i have a fairly hi end stereo system ;will sound "quality" thru airport express to my system be degraded ?

AirPort Express

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    The AirPort Express is also capable of digital audio output by means of an optical audio cable. This allows digital audio to pass to your receiver.

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  • As long as the network connection is good enough, airport express will even stream in Apple lossless format. There's no degredation in the file when streamed.

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  • The AE has a DAC (or sound card) built in. This is not comparable to a high end hifi DAC, so you should bypass it by connecting an optical cable into the jack. This gives you a digital signal which you can connect to a hifi DAC for good sound quality.

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  • When music is transmitted to an Airplay enabled device (like the Airport Express) it sends the music in the form of Apple Lossless 44Khz/16bit which is CD quality. If you have high def music in your iTunes library (like music bought demo HDtrack.com) that is 96kHz-24bit then the quality will be down graded to CD quality. You can see is happening by opening the Audio MIDI Setup app in your Applications/Utility directory and selecting your Airplay device an noticing 44100 Hz 2ch 16 bits is the only option available. If you can to play music with higher quality than CD quality then you need to connect your AV to your Mac with a directly connect optical cable.

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