Originally Posted by Thommohawk
I should add that when I use my E7/E9 set up on my PS3 I use the relevant cable so that I can plug a PS3 audio signal into the line in port of my laptop. This is then set to playback in settings and set to play using my E7/E9 combination unit. Same headphones and equipment all hooked up - laptop lossless in Foobar sounds okay, same music lossless on PS3 sounds amazing.
Not sure why, but the difference between them really is night & day and impossible to be a placebo effect when the difference is so apparent and obvious. It just doesn't make sense to me though why there's such a huge difference but there is....
I'm not much into console gaming, so what is that "relevant cable" that hooks up the PS3 to the laptop? Thing is, if its between two USB sources, like a laptop and a tablet, the difference in sound can be software related or hardware related if the DAC benefits from having a true 5v USB current that it gets from the laptop but not the tablet. I'm assuming the PS3 doesn't have USB out, which is why it's plugged into the laptop, so:
1) if it's an analog out cable from the PS3 going into the laptop's analog line input (the microphone input?) then that basically means that you decoded the digital audio using the PS3's DAC first, converted it to digital using the laptop's soundcard, then fed that signal into the E7. Which means the PS3's HD Audio DAC chip is better than the E7's (not completely unheard of, given how some people have converted PS1's into CDPlayers, or some Pioneer DVDPlayers - DV6xx and DV9xx - are great enough to double as CDPlayers), but you've actually degraded it again by using the laptop's soundcard to encode it again and then decoding it again with the E7.
2) if it's an optical cable from the PS3 going into the optical input (whether dedicated or multi-function 3.5mm) on the laptop, then it goes through the soundcard and out the USB, you've basically done the reverse of what people do with asynchronous USB, or USB to SPDIF inputs/processors, and converted the PS3's SPDIF signal into USB. Despite this, if it sounds "better," then most likely there's something in the software that's different. Most likely the Sony's processing is superior still, even if it's more than just a pass-through. In which case, even if that were so, the laptop had a minimal role to play in it, so it's mostly the PS3 with a more dedicated OS as digital source and a laptop functioning as a SPDIF-to-USB box, as opposed to a laptop OS running all sorts of things. Think of it in terms of how your gaming desktop computer will need to have, at times, twice the processing power of your console unit (and you still upgrade it much sooner than the console) even if you're running virtually the same games.
Also, it could be because the PS3 is "doping" the signal digitally, so it does it regardless of whether it has to use digital or analog out. Like Alpine's MediaXpander (is this still around? I've been using Pioneer for five years) which basically adds a different layer of EQ to the bass and treble to compensate for what is lost in lossy encoding, so you end up thinking even actual audio CDs sound better on it than the non-MediaXpander unit. I mean, if installing a different media player, without using the EQ and using Asio, etc (I use MediaMonkey, Foobar and Blackbird, and they all sound a lot better - warmer and clearer, more "alive" - than Windows Media Player with FLAC plug-in) can make a difference in making it all clearer, digital reprocessing could also help the PS3.
Edited by ProtegeManiac - 5/1/12 at 3:27pm