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playing music through laptop compared to playing music through amp

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Just wondering, many people complain about sound quality on their portable media players. there have been portable amps developed to combat this. however, will playing music through a laptop create similar quality to that of an amp considering that laptops have mightier sound cards and power sources than handhelds. thanks. btw i am using an alienware m11x r2 with realtec audio.

post #2 of 14

Sorry. No. 

 

Laptops often have worse electronics for music playback than good portable media players. For example, the Sansa Clip+ and Clip Zip will out do many laptops. Not sure about the audio on the Alienware. 

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanjsoo View Post

Just wondering, many people complain about sound quality on their portable media players. there have been portable amps developed to combat this. however, will playing music through a laptop create similar quality to that of an amp considering that laptops have mightier sound cards and power sources than handhelds. thanks. btw i am using an alienware m11x r2 with realtec audio.

 

Laptop or Laptop + Amp is the same.

 

An amp cannot improve the source.

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

ok, thanks that clears things up

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Laptop or Laptop + Amp is the same.

 

An amp cannot improve the source.

 

That is incorrect if the amp is better at driving headphones than whatever is built into the laptop (which can easily be the case).

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

That is incorrect if the amp is better at driving headphones than whatever is built into the laptop (which can easily be the case).


Yes I agree, it was lazy writing on my part. Let me rephrase:

An amp cannot improve the laptop's DAC.


Edited by proton007 - 10/10/12 at 6:42am
post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post


Yes I agree, it was lazy writing on my part. Let me rephrase:

An amp cannot improve the laptop's DAC.

 

Is it better to buy a headphone amplifier or a better sound card?

post #8 of 14

Since I don't know your budget, I'll suggest this. Get one of these: FiiO E17. It's a DAC and headphone amp rolled into one, and very portable. I use one with my laptop. Great sound clarity and will drive most headphones you throw at it very well. It can also be used as just a headphone amp with a portable media player, if you want. 

post #9 of 14

It is too expensive for me, but thanks for the suggestion. You're saying it is best to buy a DAC/headphone amp combo instead of separate hardware?

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by leader View Post

You're saying it is best to buy a DAC/headphone amp combo instead of separate hardware?

 

Nope. Not saying that. The FiiO E17 is a good option at it's price point.

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by leader View Post

 

Is it better to buy a headphone amplifier or a better sound card?

 

Need to identify what the bottleneck is. A clean source is important for good sound, and equally important is adequate power (amplification) for your headphone.

 

So, what source do you have right now, and what headphone do you plan to use it with?

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

So, what source do you have right now, and what headphone do you plan to use it with?

 

I'm shopping around for headphones at the moment, so I only have a cheap pair. I'm considering the Sony ZX700/ZX701, Incase Sonic, and CAL! My source is an iPod, iPhone, and HP laptop. I don't listen to music every day (apart from in the movies), but I do try to watch a movie every day. I want headphones mainly for movies.

post #13 of 14

Ok, so first of all, get your headphones. Use them with your equipment. Depending on what you get, it may not need an amp at all.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

Ok, so first of all, get your headphones. Use them with your equipment. Depending on what you get, it may not need an amp at all.

 

X2

 

check out the HM5...doubt u will need an amp on tat :P

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