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$2 Realtek Audio Chip = $2000 DAC!

post #1 of 66
Thread Starter 

Hei fellow music lovers

 

So i have been doing some research to find out what i should get to compliment my ATH-M50 to maximize my experience while listening to music. I came across the following article which claims that it isnt really worth spending money on Soundcards or DACs if what you are looking for is better 'Sound Quality'. The article concludes that a $2 Realtek  Audio Chip will sound exactly as good as a $2000 DAC! The extra money we are spending are for additional features, while the perceived sound quality stays the same.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/high-end-pc-audio,3733-19.html


So, I wanted to hear your opinion regarding the findings of the given article. What do you guys think?

 

happy listening   :dt880smile: 

post #2 of 66

the bullsh!tiest article I've read over internet. Period.

post #3 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by DarKu View Post
 

the bullsh!tiest article I've read over internet. Period.

+1 . The guy who wrote it must be deaf..or has absolutely no audio memory whatsoever. I kind of pity him. I find it disturbing when somebody who is now qualified writes some **** that misinforms the readers.

 

There might be another possibility. The 2k dac...could be...broken...or extremely overpriced. The base of the article is flawed. In audio there is no general standard like in video cards, processors, etc. 

 

So the lack of standard brings the possibility of some very overpriced products in this field, products that aren't worth the money... However, if there are products like this on the market, that doesn't mean that everything is in the same category. I've tested lots of audio gear and I've heard some excellent products over the years.

 

Practically this guy has the "nerve" of saying that everybody who bought better dacs...has done if for nothing...that everybody who did this is wrong! He is so arrogant to say that he thinks he is right and all the rest are wrong :))) . It's kind of funny...really...


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 6/29/14 at 12:34pm
post #4 of 66

Afaik, what matters in onboard audio is the implementation, more than the chip itself, since the HDaudio standard was made to overcome human hearing.  So, in motherboards with shielded sound features  there must be no difference in perceived sound quality from dedicated audio, even the top ones.

post #5 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagual View Post
 

Afaik, what matters in onboard audio is the implementation, more than the chip itself, since the HDaudio standard was made to overcome human hearing.  So, in motherboards with shielded sound features  there must be no difference in perceived sound quality from dedicated audio, even the top ones.

How many dedicated dacs have you actually heard/compared? Talking from theory means nothing at all.... Never head an onboard audio that sounded decent  or even close to a good  external dac...

 

There are many assumptions in audio, theories that in practice mean nothing... There have been studies that show that the processing of sound in our brain is far more complex that was thought it would be. 

 

Wrote an article about this.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 6/29/14 at 12:45pm
post #6 of 66

That article is a story where everybody wins. The testers and their wallets should be very pleased they can get all they need for 2$. 

And I personally am very glad I don't have their ears.

post #7 of 66
You are late to the party. Already been discussed: http://www.head-fi.org/t/707288/toms-hardware-hi-fi-equipment-test

wink.gif
post #8 of 66
Crazy....
My dac just $110 but bring sq much better than that of a Acer laptop and too easy to identy by a dts track
post #9 of 66

I didn't read the article but I have done hundreds of bias controlled listening tests on DAC's over a period of a couple of years.  I can say confidently that the measured differences in specifications among the various DAC's aren't audible differences.  If you want to improve sound quality you need look after transducers and room acoustics.  Buying expensive DAC's has its purposes but sound quality isn't one of them.

post #10 of 66

Yeah I read this a while back when it first came out.  It's pointless to refute though, until you have similar test/measurements and results to demonstrate.  They set up an experiment and published the results.  Honestly if they had reached any other conclusions there would have been a huge backlash.  I feel they were honest with it all, but that it also played right into what their readers wanted to hear.  Just some more red-meat to demonize the reviled and idiot 'audiophiles'.

 

I don't agree with their conclusions as I have heard DACs that sound very different.  Though I don't like to say one is better than another; I've noticed 'different' flavors.  I think I'm past the point of the self serving confirmation bias arguments as well.  Spend any decent amount of time with any combination of gear then change it up.  you'll pick up the differences.

post #11 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by blades View Post
 

I didn't read the article but I have done hundreds of bias controlled listening tests on DAC's over a period of a couple of years.  I can say confidently that the measured differences in specifications among the various DAC's aren't audible differences.  If you want to improve sound quality you need look after transducers and room acoustics.  Buying expensive DAC's has its purposes but sound quality isn't one of them.

I've listened and tested a lot of dacs myself, and hearing the differences was not a problem for me. The differences are extremely noticeable one some of them in terms of quality. But if the rest of the system (including your hearing system) is not capable, you  won't hear the differences.


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 7/4/14 at 2:29am
post #12 of 66


I don't hear a difference because they aren't there.  You need to do bias controlled listening tests.  Not just sighted comparisons.

post #13 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by blades View Post
 


I don't hear a difference because they aren't there.  You need to do bias controlled listening tests.  Not just sighted comparisons.

Are you the guys who wrote the article by any chance :p

post #14 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spenty View Post
 

Are you the guys who wrote the article by any chance :p


Nope.  I'm the guy that did the bias controlled listening tests.

post #15 of 66
Quote:
Originally Posted by blades View Post
 


I don't hear a difference because they aren't there.  You need to do bias controlled listening tests.  Not just sighted comparisons.

Sorry, but the differences are there 100%. Backed up by non audiophile people that also did blind tests and all my friends/family/fans. If you cannot hear the differences, that doesn't mean they aren't there. However, I would understand why it would be easier to accept that if you cannot hear them, everybody else wouldn't hear it as well. That would be a problem of acceptance.

 

Practically you are saying that all the people that hear the differences and bought gear because of that, are wrong. I find it a little funny when somebody can think that so many people should be wrong....because he cannot sea/hear it. 

 

I've heard a lot of "bias controlled" listening that is actually done to reach the desired purpose, in this case to demonstrate that there is no difference, and it actually gets more "controlled" to that end.

 

Mind that I've heard and tested lots and lots of products over these years and have no interest to miss-inform the people as I do it for pure hobby and joy. 

 

To this end, I find that article to be hilarious and seriously besides the truth. I had more respect for that website before that article. 


Edited by dan.gheorghe - 7/4/14 at 9:31am
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