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Does BlueTooth range extender compromise sound quality?


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Hi everyone - as stated in the title, a pretty simply question. Any specific one I should buy?

 

I want to stream music from my iMac, but it's in my bedroom and the amp is in my living room, so the reception is a bit spotty. I want to get a BT extender, but just wanted to make sure they don't compromise sound quality.

 

I use the Fidelia app to stream FLAC to Nuprime IDA-8. On Fidelia I set the output to

 

Device Sample Rate - Match Song

Converter - Goodhertz

Filter Type - Linear Phase

Quality - Better

 

Let me also know if you spot any weaknesses in this set up. Thank you!

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Oh my, using Bluetooth as a wireless streaming audio method is a compromise on quality in itself, regardless of using a range extender for it!

 

Assuming you are using the NuPrime BTR-8 Bluetooth dongle for the IDA-8 amp at the very best you'll be Bluetooth streaming compressed audio at 'near' CD quality, using the lossy aptX audio codec and that's only if it's been coupled with a Bluetooth aptX supporting transmitter on the iMac. So you are certainly not streaming FLAC files nor any other lossless audio file format for that matter!

 

 

What are the resolutions of the FLAC files you intend to stream from the iMac?

Do you not have a home network with WiFi?

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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Thank you for the reply. The files I have now are mostly 44kh (CD Quality?), but some are 192kh.

 

I have wi-fi with AirPlay, but I don't know how to get the NuPrime to support it? Is there a way?

 

This is a temporary solution, as I am considering buying a Mac Mini as a dedicated music server and plugging it into the NuPrime via USB. But if I could somehow get the same quality from my iMac via AirPlay, I'm all ears.

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Oh my, using Bluetooth as a wireless streaming audio method is a compromise on quality in itself, regardless of using a range extender for it!

 

Exactly my reaction.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Computer Audiophile

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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Can you explain why Bluetooth sounds way better than USB in my car, using my phone/Tidal lossless?

 

Bluetooth applies compression, so for it to sound better something about that USB implementation is doing greater harm.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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Bluetooth applies compression, so for it to sound better something about that USB implementation is doing greater harm.

Yes but it is sufficiently transparent to allow me to clearly hear when I switch from Tidal HiFi to the lower res versions so Bluetooth can't be that bad.

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Yes but it is sufficiently transparent to allow me to clearly hear when I switch from Tidal HiFi to the lower res versions so Bluetooth can't be that bad.

 

If your goal is "not that bad" then sure Bluetooth is fine.

 

I regularly use Jaybird X2 Bluetooth earbuds. With these I can hear a difference from better streaming quality in Tidal as well. And it's fine for background listening when at work or the gym. But I go wired when I care about the sound quality.

Digital:  Sonore opticalModule > Uptone EtherRegen > Shunyata Sigma Ethernet > Antipodes K30 > Shunyata Omega USB > Gustard X26pro DAC 

Amp & Speakers:  Spectral DMA-150mk2 > Aerial 10T

Foundation: Stillpoints Ultra, Shunyata Denali power conditioner, Shunyata Alpha and Delta power cords, Shunyata Alpha interconnect, Shunyata Sigma Ethernet, MIT Matrix HD60 speaker cables, ASC isothermal tube traps, Stillpoints Aperture panels

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If your goal is "not that bad" then sure Bluetooth is fine.

 

I regularly use Jaybird X2 Bluetooth earbuds. With these I can hear a difference from better streaming quality in Tidal as well. And it's fine for background listening when at work or the gym. But I go wired when I care about the sound quality.

Would be interesting to hear whether the OP prefers Bluetooth to USB in his set up, it's not easy to find well implemented USB at the lower price point is it?

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Would be interesting to hear whether the OP prefers Bluetooth to USB in his set up, it's not easy to find well implemented USB at the lower price point is it?

 

I would need a very, very long USB cord to find out :-) Though I suppose I can move some files onto a laptop.

 

On a side note, in my BMW, the audio from my phone sounds clearly inferior via BT than USB. Though I would like to stick to my original question, if I may :-)

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Ok, so I moved a few files over to my MacBook and installed Fidelia, connected to the USB port. The sound is marginally better for sure. Next step is to download FLAC of an album I know sounds amazing on CD in my set up (Nine Inch Nails Pretty Hate Machine or Nirvana Unplugged or Daft Punk Random Access Memories) and test that. Basically I am trying to figure out what's more worthwhile in my set up - continue buying CDs or get a dedicated music server. More soon.

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Thank you for the reply. The files I have now are mostly 44kh (CD Quality?), but some are 192kh.

 

I have wi-fi with AirPlay, but I don't know how to get the NuPrime to support it? Is there a way?

 

This is a temporary solution, as I am considering buying a Mac Mini as a dedicated music server and plugging it into the NuPrime via USB. But if I could somehow get the same quality from my iMac via AirPlay, I'm all ears.

AirPlay does use the lossless ALAC audio codec fixed at CD resolution 16bit/44.1kHz for audio streaming, so should be fine for bit perfect audio capture of your 16/44.1kHz FLAC files played using Fidelia on the iMac. Fidelia's output from playing the higher res 192kHz FLAC files will of course be downsampled to 16/44.1kHz, with AirPlay streaming.

 

However, having done a bit of research into your previous posts, it looks like you've reported problems connecting an Apple TV 2 to your NuPrime amp's toslink input in an attempt to stream AirPlay. The Apple TV does resample all audio it receives that's not 16bit/48kHz (ie, includes AirPlay) to 16bit/48kHz, though I'm not sure if that explains the issues you were having with it connected to your amp's toslink input (included you sending the amp for repair, I believe). Whose to say the amp's toslink input used by something else for AirPlay (eg Airport Express) won't have similar issues?

 

Perhaps the best amp input to use is the USB audio one, especially as it's your current intention to eventually connect a Mac Mini to it for your FLAC audio playback. How about getting a Raspberry Pi 3 with a free network audio file player distro that also supports AirPlay? For example, the excellent and very well supported Moode Audio Player:

http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/moode-audio-player-raspberry-pi-23858/

That way you can even test networking streaming the hi-res FLAC files with Moode as a UPnP/DLNA network audio file player, as well as compare UPnP/DLNA streaming CD res FLAC files with AirPlay, via the amp's USB audio input.

 

BTW, a quick question. Do you have a spare wired network connection that can be used by a device connected to the NuPrime or does it have to be WiFi only?

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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The NuPrime does not have a wired connection (you need to buy a $99 Wireless/wired adapter, but sadly it does not support AirPlay), but it has a B-male USB port. I finally did the ultimate test by downloading FLAC version of the remastered NIN Pretty Hate Machine onto my laptop, and played that through the USB port and it does sound as good as my remastered CD version. So, probably NAS through USB is one way to go.

 

I'll look into Raspberry as well, as I am completely unfamiliar with it.

 

P.S. About my other issue - NuPrime did fix the TosLink input.

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Sorry, I think you misunderstood. Does the room that the NuPrime is in have a spare wired network connection & close enough for a streaming device (attached and outputting its audio to the NuPrime, eg, the Raspberry Pi) to use or is it wireless only?

 

Indeed, the Raspberry Pi is certainly worth a look, especially if it does save you getting a Mac Mini!

We will win because our NHS is the beating heart of this country. It is the best of this country. It is unconquerable. It is powered by love.

-- Boris Johnson

 

We are far more united and have far more in common with each other than things that divide us.

-- Jo Cox

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