I've been confused as to how people say "Use S/PDIF Optical, digital is better than USB" when USB *is* digital. How is noise introduced if you have an external DAC at all since it receives only digital signals anyway? I know that people seem to hear Optical is better since a lot of DACs apparently have different chips receiving the signals for USB and Optical, so there's the SS change but why does it matter for computer noise if it's digital? And I've heard about how the jitter stuff with USB is stupid too since it's not more likely in USB than Optical.
I have a laptop cooler, when its on I can hear the fans in it making noise through the uDac 2. I don't hear this noise when the phones are plugged into the computer headphone jack with the cooler on. I verified it was the fans because when you turn off the cooler you can literally hear the fans winding down because the pitter patter of static winds down with it. There was a dull buzz with the cooler plugged in and off as well.
Theory: Noise is corrupting the digital signal at some frequency used to transmit audio data. Why this doesn't affect the functioning of other USB devices, I have no clue, it may be affecting them in some manner that the system can correct for.
I've never been happy with how my computer system sounds, on the other hand, an el-cheapo DVD player I have sounds vastly better than the uDac 1 or 2 straight out of it's RCA outs.
Edited by cheapskateaudio - 11/4/11 at 4:14pm