HiFi over wireless or usb out

  • 12 October 2021
  • 5 replies

Userlevel 3
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I had HiFi until very recently and have been with Deezer for years. 

I want to take out a Deezer yearly sub - either hifi or premium. Until I decide, I am using Spotify (I really don't like it compared to Deezer - why is it so popular???). The thing is, I struggle to notice too much difference between Spotify premium and Deezer hifi when using my headphones. 

I know my Sonos, laptop and chrome audio all support Deezer hifi. But could someone from Deezer clarify:

1) does hifi work over any Bluetooth protocols - if so which ones? APTX HD? Any others? 

2) and what about when playing android auto via USB cable? How is this different to chrome audio.

3) what about when playing using wired headphones that are connected via the usb port or usb DAC, not a headphone jack directly?

I read other questions about this, but when I download to my phone in flac and play tracks via Bluetooth they do show as "hifi" on the deezer app. Yet others seem to suggest this is not possible. 

Its a pity deezer is so intransparent about this. The compatibility page only lists home speakers. Maybe deliberately? 








But decided to check out the competition first - why is Spotify sonoioular, I'm going to say that 


Best answer by Rick P. 14 October 2021, 00:55

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Userlevel 5
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I don't see Deezer being intransparent at all. From their website:

Can I use Deezer HiFi from any app?

You can access Deezer HiFi across all your devices, from the desktop app and web player to any iOS or Android smartphone. Deezer HiFi is also directly integrated on Xbox, Chromecast, Sonos and other devices. Please visit our Devices page to see all devices that are compatible with Deezer HiFi.

Thats just the first thing that popped up - they have a lot more info there too although it could be better organized. 

In answer to your questions. 


1. No. The bandwidth available to Bluetooth is insufficient to transmit the full hifi signal. Apt-x HD and LDAC is closer but they're still lossy codecs. 


2. Android Auto passes a digital signal so hifi audio is possible. However, unless you've got a very good aftermarket sound system and you're parked in your driveway you'll never hear the difference - cars are simply too noisy. As for the difference to Chromecast, Chromecast devices download the audio stream directly from Deezer whereas Android auto gets it through your phone. 

3. I suspect this depends on the phone and headphones. Anything running through a DAC to normal headphones should be hifi. However, if your headphones use a USB connection they likely have their own DAC and built-in amplifier, so who knows what it's doing or how good it'll sound. 


As for it showing as hifi, that's an indication that your phone has downloaded a hifi track. Deezer has no way of knowing what convoluted steps your phone's audio subsystem might take between the app and your ears.


As a general comment, I'm a hifi subscriber now and was a premium subscriber for years before that, and while I can tell the difference between hifi and premium at home on quality audio gear I'd be kidding myself to say I'd notice the difference while I'm on the go. In my opinion, if the majority of your listening is on the go save your money and stick with premium. 

Userlevel 3
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Neither the page you refer to, nor any other information made publicly available by Deezer mentions whether HiFi quality tracks will stream or play in HiFi quality via Bluetooth, or by usb out. Or whether they even play to the maximum bitrate available should this lay between hifi and premium. Many will assume that if Deezer says it will play on my mobile device, that it matters not how the sound comes out, it will be hifi. If Deezer is being transparent on this, they would at the very least include some information as to any possible reduction of quality via wireless or wired headphones. It's not in their interest to do so.


Also you are just making assumptions that aren't based on any information communicated by Deezer. Assumptions imam.also forced to make. For a long time Deezer didn't support hifi downloads onto mobile devices, despite all that you mention suggesting there was no technical reason not to. And hifi shows on my phone when streaming and relaying by bluetooth. Even in the car.  


Userlevel 5
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Everybody is entitled to his or her own opinion of course but it I don't personally believe it's Deezer's responsibility to educate the masses about how the gadgets they bought work - that's our job as consumers. I note too that usually when people ask questions on forums like this they do so because they're genuinely interested in knowing the answers to them. Perhaps others at least will find the answers I took time to provide helpful...

Userlevel 7
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Thanks for all your feedback @evel79 and also for all your replies @Rick P. 
I’ll pass all the information to our team so they can consider adding all this extra info in the HiFi page (I can’t guarantee it though).


...whether HiFi quality tracks will stream or play in HiFi quality via Bluetooth...




This is physically impossible, since all Bluetooth codecs are lossy by definition. This is a technology issue, not a Deezer issue.