Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › In 2012, how "bad" are default laptop sound cards?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

In 2012, how "bad" are default laptop sound cards? - Page 3

post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You mean like on Newegg? lol
They have "dominated" the industry for years, except for a stint when Nvidia's audio was popular.
You need to go read mikeaj's post that I replied to before trying to school someone. It's not enough to talk about the chipsets since the rest of the build can influence audio quality. Meanwhile, there have been no giant improvements in audio chipsets in the last couple of years. So even focusing only on your argument, it's unlikely that 2012 is going to be that much better than the year before rolleyes.gif

*Or Tiger Direct

*Thanks for Agreeing

*I thought I did read MikeAj's post. While I agree that "build can influence audio quality", I disagree that the variability is enough to undermine my basic point - which is that computer audio does meet a standard, and outperforms a lot of alternative listening contexts (phones, Mp3 players, (cough) portable DACS). I've listened to enough computers to notice that there is not a large variance between them in terms of noise, assuming chipset vendor is the same. You are talking about the impact of "implementation", and, yes, different board makers will not necessarily follow a reference example. But that doesn't conclude that performance suffers as a result, and it does not conclude that one can't claim there to be a performance benchmark. There may be variability, but the significance of that is subject to the same scrutiny.

 

Unless there is some proof out there that Laptop A, with an identical chipset, outperforms Laptop B, which uses an aluminum instead of plastic chassis, I'll say what I want.

 

Given that tablets are starting to outsell laptops (which were outselling desktops), I'd say 2012 is going to be a big "audio downgrade" for those springing for popular electronics. Headphones seem to be "in" more than ever, so I'd also expect the sudden appearance of nicely packaged crap to be coming out. Even if there are no significant audio "innovations" this year in laptops, I don't care, it doesn't really need it as Blu-Ray is the most demanding format that you may find in a computer currently.


Edited by MrMateoHead - 1/10/13 at 10:40am
post #32 of 41

OK, ive tested my laptop with the fiio E17 once as ONLY AMP (used 3,5 jack and aux in) with the HE-400 and then i used the USB connection to use it as both dac and amp.

 

There was a diffrence at HIGH volume, but at low and mid volume i would not be able to tell them apart.

 

The Basic diffrence I was able to notice was that sounds seemed to start and end by themselves with the Fiio as Dac, where from the laptop sound card sometimes it felt like one of the sounds was a continuation of another (if that makes any sense).

 

However, on the quality of the sound delivered, so far i have not been able to see any diffrence, even at high volumes.

 

Bare in mind that high volumes are not "very high", since i was unable to get the testing done yet.

post #33 of 41
---
Edited by Leonarfd - 1/11/13 at 3:28am
post #34 of 41

~1 year old Macbook Pro very good & useable built in card.  Although my HF1 and bose AE2 are not the most power-hungry or detail revealing cans.  I only use them for YT videos, radio streams, Pandora and other lossy WWW formats.  But those are the cans I use when I just want to plug in and listen.  I don't normally use IEMs for this kind of thing, but they too are quiet and sound very good.  The Apple circuit is neutral and flat with perfectly serviceable detail and resolution in this kind of application... if anything its a non-colored, unoffensive yet also un-interesting presentation.

 

My previous 3 lappys were Lenovo-PC and they always suffered from digital blips, clicks, motors and noisy artifacts with the HF1 and lower impedence IEMs.

 

I use the toslink optical out to bypass the internal DAC and feed the bit-stream into my main setup when I use the mac for FLAC and CD sources.


Edited by kramer5150 - 1/11/13 at 1:43pm
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post

Unless there is some proof out there that Laptop A, with an identical chipset, outperforms Laptop B, which uses an aluminum instead of plastic chassis, I'll say what I want.

What does the chassis have to do with the how the hardware impacts the SQ? LOL

There's also plenty of historical evidence that board manufacturers do not necessarily follow reference standards. And then consider how the other electronics in the setup might impact SQ due to minor (or major) noise influence.

So one can "assume" that just because a computer A and B have the same audio chipset that they will sound the same, but that's not necessarily a good generalization. Better cross your fingers at the same time. smily_headphones1.gif
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


What does the chassis have to do with the how the hardware impacts the SQ? LOL

There's also plenty of historical evidence that board manufacturers do not necessarily follow reference standards. And then consider how the other electronics in the setup might impact SQ due to minor (or major) noise influence.

So one can "assume" that just because a computer A and B have the same audio chipset that they will sound the same, but that's not necessarily a good generalization. Better cross your fingers at the same time. smily_headphones1.gif


I was just throwing out a random difference in build (plastic v aluminum).

 

I also believe, btw, that even if the implementation in one computer was superior to another, it may be measurable, but not audible. wink.gif

 

Benchmark performance for laptops in 2012 will be very good, I have no doubt. The only computer I would knowingly avoid is "beats audio" branded stuff which I hear uses an undefeatable EQ that sucks. Thanks a lot Dr. Dre.

 

What will be interesting is seeing how headphones / tablets / phones develop. There is a wider range of sound solutions, and a wider range of performance - all of which remain inferior to laptops / desktops / home theatre etc from what I have heard (I am including the iPhone in this).

post #37 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrMateoHead View Post


I was just throwing out a random difference in build (plastic v aluminum).

 

I also believe, btw, that even if the implementation in one computer was superior to another, it may be measurable, but not audible. wink.gif

 

Benchmark performance for laptops in 2012 will be very good, I have no doubt. The only computer I would knowingly avoid is "beats audio" branded stuff which I hear uses an undefeatable EQ that sucks. Thanks a lot Dr. Dre.

 

What will be interesting is seeing how headphones / tablets / phones develop. There is a wider range of sound solutions, and a wider range of performance - all of which remain inferior to laptops / desktops / home theatre etc from what I have heard (I am including the iPhone in this).

Dont get angry at DRE. Im quite sure the idea came from the company, not from him.

Beats are what iPhone is: an expensive crappy gadget for those who care more about proving how much money they got rather than haveing good stuff. And youd be surprised how many people think this way.

 

I got the HE-400 and if i compared them to Beats, its like an insult to my ears to listen to Beats. Still if people want to overpay its their business.

post #38 of 41
Further to my comment that i couldn't tell the difference between my ODAC and Realtek and Sigmatel sound cards (whose output impedance I measured as surprisingly low), I've just come across a recent Acer laptop, the consumer Acer Aspire 5732Z, Realtek sound, with an output impedance of a whopping 60!!!!!!

Playing spotify though both it and my ODAC with a Superlux HD681F, I can clearly hear that the Realtek is lacking tinkly/zinging treble. It's not muffled, but it is significantly lacking. It also has significant scratching noise issues when changing the volume digitally.

It's really a big difference and would certainly justify an external DAC.
post #39 of 41
Ok, so it turns out the Acer had a RealTek EQ app switched on. This little driver app seems to mash the audio quite badly compared to the microsoft driver "bass protection setting".

With that switched off the Realtek sounds fine. I'm not sure about whether it sounds 'indistinguishable' since setting up a test for that means level matching, and that's for another day. And with such high output impedance I would still expect some effect on my 32ohm phones. On my Etymotics the frequency spectrum warbles quite a lot, which is not unexpected, when it is wonderfully flat with the ODAC.

Anyway, another interesting point is that headphone reviewers using their laptops to do a sine sweep for amplitude differences are going to be being mislead if their system doesn't have a nice low output impedance. Unless the reviewer measures it themselves (easy with a multimeter) then who knows what's really going on.
post #40 of 41

Hey, 

         I'm using the N56 too :) Not sure whether it's the same model, but mine's the N56VZ. I'd concur that the sound from the N56VZ is pretty good! I've been thinking of getting the HE400 to play through the laptop. Any opinions on the sound from the Hifimans directly through the hp output and through an external amp/dac? 

post #41 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tofujr View Post

Asus N56 ($1200, decent laptop, bought 2012; Realtek) headphone out vs my Little Dot MKIII amp + Little Dot Dac_1 = little difference. Bass is tightened with more punch but it is nothing night and day. Nothing that would warrant me to say that laptop onboard audio sucks. Laptop sound is better than my iPhone too.

 

However compared to my old laptop, a ****ty $500 Gateway (i3 processor) and an even older $500 Toshiba (old as hell, predating the i3/i5/i7 processors) it is SO much better. The headphone out was so bad that I always listened to music on my iPhone instead. 

 

 

 

In general, sound quality for me:

Amp+Dac>>Asus N56 (realtek)>iPhone>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Older or lower end laptop's audio.

 

 

 

Though, all this stuff is going to my Westone 4R IEMs, so it's not using my amp+dac to it's full potential. Sort of like putting high octane gas into a Honda Civic and expecting it to run faster, aye? I will update when my real (HE400) headphones finally arrive.

 

Hey, 

         I'm using the N56 too :) Not sure whether it's the same model, but mine's the N56VZ. I'd concur that the sound from the N56VZ is pretty good! I've been thinking of getting the HE400 to play through the laptop. Any opinions on the sound from the Hifimans directly through the hp output and through an external amp/dac? 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › In 2012, how "bad" are default laptop sound cards?