Dolby Home Theater on laptops
Sep 3, 2009 at 7:02 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

semmio

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After using $10 speakers/headphones for years I want to try enjoying higher quality music =P I listen to music mostly on my computer. I'm currently considering two laptops, Y450 and T400. Lenovo Y450 has Dolby Home Theater, and the Lenovo T400 has just High Definition Audio (standard sound card). I like the T400 more, but... the Y450 has the Dolby. Does anyone know how much better Dolby is compared to standard sound cards? I'm a student so all I can get is probably headphones around the $100 price tag and probably no headphones amps. And if this matters, I listen to mostly classical music, some rock and some pop. Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:10 PM Post #4 of 10

yukihiro

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Sounds like marketing talk. I haven't read any reviews though, so I don't want to say anything negative.

If you're going to use it mostly for music, then a separate DAC would probably benefit you more. Personally, I'd go for the T400 and buy a USB DAC.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:18 PM Post #5 of 10

ROBSCIX

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I think both onboard cards on these unit are probably not that good despite the marketing. You might want to consider a good external unit to connect to your laptop.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:26 PM Post #6 of 10

iriverdude

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Quote:

Originally Posted by semmio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Dolby - Dolby Home Theater – PC Surround Sound with 2 to 8 Speakers
According to the Dolby website, having Dolby Home Theater improves bass, improves overall sound quality, and enables surround sound with headphones.



If you want surround sound, buy a 5.1 speaker system. I've tried Dolby Headphone it doesn't do a great job and does funny things to the phasing to trick you into it's surround.

Headphones = stereo
Home Theatre = surround.

That is all.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 6:45 PM Post #7 of 10

ear8dmg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by iriverdude /img/forum/go_quote.gif
If you want surround sound, buy a 5.1 speaker system. I've tried Dolby Headphone it doesn't do a great job and does funny things to the phasing to trick you into it's surround.

Headphones = stereo
Home Theatre = surround.

That is all.



I personally like Dolby Headphone a lot. With good synergy with processor, headphones and amp, it astounds me. I would rather use decent headphones with Dolby Headphone than a cheap 5.1 PC speaker set.

This only applies to hardware Dolby Headphone, which I've used on a Xonar D2 and a Victor SU-DH1. I tried the software version on PowerDVD and as a Foobar plugin. That was pretty dismal and results in too much loss of fidelity in my opinion.

Edit: never heard convincing 2 speaker surround though, including Dolby Virtual Speaker.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 7:11 PM Post #8 of 10

kostalex

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Quote:

Originally Posted by semmio /img/forum/go_quote.gif
...Does anyone know how much better Dolby is compared to standard sound cards?..


For me it is $150 better. This is how much I am willing to pay for the ability to watch movie with believable surround using headphones - as loud as I want, anywhere across the apartments, disturbing no family or neighbors.
 
Sep 3, 2009 at 7:13 PM Post #9 of 10

kostalex

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For hi-fi stereo listening Dolby Headphone is useless.
For surround music I prefer 5.1 speakers to headphone.
 
Sep 4, 2009 at 11:34 AM Post #10 of 10

ear8dmg

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Quote:

Originally Posted by kostalex /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For hi-fi stereo listening Dolby Headphone is useless.


I disagree with that, as long as no upmixing (e.g. Dolby Prologic II) is being done. Dolby Headphone in 2 channel is the best representation of stereo speakers I've heard over headphones. Having said that, I'm not keen on DH2 or DH3 for music listening. In most circumstances the echoing sounds a bit too artificial. I tend to only use DH1 for music, which to me sounds rather like being in the sweet spot when using near-field monitors.

Granted, you don't get the room ambience of speakers with DH1 but I tend to prefer drier acoustics for live recordings anyway.

Edit: I sometimes prefer DH3 for close miked studio recordings. It's getting increasingly rare though.
 

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