or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › USB 5.1 DAC for home theater use
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

USB 5.1 DAC for home theater use

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I was wondering if anyone has a nice suggestion for a USB 5.1 channel DAC for home theater use.

 

The Oppo 105 seems to be a winner, but it's too expensive.

 

There's the HLLY 5.1 DAC, but it looks cheap.

 

Anyone has another suggestion?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 15

Look at some of the 8 channel USB and Firewire sound cards, like the Presonus Firestudio Project.  You get 8 channels (you only need 6), and input capability, which you may not need at all, but you also get a very respectable 24/96 DAC.  Not expensive, pretty well made (I own one), and since they are targeted at musicians and home recording, the support is good.  There are other brands and products in this genre too, like the Motu 8pre (I have a 4pre, pretty good too), and the Traveler Mk III, the Focusrite 18i20, and others.  When you're looking at these things, be very careful about the published output count.  Many just add up all the outputs of any kind, so a stereo output, an ADAT output, and two headphone outputs makes 8 channels (not!). Look for 8 line level outputs, ignore the rest.

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
But will those dac decode 5.1 or it's just 8 Channel with the same signal ?
post #4 of 15

They are just 8 channels out.  No decoding. But you can do that in software, like VLC.  But if you have a home theater, what are you using for an AVR?  Many will take a stream from a computer, like an optical output, or an HDMI and handle everything.  

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 

I would like to send the signal from my Macbook to my TV by HDMI, and my sound by USB to a 5.1 DAC.
 

post #6 of 15

Why not a AV receiver that accepts HDMI? You could get a decent Denon that will sound very good for under $300 (new or used depending)- HDMI directly to the receiver for decoding and output.

 

Here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/DENON-AVR-391-5-1-Channel-110-W-Per-Channel-550-Wat3D-AV-Receiver-HDMI-Upconvert-/281144965753?pt=Receivers_Tuners&hash=item41758bba79


Edited by tim3320070 - 8/30/13 at 9:56am
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

Why not a AV receiver that accepts HDMI? You could get a decent Denon that will sound very good for under $300 (new or used depending)- HDMI directly to the receiver for decoding and output.

Then send the HDMI out of the AVR to the TV.

post #8 of 15

I was actually looking at using the Exasounds e28 with an htpc as a replacement for a receiver/blu ray player completely...but it's a bit expensive

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post

I was actually looking at using the Exasounds e28 with an htpc as a replacement for a receiver/blu ray player completely...but it's a bit expensive

that's ridiculous money, what will it do honestly beyond a mid-level Denon receiver? blow unicorn farts?

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tim3320070 View Post

that's ridiculous money, what will it do honestly beyond a mid-level Denon receiver? blow unicorn farts?


Have significantly higher sound quality? and allow you to do everything on the HTPC which I think would be neat

post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoupRKnowva View Post


Have significantly higher sound quality? and allow you to do everything on the HTPC which I think would be neat

please test this directly and get back to us...I would put the $3k extra savings towards a 4K tv personally


Edited by tim3320070 - 8/30/13 at 7:27pm
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Anyone else has experience with that usb 5.1 dac?
post #13 of 15
Also want to find one, keep watching
post #14 of 15

Honestly, guys, the 5.1 channel USB DAC is something of an albatross. The functions are all handled well, and probably better, in an AVR.  Your task would be getting optical or HDMI out of your PC to your AVR.  That shouldn't be all that hard to do.  

 

I found one USB 5.1 DAC, but this is NOT a recommendation, I know nothing about it: http://www.ambery.com/usbmusocowi5.html  

Notice: Dolby Digital AC3 "pass through", in other words, it doesn't decode the stream.

 

Here's another: http://audiotrack.net/en/usb/531

Same pass through for AC3.  

 

So, I don't really see the point.  If it's just going to take the AC3 bit stream and pass it through via optical or coax to the AVR, then what purpose does the thing serve?  Just get the bit stream to the AVR directly, and let it do what it does best.   

 

Not sure, but I think decoding the bit streams, AC3, DTS, and the high-res versions of them, probably involves licensing, which is why you won't find it on sound cards, but will in AVRs.

post #15 of 15
A receiver is ok for decoding DTS and dolby, because they can be bitstreamed by pc via Hdmi or spidf to receiver, or anyother  stereo audio file,
but what about multichannels wav files, lets say DVDA rips which can be played ok by a 5.1 soundcard analog out, but cannot be send to the receiver by spidf (limited to stereo and compressed lossy formats dts or dolby), 
I dont know if these files can be send by HDMI, and new receivers play them, usually I use receiver analog inputs for them..
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Dedicated Source Components
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Dedicated Source Components › USB 5.1 DAC for home theater use