Distorted sound through speakers when streaming Tidal or Qobuz

While streaming music via Roon, Tidal and Qobuz, I started hearing distortion through my right speaker. After further investigation, I determined that the problem was not within system or speakers, but with the origin of the streamed music it’s self. Apparently, this distortion is produced (rarely) depending on the quality of the streamed piece of music and how it was recorded and how it comes through your system. It seems to be some kind of a quirk with streaming music in general that is beyond our control. When I switched from that Album and that particular track and played other music, I experienced no distortion whatsoever.

Could this simply be explained by:

Are the same tracks distorted on Tidal and Qobuz? Do you have any examples where a local copy can be played without distortion? Finally, could you list some examples please?

Sorry for the mini interrogation, I’m just curious. :slight_smile:

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Yes, the distortion was there when I played the track through Tidal and Qobuz. However, I played many, many more tracks from other albums before and after experiencing the distortion with this particular track without any distortion. At first I thought I may have had a bad tweeter, but if I had a bad tweeter, I would hear distortion all the time. I hear the odd sound only when streaming (I don’t have CD or Vinyl) this particular track. I did check to see if I got the distortion with other tracks on this particular album. There will probably be other very, very rare occasions when I’ll get the same kind of noticeable distortion from other tracks in the future. I’m just glad that my speakers are ok!!!

Yeah what tracks/albums be good to rule out if its the masters or not.

Sounds like your are talking about ONE track, correct? If so, this particular track may simply have a distorted channel. As others have said, example(s)?

You might be able to fix that using DSP, if it’s not something baked into the track. I don’t use an Apple TV, but my Topping MX5 doesn’t like receiving anything higher than 176.4kHz through the digital channels. So I set the sample rate conversion to that for all bitrates. It’s fine through the USB connection with higher rates. Not sure if that’s your issue, but it would be worth trying it out. :smiley:

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What’s the particular album/track in question?

Sorry, once I figured out that the distortion was, in fact, as described above, baked into the track, I moved on to other music within my vast library and forgot about that particular album/track. Even after checking my history of music played, I was still unable to recall which alum/track that was the culprit. My apologies. This was such a rare occurrence that I just don’t worry about it any further. Fortunately, I am now aware of this streaming anomaly and when, or if, it raises it’s ugly head again, I’ll know exactly what’s causing it.


It’s not a “streaming anomaly” it’s just a poorly recorded/mastered track is all :slight_smile:

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Ok. Thanks

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Some wild speculations:

  1. Misconfiguration of Roon DSP (a signal path screenshot would be sufficient to disprove this)
  2. You’re hearing UMG watermark
  3. Leakage current from the router or router power supply noise.

Wouldn’t affect just individual streamed tracks, good luck hearing it as well.

For reference: https://www.mattmontag.com/music/universals-audible-watermark/

UMG watermarking ended years ago. I can confirm from my own listening experience.

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