Portable player VS computer as a dedicated source
Nov 2, 2007 at 10:52 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

P.F. Jo

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Hey guys..

I was wondering about your opinion - I Have a Portable player like most of us do, a Zen Vision M.

I also have a computer, again as most of us do, With an onboard sound card.

Now, I Really don't feel like buying a sound card as the 100-200$ Ones just not worth it [drivers are usually bad and stuff like this], and the ones above this price tag are just a too big investment in my opinion...

However today I thought about this idea; simply plug the USB cable from my ZVM into my PC for fast transferring of songs on the fly[Like you could do with your winamp or foobar] and also so it won't run out of battery [it doesn't charge it only powers it once the battery is full], and plug my ZVM into the receiver I've got instead of the PC using its line out...

Technically, it should sound better than my onboard sound card or not? I will probably attempt to do head-to-head comparsion tomorrow... this just seems like a pretty good idea for those of us who doesn't have a high-end sound card and doesn't want to invest much in one.

Thanks.
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 4:14 AM Post #2 of 10

lini

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Quote:

Originally Posted by P.F. Jo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
(...) Technically, it should sound better than my onboard sound card or not? (...)


Why would it? A lot of portables measure and sound even worse than your usual onboard sound implementation. Of course, it's still worth a try whether your portable sounds better than the onboard sound of your computer - but I wouldn't place high bets on it, if I was you...

Greetings from Munich!

Manfred / lini
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 11:22 AM Post #3 of 10

P.F. Jo

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Well, I supposed it should because its a small device made mainly for audio playing.... and its not exactly a low budget gadget either, much less than my onboard sound card that is
wink.gif
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Thanks

-Jo
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 4:21 PM Post #4 of 10

Penchum

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Quote:

Originally Posted by P.F. Jo /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Well, I supposed it should because its a small device made mainly for audio playing.... and its not exactly a low budget gadget either, much less than my onboard sound card that is
wink.gif
.

Thanks

-Jo



If you computer has built-in audio like the old AC97 types, then your ZVM will smoke it for sure. There are so many possiblities for built-in audio, you are going to need to test them anyway. I have a Creative X-FI extrememusic sound card in my PC. They are getting cheap these days! Anyway, it sounds pretty good through my stereo system. It would be a fairly inexpensive upgrade to get one yourself. Newegg has X-FI extreme audio's for $65.
Have a good one!
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 4:40 PM Post #5 of 10

P.F. Jo

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Well as I am a not a US Resident Newegg is not an option.

Also, I've had many creative soundcards and their drivers gave me a whole lot of troubles and sometimes it wouldn't even recognize the cards so no more creative, M-Audio was my next option as their revolution 5.1 isn't so exp but really I didn't want to go through all the troubles of installing an external soundcard just for audio..

The whole idea of this thread is to get to the point whether a portable device for audio like the ZVM, or Ipod with IMod or Rockbox [or whatever mods you people do to your ipods] sounds better than the popular AC97' [realteks HD soundcards etc too] soundcards, and just use them as a dedicated source of audio instead of the PC [which is probably the more popular audio source for the lot]

Regards,

-Jo
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 6:31 PM Post #6 of 10

oicdn

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Don't buy a "soundcard" Get something external, like an external DAC. Even though this is essentially an external SC, you don't have to fidget with anything,a nd it'll sound MUCH MUCH better.
 
Nov 3, 2007 at 7:16 PM Post #7 of 10

P.F. Jo

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and it will cost... much much more
biggrin.gif


this whole idea was just to point out a cheaper alternative for a high-end soundcard, as most of us have usually do have a good portable player..

-Jo
 
Nov 4, 2007 at 11:44 AM Post #8 of 10

P.F. Jo

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Just an update:

I've tried running a head to head comparsion of my pc vs my zvm however its hard as memory is not my strong side and I have to connect/disconnect each device as they are both being connected to the same reciever with the same cable [If I knew where to get or how to make a double ended cable (two 3.5mm jacks on one side, and on the other a plain regular RCA) it would've been easier.


Anyhow, from what I can notice, the ZVM sounds better on some songs, the highs are clearer and the soundstage is less muffled [Background instruments like snares become sharper somewhat] - I cannot tell you by how many %'s though, not yet anyhow. - oh on the other side it seems [and it makes sense after all] that the PC's lineout has a bit of a louder signal, by a few dBs at most however...

I've tried songs with 320KB/ps VBR and 192KB/ps CBR [the most popular nowdays in our portable players] - I'll try FLAC (PC) VS Decompressed FLAC [WAV] on my Zen and tell you how it comes through.

If anyone else would like to try and share his thoughts that'd be pretty great
tongue.gif


-Jo
 
Nov 4, 2007 at 11:01 PM Post #9 of 10

khbaur330162

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My Macbook smokes my H320 in all regards. The iRiver sounds muffled and undetailed after direct comparison, not to mention the Macbook can drive my ATH-2's with a lot more authority (although not much in regards to, say, my Beta22).
 
Nov 5, 2007 at 1:10 AM Post #10 of 10

P.F. Jo

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Hmm.. Well I was mainly talking about the source [Line out, Not headphone jack] + some amp [or receiver for speakers and not headphones, Like I use right now] - an internal amplifier of a portable player is never really great.....

Its obvious that the computer has better output compared to a headphone jack of a portable, however if you use both as line outs for external amplifier/receiver then the portable might prove as a better source, this is what this thread is about
smily_headphones1.gif
.

However thanks for your feedback =)

Do share your thoughts people
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