Uniti Nova and Apple Music

Hi all, I’m new to the community. My setup is a Uniti Nova and ProAc D20R. If you own a Nova, you’ll know that it doesn’t have built-in Apple Music like it does with other streaming services. So i have to use Airplay to stream music from my Apple devices to the Nova primarily.
The problem I have with this is that my Ipad 6 and Iphone 11 gives different audio qualities that are quite noticable on the speakers, which I figure is due to the superior sound quality of the Iphone. This left me wondering, if Nova supported Apple Music, will the sound quality be even better than airplaying from Iphone and live up to the capabilities of the Nova itself? Because with Nova’s Spotify, different streaming devices give the same sound, and Nova’s DAC is responsible for that. Also, does anyone know why Nova doesn’t have Apple Music?


Hello and welcome!

You stream from both iPad and iPhone to the Nova via Apple Music and AirPlay and it sounds different?
Asking, because I cannot really place this, unless you would have set one of the devices to use reduced bitrates e.g. for data bandwidth saving. (I don’t know, if Apple Music has settings for this.)
Otherwise they just relay the audio they get from the internet the Nova, and the Nova does all he actual playback. No actual HW impact from the device.

As for Apple Music on the (new) Unitis: it seems, Apple was initially rather closed and happy, when devices just supported AirPlay. I think to remember, Sonos had the first and for a long time only “on device” implementation.
With Apple opening up with e.g. Apple TV(+) towards TV makers, it might be easier to get this done; especially interesting now, with Apple offering lossless and hires.

Naim stated a few times on the forum they are “in talks” with Apple about this; via he channels they have as licensed AirPlay (2) implementer.
No statements as of the outcome, status, or other results of these talks, as much as I have seen.

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Welcome to the community…

I believe if you do a search on the forum you will see the ‘Apple Music’ subject has been discussed. Type in ‘Apple Music’ in the search feature you will find the discussions.

I do not know the answer since I have no interest in Apple Music and do not see using it in my lifetime…

Hi, and welcome -that’s a lovely set up you have .

As Seakayaker says there is a thread with 860 replies, mostly summarised by Naim In Talks With Apple , I suspect same applies to Amazon as well

Thanks for the reply. I’m pretty sure I put the setting on lossless, for both Iphone and Ipad. Tried many songs I know well, and the result were the same: the sound from the Ipad seemed cheaper and was less pleasant, with the vocal pushed to the front a bit more and sounded louder, less delicate and detailed. I think Nova playing the actual playback as you said happens only if Nova has Apple Music like it has Spotify. With Spotify, my shitty sounding Nokia 7 plus and Iphone sound the same when streaming music, which apparently thanks to the Nova.
I’m thinking Airplay is like Bluetooth in the way that different streaming devices give different audio output qualities. Can’t wait for Spotify to launch their Hifi stuff man.

Thank you. You mind sharing why you don’t want to use AM ever? For me, I only use AM because in my country, other high quality streaming services are yet to be available. Not enjoying the interface and search engine at all.

Thank you. Been enjoying the combo so far.

That is to be expected, as with Spotify the stream is sent directly to the Nova over your network with the handheld device just acting as a remote. AirPlay on the other hand sends the stream to your phone, which then casts it to the Nova.

Tidal and Qobuz will give you much better performance on your Nova than Spotify or Apple Music.

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I had used Apple Music in the past and they have changed direction a few times in the past and just do not trust them. They will do best for the their bottom line and have no faith that they will be in the Music business for the long haul. JMHO - YMMV

I am also located in the US and have access to a lot of choices. I had Tidal for a few years and when Qobuz became available I did a side by side 30 day demo and felt the Qobuz had the better sounding product, the music available in their data base worked for me and I have no interest in the MQA direction that Tidal was heading.

As an FYI, I am also not interested in Amazon music offerings but that is more a statement on their Human Resources record and how they treat their employees. Not a company I do business with unless absolutely necessary, which it has been the past year with the COVID-19 restrictions.


Do you mean in terms of genres?

You can’t get lossless via Airplay currently unless you use a device that’s using legacy Airplay. Only Any Airplay 2 device will send out only AAC compressed streams which is a hard coded limitation of the service via Airplay 2, likely to maintain better multiroom sync. They are working on upping this for Homepods it’s in testing in lasted betas as they also can’t do lossless right now, so it may feed into general Airplay 2 as well but Apple have not said anything concrete on this side to my knowledge.

When I airplay the music in normal AAC format vs lossless, I can hear a clear difference in quality. Even between Apple lossless and hi res, there is a difference. So based on what you said, I can only imagine that there will be a different kind of difference between AAC and lossless if there’s an ideal type of connectivity for lossless audio, if that makes sense.
Also, on Apple support website, they say Airplay (1 and 2) can stream lossless. Did they just lie about this?

No its just not supported via Apple Music currently, this has been shown on this forum and others. If you airplay Qobuz it’s lossless up to to cd quality as it uses legacy Airplay.

Yes, the artists available covered my musical tastes and can always pick up a CD or down load anything I want and place on my NAS.

Forget Airplay, how can I connect my iphone to nova with cables?

With a usb to Spdif converter and the Apple lightning to USB adaptor.

Thank you. If I do that I’ll have to leave the phone next to the nova. Can I log into my account on a different phone and use it as a remote control? Does it work like Spotify?

Nope you have to use the ipad itself and then you have to leave it plugged in. Your trying to bolt on a service that doesnt really have hifi support in mind other than airplay.


Tell ya what. The reason I’m here now is I just, out of curiosity and boredom, did a test. I bought a year of Studio Qobuz and use it almost entirely at home. Apple Music in the car. But with the Qb prior to the Atom then Nova I always used :apple:. OK. So to the test. Just listened to Qobuz Paul McCartney “Live and Let Die” and then :apple: version. :apple: Blew Qobuz away. And the reason I bought Qobuz is because it was clearly better then. But now…and I’m using Airplay. It really shocked me. Now I’m listening to “Band on the Run” and it is DRAMATICALLY better. Check it out. Big :apple: update today too…

As for OP question, I’d ask Apple tech. Or Naim here…

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