Connect Qobuz running on an iPad to 272 via WiFi, Bluetooth or USB cable or other cable?

I’m going to do a trial of Qobuz.
I plan to download it to my iPad and then connect the iPad to my 272 via either:

  1. WiFi
  2. Bluetooth
  3. USB cable
  4. Another cable?
    Which will give the best SQ?

Unfortunately while Spotify connect works reasonably well, 272s and ipads running Qobuz aren’t exactly made for one another. That’s one reason why the new platform streamers have airplay and chromecast built in.

It’s not generally possible to send audio directly from an ipad to a 272 via wifi or USB cable. Bluetooth works, but quality isn’t top notch, which is rather the point of Qobuz over Spotify. And a cable from the ipad’s headphone socket to the 272’s analogue inputs will use the DAC in the ipad, which is a bit of a waste when you’ve got the 272’s DAC sat there. I’m sure some people find one or other of these methods wonderful, but they’re not capitalising on the 272’s abilities.

Better SQ can be achieved by putting a device between the ipad and 272 which does one of two things. 1, it could stream Qobuz itself and output a signal to the 272. This could be a computer of some kind, like a Mac Mini with optical out, or it could be a network player, something like an Aries Mini. This option would mean the ipad was just a controller. Or 2, it could receive airplay from the ipad and output a signal to the 272.

I use a RaspberryPi with a Hifiberry Digi+ hat to do the latter. Not for Qobuz, but for airplay in general. This is comparatively cheap (about £100 all told IIRC) and puts out a digital signal which I feed to the DAC in the 272 via a coax cable. This gives results that aren’t quite as good as using the 272’s inbuilt streamer, but it sounds really quite good nonetheless.


Thanks Dave, very useful info.
Does airplay mean you are streaming the actual audio files to your iPad and then on to your RaspberryPi with a Hifiberry Digi+ - then into the 272 via coax cable? This sounds like a very roundabout route with multiple devices and conversions, which must drop a lot of SQ en route.
But if ‘this gives results that aren’t quite as good as using the 272’s inbuilt streamer’ then what’s the point of doing it? Clearly, not SQ. So presumably you are only using this roundabout route to get access to stuff you can’t get via the 272’s native Tidal or Spotify?
That route doesn’t work for me as the whole point of doing this is to try Qobuz’s Studio quality stream, to compare the SQ of that to the SQ of my Tidal HiFi. If I have to go through all those steps and degrade the SQ on the way, there doesn’t seem to be much point in doing that, as it isn’t a fair test of the Qobuz service SQ.
Or have I misunderstood the routing? Are you actually using the iPad as a control device only?

Seems like you’re understanding things roughly right - the fact that the 272 works natively with Spotify and Tidal means that you can use those services quite seamlessly. But the 272 doesn’t work natively with Qobuz, so you have to work around that by adding devices such as the little RPi streamer I use to give airplay capability and that sort of thing.

Doing this actually doesn’t give much away in SQ terms, because everything stays digital until it reaches the 272. So there aren’t as many conversions going on as it may seem. It’s also possible to significantly optimise the streamer - i.e. in my case the RPi thingy - with linear power supplies and the like and so apparently bring SQ closer to the 272’s built in streamer.

I don’t bother getting into all that because the RPi streamer isn’t important to me - I only have it because it was left over from an old bit of experimental fiddling before I even got my 272. I only use it for occasional airplay use with things like the Radio Paradise FLAC stream (which does come out sounding a bit better than the 320k stream via the 272’s streamer IMO). As such it’s adequate, and worrying over the last notches of SQ isn’t an issue.

If you’re considering Qobuz as a main source, or at least a significant one, I don’t think you’ll be able to get an appreciable SQ improvement over native Tidal - if at all - unless you use a really very, very good external streamer and entirely bypass the 272’s streamer. But obviously that’s a whole different kettle of fish. Basically with a 272 and without going overboard on extras, you’re better off with Tidal for SQ. And in terms of Naim gear, you’d need a new platform streamer to give Qobuz a fair comparison.

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This is also very useful info. But I think Qobuz was more popular on the old Naim Forum than Tidal - so how are most 272 owners getting Qobuz?
Actually, I’m delighted with the SQ of Tidal through the 272. It sounds great. So I’ll be happy with that for years to come. But I’m also curious how much better it would sound if I could unfold Tidal MQA files. And also how the Qobuz Studio files would sound too.
If I just wait for a year or two, do you think will new ways be developed (either by Naim, Tidal, Qobuz or other hardware or software developers) to play higher bandwidth and/or MQA files on the 272 without great hassle or expense?

Ah yes, Qobuz has certainly been popular among Naim users, just not necessarily primarily those of us with 272s. If you’re using for example a Mac mini into a DAC into a 282, then you can be much more service agnostic. And Qobuz is typically considered really good for classical music, and IIRC was among the first to offer lossless streaming. So a number of people on the forum really liked it. I like Qobuz too, actually, but as a download shop rather than a streaming service.

I doubt that what you’re after will be made available with the 272, as Naim’s focus is now on the new platform as far as streaming is concerned. You never know, but to get the things you mention I suspect that it’ll be a case of either adding functionality via external devices as discussed above, or replacing the 272 with an updated model (possibly the widely expected updated 272/372). Still, a 272 with ‘only’ Tidal is hardly shabby!

Why cant you use Mconnect, Lumin or Kazoo upnp apps with the 272? It supports upnp doesn’t it and these apps will allow Qobuz to be streamed to it via UPnP.

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If you can do that, that’d be great, and I’ll happily stand corrected.

Anyone able to confirm/try it out?

Its how most do it. Or by using BubbleUPnP if on Android.

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Thanks - yes, the 272 does support UPnP.
So if I download one of these 3 apps (Mconnect, Lumin or Kazoo) to my iPad, it will allow allow me to stream Qobuz to my 272.
That’s great. I’ll do that.
(I’ve probably been told that before but am only just getting my head around all the terms and possibiliites.)
Which of the 3 apps is the best one for use with an iPad to 272?
The 3 things I’d like to do are:

  1. Listen to part-unfolded Tidal MQA files - if it’s possible, this would be a big long term advantage for me.
  2. An app that can help me play CD rips to the 272 would also be very useful.
  3. An app that can allow me to trial Qobuz Studio would be fun.

You need to run a upnp server on either a Nas or computer to play rips. This will manage your library of music and present it to any of the previous apps I mentioned to be played to the 272. The favourite here seems to be Asset, but MinimServer is good and is free where asset requires a purchase.

If you want MQA unfolding then your looking at AudiVarna for mac/windows this will also take care of your library so no need for another server software. You can get a free trial to try it out. It will also do Qobuz. It comes with a remote app as well but can’t really vouch for it as I don’t use it or have Apple stuff.

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Thanks Crystal.
Before I try Audirvana, I’m going to try to connect my PC via Wifi to the 272 and use the Tidal app on the PC to do the first unfold of MQA. If that sounds better then I can find a better wired way to connect the PC to the 272 to improve it further.
Then if the PC/Tidal desktop app route fails, I will have a go at Audirvana.
Then in the longer term, I hope that Tidal adds HiRes streaming that is not MQA - that would be nice. Because I plan to stay with Tidal for the foreseeable future.

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  1. None of the above! If you have a NAS or computer on your network, run BubbleUPnP on it. Put the Lumin app on your phone. It will find your streamer and play Qobuz, Tidal abd local files from a NAS. There were a couple of useful threads on the old forum that explain how to do this.

As discussed on the old Naim forum running BubbleUPnP server on a NAS or RasPi improves the SQ of Tidal and Qobuz by acting as a Proxy server. The first gen streamers then just see a local stream.
It may well be a ‘workaround’ to stream Qobuz to 1st gen streamers but it’s well worth doing.

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