In a bit of a quandary

Right as the realisation has dawned on me that most of my listening is now done via streaming and not though physical software anymore I’ve spent the last couple of months sorting out the way forward. This now includes a Acer Chromebook 14, feeding a Sabaj PHA3 and Audio Technica ATH-M40X headphones. (also HD600 phones but they need refurbishing as the headband and foam has decayed on them over time).

Downstairs, and when there is no need for headphones, I have an old Denon Budget amp feeding a pair of Totem Dreamcatchers with a Google CCA for streaming. I have had problems with the CCA but having recently hardwired it to the hub this seems to have resolved those issues.

I have used Google Play for a few years now and enjoyed it, the catalogue is very good and the sound is ok, however, I am in the middle of a trial Qobuz hifi subscription and just added UAPP on my One+ phone to help with using the two apps.

So my question is do I go up to the high res Qobuz? The catalogue on Qobuz is ok but there are some glaring misses which means I probably need to keep Google Play. With my setup am I really going to make any benefit from the hi-res Qobuz?

Also is it worth looking at a usb dac? do they make much of a difference? I could also add a dac from the CCA if need be as well. Sadly I don’t think I’ve ever really bothered with separate Dacs at any point in my listening so I don’t really have much experience with them.

I still have my Michell Orbe SE but sadly due to dogs and Grandkids little fingers it is packed away safely but this will be added again at some point (I hope).

If you want to high bit-rate files, have a look at Amazon Music’s new offer. They probably don’t have the gaps that Qobuz do.

Still pissing about with this. I genuinely wish you could simply view all Ultra HD titles, search by record label, or genre even - It seems put together by non music lovers.

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Is that the Music Unlinited?

Just been checking it out and some of the albums missing on Qobuz are on there but some have the streaming option showing but some don’t.

I have Amazon Prime so this option would certainly work out a little cheaper.


thank you

I honestly don’t know. I’m not interested in streaming beyond CD quality, so I haven’t looked at it too closely.

just checked on Amazon and the HD service doesn’t support Chromecast so it looks like this is a non-starter for me at the moment.

For your computer I’d get a USB DAC. The Cyrus one is £49 at Richer Sounds. The Chromecast is probably fine, you’d have to spend a few hundred quid to better it, and that is better spent elsewhere.

As for streaming, just go for the system that is CD quality that has the library you need. Sod high resolution, it’s just not worth the bother, the recording quality is what matters, not the specs.


I’ve also had a very positive experience with an Audioquest dragonfly red, although they’re more money.

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That sounded very good with your phone when we heard it @Jim

If I’m being honest, crap source material (I’m looking at you, Viagra Boys) sounded crap, but IMO it made a good job of other stuff.

Just ordered the Cyrus, £49 is worth the gamble to try it out. Thanks.