Chromecast Quality

Hello. This is my first thread and I’m new here!

I was planning on trying out Roon without blowing to much cash @ start.

This was my plan

Controller: IOS devices (owned)
Core: Small x64 Intel server with ROCK (owned)
Output: RBPi 3 with Hifiberry (Buy)

After reding about issues with Wifi and sound and stuff I was thinking of something else.

Now after 1.5 Release I saw Chromecast support

This is my new plan: Instead of using Pi with Hifiberry, going for a Chromecast as output for starters…


What will the difference in sound quality using either:

  1. Chromecast Audio with Toslink connection (30 Euro)
  2. Chromecast Normal with HDMI (40 Euro)
  3. Chromecast Ultra with HDMI (80 Euro)

Anyone got any facts on bit’s and hz ?

Thx in advance

I have a Chromecast TV device in the same room as my Bluesound Pulse 2. I played the Chromecast through my TV to Bluesound for about 20 seconds. No comparison to streaming to the Pulse 2.

That’s the only experience I have so thought to share it.

ChromeCast Audio can play upto 96/24 the rest are limited to 48/24 only.

Thank you for your input.

Thing is, most Hi-Fi products that have both Toslink and Coaxial from the same DAC chip
have 24-bit / 96khz as maximum for the optical and 24-bit / 192khz for the coaxial.

My main idea was if there is any use paying 80 Euro for the Chromecast Ultra to get more than 24-bit / 96khz over the HDMI than the Toslink.

Aha ? So I will get max 24-bit / 48khz via HDMI from Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra? Lower than the Audio version?

You can’t get higher than 48/24 on the TV devices.

Thank you very much for the imput.

Well there we go. CCA it is!

Since we are dicussing.

If I run ROCK on a small Intel platform in the same room as the CCA ?

Can the ROCK use the Toslink on the Intel MB as output ? Or only USB out to decode for another DAC?

It can use the toslink. It should show up in Roons audio devices as one of the outputs. What’s its called will depend on the board and chipset this audik section uses.

If you using windows you might need to give Roon exclusive access to the output which is in the device setup .

Windows ? I thought ROCK is a small linux without GUI? So no windows?

Sorry missed the bit about ROCK.You running it on a NUC? If you not running it on a supported NUC then it may or may not work on your pc. Its works ok on my non NUC but be warned you mileage may be different.

Settings will look something like this for the core in audio settings.

Its not a true NUC, its a Giada HTPC

Celeron 4-Core
4GB Ram

About the audio it says:

Realtek®High Definition Audio
(5.1) Digital audio via HDMI connector
1Audio out &S/PDIF combo jack
Mic in jack

Its Linux certified so I guess quite generic Realtek audio chip for compability.
But if it doesent work I can get a hold of a real NUC also.

Anyhow, since it’s my first try @ Roon I dont want to waste to much money so I’ll try to get it out of the Toslink to my Marantz preamp. Then later on I have been thinkin of something like NAD M51 DAC.

Hmm you may find the cpu is under specced if it does install at all, recommended minimum is an i3 gen7. Saying that mines a gen4 i3 and its fine. But it might not support the chipset for celeron. Roon is very CPU intensive so you may find it does not run optimally especially if you want to use any of the DSP features and have multiple zones. If your just running a trial your best just installing the roon ccore software on its current OS rather than potentially blow what you already have. This way you will still find out if you like Roon and if the hardware can handle it.

Its just laying at work, was for testing enviroment. If Roon suites my needs, then ofc if I ivest 1500-2000 Euro for good MQA DAC of I can put 500 Euro on a brand new I5 Gen 8 NUC.

I won’t be using multiple rooms, I wont be using DSP atm.

Go for it then. Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Thx for help in advance

If I will be satisfied I will the go for a Gen8 i5 NUC as ROCK (Better than Elac Music Server?! 999Euro?)

What sampel rates can the NUC put out via USB? Can it go all the way to DSD256 when I get a serious DAC?

DSD512, PCM 768 all DAC dependant though.

I have a system where I use my PS Audio DSD as the Roon Endpoint in my primary listening system and an Oppo UDP-205 in my secondary listening system. When Chromcast support was announced I bought a Chromcast Audio unit thinking it would be an inexpensive way to add Roon streaming to an outdoor patio area that is connected to a Heos amp. I tried it the Chromecast with both the analog output (using the internal DAC) and the optical Toslink output into the Heos amp. I found both to be pretty unlistenable. Perhaps you’ll have different results but I found the SQ of the Chromcast to be pretty subpar even with an upgraded power supply. I gave up on it after about a week of experimentation.

Ok. Thank you for your input.

To be honnest. My problem is that I dont want to spend to much cash on Roon before I decide to stick with it.
Im the kind of person who go full out before I have tried stuff enough (I end upp selling stuff I dont use after a few weeks, with a lot of money lost)

So this phase 1, is more a GUI test than sound quality. I just want to get it upp running.
I have already bought a Chromecast Audio (30Euro …) now so this is how it will look.
Rest of the hardware I already own.

Control: Ipad
Core: Windows Server with real desktop CPU (no NUC)
Output: ChromeCast Audio

If then, I will get along with the system, I will swap the ChromeCast Audio for a NUC output via USB to a DSD DAC to pursue better SQ.