October 18, 2021 § Leave a comment
So what can the Sirius do? It can upsample of course, and it can change formats between PCM and DSD or vice versa. It supports up to DSD 512 and PCM sample rates up to 384kHz. It is a re-clocker, because all of its digital inputs are cached, and then re-clocked using not one but three 72fps clocks. The Sirius can also perform speaker placement compensation, and supports full parametric EQ functionality. On top of all of this, it also provides digital volume control, and while not as good as an analog volume control, in my testing I found it to be a better then using a source device (such as a streamer or a computer) to control the volume digitally.
Now some of you may wonder why you need an up-sampler. Many DACs, after all, support many different sample rates, and many argue that you cannot “create or add detail” if it is not there. We will talk about the create/add detail part a little later but let’s focus on other DACs first.
October 10, 2021 § Leave a comment
A monthly subscription costs $12.99, but you can save a few bucks with a yearly subscription ($9,99/month). And if you want to show your dedication, or REALLY don’t like to subscribe, Roon also has a lifetime subscription, for an eye-watering $699, or approximately 6 years of monthly installment.
But, I’ve been using Plex for years now. Not because I find it better – head to head, Roon literally rolls over the competition when it’s about music – but because I own a big movie database. And, to this day, no other options gave me the same level of refinement when sorting my movies and series. Sure, Plex also sorts my music but as good as it is, the sort engine remains sub-optimal, compared to Roon.
Last but not least, Plex is MUCH cheaper than Roon. A monthly subscription costs $4.99, a yearly one $39.99, and a lifetime only $119.99. I took the yearly one and after more than 6 years, I’ve got nothing but good things to say about Plex.
September 1, 2021 § Leave a comment
August 13, 2021 § Leave a comment
There’s no getting around it, the DSS is a very expensive little box, and has mostly the same features as many cheaper streamers. However, once you get inside the chunky steel housing and peak under the hood, the price makes a little more sense. The power supply is handled by a toroidal transformer from Talema, and feeds multiple capacitor banks. File recognition and playback are handled by a Korean manufactured board made specifically for Métronome, and clock duties are given to an AKM AK4137 chip. The company has spared no expense in assembling a streamer with impeccable build quality, fed by a dedicated and massive power supply to a first rate set of parts. You will not find these things in your cheap and cheerful Bluesound streamers, and this is how Métronome has distinguished itself in the digital source domain.
August 1, 2021 § Leave a comment
Amazon Music Unlimited is compatible with smartphones and tablets via its Android and iOS apps; PCs and Macs via either its web player or desktop app; Fire tablets and Fire TVs; some in-car entertainment systems; Sonos multi-room wireless speakers; Bluesound and NAD BluOS devices. It’s worth noting that you can’t actually access CD-quality music or hi-res tracks in Amazon Music HD through your browser, though. This can only be done through the dedicated desktop and mobile apps, which is no bad thing.
June 29, 2021 § Leave a comment
Tidal is perhaps the most established. It’s our favourite service, too, and holder of a 2020 What Hi-Fi? Award in the music streaming service category. Since January 2017, its £20 ($20) per month HiFi tier has granted access to hi-res (typically 24-bit/96kHz) Tidal Master streams, encoded using MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) technology. So is Tidal the answer? It’s certainly one answer, but not the only one.
June 2, 2021 § Leave a comment
When Roon Labs jumped into the arena, the cool thing was its use of the internet together with its knowledge base to supply you in real time active metadata about the music it played or it would make suggestions. You could explore/investigate/research/learn/discover while listening to music supplied by your own sources. One could even stop playing music and continue reading/discovering. Roon is not just a player software—just as an iPhone is not just a phone. And machine learning was part of its game: offering you `intelligent’ suggestions, once it got the hang of your listening habits by studying it (i.e., using it as data to feed its algorithm). It was exciting and fun.