Apple TV and Sound Quality

I am currently using an Apple TV 3 over WiFi to get music from my mac mini in one room to my system in my living room.

mac mini, iTunes with CDs ripped in Apple Lossless >>(WiFi)>> Apple TV > Toslink cable > Cambridge DacMagic > Sonic Frontiers Line One tube pre > Sunfire 5 channel bi-amping Maggie 1.5QR speakers

I am interested in hearing any opinions on whether something else might improve sound quality rel. to the Apple TV and why.

I'm aware of the different bit rates involved but not convinced why conversion would make a difference.
Im sure many will disagree but I compared the apple tv optical out to my macbook pro optical out and usb out to my rega dac and found zero audible difference. This was to my rega dac to my hegel h200 amp using "lossles" files. 

I can hear a difference only when i  itunes on the macbook to audirvanna - then a difference is audible with more detail and holigraphic sound. 
I only have ATV 2, which sonically from what I have read here and elsewhere, is islimited compared to ATV 3.  Still, in your setup, the weak link is the wifi to ATV.  I would replace the ATV with a dedicated audio component such as the Bluesound Node and use a wired connection.  I did just that, and the improvement was not trivial
The biggest complaints with the ATV is 2-fold:

  1. resamples everything to 16/48
  2. toslink is a jittery mess
I've heard nice improvements using it with the Wyred 4 Sound re-clocker, but that means there is another conversion to 24/96, which bothers some purists. An iFi SPDIF iPurifier is a less expensive re-clocking option if you care to go down this road. 
Randy, that's a complicated question. Almost zero, but you are trading off bit-perfect for time-perfect, and that's anathema to some audiophiles.

A better question is, does it sound better with appliances like AppleTV? The answer is, yes it does, modestly.  Is it worth the $300-$400 I think so, but not much more than that.

Alternatively get a DAC  that is less source sensitive like the new Mytek's, Shiit's or Ayre Codex.



I got rid of WiFi, and use Cat6 ethernet from my Mac to Apple TV.

I airplay music from computer and iPad, through Apple TV.

With full resolution CD on my computer, I get sound comparable to a CD player.

The audio on my TV goes through a Pass X1, Son of Ampzilla 2000, Magnepan IIIa speakers.

There are sound quality differences, on different sources.

NetFlix, Amazon prime,Hulu, and DVD/Bluray player all give great audio.

I have 100 down internet.

Apple TV is not very limiting, as far as audio quality IMO.