Personal computing discussed

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whm1974
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So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:33 pm

I brought a amplified headphone made by Flips Audio a few years ago on impulse. What is great about these is that it has a speaker mode that's turned on by "flipping" the earmuffs. I did regret getting the device after a couple of months afterwards since it cost me $150 and didn't use it all that much. I ended up moving to a SRO later that year and due to limited space I decieded to ditch the bulky stereo system I was using at the time and use the headphone instead. This turns out to be the best purchase for audio I have made. I get better and clearer audio and it doesn't take up much space. The only downside is there no volume control.

So what audio solutions are you guys using for computer sound?
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:45 pm

I just can't get used to headphones - they feel like they restrict movement, I can't hear things around me (OK, that's a pro sometimes), and over-ears feel like they clamp my ears a bit.

My setup:
Pioneer SP-BS22-LR speakers
Onkyo TX-SR576
Generic PCM2704 adapter (USB to coaxial/toslink/analog 3.5mm) off ebay (no case)

It's kinda bulky, yes, but sounds great. A little more bass would be nice at times, but that's about it. The receiver and Windows also don't give me much control when I'm running coaxial out of the USB adapter, so I'm stuck with a flat EQ profile, but that's honestly kinda nice at times.

I was running this off a Lepai TA2020 at one point, but the receiver gives better sound quality. People say the Lepai distort easily (shows mainly on controlled tests, not actual use). Though I did upgrade the caps in the Lepai (which supposedly makes a HUGE difference), and haven't tried it again with these speakers yet. I like how small/power efficient the Lepai is though - nothing beats those things for driving bookshelf speakers.
 
whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:53 pm

I just can't get used to headphones - they feel like they restrict movement, I can't hear things around me (OK, that's a pro sometimes), and over-ears feel like they clamp my ears a bit.


Same here. This is why these are great, they can use as headphones or speakers.
 
localhostrulez
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:03 pm

Yeah, but how well do they act as speakers? Physics yo. Seems like a lot of bluetooth speakers sound good enough, but are terribly lacking under 150Hz.
 
whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:06 pm

Yeah, but how well do they act as speakers?


Very well. They work great even with on board audio since they are amplified.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 7:21 pm

Edifier s730's. I will eventually buy some decent headphones, but it's not in the cards right now. I need to continue to work on my vehicles.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:11 pm

Newegg has two of these for $89 and $75:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 1JX0XA1217
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 1JX0XA1085

A great deal cheaper then the $150 I paid. While they are worth every penny, it's nice to see that the price came down on them.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:28 pm

Really old set of Yamaha 2.1 computer speakers and Sennheiser PX-100 II headphones.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:32 pm

I have two Windows 10 rigs and for both I am using Corsair Vengeance 1500s (works also with Ubuntu on the dual boot rig). On my Macs and iOS devices I share a Beats Studio Wireless headset.
Last edited by End User on Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:33 pm

Dragonfly 1.2 USB DAC (a good fit in the FT03 case I have) with Sony XBA-30i earphones...

its at the affordable audiophile end of things I guess, it absolutely shines for 24/96 recordings, works well for gaming (no mic tho as it is connected via the 3.5mm headphone out of the DAC)
phenomenal sound for the money...
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 9:37 pm

Realtek ALC898 with Grado SR80i.
 
whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:33 pm

Now that Flip Audio headphones now cost less then when I first brought them, I going to reccamen them when I get asked for advice on computer speakers.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:52 pm

Realtek onboard sound and a pair of Klipsch 2.1 speakers. I have a cheap Cyber Acoustics headset with one ear phone and a mic for the rare times I want to use voice chat in a game. I like the headset since it lets me send the voice chat to the one headset speaker and I can still hear the game sounds out of my Klipsch speakers in the other ear.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 10:54 pm

Home: Xonar D1 and a yum-cha Logitech 5.1 mess.

Work/Road: AudioQuest DragonFly 1.2 DAC line-level into iFi micro-iCAN driving OPPO PM-3 closed-back planar-magnetic headphones, though when I've got enough desk space I drive the iCAN directly from the Zune HD instead of the laptop (same files on both). This rig recently replaced a HeadRoom Total BitHead/Shure SE500 combo (the DAC in the BitHead sucks but the analog side is fine), though I still keep that around for true portable use like on planes. Never did get around to custom ear-molds for the SE500s, though I thought about it several times.

Guess which one I spend more time listening to.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:04 pm

I have to say the sound on my headphones is great. There are no hisses, harseness, or pops at high volume unlike the stereo system I was using before.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:12 pm

I'm really happy with the PM-3s, though they still need another couple of weeks of break-in.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:25 pm

Sennheiser HD518s and onboard audio I really need to swap out. Used to have a Xonar DG, but it got screwed up by, well, a screw. I didn't have these headphones when I did that, and now that I do, I hear static and popping depending on the type of audio being played.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Fri Aug 21, 2015 11:50 pm

Well, I just got around to connecting the Lepai to the BS22's, fed with the PCM2704's analog out. I'm trying hard to avoid confirmation bias here, but this sounds quite good with cap upgrades. Just as good as the receiver maybe.

Edit: Most things sound quite clear. San Francisco by the Mowgli's is a bit muffled on both - line levels guys? You're Not Alone by them sounds quite clear on both though - I'm having a hard time telling the difference.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:14 am

I do have a pet peeve. How come computer displays with built-in speakers don't sound very good and barely get loud enough to hear? Granted the ones I've been around are at the lower end of the scale and I have hearing loss but still even cheap TVs at least get loud enough for me to hear.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 1:47 am

Onboard realtek ALC892, Goldring DR100 or Superlux HD668 headphones, Toshiba TV 20W speaker.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:14 am

Sound Blaster Audigy SE with Thomson boombox as speakers.
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I.S.T.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 2:57 am

whm1974 wrote:
I do have a pet peeve. How come computer displays with built-in speakers don't sound very good and barely get loud enough to hear? Granted the ones I've been around are at the lower end of the scale and I have hearing loss but still even cheap TVs at least get loud enough for me to hear.


Because they're cheap as all hell.
 
whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:16 am

Because they're cheap as all hell.


Yeah I suppose you get what you pay for.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:28 am

I.S.T. wrote:
Because they're cheap as all hell.

And small. And installed in an enclosure where the primary requirement is to be thin, not to have good acoustics. (And on the cheapness angle, I'd be really surprised if those drivers are costing them more than a couple of bucks apiece in quantity.)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 6:41 am

just brew it! wrote:
Really old set of Yamaha 2.1 computer speakers and Sennheiser PX-100 II headphones.

Since others are posting their soundcard configs too... Realtek ALC887-VD, with some fairly heavy-handed EQ applied to deal with the deficiencies of the onboard audio, the speakers, and my aging ears. (The onboard audio actually isn't THAT bad, but does seem to have some bass rolloff when driving the headphones. Been meaning to get a headphone amp... or install the old M-Audio Revo or TBSC.)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 8:18 am

I make part of my living on my comp so I figured it was worth investing in an audio setup which would last me through several workstation setups. Now my workstation is showing its age and the audio is the best part of it.

Rega Brio-R
Monitor Audio RX2's
Arcam R-Dac (SPDIF out of the motherboard)

and for headphones I kind of went nuts, I've got a set of
Stax 3050 amp and headphone setup (line out from the amp, kind of annoying until I can afford a Rega Pre-Amp)
http://www.stax.co.jp/Export/SRS3050II.html

and a set of
SennHeiser 25p-II

I guess in the audio scene this would be kind of a "entry" setup but buying it bit by bit I ended up spending more than I thought I was going too at the beginning. It's crazy what some people spend...
All I can say in regards to spending more money on this type of thing is that its probably best to stick to trusted audio brands and buy cheap buy twice is true in this realm. This stereo will be still attached to my workstation for a longtime after any system upgrade. The only bit I regret is spending as much on the DAC. Its good quality but it doesn't really hold its value and I could have spent a bit less money without really noticing.
Once you start it's a money blackhole but rewarding if you use them a lot. You get the itch though, there's always something better, now I salivate about getting a pair of Magnepans.
It never ends.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 11:54 am

BlackDove wrote:
Realtek ALC898 with Grado SR80i.

I've never had a chance to hear Grados, but I've been thinking of trying the newer SR80e or 125e.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:04 pm

Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 USB interface, KRK Rokit 5 monitors, Audio-Technica M40fs studio headphones. When I have the money I'll upgrade to Yamaha HS8's and maybe a better set of cans, but even now it sounds way better than any computer-oriented 2.1 + gaming headset I've ever heard. The clarity of using studio headphones really helps keep your anxiety going when you're playing Alien: Isolation and can hear every little ominous noise that the ship makes.
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:06 pm

You get the itch though, there's always something better, now I salivate about getting a pair of Magnepans.
It never ends.


In my case since I have hearing loss I doubt I can tell between what I have now and anything better. Well I suppose with a 7.1 setup I could, but the folks living next to me may throw a fit. I also don't have the space for that kind of setup anyway.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sat Aug 22, 2015 12:16 pm

I have two Yorkville YSM1p powered monitors speakers (6½" woofers + tweeter, integrated amplifiers) hooked to the main output of an Allen & Heath Zed-10 mixer (4 mono channels, 2 stereo channels, 2-channels USB in/out), with the audio coming into the mixer by USB; My TV-box and PS3 are also hooked up to the mixer. Alternatively, I use AKG K172 Headphones connected to the mixer.

I used to use QSC K10 PA speakers (10" + horn loaded compression driver, two 500 W integrated amplifiers) as computer speakers, but they lacked bass compared to the monitors (since PA speakers are optimized for output). I've been thinking about building subwoofers, but I always end up distracted by the possibility of using multiple subs in a directional array.
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