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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › USB vs. Optical S/PDIF: Which Will Make A DAC/HeadAmp Sound Better?
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USB vs. Optical S/PDIF: Which Will Make A DAC/HeadAmp Sound Better?

Poll Results: USB, Optical Out, or Other?

 
  • 100% (1)
    USB 2.0
  • 0% (0)
    USB 3.0
  • 0% (0)
    Optical S/PDIF
  • 0% (0)
    Depends on other factors (please specify).
  • 0% (0)
    Doesn't matter.
1 Total Vote  
post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

From a PC's motherboard, whether Optical S/PDIF or USB, which output will allow for a better sound when connecting a DAC/headphone amplifier?  Does USB 2.0 or 3.0 matter?  Do the types of cables used matter (higher quality)?  Does cable length matter?  Do the connectors matter (gold-plated, etc)?  Will surrounding fixtures or appliances such as lamps using lightbulbs, wired phones, smart phones, radios, other AV equipment, etc cause any sort of interference?  What can one do to effectively produce the cleanest (best-sounding, with no interference) possible PC to DAC/HeadAmp setup?

 

And I thank you.

post #2 of 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadAmp View Post
 

From a PC's motherboard, whether Optical S/PDIF or USB, which output will allow for a better sound when connecting a DAC/headphone amplifier?  Does USB 2.0 or 3.0 matter?  Do the types of cables used matter (higher quality)?  Does cable length matter?  Do the connectors matter (gold-plated, etc)?  Will surrounding fixtures or appliances such as lamps using lightbulbs, wired phones, smart phones, radios, other AV equipment, etc cause any sort of interference?  What can one do to effectively produce the cleanest (best-sounding, with no interference) possible PC to DAC/HeadAmp setup?

If all your planning on doing is listening to music, USB is simple and works fine for music audio.

(USB is also fine for any video that just uses 2-channel audio)

If you need to take advantage of the motherboard's built in audio features, for gaming/movies, anything that takes advantage of surround sound, use S/PDIF (optical or coaxial).

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Music and Netflix via headphones, yes.
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