outputs of one Sonos Connect with no perceived effect on sound quality. Sonos is the best audio purchase I have made in my life because it has greatly expanded the amount of music listening I do - so I have no regrets and no stress at all on this count:).

Ironically, over in the Sonos forums and elsewhere, there is discussion going on now as to how the DAC in the CC can't be as good as the one in the Connect! People get emotionally invested and don't see the progress made in the world of electronics in the 8-9 years since the Connect was released. And on scale driven cost reductions, even Sonos can't compete with Google.

CC does have some issues compared to Sonos, so I will not be changing platforms. Even if there weren't any, I have nothing to gain by a move. But a sound quality difference isn't an issue in my book, using the 2 volts signal into a Rotel stereo amp. YMMV.
 

willem

Well-known member
Inexpensive transparent DACs?

Inexpensive transparent DACs?

Well, this is primarily for my nice set up in the living room. That is still a traditional set up without modern connectivities, and without streaming. It uses a Quad 33 pre amplifier. I want to add streaming, and the CC seems a good way to proceed. The easiest way would be to just use the analogue output of the CC, and plug that into the tape input of the Q33, since the sensitivity of that input is adjustable (and it is the only one left).

So the question is if I connect directly, or add an outboard optical DAC, and the decision depends on the quality of the DAC in the CC. I agree that DAC's are not rocket science, and that many even quite afordable dac's are totally transparent. At the same time there have been enough serious tests (see e.g. de sites of NWavGuy or Archimago) to show that very cheap dacs or dacs in laptops or telephones are not invariably transparent. Some are, but some are not. So I think I am justified in being curious.

There is the additional complication that whereas getting a totally transparent usb dac like the ODAC is cheap and easy, I have not found a similar no nonsense product on the optical side. Also, I would rather not have yet another box and power supply.
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Sonos v CC ("budget Sonos")?

Sonos v CC ("budget Sonos")?

Anything more I write on the CC sound quality is redundant. I will only say that there is a bunch of reviews out there with diverse views, and some of them are written without discovering the 2 volts signal option which is the one on which I base my assessments.

However if I was buying today, I would still give very serious consideration to the USD 300 plus Sonos Connect based solution because:

1. Sonos offers start/stop and volume controls buttons on the body of the device as well as in the handheld remote. Unlike the new generation, I don't live life with my handheld phone always around me, so this ability to stop play/streaming and restart it at the point stopped, or to change volume at any time without looking for my phone is very useful. CC has no buttons on the device itself, all interface to the music stream needs the handheld app to be invoked after the phone is found. Volume changes can be done via the preamp of course, but CC will keep streaming and eat data quota even if the amp is shut off - streaming has to be stopped via the handheld or mains power to CC has to turned off for streaming to stop.

2. Sonos also offers the option of using its dedicated to audio Wifi layer for more robust music play that isn't affected by and doesn't in turn affect home wifi bandwidth usage.

3. Sonos offers a multi room in sync music capability that is very useful to me. At this time, CC doesn't do that.

4. Sonos has a very effective free for life support of a high quality. In four years, I have accessed it half a dozen times and it has been excellent. Sonos is armed with a way to remotely diagnose system health to allow for more precise intervention suggestions and my last experience was a long call placed to me from the UK support centre to address a system glitch. I doubt that free support to this depth is available from Google.

5. I have found the Sonos interface to music play to be faster and therefore slicker than that of CC which can be a little clunky at times.

The Sonos downsides are that wireless streaming up time isn't quite at the level of wired legacy kit. It is excellent and I do not need better, but reaching legacy levels involves the inconvenience of laying down ethernet cables. The other downside is price of course, and that now looks a bigger downside with the release of CC.

Pricing is a funny thing though because value perceived is subjective and influenced by many external factors. Replacing an expensive front end to an equally expensive system, the USD 300 for the Connect did not seem a big deal. At the same time, audiophiles still won't look at it because USD 300 is too low to be worth considering!

On the other hand, in the decade since Connect was introduced, hifi kit prices for which Connect is meant for the large part have dropped, and in relation to those, many now find the Connect to be overpriced. But second hand Connects hold their price very well, so there isn't a glut of cheap used devices. USD 350 v USD 35 for CC is big difference though and to what extent it makes sense is a subjective decision.

My daughter is thrilled with her "budget Sonos" CC set up and is perfectly content with what it does for her music needs that are met by Rdio and Tune In. Since she has a dual speaker pair capability in her Rotel 2 channel amp, she also gets multi room in sync when needed albeit with just one volume control but this seems to work brilliantly for parties that extend to two adjacent spaces in her home. Her system components are ones I handed down, and all are at least ten years old. But CC has done an excellent refresh job in making this an up to date audio set up in terms of music access and conveniences, for just USD 35.

There are of course plenty of other streamers, these are just the two I have used, with the caveat that CC usage is for just a few days.

Good luck with your search for a streaming solution. I am glad I found a good one because with all my CDs and vinyl boxed away and cable messes cleaned up, I am listening to much more excellent music today than at any time before I discovered the features and conveniences of digital streaming - both from my NAS and from music services on the net. In my book that is of much more value to my life than losing sleep over the faint possibility of some loss of sound quality. In any case the brain compensates for this very quickly as long as the difference isn't large, so why not just let it do its job and get on with enjoying a vastly larger access to great music?
 

Batears

New member
Bluetooth solution

Bluetooth solution

I have just purchased the following.
http://www.ebay.ca/itm/TDA7492P-Wireless-Bluetooth-4-0-Audio-Receiver-Digital-Amplifier-Board-50W-50W-/131606349971?hash=item1ea4598893:g:QF4AAOSwVL1

I Super Glued the board to the side of one of a pair of Realistic Minimus7& speakers. My granddaughter will love it, listening to whatever she does with her Ipad.

When I was her age and listening to MW Radio Caroline, there is no comparison, Bluetooth is very acceptable.
 

ssfas

Well-known member
Implementing Chromcast Audio

Implementing Chromcast Audio

Here are a couple of lovely videos on how to implement these cards.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEh5_4Ro5Mw
How old is this kid? 10?
He says the video is the first in a series, but clicking on his name there are no more. I presume he electrocuted himself soon thereafter. Quite lucky for AS, because he looked like he could have given Harbeth some stiff competition in the speaker market.

This defies description
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Uu57KTuWME
There's not a lot of Health & Safety going on. I assume he will electrocute himself (electronics in the kitchen?) before he smokes himself to death.
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Bluetooth audio

Bluetooth audio

I haven't used BT extensively, but from many accounts the sound quality now can be quite acceptable. But the problem still remains if one is streaming from a phone that the phone needs to be within 10-20 feet of the receiver and music is stopped each time the phone is used as a phone - I hear that even notifications sounds on the phone are broadcast. And of course the phone battery is used for music transmission to the receiver.

For the use you have referred, it seems very well suited though. Separately, it is amazing what the kids will do with iDevices. My still to be 3 year old granddaughter effortlessly navigates the interface, calling up music, photos, nursery rhymes on You tube and loves making the app icons wiggle. Unfortunately she also makes them disappear that way. We will very soon have to figure out the parental settings to restrict site access.
 

learning

New member
Unstable design?

Unstable design?

Starting to get a bit testy with my CC Audio as despite being able to connect to the device (as evidenced by the audio "blips" on start-up and connection), casting keeps failing and requires a hard restart of the device.

No ability to connect to 5 ghz, either. Lots of negative feedback on Google's feedback forum; looks like they released a device with unstable firmware and are desperately asking people to try router-based work-arounds.

C'mon Google. If you're going to use my personal information give me a stable product!
 

Kumar Kane

New member
Distance from router?

Distance from router?

What is your CC distance to router and is it line of sight?

The one I installed is next to the router, a few feet away and I have found that it takes a couple of stabs to start at times. But once it does, music play is stable. That's the clunky interface I spoke about in #72.

I have no idea what is the range for stable music play.
 

learning

New member
Proxy problem

Proxy problem

It's on a shelf directly below the router. Will try to move it.

Google are also suggesting that proxies may cause problems, which is a massive problem for a lot of people like me who are running them for privacy and getting around geographical restrictions.

Really Mickey Mouse of the Dark Lord.
 

ssfas

Well-known member
Another great loss?

Another great loss?

I use it over 50% of the time. The Sublime subscription makes downloads stupidly cheap for premium recordings. It would be a great loss. The French have a habit of saving companies wherever possible, so let's see. They also say that if they do go under I will get back the 6 months remaining on my sub, but let's wait and see.
 
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