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Using iPhone/iPad hi-res audio with Yamaha receiver

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by aintgotnoclock, Jan 28, 2021.

  1. aintgotnoclock

    aintgotnoclock Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I've got a new Yamaha R-N303 receiver that I'm enjoying. Yamaha's MusicCast server is nice for playing files from my home PC, but the interface isn't my favorite. I prefer Plex for the interface. I can use Plex over Airplay, but Airplay only streams at 44.1 KHz.

    So I was thinking of setting an iOS device atop my receiver as a dedicated audio device in order to use Plex and enable high-resolution playback.

    What's the best way to send digital audio at native resolution over a cable into my Yamaha?

    1. Lightning > ??? > Optical?
    2. External (headphone?) DAC and into the Yamaha's RCAs?

    I'd prefer not to have another apparatus that I have to power and find room for. I'm also having trouble finding Lightning-enabled DACs that aren't meant for portable use or use with a personal computer. All other ideas welcomed. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    Which iPhone? It's it going to be inconvenient to get up and switch tracks (as opposed to using AirPlay)?

    You could use the Apple Lightning to USB adapter and add a DAC plus 3.5mm to RCA adapter: AudioQuest: DragonFly DACs
     
  3. aintgotnoclock

    aintgotnoclock Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I can control Plex playback from a second device.
    Yes, I guess that is a good solution but it seems a shame since my Yamaha has a built-in DAC. Thanks for the link.
     
  4. aintgotnoclock

    aintgotnoclock Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    I guess I'll spell out my issues with Airplay: aside from not going higher than 44.1 KHz (correct me if I'm wrong), it also allows other apps to take over the audio. For instance, if I'm playing music over Airplay and inadvertently scroll past a video that opens up, it interrupts my music playback. The trials and travails of digital life...
     
  5. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    16/44.1 is the default/max for AirPlay.

    I just AirPlayed Plex music to my Marantz receiver. Scrolling on websites did not override the audio, and when I intentionally played a video on a website, the audio came out of my phone, the Plex audio kept playing.
     
    aintgotnoclock likes this.
  6. inaudible

    inaudible Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New York
    I prefer using airplay from the Mac because choosing the device from within Apple Music means other computer audio doesn't interrupt. This doesn't work on iPhone. I don't worry about the kHz limitation myself. I can't tell a difference between Apple and Tidal no matter how hard I try on this thing.
     
    aintgotnoclock likes this.
  7. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    ...but doesn't appear to have a USB input. It does have an Ethernet port-seems somehow you should be able to utilize that.
    - You can't run Plex over the network interface somehow?
    - What are you trying to stream? Local high-rez rips?
     
    aintgotnoclock likes this.
  8. aintgotnoclock

    aintgotnoclock Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Yamaha's MusicCast system doesn't natively support Plex. I can just navigate my library by folder and play files -- I have a collection of high-rez files I've bought and accumulated over the years. I'm not sure Ethernet is an audio source I can select. Thanks all for the ideas.
     
  9. Radio

    Radio Forum Resident

    Location:
    Michigan
    Probably not the idea you are looking for, but I connect my iPhone to my Yamaha AS-501 by way of the Yamaha CDS-300 CD player - it is iPod/iPhone compatible. I connect with a 10' Lightning to USB cable and then coaxial from the CD player to the amplifier.
     
  10. aintgotnoclock

    aintgotnoclock Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    Actually not far off. Keeping your signal chain digital. I like it!
     
    Radio likes this.
  11. Uglyversal

    Uglyversal Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sydney
    I am not sure your musiccast will go over 44.1 either, does it? You might have to use the RCAs like you've said on your first post.
     
  12. aintgotnoclock

    aintgotnoclock Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    It actually supports up to 192 through the file server. It shows you the resolution on the playback screen.
     
  13. SamS

    SamS Forum Legend

    Location:
    Texas
    @aintgotnoclock I've been thinking about your situation for a bit, and I think it boils down to two choices:

    1) Over-the-top pursuing the best sound quality: Get a Nvidia Shield to use as a Plex endpoint, and pair it with an HDMI to optical audio extractor and feed that to your receiver. Total cost, about $300, maybe $200 if you go used.
    2) Stick with Airplay ;) It's simple. Might sound almost the same as solution #1 above, and you already have all the hardware you need.
     
    aintgotnoclock likes this.
  14. JCF

    JCF Active Member

    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    The Yamaha R-N303 do not have a USB input, you can use a Schiit Modi DAC (www.schiit.com/products/modi-1) to connect your USB device, it is a not expensive good sounding DAC.
    The Modi can do 16/44.1 to 24/192 via USB, Coax, and Optical. This can be a more complete option instead of the DragonFly DAC, maybe for the same price.
     
    hifisoup likes this.
  15. hifisoup

    hifisoup Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    A nice review of the Modi 3 here by John Darko.
     
  16. hifisoup

    hifisoup Forum Resident

    Location:
    Illinois
    This may be helpful.
     

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