Apple Music High Res

There’s a joke about Porsche cars: young drivers have the skills but can’t afford the insurance. Strikes me in audio, old(er) men can afford the equipment, but don’t have the hearing skills. But it’s actually not very difficult to hear the difference between AAC 256 and 16/44, not even for old men with even mediocre equipment. Now, where did I park my Porsche?


Not remembering unimportant things. A privilege that comes with age. :rofl:


The statement was made after comparing the two side by side, same streaming rate, same volume, same equipment. Only difference is the app used. perhaps something to do with how the two services interface with the dac. And yes I did make sure the dac was set to the proper streaming rate when using AM. I demonstrated to myself that the Qobuz app sounds better. I may be old but I can still hear.


Just because somebody’s hearing is diminished doesn’t mean they can’t delineate changes. It just means the entire base line is moved, and they will/can hear changes within that spectrum they can hear. I have severe tinnitus (sometimes to the point of not really enjoying the stereo at all) and am 57 but it doesn’t mean I can’t hear subtle changes as long as I’m paying attention.


I agree with everything you say. On a decent system there is a perceivable difference between lossy and lossless files. I’m 59 and I can hear that difference, but, perhaps due to my age, only through my main system in a dedicated listening room. I’m hopeless when it comes to distinguishing between Redbook and hi-res (24/96 or 24/192). Only yesterday I was listening to a piece streamed through Idagio, and after a couple of minutes I began to think that that there was a problem with the recording. The music sounded somewhat flat. Then I noticed that I hadn’t switched to lossless on the Idagio app; it was set to mp3 as I had used it on Carplay during my commute. Once I had set to it lossless, the recording improved noticeably.
I thought the post I responded to claimed that the SAME file (meaning: the same lossless file) sounded different when played through Apple Music and Qobuz.

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The only possible reason, then, assuming that as you say, everything else is the same (loudness, bit rate, no DSP, …), the two services use a different master.
I have just compared the album Agitata with Delphine Galou played through Qobuz, Apple Music, and Amazon Music (all 24/96 as verified by my DAC). I cannot discern any differences. (Streamed through iPad connected via USB to DAC).
This is as it should be, because if it wasn’t that would mean that streaming services manipulate the sound somehow. It’s well known that many listeners respond well to some brightening of mid-range frequencies.

Even if my hearing hasn’t diminished my memory certainly has!


Perhaps your hearing was once better than you can recall now :wink:


With the two combined I’ll never make a subjective judgement!

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With the latest iOS and macOS updates and features, I can Airplay2 from iOS to macOS.

macOS is connected to my RME ADI-2 DAC.

RME supply bitperfect test files, including 44.1kHz and 96kHz test files.

Airplay2 from iOS to macOS passes 16bit/44.1kHz

On macOS, in Audio MIDI if I (manually) change my DAC’s sample rate to 96kHz, interestingly, the 96kHz test file played from iOS to macOS also passes…

There is no cable between iOS and macOS. All over WiFi…

The most interesting thing here is that 96kHz sample rate test file is not being downsampled… otherwise the DAC screen would not show bit perfect test has passed :grinning:

Anyone with an RME ADI-2 can verify.


And I just repeated with PCM192kHz RME test file - DAC screen again showed bit perfect test file also passed

Source is iPhone. macOS is the network endpoint in this test.

Airplay here is perfectly capable of 192kHz sample rate without downsampling…

@wklie @Marco_Klobas would be great for someone else to run a similar test and verify…

For background, in case anyone hasn’t followed latest updates:


No. Best buy always $120 a year.

I have a late 2015 mac .Apparently its not compatible. Just sad.

Glass half full jimmy !

I’m excited about Airplay sample rate support here and looking forward.

Can’t be stuck lookin in the rear view ! :grinning:

Music app on Monterey still doesn’t offer exclusive mode (automatic sample rate switching).

That said, I recorded an AirPlay session from Apple Music playing on my iPad to my Mac mini acting as an AirPlay receiver with Monterey.

I compared, as usual, with Audition the recording with the original counterpart track (16/44.1 kHz) and unfortunately the tracks don’t null completely. The recording is not bit perfect.

Since the session is Airplay 2 and given the known results from the tests made in the past months I somehow expected to not get a bit perfect recording.

I’ll wait further tests from other users to confirm or not my experience. My testing method is limited to the recording/comparison.

Speaking of AirPlay on Monterey and its ability to carry hi-res audio: I don’t own RME ADI-2 DAC so I can’t test it (I own RME Babyface Pro instead).

Are you sure the bit perfect test is passed?

If you change the sample rate manually in Audio MIDI Setup, isn’t then everything resampled to the chosen sample rate?

I mean, if I stream an Apple Music 44.1 kHz track from iPad to a Mac via Monterey’s AirPlay, and the Audio MIDI Setup on Mac is set to – say – 96 kHz, then the output on DAC is shown as 96 kHz even though the track originally isn’t 96 kHz.

If your test is confirmed, it’d be quite a revelation.

Yes - nothing about my post is related to auto sample rate switching. I even wrote manual changing sample rate in Audio MIDI, to make that clear.

My post is more about Airplay not downsampling PCM192kHz, from iOS to macOS.

Of course, that’s the point of my post. If the DAC screen display says ‘bit perfect test pass’ , then it passes…

You can’t get this message on the display if the file is resampled (up or down).

Yes of course but this test doesn’t say anything useful obviously.

Hence you need to have a way of doing a bit perfect test (ie the DAC confirms it).

That’s what I’ve done and shared the results.

Anyway we’ll have to wait for others to confirm but the results are crystal clear to me.

In this use, Airplay is supporting PCM192kHz bit perfectly…

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But how can you be sure the the Os isn’t being clever and just handing over the pulling the stream to the mac and not via Airplay like the Homepods do. Airplay has a cap and nothing suggests this has changed anywhere.

I pointed out the usual sample rate behavior in Monterey just to inform other users in case they are wondering if something has changed on that side.

OK, I take note that AirPlay 2 via Monterey with RME ADI-2 DAC passes the bit perfect test, which if confirmed is a good news.

Let’s wait the hi-res check from other users. I’m going to follow up to Audiophile Style.

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Just in case someone’s not aware, these are not random files of different sample rates that I am playing.

These are files created by RME that talk directly to the FPGA inside the ADI-2…

If all the bits are transferred bit perfectly to the DAC, the DAC display shows a message confirming it has passed the bit perfect test. If transfer is not bit perfect you don’t get the message.

Ted Smith created the same for his DirectStream DAC. There are others out there.

Maybe something can be done with MQA but I don’t have an MQA DAC.

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The RME ALAC test files are on my phone. The files doesn’t even exist on my Mac…

PCM192kHz plays from iPhone to Mac bit perfectly over WiFi… As I already mentioned in my first post, there is no cable between iPhone and Mac here.

It is called Airplay by Apple: