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I'm still new to all this audio stuff and learning from you great people. Is there any recommended streaming service that plays high quality audio files etc that will do the DAC justice. I'm using Spotify at the moment but am I being ignorant to other services that I should be looking at. I listen to mainly R&B / & old school like Jodeci etc
By using m9xx as the DAC, Tidal HIFI quality is much better than Spotify. However, I cannot tell any different when using the O2 amp. In addition, Spotify playlist is WAY better than Tidal.
Tidal lets you do a blind A/B test here: http://test.tidalhifi.com/
Personally, even with a nice DAC/Amp (Chord Mojo) and $1800 headphones (Audeze LCD-XC) I can't tell the difference between their regular and premium tracks. (at least not with the garbage tracks they provide)
Personally, I'm using Spotify Premium and it sounds fine to me. There are two setting you have to change to get good sound out of Spotify: Turn ON "High quality streaming (Premium only)" and Turn OFF "Set the same volume level for all tracks" under Advanced Options.
I've got some sample songs in DSD128 and lossless tracks from HDTracks. They sound nice, and when doing A/B testing between them and tracks available on Spotify I can hear a slight difference. (Caveat: Spotify doesn't have High Quality masters for 100% of their catalog. It could very well be that the tracks that I A/B tested were lower quality. Who knows?)
Good tip on the "Set the same volume level for all tracks" option. I will experiment.
thanks for that link for blind A/B test. With a $140 Beyerdynamic A200P and a $200 X2 , I got 4 in 5 correct, then Tidal offers free access for 30 days. I think I failed at the last one because of unstable internet connection. But the difference for the other 4 are quite obvious on my setup (more dynamic and resolution in details on premium tracks). Maybe your elite equipment is able to eliminate the difference between regular and premium tracks ? by the way, if you are using windows, make sure you change the default format to 24bit/96khz for your DAC/AMP.
Thank you for your insight, will do those change settings in spotify.
"make sure you change the default format to 24bit/96khz for your DAC/AMP." Dang, I missed that. My C356DAC thanks you.