Sound on laptop is Dull, lifeless...even my iPod is better now
May 3, 2008 at 4:23 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 11


Headphoneus Supremus
Apr 29, 2008
Hi guys,

something is seriously wrong with my laptop sound card.

i plugged in my new senns HD205.

they sound awesome on any other device but my laptop.

even after preAmping them the songs sound so dull.

there is no depth in music....all flat.
i tried EQ also.

Can someone help me figure out the problem.

its Conexant High definition Audio soundcard.

and i used Winamp, iTunes, VLC & WMP.

iTunes sounded much better though.. but not as great as portable music players.

I mean laptops are supposed to be more powerful than portable players rite?

why is the Amp so poor?

P.S: Portable devices were ipod, Sony Discman, sony ericsson W800i ..all sounded better with same songs.

i tried a huge range of songs .. over 100 songs.

So please recommend some enhancements or technical solution or softwares.

May 3, 2008 at 6:29 PM Post #2 of 11
Good bet your soundcard has a godawful headphone amp circuit.

Get a different card with a better headphone amp circuit, or consider running a dedicated head amp from the card's line out.
May 7, 2008 at 11:58 PM Post #4 of 11
The laptop itself is more powerful (processor & stuff), but a music player is designed to do that only. What I mean is, when brands make a music player, their concern is to make it sound good. When laptop brands make a laptop (especially if it's from the "office work" line) many times they don't care what audio chip they put in there, the cheaper one will do. After all, that thing is to work, not hear music

My advice: An USB Dac/Amp (or just dac, as you seem to already have an amp)
May 8, 2008 at 4:58 PM Post #5 of 11
I fixed it... i set my sound to 24 bit..

Sound is processed really well, sounds very detailed

And Crystallized.
May 8, 2008 at 6:18 PM Post #7 of 11
Which Soundcard can u quickly recommend for a beginner?

smthg USB based
May 8, 2008 at 6:31 PM Post #8 of 11
I whole heartedly recommend the EMU 0202 to anyone who is looking for a reasonably priced USB DAC/Soundcard. You can consider the EMU 0404 as well. I compared the two a while back, you can look at that to get an idea on which one to get.

There are several other options beyond 200$, but if you would like to stay in the 100$ territory, the 0202 is hard to beat and I still havent had the urge to upgrade it cos I am quite happy with it.
May 8, 2008 at 6:38 PM Post #9 of 11
Thanks a lot... i think sub $100 is my area :p
May 12, 2008 at 1:54 PM Post #10 of 11
Bare in mind Nocturnal that a <$100 sound card is probably not going to compete with say an iPod sound quality. Remember a sound card for your laptop is probably both an ADC and a DAC, breaking your costs down, that probably means $20 or less for each of the two DACs. The iPod (at a guess) probably has more expensive and therefore better quality DACs.
May 29, 2008 at 12:43 AM Post #11 of 11
Very interesting. I have this exact same problem, but on my desktop. It has an x-fi elite pro and the sound is so "flat" and lifeless compared to even my laptop and iPod. How did you convert to 24-bit? I will try this.

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