Stream quality: Spotify Connect = Airplay Mcintosh MX122


I have a Mcintosh MX122 that has Spotify Connect.  I am/was under the impression that means my Spotify signal is NOT being compressed like Airplay or bluetooth.  Basically, the unit is streaming directly from Spotify so I'm getting the highest quality possible that Spotify offers.

I was just told that was not correct by McIntosh Tech Support.  They said that Spotify Connect is a fancy term for Airplay basically and that the signal is being compressed in my MX122.  

How the crap am I supposed to know when I'm getting a crappy compressed signal vs the highest quality the service offers?  Don't say by listening haha.

Also, I downloaded Qobuz and Tidal in search of higher quality streams only to find out my MX122 will not natively stream them.  So is it worthless to use those since I can only stream over Airplay or bluetooth?  Doesn't that totally defeat the purpose of Hi Res, FLAC, or MQA?

Maybe I should take my CXN v2 off Craigslist and use it again idk!
dtximages
You should try CXN v2 with wired Ethernet Connection and see if it sounds better to your ears. Please do not use Airplay option. Use decent quality analog XLR cables to connect CXN with MX122. 

It's not what sounds better to my ears (it is - but hang on)..  I want to know the quality of which I'm streaming.  Is there not a cool tool that can tell me in real time my bitrate?  Or do I just assume I'm getting 320kbs or whatever because that's the tier I pay for?

Furthermore, am I right to say that Tidal and Qubuz are useless to me because I can only stream through Airplay?  Doesn't airplay dumb down my awesome high res file?  Like driving a Ferrari with a 50mph governor installed? 

Connecting via ethernet is not an option.  I have 1GB internet and wifi is solid as a rock.  

..just listen to the music.
This article and subsequent conversation about AirPlay 2 is about a year old but should answer your question:

https://audiophilestyle.com/ca/contributors/what-airplay-2-means-for-your-listening-setup-r717/#comments

The take-away is AirPlay 2 converts everything (audio) to ALAC and is bit-perfect at 16/44.1. All high res files are re-sampled to 16/44.1. In the end, it depends on the capability of the receiving device (your MX122) for bit-perfect play of the stream.
Ok so, what I'm gathering is that using Tidal/Qubuz on ANY non Tidal/Qobuz equipped player/dac is useless.  I might as well stick with Spotify Connect because the Tidal/Qobuz quality will be degraded to CD quality at best anyway.