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View Full Discussion Two more commentaries on the poor sound quality of Chromecast Audio from experts in digital audio;
High jitter on the optical output is the main culprit. not surprising. The Airport Express has the same issue while the Apple TV optical does not. Some speakers will break up with high jitter.
"Think that the galvanic isolation of TOSLINK is the answer. Think again. The way many a digital audio engineer tells it, electrical noise and/or jitter can blur the square wave to such an extent that the DAC’s receiver chip triggers additional layers of error-checking circuitry which then introduce more noise to the DAC’s sensitive internals causing disturbance to its super-sensitive clock and therefore more jitter."
Also sound quality tops out at 96khz so if your flac is higher than that well too bad.