Airplay II and HiRES music streaming

Question for you guys…

Is there any point to me using Tidal hires streaming if I am using Airplay II (with its limitations) since Roon has not certified my equipment yet? I’m paying around 35.00/month between Roon and Tidal where I would be at at about 15/month with “another music service”


Have you considered switching to Qobuz and adding a RPi-based streamer? That would give you access to roon compatibility and full hires music at a negligeable cost. MQA is no better than Qobuz hires.

When people say Airplay isn’t high quality, they generally mean not 24bit or MQA.
Airplay still gives you CD quality streaming, so if you reduce your costs you will probably end up with 320KB streaming quality. If you are happy with that then go for it and test it to see if you like it.


Forgive my ignorance but AirPlay II can stream FLAC?


Yes as Roon will take the Flac (or any high definition music file) and do sample rate conversion of the music to the best that it supports on the platform that its playing on.

So in this case Apple has ALAC which is their version of FLAC, which Airplay fully supports to CD quality streaming (16bit 44.1khz redbook cd format)

So for example I just started an MQA stream on Tidal toy Sonos Amp, and the MQA rip is 24bit 48khz and s
You can see in the following screen capture that Roon is doing it’s magic so that it fully works. I believe it does exactly the same for your Airplay devices.

Hopefully this helps and is also correct



Apple is very secretive about their technology. AirPlay utilizes lossless format ALAC when you stream over Wi-Fi. When you stream over Bluetooth, they use lossy AAC codec. Here is an interesting part. I have iPhone 12 + AirPods. Bluetooth devices do not work well over walls. You need clear line of sight. I purchased Bluetooth dongle for my PC that supposed to give me 70 feet range and I paired AirPods to my computer . When I go to bathroom or other rooms in my apartment, the signal drops. I do not experience this problem when I use iPhone + AirPods, I can go freely anywhere in the apartment where is WiFi signal. I can definitely hear a difference between lossy Mp3 128kbps tracks and Tidal streaming. Sound quality is more the issue of the source format than streaming codec.