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Laptop as source?

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On 3/21/2024 at 11:16 AM, JohnA said:


There will probably be a driver or software setting that will make it so.  I doubt every/any digital stream running through the computer is supplied to any usb port all the time. 

Windows 10 and newer should automatically recognize a USB DAC as an available audio output.

Once you have it selected as your output device, all sound will be played through it.



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Wanted to follow up on this, but with a twist.  I'm DJ'ing a dance tonight, small get together with about 75 friends.  I connected my laptop's HDMI output to my Sony receiver that can play High-Res audio files.  Through HDMI the laptop synced up to my receiver and is able to play 24 bit/192kHz High-Res audio.  I downloaded all the music I'm going to play through Amazon Music in the highest quality format available.  I did a test run last night and everything is working great and sounds awesome.


BTW, I'll be using my best friend's KLF-30s for the dance.  He bought them a little over 10 years ago for $500.  They've seen a little wear on the cabinets but still sound awesome.  I'm really looking forward to cranking up the volume at the dance.

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  • 1 month later...

Just adding in my experience here. I use an ALIENWARE M17 R2 computer. With an RME AIO HDSPE external sound card. It’s built as an internal. I make it external by assembling it in a SONNET CHASIS. 

they have two slots. 

Thunderbolt to LAPTOP connection. For anyone running anything similar. I would suggest this a hundred times. Best system setup. The only thing that I would suggest after that would be a sound conditioner through a mixer through your send and receive. And if you have additional peripherals like a Maschine MK3 I would connect it by digital cables to the Sound card that my DAW well then recognize the 16 individual channels output or input. It’s a hoot. First time I connected digital cables they just popped up. I was actually able to see the individual tracks and assigned them out for the music that was being produced. 

Anyhow, hope this helps

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/2/2024 at 10:20 PM, Iteachstem said:

I do this all the time for causal listening.  Of course you are going to get the people that will poo poo this and say you need expensive gear, etc.  But let your ears do the deciding for you. 


I simply run the 1/8" output jack from my laptop and use a 1/8" to RCA cable to go into my pre-amp or directly into Klipsch The Fives for my computer set up.  It sounds great for what I use it for.... back ground music playing!



Agree, you listen the computer


if ad a dac, you will listen dac


affordable dac sound worst than my macmini or my windows


now using thinclient with touchscreen in windows. Apple touchscreen, use old ipad instead, easier


sorry, if i repeat, stuff already said, just began to read the thread



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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're going into a preamp, I mean most preamps have a good DAC, feeding it a digital signal and letting the preamp decode it is ideal.  This setup will do much better than a typical streamer.  


If you must use the analog output of the laptop, be aware that even a $70 USB DAC does much better than what's typically included on a laptop.  Just doesn't cost that much extra to up your game. 


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