Need streaming / DAC guidance

I just rehabbed my 30YO NAD 3400PE integrated amp and vintage altec speakers. I have a chromecast audio connected to the amp and it works just fine streaming spotify. I recently signed up for Amazon HD streaming service and am able to receive some material in 24bit - 192kHz, some material in 24bit / 96kHZ, and some is 24/48kHz. Amazon HD streams through my galaxy note 9 via wifi. When I check the amazon streaming quality through the app it reads (in many cases) the source material is 24/96, but my “device” is only capable of achieving 24/48.

Here’s my question…If the material is streaming from amazon to my phone to the chromecast audio (which is capable of 24/192) and to my badass NAD amp, am I achieving the max resolution or is the phone the “bottleneck?” If the phone is a bottleneck, what can you recommend to get the source material to my NAD in as high resolution as possible to take advantage of the amp and speakers???

Thanks for your help and suggestions!!!

The bottleneck is the dac in the chromecast imo. You could get better sound quality with a better quality amp. If you are happy with the chromecast just keep it. Something to look into is the ifi Zen Blue streamer if you do want a bump in sound quality without a massive increase in price.

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Thanks M0N, and please forgive my lack of technical expertise here…

Let’s assume that this has a better DAC than the chromecast and I see it has an RCA out to connect it to my NAD integrated amp. If the phone or tablet on which I receive the source material originally can only process to 24/48 and this ifi blue can achieve much better (at least 24/96) will the signal transferring from my phone or tablet reach the ifi blue and then transmit to / from the NAD amp at 24/96 or better?


So it’s not really the bit depth and sample rate that would make that improvement imo, it’s the better quality dac chip implementation and output stage on the ifi. If you are using lossless tracks, that’s already good enough imo, because it’s very very difficult to tell the difference between a cd quality lossless file and a high res file. If you do hear a significant difference, it probably comes down to the mastering of that file.

The signal chain would be your phone to the dac, and then it is turned into analog and amplified by your nad. The benifit is not necessary from the file type, just the superior conversion performance of the dac
With streaming, I would worry more about ensuring