Airplay Quality

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mpaquette, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #1
    Does anyone know if Airplay is capable of streaming music in Apple lossless format without any loss of sound quality? Or will it compress it like Bluetooth does?
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    #2
    I have read in numerous places that Airplay actually uses the Apple Lossless codec so any audio you play using it would be uncompressed. It doesn't really need to be compressed like bluetooth does because Airplay uses Wifi so there's much more bandwidth to work with.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #3
    I can confirm that Airplay sounds much better than any bluetooth streaming I've heard. I honestly can't tell the difference between Airplay and local playback. If it't not lossless, it's pretty dang close.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #4
    Airplay does not modify the source. so you get what the source is. Yes it will play apple lossless.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #5
    Awesome, thanks for the replies. This will help me simply things with an Apple TV.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Hammie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wash, DC Metro
    #6
    I can't find the source right now, but I though that I read that all Apple products, including AirPlay downsamples everything to 24-bit (or was it 16-bit)/48kHz.

    However, I would love to be proved wrong. ;)
     
  7. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #7
    I found this hard to follow discussion on Audiogon. Each response to the original question is a separate link. Anyway, if I'm reading it correctly, the consensus seems to be that it's "CD quality" 16 bit / 44.1 khz. I may search around at AVS and see what I can find.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #8
    Afaik iTunes is not trancoding (which would be required of course to modify the source). I can't guarantee it but some folks that should know tell me thats the case.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    Hammie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wash, DC Metro
    #9
    AudioCore is doing the transcoding based on the settings in the Audio MIDI Setup. Keep in mind that EVERYTHING will be either up sampled or downsampled based on the setting. You either need a third party driver for an external DAC or another piece of software such as Pure Magic or Decible.

    However, keep in mind that AppleTV support a max sample rate if 44.1kHz on the ATV1 and 48kHz on ATV2.

    I have removed my AppleTV from my music stream and only use my AppleTV1 for movies and TV shows.

    My music setup is a Mac Mini with Pure Music connected to an Iomega MiniMax 2TB HDD via firewire. I then connect my Mac Mini to an external M2Tech Young DAC via USB. This DAC will support audio files up to 32-bit/384kHz and is connected to my Onkyo Pre-amp via RCA cables. All cables in this setup are AudioQuest Cinnamon or King Cobra.
     
  10. macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
  11. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2010
    Location:
    Columbia, SC
    #11
    The response I got over at AVS indicates that Apple TV 2 would convert my 16/44.1 ALAC files to 48 khz. I guess there is some debate as to whether or not this affects the sound quality. Thread here if you're interested.

    Hammie's set up is a lot more refined that mine is. I ditched my Anthem pre/pro and amp about 2 years ago and have been using a Denon 4810 as my AVR. All of my sources connect to it via HDMI and then HDMI out to my plasma. I really was set on selling my mini since it rarely gets used for anything except some ALAC playback through iTunes maybe 1-2x a month. Now I'm not so sure if I'll sell it.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Hammie

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location:
    Wash, DC Metro
    #12
    This is why I stopped using my Apple TV for music. I have a lot of hi-res music files (24/96kHz and above) and hated to think that I was not getting my money worth by having the Apple TV down sampling.

    IMO, the minor up sampling is not a big issue and probably has no discernible sound impact. As a matter of fact, many DACs are offering up sampling capabilities for ALL files to 24/96kHz or 24/192kHz. I prefer to play them at their native resolution. Just my personal preference and opinion. YMMV.
     

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