Does Audirvana prefers UPnP over Airplay?

I play from my mac to my Hegel which supports Airplay.
Audirvana Origin uses UPnP to play.

Is UPnP better than Airpay?
Secondly same song from disk when played via Audirvana sounds louder by 6/100 compared to same file ->AppleMusic → Airplay.

Audirvana doesn’t support AirPlay, so your only option will be UPnP.

Audirvana has its own way to accessing your audio hardware. It sounds much better here as well when comparing it with Apple Music on my M1 MacBook Pro’s Audiotrak sound card. Louder too.


AirPlay is ok with small Bluetooth speakers. You’ll get better results with UPnP if your device supports it.

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Hi @sandsOfArrakis @bitracer
I agree with both of you.

I also enjoyed the experience of better sound quality of Audirvana/upnp over Apple Music/Airplay.

Audirvana is 6% more louder than Apple music/Airplay.

The loudness makes the A/B test inconclusive. Andrew talks of the loudness here…

Apart from the volume confounder in the A/B test with Airplay:UPnp is the Airplay route uses the Apple’s sound engine which technically makes sense that BitPerfect / Audirvana will be able to do a better job than native Apple to read a file and stream processing.

My question is technically whether UPnP is superior transport over Airplay?

Well I’m just a regular Joe with 0 experience when it comes to the technical side of the story. I’m not an engineer of any kind. More like the complete opposite. :smiley:

I don’t have that fancy gear here in my place, definitely no UPnP stuff. Both my MacBooks have their own USB sound card to connect to, otherwise they can use my 2 Harman Kardon speakers in the living room. Either through AirPlay or Chromecast.

Chromecast has just been introduced in the new AS beta. But in my experience it’s still pretty buggy. Other people can better explain the whole UPnP thing I believe.

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AirPlay will max out at 24 /48 , UPnP will play any hi res format including DSD

The caveat (as ever) is the UPnP implementation of your server and renderer

I am no techie , just what I have read but it seems the UPnP spec is somewhat wide and open to interpretation so using say AS as the server may work fine with one renderer while not working at all with another . See the threads on this forum re the Cambridge Audio CXN at the launch of AS for example

Generally if it works it works . The one thing to bare in mind is that with UPnP the final decoding is at the Renderer (not in the server like Roon and RAAT)

Either way it will be superior to AirPlay especially if your source is Hi Res.

If you don’t mind “consorting with the enemy” there are some interesting threads on the Roon forum explaining why Roon will not (NEVER) implement UPnP that explain UPnP quite well

Thank you @sandsOfArrakis and @MikeO
So my summary from your posts, is UPnP has more bandwidth capability compared to Airplay. Plus Hegel may have implemented UPnP better than AirPlay as its widely used.

@Antoine - Would appreciate if you could chime in on the Volume boost qn of UPnP over Airplay.

Do you have this option enabled?

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That option is disabled.

Unlock the little :lock: bottom right corner

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Thank you @Antoine , @OffRode

I got response from Hegel on why UPnP is better than Airplay…
CC: @Antoine

Airplay is converted to the Apple format ALAC prior to being distributed through Airplay, this will has audible changes to the signal depending on the original format. Audirvana with UPnP streaming would usually retain the signal in its original form.