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new laptop sound "?"

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Right now I'm using a old IBM thinkpad with a pcmcia sound blaster running linux.
well my sounbaster is going out frown.gif it sounds like vinyl lol . the new lappy I ordered should have a OK sound chipset compared to my old one.

it's a thinkpad x200 and it uses a Intel HD Audio CX20561 codec. is that anygood ? or should I look into a better DAC or ExpressCard sound card ?
I know thinkpads arn't known for there sound, more so with the older ones.

thanks

edit
my old laptop has the Intel HD Audio AD1981HD codec and it sucks big time.
Edited by voodoo do-er - 2/2/13 at 2:00am
post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo do-er View Post

Right now I'm using a old IBM thinkpad with a pcmcia sound blaster running linux.
well my sounbaster is going out frown.gif it sounds like vinyl lol . the new lappy I ordered should have a OK sound chipset compared to my old one.

it's a thinkpad x200 and it uses a Intel HD Audio CX20561 codec. is that anygood ? or should I look into a better DAC or ExpressCard sound card ?
I know thinkpads arn't known for there sound, more so with the older ones.

thanks

edit
my old laptop has the Intel HD Audio AD1981HD codec and it sucks big time.

Most laptops will benefit greatly from an external sound card. Even something like the Xonar U3 will likely sound a lot better than the onboard sound.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidzoo View Post

Most laptops will benefit greatly from an external sound card. Even something like the Xonar U3 will likely sound a lot better than the onboard sound.
but is the CX20561 worth using?
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo do-er View Post

but is the CX20561 worth using?

 

Only you can answer this question. Do some critical listening to tracks you are very familiar with and judge how they sound. If you notice things like poor instrument isolation, background noise (not coming from the track itself), harsh mids and highs, thin and fuzzy bass, then an external dac/amp will most likely improve on that.

 

If you have a stereo amp or AV receiver, try plugging the laptop in (using the headphone out and line/aux in in the amp - you will need a 3.5mm to RCA adapter for that) and check the headphone out of that amp. Does it sound better than direct out of laptop? 

 

I'm not familiar with this particular codec, but don't discard it without trying just because it is built in. My laptop (HP with IDT HD audio) sounds surprisingly good - at least with fairly sensitive headphones. 

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo do-er View Post

Right now I'm using a old IBM thinkpad with a pcmcia sound blaster running linux.
well my sounbaster is going out frown.gif it sounds like vinyl lol . the new lappy I ordered should have a OK sound chipset compared to my old one.

it's a thinkpad x200 and it uses a Intel HD Audio CX20561 codec. is that anygood ? or should I look into a better DAC or ExpressCard sound card ?
I know thinkpads arn't known for there sound, more so with the older ones.

thanks

edit
my old laptop has the Intel HD Audio AD1981HD codec and it sucks big time.


Looking at the specs, seems reasonable, but as others say, you'll have to find out the difference by comparing it with other sources.

post #6 of 6
No laptop is going to have great natural sound outs. My MacBook Pro has 32/96 out but using a Leckerton UHA-6S mk.II with it greatly improves the sound, even though that’s only 24/96 through toslink. And it’s not just about output specs, either. A built-in card is going to be noisy where a dedicated DAC/AMP is not simply because computer engineers don’t spend a lot of time concerning themselves with how a laptop sounds, they just want it to be stable and perform well for computational tasks.

Don’t buy a computer based on it’s ability to play audio, buy a DAC and AMP for that.
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