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PS4's Compatibility with DACs/Amps

Discussion in 'Video Games Discussion' started by GaijinMo, Nov 15, 2018.
  1. GaijinMo
    Hi all,

    Apologies for the stupid question, but I haven't bought a game console in about a decade. My set-up is still a PS3 on a CRT, mainly because I preferred the lower input lag for the style of games I was focusing on at that time. I plan to get a new monitor and a PS4 soon, but I don't know how to tie all of this together in terms of audio.

    If HDMI carries the video and audio signals together, how does one connect a PS4 (or any other non-PC device) to a DAC or combined DAC+amp? I will be using a PC monitor, so would I use the 3.5 mm headphone jack on a monitor to the RCA inputs on the DAC? What if the monitor doesn't have a headphone jack? Another issue is that the PS4 slim sacrificed its optical output jack, so I wouldn't be able to connect that to the optical input on a DAC (if it has one). I know that the Pro added it back, but it's much more expensive and I wouldn't need 4K. All of this assumes that a PS4 cannot output an audio signal through one of its USB jacks the way that a PC could.

    What exactly are a person's options here? As simple as this seems to be, I'm not sure what people are doing. Google searches seem to ignore the PS4 slim's lack of optical output or refer to gamer-oriented audio devices like headsets with mics, which I do not have much interest in.

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  2. Tex Irie
    Playstation likes this.
  3. Tex Irie
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    My two cents is to get a USB sound card, that is compatable with the PS4.
    If you have no need for the mic, then get a USB-DAC/amp, that is compatable with the PS4.
    What is your over all budget for getting audio from the PS4?
    (USB sound card + headphones or USB-DAC/amp + headphones)
  5. GaijinMo
    Thanks guys.

    I have looked into those HDMI splitting devices and they seem a little... sketchy. I was under the impression that HDMI transmits purely digital signals so the video/audio is either perfect or absent, but some of the reviewers are saying that video degradation is possible. I am also sensitive to input lag (hence why I used a CRT for so long) and I get the feeling that using these signal routing devices might pose an issue there.

    I was not aware that any external USB sound cards were compatible with PS4. However, I would prefer to use one consolidated DAC/amp setup for my PC and a PS4 instead of buying something specifically for PS4 that I'll just have to throw out later. For instance, if Schiit DACs could receive an audio signal from the PS4's USB outputs, that would be perfect, but I am fairly certain that this is not possible. I also have a USB audio interface for recording guitar tracks, but I would imagine that these devices cannot receive an audio signal from the PS4's USB outputs either. According to Google, people say that it doesn't work.

    I have no particular budget, but I would rather not get something that I would only use for PS4. If the price of an external USB sound card for PS4 is greater than the price difference between a PS4 slim and PS4 Pro, I suppose I would just get the Pro so that I could use the same DAC/amp setup for my PC as well.

    Just wish Sony included the optical jack on the slim. Christ.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  6. Tex Irie
    I literally took my PS4 Slim back and got a Pro because I didn't find a solution I liked. Now I'm just trying to find a good Dac/Amp or Receiver that is capable of HDMI passthrough and separate audio zones.
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Looks like the Creative Labs Sound BlasterX G5 will work with both PC and PS4
    Playstation likes this.
  8. Tex Irie
    Considering a Creative Labs Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition. Looks like it works with PC and PS4 and will push my Hifiman HE560 V2's.
  9. joeydgraffix
    I use my XDUOO-XD05 to my x2/27s. I saw the Elex’s get alot of hate for video gaming but I found them to be even better than my x27s. Perfect amount of bass and the brightness of the highs actaually works out a bit better gaming wise.

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