okay so i have a vintage yamaha receiver from the 70's, and two 10 inch 3 way pioneers and a 10 inch polk powered sub (nothing special other than the receiver). I use high quality files, 250 kbps minimum (unfortunately xbox can't play my flac files). I normally play my music by using an aux into my computer's headphone jack to rca into my receiver (i know this is bad) and i also have my xbox connected to my receiver for when i am playing games, i have it connected by the microsoft vga cable (so i use rca to go into my receiver, but it is a digital output on the xbox as opposed to a headphone jack). I then stream my music library on my pc to my xbox, (i don't think this loses any quality because it is just using the actual music file over the internet, not just receiving the music signal like bluetooth or something). So my question is, considering the fact that i'm using a digital output from my xbox, shouldn't the quality be better than my pc? i have tested it a little myself, i switched back and fourth between my pc and the xbox inputs on my receiver while playing the same song on both to compare, and the xbox seems to sound A LOT better, better upper mids, better treble, better separation (from what i can tell, my pioneers aren't high end, just average floor speakers), everything sounds better but bass is the same. is the difference just due to the xbox having a different built in eq? or should it/is it actually be better?
xbox digital output vs pc headphone output
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Your computer's motherboard comes with low costing audio hardware.
A Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used on eBay, $60) should provide a noticeable improvement in computer audio.
Or a Hifimediy Sabre U2 external USB DAC should also improve audio quality, $57+shipping.