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Listening to Computer Music

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I want to know if the high quality, not MP3, music I download to my laptop can be listened to with headphones, DAC and amp?  Or does the fact it is on my laptop degrade the quality of the music?

post #2 of 9
When the music is "on your laptop," it's just data, so it doesn't matter if it's on a laptop, desktop, thumb drive, or floating in the mythical cloud.

It's the conversion to analog that will make a difference. Using an external DAC and amp should be pretty solid (and much better that what you have integrated on your laptop). The only place that your laptop might show a difference is on the USB port, which will add some noise, but you're going to get some of that off any USB port.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

That's what I was hoping.  So the music should come from a USB port rather than the tiny headphone plug?  Does it matter if the USB port is type 3 rather than type 2 as respects the noise problem?

post #4 of 9
If you have an external DAC, yes. The headphone plug is outputting analog through the internal DAC and amplifier, so there wouldn't be any point to an external DAC. External components have the advantage of better components and isolation from the EM noise generated from high-speed switching.

I do not know if 3.0 is better or worse than 2.0 in terms of noise, but your DAC might not even be compatible. I don't think the Schiit Modi works with 3.0, for example. Although, 3.0 might be worse if you are operating at 2.0 speeds. Remember, the noise we're talking about is coming from high-speed digital switching, and USB 3.0 is faster than 2.0, so there might be some extra noise inserted. I would have to pull out an O-Scope to check this, though.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

I thought I sent this but guess not.  Many thanks, I appreciate the help.  I've got both 3 and 2 so no problem.  Now to figure out how to output my music through the USB port.  

post #6 of 9

Just get external USB DAC. This is just example: http://www.amazon.com/FIIO-E17-Alpen-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0070UFMOW. FiiO E17 is DAC + amp. If you get DAC only you have to buy amp too.

 

There are alot cheaper DACs.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks, I'd really like to find a tube version if available.

post #8 of 9
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the help.

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