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In Reply to: RE: new to online streaming posted by Tadlo on March 18, 2017 at 10:18:39
"But I am wondering if I am needlessly compromising sound quality by using the Iphone as the source. "
It's not so much the iPhone as it is the lower resolution of the streaming service combined with the lower resolution of bluetooth. Try a direct connection from the iPhone to your amp, using a 3.5mm to RCA adapter cable. Ditch the bluetooth. That will help, but Spotify is still relatively "low-res" compared to a CD.
Additionally, if you ever want to experiment with higher resolution from the iPhone, try ripping CDs as AIFF or ALAC (Apple Lossless) then sync it to your iPhone with iTunes. Then use an outboard DAC like the Audioquest Dragonfly series from your Lightning connector using a Lightning to USB adapter cable.
I run my iPhone in the car with AIFF and ALAC files on it with the iPhone 'direct connected' to the car's DAC via Lightning to USB. This completely eliminates the iPhone's internal DAC and it's internal analog stage and audio quality is excellent.
In the photos below the iPhone is direct connected to the car's internal DAC, the cellphone amplifier & external antenna. The adapter also holds the iPhone securely in place. But even w/o the adapter you can see a USB port nearby. That port will do the same thing (except the iPhone will not be connected to the cellular RF amp and external antenna). The main point is to ditch bluetooth. A direct analog connection via 3.5mm to RCA adapter is better. A direct digital connection to an outboard DAC is best. In this case the outboard DAC is part of the car's audio system.
iPhone under the armrest
Thanks. I already have a Dragonfly. I never thought of using it with the Iphone.
The newer Dragonflys require less power than the originals and should work directly on your iPhone via the USB-to-Lightning adapter cable.
Tidal HiFi streaming from iPhone to DragonFly Red (via the original Apple Lightning to USB Camera Adapter) pretty much changed my life ... or at least changed how I view this whole streaming thing (to which I am also very new).
I started with this configuration as a very convenient portable (headphone) system solution. Then it migrated to my home headphone system. And now something like this is making the leap to my main system. Those little DragonFlies are pretty formidable beasts. And I think that someone could be quite happy streaming lossless from a mobile phone to one of them, connecting to an integrated amplifier like yours via the cable that AbeCollins showed us.
More specifically, and as AbeCollins said, the newer Red and Black versions of DragonFly work directly with iPhone. Do you have one of these -- or an older generation (original or version 1.2)? If the latter, you MAY get it to work with your iPhone with a powered USB hub or the newer Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter (link below) -- which allows for simultaneous phone charging with a connected USB device. (It also clears up some sonic issues that were present with the older adapter.) This is just an informed guess -- but possibly something to try if your DragonFly predates Red and Black.
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