Best Connection Type to Dac

Hi, I have my music stored on a 2015 Imac in FLAC and ALAC format ranging from 16/44 through to 24/192. This Imac has the Digital Out in the Headphone Jack. I have a Yamaha R-N602 Network Receiver (AMP, Streamer, DAC) and some Martin Logan Speakers (Motion 60 XT). This setup provides good quality sound at this price point and suits my budget vs expectations trade-off.

I was wondering which was the best way to connect the Imac to the Yamaha. I have tried the following options:

  1. Server Option (Wireless - UPnP?)
  2. Airplay Option (Wireless)
  3. Optical Digital Cable (Option)

The option that has the least or no problems is the Optical Cable connection. Absolutely no dropouts, freezes etc seems to work seemlessly.

The option that seems to sound the best is the Server Option UPnP, seems to be more natural and less harsh compared to the digital connection. Problem is that it is also less reliable, can be a bit flaky.

Just wondering if anyone has a view on which connection should provide the best sound quality?

Cheers Mark.

UPnP, optical (TOSLINK), Airplay.

Cheers, confirms my thinking.

Just out of interest, why is UPnP better than Optical (TOSLINK).

Thanks Mark


To me the best connection between my Imac and my DAC is USB, way better than optical.

My 2 cents :wink:


Thanks, I will look into USB a bit more.

Because the quality of the SPDIF/TOSLINK connection depends on the source system. Computers are not usually optimised for Hi-Fi and SPDIF also transmits clock information.

UPnP downloads raw information which is then buffered before playback and clocked internally to the device. Modern USB implementations (async) are also very good.

Airplay has its limitations in sample rate and the resampling that’s going on.

My computer is connected by HDMI cable to my Denon receiver, is-it good for the audio quality ???

HDMI is more video focused interface, but with a receiver it’s perfectly fine.

Is your Denon network enabled Jacques?
If so, have you tried playing to it via UPnP from Audirvana?

Yes, my network is enabled.
I’m quite novice with the setup.
What I can do to play to it via UPnP from Audirvana?

Good afternon Jacques.

Assuming your Denon is turned on, whilst in Studio click on the Output device selection tab, bottom right corner of screen…


… and the click on the Denon, which should be indicated below the Network - Ethernet section.


Once your Denon has been selected, you can then click on the Change settings tab to adjust any settings to your requirement and taste.

Good luck.

Hello Ironz
This is exactly how I have used my Denon so far.
At least now I understand what UPnP is

Thank you very much, it’s really appreciated

1 Like

Ironz, Thanks for this. My device list does not show my Yamaha R-N602 when Ethernet is selected, it only picks it up through wi-fi. Is there any trick to getting it to display under Ethernet?

In fact it does not show my other Yamaha Receiver either. There must be a technical issue?

Regards, Mark

Hi Mark.

TBH I’m not really sure what may be going on with either of your Yamahas, especially as the first one IS being detected via wi-fi.
The only thing I would suggest (and apologies if you’ve already done this) is to assign a static IP address to your Yamahas LAN connection. May not make a blind bit of differenece, but worth a try if it isn’t already set to static.
Cheers, and good luck :+1:

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