Hi Res quality and wireless connectivity


This is my first question- so many apologies if it’s too basic?! And I know nothing about Hifi (as you’ll soon see)…

I’d like to play 24 bit Hi Res music wirelessly on my nice new Naim speaker. I understand that Apple Airplay works at 16 bit? So presumably this mean If I try to stream 24 bit High Res music wirelessly from my iPad/phone to my speaker I will lose sound quality? Presumably if a 24 bit FLAC file it is sent direct from VOX app via airplay ( is this right?) it is still in 16 bit?

So how can I wirelessly send music using my iPad/iPhone at 24 bit?! Or is their an alternative?!

Any suggestions gratefully received!

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Where is your high res music coming from? If it’s Qobuz you can send it direct to the Naim - assuming your ‘nice new speaker’ is a mu-so 2 or Qb2 - by logging into your Qobuz account within the Naim app. If it’s downloads you can store them on a computer or nas and send them over your network.


Nothing is coming from your iPad, that’s just enabling a connection link to your Muso from whatever source your selected music is coming from. As you are doing this wirelessly this means the stream to your Muso is from your wireless hub (router) This can source music from either whatever local music store you may have at home or from the many web (internet) sources.
It makes no difference if 16 or 24 bit, if the source is sending 24 bit, it will play that.

Hi All

Thanks so much for the responses.
The music is on my iPad (so the music source is either Apple Music or the Vox app, both of which are stored on the iPad). So the music is being sent from my iPad to the speaker via AirPlay. (I hope that makes sense!) The VOX app music files on the iPad are 24 bit - so for clarity the question is am I hearing them at 24 bit? Thanks!

As I understand it both Apple Music & VOX store your music on iCloud, its not actually on your iPad/iPhone.
Whatever, VOX do claim to play 24-bit without limits so I suspect thats so.
The limit seems to be Airplay-2, it does play 24-bit but it down samples the higher sample rate files to 44.1khz.

Hi Mike
Thanks so much. My music isn’t actually in iCloud- just on my Mac- and I pretty sure the Vox app is just getting the files via the iPad from the just the Mac source as well.
Just to wrap up- do you have a view if is it playing at 16 bit ?( which I suspect it is) because my understanding is the weak link is Airplay 2 which limits the file 16 bits…

I read the www blurb as Airplay-2 does support 24-bit. But it down samples the higher sample rates, such as 96khz, to 44.1khz. So the best you will get is 24/44.1.
On my system, I hear a difference between 16 & 24 bit, but the gains with the higher sample rates in 24 bit, whilst audible, are more subtle

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Is CD 46. kHz? And the 44.1 is less? And Qobuz plays CD quality (it says) in my car through airplay(?) it is wired, connected.

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And don’t feel bad. My level of understanding is…I somehow get my Atom to play…lol…

I have a somewhat related question. In a post I saw a comment that I think said if Qobuz music is accessed through the Naim app rather than the Qobuz app the quality can or is higher? And when I play from “artists” from the Naim app (the source of which is Qobuz) I have FLAC 44.1/ 16 bit playing at the moment. And when I play through Qobuz it reads “CD quality.” Hmm. That’s opposite of what I thought? Oy…

Hi Mike
Brilliant thank you.
Hi Airedog - CD is 44.1 kHz/16 bit and yes, 46 kHz is higher!

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Very Sorry don’t know about Naim app/Qobuz but all I do know that 44.1 kHz/16 bit is CD quality and figures above this is Hi Res.

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As far as I know Apple AirPlay/AirTunes used ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Converter) with 16 Bit and 44.1 kHz. This means that if a CD is encoded in ALAC it‘s played in „CD quality“, if it is encoded in FLAC it has to be converted to ALAC. However, Apple Music streaming services uses AAC.

I couldn’t find any specification about supported audio quality and encoding in AirPlay 2 Protocol supported in the Naim Uniti series.

[quote=“airedog, post:10, topic:14623”]… if Qobuz music is accessed through the Naim app rather than the Qobuz app the quality can or is higher? …

The Qobuz app (at least on iOS) supports AirPlay with 16 Bit/44,1 kHz and Chromecast with potentially higher rates. As there are a lot of dropouts when used with HiRes, I am using it only in CD quality.

The Naim app uses Qobuz Connect to stream from Qobus in HiRes to the Naim Uniti without any dropouts and audibly better sound quality.

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Yeah…I experienced the dropouts also…and not through the Naim app

So, is the reason for the “dropouts” when from the app (on my iPad Pro) that when using the Qobuz app it automatically uses Airplay…and as such…that makes sense.

In theory Google Chromecast should stream HiRes audio from Qobuz directly to the Naim streamer without using the app. My impression is that there is some server (Google?) in between not delivering the required throughput. For AirPlay the Music is streamed through the Qobuz App and converted to ALAC/AAC on the iPhone/iPad to the streamer.

The Naim app also enables direct streaming from Qobuz to the Naim streamer. But this works and also sounds better in CD quality and with HiRes.

Airplay 2 does not support 24bit for stereo

Don’t think it does, it uses the Qobuz API very different things. Hardly any devices support Qobuz Connect. The Atom certainly doesn’t show up as Qobuz connect device in the Qobuz app only as Chromecast decide if that’s enabled.

That would make sense but it would also mean that the integration of Tidal into the Naim app is also through the API and not through the Connector because as far as I remember the Tidal app also supports only streaming via Chromecast or AirPlay.

Tidlal is via the API , they are adding the new Tidal Connect in upcoming firmware. They both can use Chromecast as the Unitis and new streamers have Chromecat built in and Airplay Very different protocols and nothing to do with connect.