Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)
  • Will a music streamer enhance my Amazon Music HD experience?
  • I’ve just signed up for the 90 day free trial.

    I’m currently using the Android app and listening through my Yamaha R-S202D using the Bluetooth input.

    Would a separates style music streamer give enhanced performance? I’m guessing that in my current config, the phone is the weakest link? As I have an amp/tuner already; is it possible to buy a streamer only that I can play through the the R-S202D?

    Thanks for any help on this.

    Doubt it. The phone isn’t a weak link whilst the music remains in the digital domain.

    CraigW
    Member

    Standard Bluetooth audio is fairly low bitrate, so that may be limiting the quality. If you can use AptX HD, that could give better quality. Not sure if at that Yamaha supports AptX?

    If you want to use the Amazon system, look at the Echo Link. It has optical out, to connect to your amp.

    MrSmith
    Member

    Having gone from 320kbs to tidal hifi and masters I found a big difference in sound quality but that will depend on how good your hifi is.* I do sit and listen to music though not just have it as background noise.
    I tried amazon HD but couldn’t get it to work in my Naim/Apple system even after fiddling with a chromecast audio and optical cables.

    *im using a Naim unitiqute2/Leema speaker and for office/mobile use an audioquest dragonfly/dt880’s/se215

    If you want to fiddle then people are making raspberry pi boxes (I know very little about this so may have got how they work wrong)

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Sounds like a right mugs game this Amazon HD!
    I think you’d wanna read all the stuff about compatible devices and bandwidth and stuff and then do a blind comparison before spending out and kidding yourself.

    love this bit
    “How do I know the audio quality of content I am listening to?
    When listening to music on Amazon Music HD, you can tap/click on the SD/HD/Ultra HD badge on the Now Playing screen and view the following streaming details –

    Track quality – The highest-quality file available for that track in the Amazon Music HD catalog.
    Device capability – The highest-quality audio that your device operating system reports that it is capable of.
    Currently playing at – The quality of the source file of the currently playing track. For streaming, the current source file quality may change due to varying network conditions”

    surely the answer to how do I know the quality of what I’m listening to is that you can bloody hear it. Otherwise…
    I bet they don’t let you down load the wav files either, so you have to keep paying the subscription.

    Premier Icon StirlingCrispin
    Subscriber

    I have recently bought a Yamaha wxad10 Musicast for use on an old-school Hifi and it’s excellent.

    (Way better than a Google Cast via the TV into the Hifi).

    Only works on Spotify though, Amazon Music is apparently coming soon and I can’t get it to work on Google Music.

    CountZero
    Member

    I’m guessing that in my current config, the phone is the weakest link?

    More likely your hearing. I’ve done a direct comparison between tracks in lossless, full CD quality and 320Kb ACC, through a pair of UE TripleFi Studio IEM’s, and I’ve been unable to really hear much of a difference. So I only rip CD’s in 320Kb variable bitrate.
    Just don’t get me started on vinyl being superior quality.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I’ve been unable to really hear much of a difference

    Sssshhh! Don’t tell them that!

    nick1962
    Member

    Audiophiles may scoff at me but I’ve got the same track in Hi Res,CD lossless and MP3.After repeated blind listening all I could detect was that the Hi Res sounded a bit louder.All played through the same decent DAC, amp and speakers.

    Premier Icon colournoise
    Subscriber

    Luddite time!

    It’s just like digital photography. All that matters is that it sounds/looks good to you on the gear your have available. The actual numbers don’t really matter that much…

    A little research tells me that I don’t need to introduce more kit to make this sound better.

    I’m using an ASUS 8″ tablet to stream Amazon Music via BT (A2DP) to my amp.
    I thought an Echo Link would improve things thinking I could optically connect aptX BT to my amp. GUess what – the £190 Echo Link uses the same BT profile as the amp!

    So. Stet.

    CraigW
    Member

    I thought an Echo Link would improve things thinking I could optically connect aptX BT to my amp. GUess what – the £190 Echo Link uses the same BT profile as the amp!

    If you are streaming Amazon Music, the Echo Link should stream it directly over the internet, ie with WiFi or ethernet. So it doesn’t need to use Bluetooth. It can receive the HD stream directly.
    You could use your tablet as a controller, but the music isn’t actually going through the tablet.

    Don’t need to use Bluetooth unless you are playing music stored on the tablet.

    You could use your tablet as a controller, but the music isn’t actually going through the tablet.

    Don’t need to use Bluetooth unless you are playing music stored on the tablet.

    I need to sit down and think about this!

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    Ignoring the ‘can you hear a difference’ stuff (although they have a point).

    I went around this exact thought process when Amazon launched HD music. My conclusion was there is no way currently to get the hires music to anything external to the Amazon ecosystem (and it’s nonsense to think a smart speaker, even a ‘Studio’ one, is worth spending money on hires for).

    That Echo Link device doesn’t support hires.
    Any Bluetooth protocol is still lossy.
    Any tablet or phone interface is limited to 16bit unless you use a dedicated driver on Android (that Amazon doesn’t support).

    There’s a long thread on the Amazon Devices user forum if really interested in lots of detail.

    While I was playing around with hires, Tidal Masters controlling an external DAC (so bit-perfect) and headphone amp and a decent set of headphones did sound lovely. Not to the point I subscribed though.

    Premier Icon seosamh77
    Subscriber

    It’s the device that’s doing the play back that matters, hi res doesn’t matter if you are getting 320 mp3, it’s all good, upping to lossless isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference.

    Improving your hardware will make all the difference(No idea what your current set up sounds like mind, but if you aren’t happy with it, I’d look at improving that before anything).

    MrSmith
    Member

    It’s the device that’s doing the play back that matters, hi res doesn’t matter if you are getting 320 mp3, it’s all good, upping to lossless isn’t going to make a blind bit of difference.

    except it does if your hi-fi is good enough to reveal the difference.
    while good recordings (in 320 or 16/44flac) have an influence lossless playback sounds better than 320mp3.

    i find hi-res gets my foot tapping and has a wider/deeper soundstage. the difference is less noticeable on ‘budget’ IEM’s but very noticeable at home. but if you can’t hear the difference yourself then by all means save the money.
    i find the comparison between tidal masters and 16/44 very small and more of a presentation thing than simply better. (i can’t listen to masters on hi-fi though as i don’t have a system that will unfold the MQA)

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    Agreed. The jump from 320kbps (what Amazon call SD) to 16/44 (what Amazon call HD) is very noticeable to me.

    24/192 (Amazon’s Ultra HD, i.e. hi-res) is where you sit there with your headphones, maybe convincing yourself there’s a difference after a few whiskys.

    I’ve just looked, most of the Amazon Music HD catalogue is 16/44 anyway, with a bit of hi-res.

    To the OP, if you wanted a step up to ‘CD quality’ (your current limitation is the AAC Bluetooth on the amp, gives you sort of mid-MP3 quality) then that Echo Link would do that I think. Otherwise, no point paying for Music HD with your current setup.

    Also, this article suggests streamers from Marantz and Denon support Amazon Music HD, but are light on detail and more expensive.

    ‘Most Denon and Marantz products with HEOS built-in support the service, including but not exclusive to Denon’s 2017-2019 AV amps, Denon’s CEOL N-10 and DNP-800NE streamer, Marantz’s 2017-2019 AV amps, Marant’z NA6006 streamer and ND8006 streaming CD player.’

    If me, I’d be tempted to try an Echo Link, if no good and doesn’t sound any better to you just return it.

    https://www.whathifi.com/news/first-wave-of-product-support-for-amazon-music-hd-confirmed

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    I need to sit down and think about this!

    From the description on Amazon, you have a choice of either streaming music from your device to the Echo Link using Bluetooth, or the Link can stream direct over WiFi from supported music services, no Bluetooth involved.

    Premier Icon FuzzyWuzzy
    Subscriber

    It’s just like digital photography. All that matters is that it sounds/looks good to you on the gear your have available. The actual numbers don’t really matter that much

    But it’s the “good to you” bit I struggle with. If I read Hi-Fi/audio system reviews that talk about expansive soundstages and hearing details in tracks they’d never heard before, or problems with a compressed mid-range I can’t help but wondering is there an audio equivalent of the first time you watch a decent HDR film and realise how much better it is than an HD picture (despite previously being perfectly content with an HD picture). I keep thinking about investing in some decent HiFi stuff but I don’t as I figure I’ll probably end up not noticing an obvious difference. I bought some (to me) fairly expensive Flares Pro in-ear headphones and a few FLAC files to test with and couldn’t really tell any difference vs £20 Shure ones I had with compressed file tracks.

    I still keep thinking I’m missing out on something though :p

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    I still keep thinking I’m missing out on something though

    You’re not.. but that’s what they want you to think.

    MrSmith
    Member

    I still keep thinking I’m missing out on something though :p

    well that’s easily solved by walking into a hi-fi dealer and saying i would like hear a streamer/amp/speakers to listen to tidal/amazon/quboz/deezer and have £X to spend.

    Like what you hear? think about buying something and what features you need.
    Not that impressed or can’t see the value in spending £X? go home with no FOMO.

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    You’re not.. but that’s what they want you to think.

    Does depend on your starting point IMO. Listening to MP3s? You can do better (if you want to). CDs (or equivalent?) Prob good enough already, but no harm in having a listen if interested.

    I did the same pre Xmas, and asked the same on audio groups, the answer is yes but the overwhelming view was that streaming services seem to be ahead of the actual kit… though I have to say at that stage I got lost in bit rates and stuff.

    Bluetooth is definitely not the way to go, if you have a jack plug and the output is suffient to support hi quality it is much better. with an iPhone/iPad you can get an adapter for your lightening port that works well, certainly better than the jack output.

    Overall though, for me, it took me three days to realise that what I loved about music was not skipping about but playing an lp as it was intended plus the whole physical nature of selecting an lp off the shelf and enjoying its design.

    So as good as the amazon service was my records were, to my ears, better.

    Premier Icon rone
    Subscriber

    I ran it for a bit. Mixed results. A lot of stuff isn’t mastered to the highest spec anyway so your results will vary.

    It’s a nice option to have.

    Premier Icon DezB
    Subscriber

    Listening to MP3s? You can do better (if you want to). CDs (or equivalent?) Prob good enough already, but no harm in having a listen if interested.

    mp3s, CDs, vinyl, wavs, streamed, ipod, minidisc. Streaming speaker, hifi, headphones… I just like music. Don’t have to get off on the quality of the equipment.
    I mean, hi-fi dealer gives you a demo in their enviornment – how often are you actually listening to music in a similar environment?
    Still, it doesn’t matter to me if people wanna waste their money 🙂

    Premier Icon Jamze
    Subscriber

    Don’t have to get off on the quality of the equipment.

    My comment was actually more about the ‘quality’ of what you’re listening to, rather than equipment. But yeah, just spend money on whatever makes you happy.

    Same here, good music is good music wherever you hear it. But I’d still prefer to listen on my headphones sometimes rather than the various smart speakers in the house.

    I mean, hi-fi dealer gives you a demo in their enviornment – how often are you actually listening to music in a similar environment?

    If it was me, I’d take my headphones, and listen to music I knew, remove as many variables as pos 👍🏻

Viewing 26 posts - 1 through 26 (of 26 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.