Streaming source

I’m currently streaming through an Apple TV. My library is burned CD’s on an external drive. I’m guessing there are superior options.

Is there a discernible quality difference. If so, I would upgrade?

Can someone offer a few words of advice or point me in the right direction?


Can you provide a little more information about your setup. For instance, what connected to the Apple TV? Speakers, AV amp etc. What format were CDs ripped to?

Apple lossless format.
Apple tv is connected to Integra AV receiver

speakers - two towers, bookshelf, center speaker and sub woofer

What’s your budget?

What inputs are available on the receiver? Digital and/ or analogue?

Looks like both inputs are available.

Budget is not really an issue but I’m not looking to start from scratch either. I’m not a huge audiophile. Just curious if there are upgrades I can make where I will I notice a sound quality difference.

There are so many options and without a detailed conversation about your objectives, it’s tough to provide very targeted advice.

One thing you might consider is a streamer and/or DAC that can take the place of your AppleTV and feed a higher quality analog signal to the Integra receiver, and then run the receiver in audio-only analog mode (no digital processing). Depending on your speakers and the quality of the amp in the Integra, this may provide a decent uptick in 2 channel listening.

This comment isn’t intended to be elitist or anything: keep in mind that gear like Integra is intended as a swiss army knife and isn’t specialized for critical 2-channel music listening. The same may be true of your speakers. So upgrading just the resulting analog signal in your Roon chain may not result in a ton of detectable difference until you find any other weak links relative to 2 channel sound quality. This is more of a warning - audio can be kind of like making one clean spot on the floor - now you have to clean the whole floor. In other words…starting the process of improving audio quality is a never ending quest that you may or may not really want to become enmeshed in!

1 Like

This response makes perfect sense. Gives me plenty to ponder. Thank you

Short answer is yes. Longer answer is you’ve got a fair bit of research in front of you to decide how much you want to spend and how far you’re willing to jump down the rabbit hole of this hobby. There is no easy answer.

I can tell you though… Apple TV 4 HDMI, Apple MBP with optical out, and Apple Airport Express with optical out all sound different even plugged into the same “receiver” and being fed from the same source. I’ve always found Apple TV to sound dead and lifeless. So, yes, you can get better and pretty quickly. It all depends on what direction you want to go and how good you want it to be.

Stuff to research:
What’s a DAC?
What’s a streamer?
Audio from DAC over USB and jitter
and then, basically, do your own listening. Everything you read about the above is going to change over time as things, like USB outputs on DACs, get better. It’s OK to start with small incremental steps before doing any heavy investment. Of course, it helps to find someone local who is into this hobby and can help you down the path. Otherwise, keep asking the questions online and try not to get overwhelmed :wink:

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.