Skip to main content

Topic: Ones and Zeros to DAC (Read 441 times) previous topic - next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
  • athegn
  • [*]
Ones and Zeros to DAC
This must be covered on this site somewhere, but I can't find it; if so please direct me to the relevant discussion(s).

I play most of my recorded music, mainly FLAC, through my Galaxy phone to a Google Chromecast Audio dongle, connected to a DAC using the optical Chromecast output; occasionally I play a FLAC from a netbook via its USB output to the DAC. Other home listening is from a Cambridge Audio DAB tuner via its optical output to the DAC.

FLACs ripped from CDs, lately, via a portable DVD player (I no longer have a dedicated CD player) connected to the netbook; FLAC files copied to the phone.

So in each case it is ones and zeros reaching the DAC just via different routes. Wired USB (netbook), wired optical (DAB) and wifi (phone to Chromecast).

I have tried various A/B testing to see if I could hear any differences between the the USB and Chromecast options. To be honest I don't think I really can. But I soon got bored with testing and returned to listening to one or the other method; so is has not been exhaustive testing.

So my question is there a consensus on just sending ones and zeros to the DAC, by what ever method, is good enough or is one better than another?


  • saratoga
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Re: Ones and Zeros to DAC
Reply #1
Question doesn't really make sense.  If you assume two things forward the same information there is no difference. 

  • kode54
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
  • Administrator
Re: Ones and Zeros to DAC
Reply #2
The only possible way different methods of ones and zeroes reaching another destination could differ, is in timing, and sound devices at the very end of the chain (USB DAC, S/PDIF DAC, receiver, etc) have their own timing chips clocking the signal to the output at a steady rate. Timing errors may result in the incredibly rare possibility of signal gaps, but that requires either quite a bit of clock drift, or insufficient buffering somewhere.

It's usually a fire-and-forget system, you're not likely to find any one way to be noticeably better at transmitting the data than another, except that the Chromecast is probably wireless, so it may have higher latency and wireless retransmission issues to contend with.

  • athegn
  • [*]
Re: Ones and Zeros to DAC
Reply #3
Thank you for your replies. This is what I thought.  So my setup is giving me the best I can get, until my DAC does its job.

Mind you my old ears probably won't be able to tell much better anyway.