Internet Radio & ROON - The Unmentionable Subject ;-)

Dear reader,

I realize that High End & HiRes aficionado’s find Internet radio a difficult topic. After all, the Roon signal path labels this as ‘Signal path: Low quality’.

However, listening to music up to 6 hours (since corona) a day while working in my home office (I am an independent consultant) I tried to translate my preferred stations into acceptable fodder using Roon.

  • One of my office pc’s (old Win10 workstation) is used as the base unit
  • By connection it (using a 5m basic Audioquest USB-cable) to an iFi ZenDac Signature
  • Connected to (to enable more equipment) a passive pre (no power goes into that)
  • Connected to little Ruark MR1 Mk2 speakers (indeed very musical ‘pc’ speakers)
    You can beef these up with a Sub. They have a Sub-out socket.

Bottom line is that the ZenDac allows upscaling of the 24 bit MP3 signal to PCM 32 bit 384Khz.

Now it is very palatable!
Forget the Low quality stigma.

Kind regards,
Hans

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Radio Paradise offers a lossless stream (FLAC) in case you weren’t familiar with it yet. A very nicely curated station with several channels. (www.radioparadise.com)

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Why would lossless upsampling of a lossy format improve anything?

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There might be several reasons for a percieved “higher quality”.
You might believe this does something good and therefore affirm your expectancy of improved audio. (A placebo is an effective pill!)
You likely assign the upsampling and unpacking of the audio files to a better suited component of your playback setup.
You might hit your DACs sweet spot in regard to what format it performs best with.
etc. etc.

But i do agree with the OP that upsampling of lossily compressed files often smoothens the roughness that compression introduces. At least to my ears.
Hence the feature request of conditional upsampling, based on media format or tags or whatever.

I completely agree. I enjoy numerous very low bitrate internet radio stations for their content, not sound quality, but taking them up to DSD256 with a good modulator makes them so much more enjoyable. The rough edges are smoothed without loss of apparent detail. The detail really isn’t there at all but the noise is pushed way, way out of the audible spectrum.

MP3 128k never sounded so good.

I sorry that the internet radio live links to tracks/album/artists remains broken for so long now. I use it to frequently add great new finds to my library (via Qobuz).

Planet Pootwaddle plays some fun, obscure stuff that keeps me smiling.