Is digital automatically better than analog?
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Cyrilix

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Say, you were getting speakers like the Logitech Z-5500 or something similar that can take both analog and digital input, would the digital always be better than the analog since I guess digital would allow you to get 100% of the signal whereas in analog you can lose part of the signal?

Or maybe I'm wrong in that digital will give you 100% signal?
 
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Asmo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyrilix
Say, you were getting speakers like the Logitech Z-5500 or something similar that can take both analog and digital input, would the digital always be better than the analog since I guess digital would allow you to get 100% of the signal whereas in analog you can lose part of the signal?

Or maybe I'm wrong in that digital will give you 100% signal?



It depends on your soundcard, for cheap speakers like the logitechs, it dosn't really matter.
 
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nostradamus

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyrilix
Say, you were getting speakers like the Logitech Z-5500 or something similar that can take both analog and digital input, would the digital always be better than the analog since I guess digital would allow you to get 100% of the signal whereas in analog you can lose part of the signal?

Or maybe I'm wrong in that digital will give you 100% signal?



Isnt it true that only analog signal can be played through speakers/headphones? If that is true, then the logitech speakers must have an onboard DAC to decode the digital signal to analog. I would take a blind stab and say that the DAC in your soundcard would be better. However, the Z-5500 do have a $400 pricetag.. so who knows....

my apologies if this is totally wrong
 
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Cyrilix

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nostradamus
Isnt it true that only analog signal can be played through speakers/headphones? If that is true, then the logitech speakers must have an onboard DAC to decode the digital signal to analog. I would take a blind stab and say that the DAC in your soundcard would be better. However, the Z-5500 do have a $400 pricetag.. so who knows....

my apologies if this is totally wrong



I am not too sure, myself. I hope the intelligent members of head-fi can shed some light on this issue...not that I'm going to get a speaker set anyway, but it would be good to learn about them.
 
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adhoc

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Quote:

Originally Posted by nostradamus
Isnt it true that only analog signal can be played through speakers/headphones? If that is true, then the logitech speakers must have an onboard DAC to decode the digital signal to analog. I would take a blind stab and say that the DAC in your soundcard would be better. However, the Z-5500 do have a $400 pricetag.. so who knows....

my apologies if this is totally wrong



correct. 'digital' headphones also have onboard DACs.

digital, being simply either 'on' or 'off' (1/0), cannot translate into audio reproduction directly.

digital, as a transfer medium, is better than analog. but analog as a format is imo better than digital.
 
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It is all in the Digital to Analog Conversion, or your DAC's that determine the sound quality

Coming from your computer, the signal has to be converted to analog somewhere along the way, whether the soundcards dac's or the ones in the Logitech’s are better, I don’t know and it’s up to you to determine that
 
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lordgibbness

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I'd say if you have a good soundcard (EMU, M-Audio etc) then the DAC on the soundcard would be significantly better. If you have a soundstorm or SB Live then there probably won't be much difference. Take a look at the SNR information for the speakers buit-in DAC - over 100dB is fine in most situations.
 
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Cyrilix

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Alright, thanks guys.
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Cyrilix
Say, you were getting speakers like the Logitech Z-5500 or something similar that can take both analog and digital input, would the digital always be better than the analog since I guess digital would allow you to get 100% of the signal whereas in analog you can lose part of the signal?

Or maybe I'm wrong in that digital will give you 100% signal?



Well, obviously, the signal will eventually be converted to analog or you'd certainly not hear music in the end. I doubt the DAC on the Logitech is all that good. The only advantage that I can see for "digital" speakers is that you're not sending an analog signal over a long wire where it can be subject to any number of types of noise. But if the DAC in the speaker system stinks (and the one in the Logitech probably does), you lose that advantage. Plus, the drivers themselves (probably) aren't that great anyway. This is why I prefer headphones in the first place. Comparable sound out of speakers would be very expensive and/or time consuming (assuming you had the knowhow for DIY).
 
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