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Google Chromecast Audio...bringing smart audio to dumb hifi

Discussion in 'audio' started by windhoek, Sep 29, 2015.

  1. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    Sounds great apparently my CCA is coming tomorrow, is it true that the new Naim Uniti all in one's come with CCA built in?
  2. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Something that does the same job, if not actually a CCA. Even if it *is* actually a CCA I don't imagine that Naim will admit to putting one in a Uniti. "Oh yes Sir, the very best streaming device we could find for this £2000 amplifier that does everything and is the best you can buy is a Chromecast that you can buy in Maplin for £20."
  3. John Channing

    John Channing fruit box forever

    Other than the DAC where there is some room for improvement (not a lot) I have always struggled to understand the concept of audiophile streamers...
  4. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

    Not a chromecast, but a pi

  5. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    Given the engineering and software development resources Google have available and the investment they have already made in the CCA; I suspect that they could manufacture a peerless digital source/DAC with a fully developed, bug-free, software and networking environment for less than $10 a unit.

    Even Sonos must be quaking at that prospect.
  6. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member

    From the other Chromecast thread:

    This was what I was thinking. The USB battery packs are unlikely to connect directly to a battery, as the battery voltage will vary considerably with battery charge. USB devices wouldn't like that, as they expect a stable voltage. Therefore USB battery packs will have some form of active regulator. Because the battery is very likely to droop below the voltages required for a linear regulator, and for reasons of energy efficiency, this regulator will therefore be a switch mode regulator.

    So USB battery packs mean the USB device is being fed by a switch mode power supply
  7. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I would say that they already have. To anybody in the developed world a music source for £20 (Maplin price this week, DCW a month ago) is basically free. It's cheaper than the transistor radio I was given as a kid, when inflation is factored in. It's 33 Mars Bars, to be precise. Mars Bars in 1977 were 9p. 33 would have come in at £3, and that was only about halfway to a tranny radio at that time.

    Things like this, the Amazon Fire tablet and MP3 players just have me shaking my head in disbelief at what they will do for basically nothing.
  8. Rana

    Rana pfm Member

    Why assume a negativity towards SMPS? I have no beef with them as they are littered all over my house. My DAC sounds better off the Anker regardless of whether the supply is mains SMPS or conventional 12V PS. The change from mains to battery was just as noticeable for the CCA (possibly even more so) so I guess I have a particularly dirty mains (could it be as a result of all those SMPS....???!!!).
  9. martin clark

    martin clark pinko bodger

    No negativity on my part, just trying to correct the misapprehension that 'it's better because its a battery'. Very unlikely to be the case - using an independent supply also means breaking a mains common-mode noise loop; and if there's a marked improvement found using a usb pack, I think that is likely the 'why'. It's a common problem in modern domestic audio systems which likely use single-ended cabling and now interconnect several devices each with its own disparate mains connected smps: hooking the tv to the pc/server/streamer/amp etc. Good recipe for an unpredictable soup.
  10. ChrisPa

    ChrisPa pfm Member

    Exactly what Martin says above.
    Nothing to defend
  11. John Channing

    John Channing fruit box forever

  12. Natara

    Natara pfm Member

    I have a TV, BT box, Internet, Pre amp, power amp, dac, TT PSU, phone stage all plugged into the same mains so my thinking was if something could be powered by another source even a battery pack it should be better?
  13. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    I wouldn't sweat it. There's so much electrical noise going on there, piles of SMPS, God only knows whether using a different PSU (with its own noise problems) will help.
  14. Man in a van

    Man in a van pfm Member

    Better might be harder to properly define as its context is only applicable to yourself.

    I sometimes use a suitable battery pack for the Chromecast or a simple rpi3b setup. It removes the power cable, frees up a socket and certainly sounds no worse worse to my old ears.

    They are also handy for their original purpose ;).

    Agree with this in principle, however there are devices which claim to block the noise returning to the circuit.

    I have all my smps powered devices plugged into a power bar which conneects to the socket via one of these


    My pre and powers, dac and speakers are powered from a extension bar plugged into a socket which was intended for an electric fire and is a direct radial back to the box.

  15. Curtis

    Curtis pfm Member

    Just acquired one of these and connected it to my dac via optical cable and am now streaming all my saved music from the google play music app. Stunning bit of kit for peanuts! Well done Google!
    Thanks to you all for posting!

  16. windhoek

    windhoek pfm Member

    It looks like Chromecast Built-In is becoming a thing i.e. powered speakers of various quality and budgets with built-in CCA.

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