Personal computing discussed

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anotherengineer
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:58 pm

Sound card
http://www.htomega.com/claroplus.html

Headphones a old pair of 5.1 Medusa's

Speakers been wanting Audio Engine A5+ for a long time, but can never seem to budget for them, also I worry about little children poking their finger through the speakers.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:28 pm

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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:46 pm

Realtek ALC889 or Sound Blaster X- Fi Titanium PCIe feeding an LG 2.1 speaker setup that came as part of a DVD player + 2.1 home theatre system. Speakers are nothing high end but I guess they're OK.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:30 pm

Dell soundbar. Doesn't sound as good as my Sennheiser headset but it's much more convenient when I'm playing games with my daughter in my lap.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:39 pm

I know that you get what you pay for when to comes to sound, but at what point would we be just throwing money away?
 
Captain Ned
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:46 pm

whm1974 wrote:
I know that you get what you pay for when to comes to sound, but at what point would we be just throwing money away?

That all depends on the component. Each one has its own "stupid money" threshold.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:47 pm

That all depends on the component. Each one has its own "stupid money" threshold.


This is one of the reasons I didn't install a sound card when I did my build. My on board audio is good enough that to hear any noticeable improvement I would have to spend some hard cash. Even then due to my hear loss it may even not be enough to be worthwhile. I also would be driving myself nuts trying to figure out which card is supported under Linux.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:39 pm

On my desktop I'm running a Xonar DX connected via an analog output to a SURE Electronics 2x50W TDA7492 based 2 channel mini amp, powering a pair of Pioneer BS21 bookshelf speakers I got on clearance at Wal-Mart for $20 (bought two pair!). Also have a pair of Sennhieser HD212 Pro headphones that I've had for ages.

For my media center I have an old JVC RX-817 home theater receiver (found on the curb two years ago) powering some home made Dayton D8 floor speakers that are still under construction. :)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:28 pm

Nothing terribly fancy...
PCI Audigy 2ZS, a fairly nice (if generic) AV/Home theater amp with way too many garbage features and gobs of power (a $15 garage sale special!), and some 80s Ohm Walsh 1 speakers that produce great clarity... and slightly anemic bass. Headphones, seldom worn, are Senn 280 Pro.

Most of my music is ripped to FLAC on general principles, but I have nothing against high bitrate MP3.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 10:54 pm

I've got PreSonus Eris E4.5 'studio' monitors + a Cerwin Vega XD8s sub, via a Focusrite Scarlett 2i4. Really happy with this setup. The E4.5s are excellent bang for buck, and do very well without the sub for their size. I may some day go to a Yamaha HS setup, but I think there isn't much point upgrading when I'm unable to do anything about having a decent sound environment for them.

Headphone-wise, I've got a ODAC + O2 amp into my preeecioussss AKG K812.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:09 pm

The Schiit stack (Modi and Modi) external DAC and AMP + ATH-M50 Headphones. I love this setup for two reasons:

1. Sounds really great.
2. Price. < $300 all bought brand new. Very happy with the performance-price ratio.
 
I.S.T.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:22 pm

Any recommendations for a cheap sound card? I'd like to try something other than Xonars if possible. Only real requirement is a headphone amp given I have HD518s.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:30 pm

I just got an HT-S5800 to replace my Yamaha YMC-500 w/ two donated (and really old) sets - AM-5s for front and AM-7s for back and center.

It sounds friggin amazing. I probably shouldn't have spent the money, but unless something weird happens it'll last me a very long time.

(Sadly, AMDs audio drivers and win10 don't seem perfect together yet, but ah well.)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:14 am

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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:37 pm

ALC898 to a pair of old M-Audio BX8 monitors, or even older Sennheiser HD580's. I've ditched dedicated soundcards now because the (higher-end at least) onboard codecs are good enough that my speakers/headphones/ambient noise/ageing ears are the bottleneck in my setup.

Nvidia Geforce HDMI-Audio to a Samsung HT-C6500 receiver (surprisingly decent for a low-cost HTIB, but I don't need audiophile quality for watching TV or playing games, that's what the HD580's are for...)

A basic pair of Philips SHQ1200 earbuds with foam covers for laptops or anything portable. They're not great but I can't ever get the ones that fit into your ear-canal to either fit properly, stay in or sound good.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:47 pm

Heapdhones: Laptop -> Gamma 2 DAC -> DIY OPA627 Headphone Amp -> Sennheiser HD650.
Speakers: Laptop -> Gamma 2 DAC -> Logitech G51
Work: Phone Bluetooth -> Dual Nokia Play 360s
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 4:55 pm

Old Sony STR-DE698 5.1 receiver (via SPDIF) -> Tannoy Mercury F1 Custom bookshelf speakers + REL Quake sub (in black thank you very much); Sennheiser HD212Pro headphones.

The REL sub alone is insanely good and worth as much as the rest in my book. That unit will probably move to the living room along with the Tannoys when I can afford a pair of KRK RP6s or Yamaha HS8s and a KRK 10s. The Sennheisers are also stupidly good for their price.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 5:38 pm

A question, how come we don't see that many reviews of computer speakers and headphones anymore on tech sites? I only manage to find a good audio solution for me by dumb luck when I brought these headphones at Walmart on impulse.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:06 pm

For most people, whatever Logitech and Creative are selling this year is "good enough" for computer headphones and speakers. People who care enough about fidelity to want something better are probably looking at audio enthusiast sites, not computer enthusiast sites.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:27 pm

For most people, whatever Logitech and Creative are selling this year is "good enough" for computer headphones and speakers. People who care enough about fidelity to want something better are probably looking at audio enthusiast sites, not computer enthusiast sites.


True. Though I have known people years ago who brought soundcards and used cheap speakers and then compained how bad the sound was.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:36 pm

whm1974 wrote:
True. Though I have known people years ago who brought soundcards and used cheap speakers and then compained how bad the sound was.

Yeah, people really need to realize that headphones/speakers are almost always the weak link. Even Realtek has figured out how to make audio codecs that don't suck by now, and the major vendors have learned how to implement them halfway decently on their motherboards. There's far more variation in quality at the final step, where you need to convert electrical impulses into pressure waves in the air.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 6:41 pm

Asus Xonar DG, courtesy of a long-ago TR contest. Sennheiser HD-280 Pro, recommended by other TR regulars in a past thread. Headphone amp is a home-build based on this design.

I used to have a Klipsche ProMedia speaker set but eventually decided not to keep it due to having shared walls, and in any case, I have a surround system on the HTPC in the basement.
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I.S.T.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 7:29 pm

just brew it! wrote:
whm1974 wrote:
True. Though I have known people years ago who brought soundcards and used cheap speakers and then compained how bad the sound was.

Yeah, people really need to realize that headphones/speakers are almost always the weak link. Even Realtek has figured out how to make audio codecs that don't suck by now, and the major vendors have learned how to implement them halfway decently on their motherboards. There's far more variation in quality at the final step, where you need to convert electrical impulses into pressure waves in the air.


I wish my mobo did that part. ._. I get static and hiss not infrequently.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:12 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Yeah, people really need to realize that headphones/speakers are almost always the weak link. Even Realtek has figured out how to make audio codecs that don't suck by now, and the major vendors have learned how to implement them halfway decently on their motherboards. There's far more variation in quality at the final step, where you need to convert electrical impulses into pressure waves in the air.


Pretty much spot on.

I noticed a huge improvement in sound when I upgraded from a 5.1 Logitech Z-5300 to a 2.0 Audioengine 5+ setup despite using Realtek's integrated sound. Yet I can't conclusively hear a difference if I switch to an Xonar using the Audioengine speakers. I've had too many problems with the ASUS drivers so I simply stick with Realtek now.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:22 pm

DAC/AMP: Audioengine D1
Speakers: Audioengine A5+
Headphones 0: Senn HD 485
Headphones 1: Audio Technica ATH-M50(s)
Headphones 2: Klipsch R6 (I really only use these on my PC when I need them for a hot second and I can't seem to place the other two)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:49 pm

I.S.T. wrote:
I wish my mobo did that part. ._. I get static and hiss not infrequently.

Well, bad implementations do still happen occasionally. FWIW I haven't had a bad onboard implementation from Asus in close to a decade now, though.

Poorly shielded front panel audio wiring can also cause noise/static problems, but that's the case vendor's fault, not the mobo or codec vendor's.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 10:58 pm

I'm actually using an ASUS with the back ports rather than front panel.
 
masterjaw
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:07 pm

Nothing fancy, Just a cheap but somehow good enough setup.

Asus Xonar U1 (external USB soundcard)
Sennheiser IE80 (in-ear monitors)
Swans M10 (2.1 speakers)
 
ozzuneoj
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:22 pm

masterjaw wrote:
Nothing fancy, Just a cheap but somehow good enough setup.

Asus Xonar U1 (external USB soundcard)
Sennheiser IE80 (in-ear monitors)
Swans M10 (2.1 speakers)

Your $300 earbuds knock you out of the "cheap" category in my opinion. :lol:
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:28 pm

Your $300 earbuds knock you out of the "cheap" category in my opinion.


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