Question for audiophiles using Airplay with Apple TV 2nd Gen

I'm using AirPlay on my iphone to play music to the Apple TV 2nd gen. (running optical out of AppleTV into high quality Rotel receiver)  I'm hearing what I believe is best called "pumping" in the audio: the volume is modulating in waves, and the music sounds distant.  I can't figure out what would cause this.  I've got excellent signal strength so I don't think it's a bandwidth problem where the devices might be over-compressing and thus introducing artifacts.
I've done A/B comparisons with the same song, hardwired to my receiver, and I've heard it on all the tracks I'm streaming, so I know it's not in the recording.
Has anyone experienced this phenomenon?  Thanks.

Sorry, I can only offer sympathies and the fact that I also had this issue with wired connections, using XBMC on my Mac Mini to play out to an Audiolab M-DAC. Unfortunately I made lots of changes trying to set up my Media Center, so I don't know what made it go away!
Just saying that it's not neccessarily an Airplay issue.

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