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Primephonic and Chromecast Audio bitrate?


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When I cast Primephonic's hi-res stream to a Chromecast Audio, my DAC (via Toslink) only receives a stream at bitrate of 44.1 or 48KHz.  Anybody have experience or suggestions for solving this?

 

Details:

 

When I cast Primephonic hi-res tracks (say, 24bit / 96KHz), my DAC's display only shows 44.1KHz or 48KHz, depending on the track, mostly 44.1 KHz. Listening with headphones, I can hear that the track is not fully hi-res.  The sound quality is good, but not awe-inspiring.

 

When I cast the identical hi-res track using Qobuz, my DAC's display shows the 96KHz bitrate.  My DAC only displays bitrate, so I can't see whether Primephonic's stream is 26 or 24 bit depth. With Qobuz, the sound is glorious: spacious trumpets and brassy brass!

 

If I connect to the DAC with USB, everything works as it should. Both Primephonic and Qobuz streams reach the DAC in full hi-res.

 

I contacted Primephonic's tech support.  They kindly responded quickly, and we seem to have narrowed down the problem to when my phone is Chromecasting, since the USB connection works fine.  Since Qobuz works fine while Chromecasting hi-res streams, I'm thinking that the problem lies in the Primephonic app, not my hardware. 

 

I'd welcome any suggestions!

 

By the way, Primephonic's service is superb overall.  Their classical search functions are excellent.  Their additional text (album liners, etc.) are a treat.

 

My setup:

 

Chromecast Audio, connected to my DAC via Toslink optical. (The max bitrate for Chromecast Audio is 96KHz, so I don't expect higher via Chromecast.)

Topping D50s DAC

NAD AV713 receiver

iPhone 12 Mini (and also tried Moto G7 Android, running Android 10)

Primephonic Platinum (hi-res) subscription

Qobuz Studio Premier (hi-res) subscription

 

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I'd say you've simply caught Primephonic with their pants down and they are trying to put the blame on your phone. Google Cast's normal mode of operation dictates that it's Primephonic's online server that's supposed to be directly supplying the Chromecast Audio with the audio file tracks that you've selected for streaming, with absolutely no handling of the audio file track streams by the phone itself.

 

BTW, the term you appear to be referring to is sample rate rather than bitrate.

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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@Cebolla: Excellent point.  I knew intellectually how Chromecast works, but I didn't quite internalize it. You're right: the phone itself should not affect the quality of the stream. And thank you for clarifying the terminology.  I do indeed mean sample rate. I found a good explanation here: Definitions. 

 

I'd love it if somebody else could check their sample rate when casting hi-res Primephonic to a Chromecast Audio connected to a DAC via Toslink. 

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I received a quick response from Primephonic's excellent tech support:  as of Feb 25, 2021, Primephonic limits their Chromecast streams to 16-bit, 48KHz sample rate due to their current server architecture. Primephonic is considering revising their architecture to allow hi-res support for Chromecasting. You can currently stream Primephonic up to 24-bit 192Khz sample rate via phones that support this quality or USB direct to your DAC.  My iPhone 12 successfully stream at 192KHz.  My Android Moto G7 streamed at 48Khz due to the downsampling to 48Khz that occurs on most Android phones.

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Ah, that makes far more sense. Thanks for the follow up.

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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