Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

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Author Accepted Answer selected by jimgfitz
Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

I think I'll probably end up with Apple Music and Tidal.  I'm definitely going to puchase a Bluesound Node 2i when we get home from vacation.  Depending on the difference in sound quality for Apple Music and Tidal will determine if I keep Tidal or not.  The Node 2i has a 3.5 mm headphone jack that I will connect to my Sennheiser RF175 headphones.  Bluesound told me I will get 24/192 out the headphone jack.  I'll have to use optical from the Node 2i to my Bose Soundtouch 300.  That should sound significantly better than streaming from the Apple TV 4k.

 

"Maya K. (BluOS)

Aug 7, 11:31 AM EDT

Hello Jim,

Thank you for contacting the BluOS Support Crew.

Regarding your question, the maximum resolution you will get from headphones output will be 24 bit /192.

If you have any further questions or concern feel free to get in touch.

Regards,
Maya K.
BluOS Support Crew Analyst"
Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

Got home from vacation yesterday and purchased a Bluesound Node 2i this morning.  Hooked it up using optical to my Bose Soundtouch 300.  After some dinking around I finally got it to work.  To my ears, the sound was no better than streaming Tidal using my Apple TV 4K and HDMI through my LG C7 OLED to the Bose.  So, I returned the Node 2i this afternoon and will stick with my current setup for now.  Down the road, I may consider a new receiver, DAC, and speakers, and I may very well purchase another Node 2i.  Right now, my Bose Soundtouch 300 is the weak link for high resolution music. 

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300


@jimgfitz wrote:

Got home from vacation yesterday and purchased a Bluesound Node 2i this morning.  Hooked it up using optical to my Bose Soundtouch 300.  After some dinking around I finally got it to work.  To my ears, the sound was no better than streaming Tidal using my Apple TV 4K and HDMI through my LG C7 OLED to the Bose. 

 

I suspect you got reasonably good bandwith passing the Tidal /ATV signal emitting from through the TV set over HDMI /ARC, certainly no less than optical. 

 

So, I returned the Node 2i this afternoon and will stick with my current setup for now.  Down the road, I may consider a new receiver, DAC, and speakers, and I may very well purchase another Node 2i.  Right now, my Bose Soundtouch 300 is the weak link for high resolution music. 

 

I am not certain the weak link is the SoundTouch 300 Sound Bar. I suspect the optical connection and perhaps the TV are the limiting factors. Leaving the TV aside... audio manufacturers have been slow to adopt HDMI connections and still seem to favour optical, those days are coming to an end however. Optical has relatively narrow bandwith when compared to HDMI especially considering the new Certified Premium 48Gbps cables which will comfortably carry 8K in time. There are a few high quality digital music players that can handle hi def uncompressed files quite handily. I have seen and heard them at audio shows and they are impressive, if you like digital music.

 

HDMI is capable of higher bandwith. In fact if you could find a device that carries Tidal and connects using HDMI you might hear better results. I beleive that to be the case for example listening to Netflix HQ audio sources over HDMI. Those streams sound very good and are a step up from optical connections, in my experience.

 

Turning to the TV, I am curious what the pass through specs are. Specifically the bandwith. I am aware your TV likely doesn’t pass Atmos, but what are the other implications to the bandwith? 

 

Having said that are you using the Tidal app on your Apple TV and playing  directly from the app using your Apple TV and connecting directly to the TV then on to the ST300?

 

 


 

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

Tidal will do MQA 24/192

Apple TV will do 16/44.1

Node 2i will do 24/192 via analog

Node 2i will do 24/96 via optical

(EDIT: Dragonfly DAC will do 24/96 via USB)

 

My ears could not tell much, if any, difference between Node 2i via optical to Bose (24/96) versus Apple TV 4K via HDMI to TV, HDMI to Bose (16/44.1).  To get the full benefit of Tidal MQA, I would need a Node 2i (or other MQA streamer), receiver, analog connected speakers.  My TV is Atmos capable, so I don't think it is a limiter.

 

I have not found any streaming devices that output HDMI since they are DAC's also (digital to analog converter).  Perhaps there is some sort of receiver that outputs HDMI at 24/192, IDK.

Highlighted
Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300


@jimgfitz wrote:

Tidal will do MQA 24/192

Apple TV will do 16/44.1

Node 2i will do 24/192 via analog

Node 2i will do 24/96 via optical

 

Good break down!

 

My ears could not tell much, if any, difference between Node 2i via optical to Bose (24/96) versus Apple TV 4K via HDMI to TV, HDMI to Bose (16/44.1). 

 

I think the Bose, and Apple products for that matter, offer a quality middle of the road experience as you are finding out

 

To get the full benefit of Tidal MQA, I would need a Node 2i (or other MQA streamer), receiver, analog connected speakers. 

 

Indeed 

 

My TV is Atmos capable, so I don't think it is a limiter.

 

That sounds right...Audio purists(philes) however would cringe at the thought of running signal through a tv regardless of the bandwith.

 

I have not found any streaming devices that output HDMI since they are DAC's also (digital to analog converter).  Perhaps there is some sort of receiver that outputs HDMI at 24/192, IDK.

 

Certainly there are devices out there now that really make digital audio shine. I was at a show two years ago and saw some pretty interesting gear playing Tidal tracks and hidef files from a hard drive. Premium gear indeed. Sounded great ???

 

https://www.naimaudio.com

 

 

As you said, for the time being Tidal /Apple TV over HDMI to Bose ST 300 will have to suffice.

 


 

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

Right now, I'm streaming Tidal MQA from my laptop to Bose Soundtouch 300 via HDMI.  Sounds pretty terrific.  I think it's 24/96 but seems to sound better than Node 2i via optical to Bose.  Maybe that's my imagination.  IDK.

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

Maybe the place to start is a good stereo, MQA capable receiver that will do HDMI out to the Bose Soundtouch 300.  Later, add a pair of full range speakers for analog out from the receiver and just use the Bose for TV, new speakers for music.  Use the Apple TV 4K primarily for Netflix, etc.

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300


@jimgfitz wrote:

Maybe the place to start is a good stereo, MQA capable receiver that will do HDMI out to the Bose Soundtouch 300.  Later, add a pair of full range speakers for analog out from the receiver and just use the Bose for TV, new speakers for music.  Use the Apple TV 4K primarily for Netflix, etc.


 

Indeed it is very difficult to capture all the variables, audio / video standards and capabilities of these systems in a one stop solution. 

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

OK, here is my final conclusion.  When streaming music to the Bose Soundtouch 300, there is probably no appreciable difference between Apple Music, Spotify, and Tidal.  Using an Apple TV 4K, you are getting CD quality (16/44.1) from all three providers.  To appreciate the higher resolution available from Tidal, you need to listen through headphones and a DAC or, you would need a more sophisticated/capable sound system than the Bose Soundtouch 300.

 

When listening to my Bose Soundtouch 300, they all sound just about the same to my 71 year old retired drummer/pilot ears.  I do appreciate the higher resolution Tidal music streaming through my PC or iPhone and using a Dragonfly Cobalt DAC and headphones.  If I ever have about $5K to $10K I don't need, I might consider a "standalone" music system including streaming device, DAC, receiver, amp, and speakers, all capable of high res and MQA.  For now, I think I will upgrade my cheap headphones for a good quality pair (wired).  YMMV.

 

As for now, I will keep Apple Music (free from Verizon), Spotify, and Tidal.  There are things I like about each.  Maybe later, I will decide I don't need all three and don't need to spend $30 per month for streaming music.

 

UPDATE:  Just bought a pair of brand X high res headphones for use with Dragonfly Cobalt DAC (PC and iPhone).  All is good for now.

Noisy Narrator

Re: Streaming Tidal On Bose Soundtouch 300

Started 30 day free trial of Qobuz.  Sounds great through my new brand X headphones and Dragonfly Cobalt.  Will give it a try using Apple Airplay 2 and Bose Soundtouch 300 tomorrow.  It's going to be a difficult decision on what apps to keep.