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Pondoro

From the Computer to my Speakers

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Posted (edited)

All 

I bought a pair of R-51PM speakers to use with my computer. The computer basically is my stereo. I play mp3's and CD's and watch livestream concerts. I am pretty advanced in the PC world due to my work, but not an expert at PC sound.

 

I can connect the R-51PM's as follows:

1) Directly into the USB of my PC

2) Into the "stereo out" jack of my $40 gaming sound card (three-connector mini jack)

3) using the "digital out" (optical) jack of that same sound card

 

I have tried 1 and 3 and I don't think I can hear a difference. I think that option 1 bypasses all sound cards and I think option 3 may bypass the soundcard as well. I am not sure here because the gaming sound card has analog out for stereo front, stereo back, center front/subwoofer. So the optical digital output may be some mishmash of those.

 

I'm happy with the sound regardless but I would like to understand what actually is happening. 

 

Oh yeah, I could use Bluetooth, but I see no reason to do that.

 

Thanks

Edited by Pondoro
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Unless you have rather crappy PC, the motherboard audio is going to be much cleaner than a 40.00 soundcard. I am also a computer expert, as well as one who listens on a 5.1 Heritage system with sub good to C0, 21.5hz. MB onboard sound is as good as the most expensive ADACs which are the same shame as speaker wire and such. My heritage is all zip cord.  

Dave

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So, as I thought, the USB sound is directly from the motherboard, and not through the (probably $2) motherboard sound card? I have seen "audiophile" soundcards for $200 plus. Is it possible for them to improve the sound from a computer, or do they somehow synthesize back channels or center channels, or are they hype?

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On 10/4/2020 at 11:20 PM, Pondoro said:

So, as I thought, the USB sound is directly from the motherboard, and not through the (probably $2) motherboard sound card? I have seen "audiophile" soundcards for $200 plus. Is it possible for them to improve the sound from a computer, or do they somehow synthesize back channels or center channels, or are they hype?

 

Does your motherboard have an optical connector, or the sound card only?  That optical connector is much preferred over copper, as the opportunity for electrical interference on that line goes away.  It's digital so no data loss between your PC and whatever you are using on the speaker side.

 

Mallette is right about most onboard sound cards being superior to cheap add-on sound.  I listen to a 7.1 surround ( @Mallette, this is not intended as one-upsmanship! ) connected from my PC to an Onkyo surround receiver via fiber optic.  You should definitely choose this if possible over any other connection method.  Bluetooth is getting better, but it is still based on radio technology that eats batteries for breakfast, lunch, and so forth.  It's not a solution for a permanent installation, IMHO.  Other folks might disagree with my assessment.  *<;o)

 

 

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18 minutes ago, Oicu812 said:

Mallette is right about most onboard sound cards being superior to cheap add-on sound.  I listen to a 7.1 surround ( @Mallette, this is not intended as one-upsmanship!

No problem. My system is 7.1 as well...but two of them are Klipsch but not Heritage.

Dave

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2 hours ago, Mallette said:

No problem. My system is 7.1 as well...but two of them are Klipsch but not Heritage.

Dave

 

That's funny.  All of mine are pro with the exception of the Super Heresy.  I'm redoing the cabs so that they look like their pro cousins.  

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for your patience with my new guy questions.

 

Before I got the Klipsch speakers I had a cheap (<$100) set of computer speakers with a small sub and two tiny right/left speakers. All driven by the 3.5 mm jack on my computer. I bought an ASUS PCle 5.1 Soundcard, as I said it was like $40. I also used it's 3.5 mm jack to drive my cheap system, the sound quality definitely improved. So in my opinion the add-on $40 sound card did something. I didn't need 5.1, I just bought that soundcard because reputable friends said it was good. At $40 it was a worthwhile experiment. The computer does not have optical out but the add on sound card does.

 

Purchasing the Klipsch speakers gave me the dilemma - USB out to them or optical digital from the aftermarket ASUS soundcard. I tried both (into the new Klipsch speakers)  and heard little or no difference. 

 

Reading up here and other places it seems that USB out is directly off the motherboard, never going through the sound card (either soundcard) so I have learned something. 

 

I think that the ASUS soundcard tries to make 5.1 sound out of 2 channel stereo. I'm not really interested in adding speakers for 5.1, just curious. Does the optical out carry all of the 5.1 channels? Or is it just a pass through of digital signal from the motherboard?

Edited by Pondoro

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6 minutes ago, Pondoro said:

Purchasing the Klipsch speakers gave me the dilemma - USB out to them or optical digital from the aftermarket ASUS soundcard. I tried both (into the new Klipsch speakers)  and heard little or no difference. 

 

Reading up here and other places it seems that USB out is directly off the motherboard, never going through the sound card (either soundcard) so I have learned something. 

 

I think that the ASUS soundcard tries to make 5.1 sound out of 2 channel stereo. I'm not really interested in adding speakers for 5.1, just curious. Does the optical out carry all of the 5.1 channels? Or is it just a pass through of digital signal from the motherboard?

 

Both the USB and digital optical basically carry the same information, just on different paths.  Back in the early '90's, we called it the Useless Serial Bus, because the new PC's had the ports, but you couldn't find anything to connect with them.  Gawd.  Here I go, dating myself again.

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