Mosaic vs. airplay

I learned over the weekend that I was making a mistake that I am sharing so that the rest of you don’t!

I am a relatively new digital convert and Bartok owner. So far I am not a Roon subscriber, but I do use Tidal and Qobuz. I did not realize until my friend Mark (also a dCS owner) alerted me that native apps only stream via bluetooth to my Bartok. I was only playing 16/44 files because I was not using Mosaic. Now that I am finding Tidal and Qobuz through Mosaic I am enjoying the glories of MQA and Hi-Res as I intended.

Hopefully this helps someone!



Thanks for the post.

I too am a relative newcomer and rather overwhelmed by all the details such as your post has described. I have been using Tidal via Mosaic but occasionally have used the Tidal app directly. I was unaware that Bluetooth was capable of 16/44 transmission anyway and it had not occurred to me that the Tidal app would use Bluetooth at all. My understanding is that the device using the apps (e.g. iPad) only acts like a remote controller and the signal goes directly via Ethernet cable from router to Bartok.

I have also noticed that when I’ve used Apple Music via the iPad, the Bartok display shows 16/44 even though I don’t subscribe to Apple Music streaming but iTunes Match which uses music I bought years ago on iTunes or ripped from my CDs. I thought Apple Music didn’t support 16/44, but only compressed files.

It’s all very tedious actually and detracts from the music listening itself. It was so much more satisfying when I used to just sit down with a CD playing and use a remote control to adjust volume and select tracks. Since buying the Bartok I have come to realise that the dCS device of choice is the Rossini Player. DAC, network player, upsampler, CD player, etc. with remote control, all in one unit. A modern day “music centre” (but without the cassette). But look at the price!


I will attempt to clarify a couple of points. That anything can stream music to Bartok by Bluetooth is incorrect as Bartok has no Bluetooth facility, nor do other dCS devices. You can, however, stream to it using an iphone or ipad using Apple airplay and, yes, you are right, the signal uses your LAN/WLAN. Apple airplay can stream audio from all sorts of sources ( not just Apple Music or i-tunes) installed on the ipad or iphone, I use it frequently to stream podcasts or other items from BBC Sounds to my Vivaldi just as I did dCS’ own fascinating podcasts about Mercury Living Presence. However I haven’t tried it with the Qobuz iOS player. I expect it would work albeit downsampling hi-res material.

When a codec is used such as AAC or MP3 although they are lossy the file/stream itself is still ( usually) 16/44.1 or 16/48 at replay. However although the file/stream capacity in terms of bit depth and sampling frequency remains the same as the uncompressed original the information that is contained within the file/stream is not complete. That which is considered inaudible by the codec promoters has been disposed of i.e. it is lossy. Mosaic reports the encoded file/stream it is receiving so e.g. Mosaic will show AAC 320kbits/sec but when Rossini DAC receives it after decoding by Mosaic it is 16/44.1. albeit with missing information compared to the original. So that is why a lossy file/stream is still displayed as 16/44.1 or 16/48.

For simplicity I would stick to using Mosaic for local file replay, Tidal, Qobuz, Deezer, Spotify and internet radio and leave the i-pad for items that are unavailable in the Mosaic suite of sources.

NB: Apple Music now supports lossless 16/44.1.

Thank you for clarifying. I did not know what I was doing!

Thanks for a very helpful reply. You have clarified much of my misunderstanding.

Just one thing on Apple Music, if they are supporting lossless, how do we access that? From your comments it looks like using ‘Music’ directly from the iPad would deliver lossy data, and it’s not on Mosaic.


You will not be able to listen to lossless Apple Music with Mosaic unless dCS incorporate Apple’s API for it at some point in the future.

Otherwise you need to install iOS 14.6 or above on your i-pad and connect to your dCS device using the Apple camera to USB connection adaptor.


Once again thanks for your very helpful reply. I’ll keep on with tidal Hi Res for now.