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h264

The Audio Board's Frequently Asked Questions, Pre-answered!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

May i ask if a ''hiperx coud'' mic can damage ''sound blaster play'' sound card ?

Yes, you may.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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Is it because mic on the hiperX cloud is 60 ohm and the sound card cant handle it ?

It won't damage it

n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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I like how you say "it doesn't matter if you amp up a low impedance headphone, because putting it to a high load could destory them", when you completely skip over the fact that DAC and amp distortion exists.

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I like how you say "it doesn't matter if you amp up a low impedance headphone, because putting it to a high load could destory them", when you completely skip over the fact that DAC and amp distortion exists.

 

The point is that sensitive, low impedance headphones don't require significant amplification.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

LOL the FAQ is now spoilerception.  I'll start fixing it once the powers that be swear everything is fixed.

msg-7799-0-12802300-1388120013.jpg


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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So I am planning to fix my audio game. I am a basshead(don't kill me please) and i want speakers and headphones for my computer and the headphones will also be used with my Nexus 5 on the bus. I am thinking of buying some Custom One Pros and a set of Logitech's Z623 speakers with sub. Will i need to do anything else than just plug the speakers into my mb for proper sound?


If you want to join a really cool Discord chatroom with some great guys here from LTT and outside this community then PM me!

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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 hours ago, ObeseWalrus said:

So I am planning to fix my audio game. I am a basshead(don't kill me please) and i want speakers and headphones for my computer and the headphones will also be used with my Nexus 5 on the bus. I am thinking of buying some Custom One Pros and a set of Logitech's Z623 speakers with sub. Will i need to do anything else than just plug the speakers into my mb for proper sound?

that should work fine


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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3 hours ago, omarhasan said:

I have a pair of speakers they have a volume button on them, should I turn the volume up from windows or from the speakers direct?

Windows to max, or close to max.  Turn volume up on speakers.


AD2000x Review  Fitear To Go! 334 Review

Speakers - KEF LSX

Headphones - Sennheiser HD650, Kumitate Labs KL-Lakh

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Had something that has been sitting in the back of my mind. Hope I'm not doing anything wrong by asking in here, it's kinda odd but nothing that I think would warrant its own thread. I see other users asking questions so I hope it's fine. (If not, my bad. Can remove the contents of this post and I will learn my lesson.)

My Sennheiser Game One's have a volume wheel on them and weird things go down when I mess with it. When using a rMBP I need to turn the volume way up using them. On HD 202s and 439s, volume at one notch is already LOUD for me. Game Ones I turn up to 80% to get decent volume and I'm someone who tries to keep things moderate when it comes to that. Now I am given the choice of either just using the volume wheel on the side or turning up the system volume but I get different results when I try both.

When turning up only the volume wheel, the sound has less body and presence to the low end. Like bass guitars or bassy synths just don't feel like they're there as much. When I use only system volume everything is fine and increases at the same rate. On the PC when I keep the OS volume at 1 or 2 and turn up the wheel I get a similar thin result but it brings in all this noise to the sound too. When put the wheel back to its lowest point and just turn up the OS volume that noise isn't there and the headphones have their full sound again.

I'm not super concerned by this, I just keep the wheel at its lowest setting and use the OS to make adjustments and the headphones sound fine this way, but I'm just curious as to what might be going on here. 

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Hi community members,

I noticed many of the audio community focusing on headphone mixing. I personally enjoy monitors over the claustrophobic experience of heavy cans due to the weight of the drivers inside. So here's a little recommendation of my own; accurate and comfortable headphones are difficult find even for a reasonable budget; so to eliminate the one issue; here is a remedy to calibrate your headphones, resulting in you getting a much more accurate representation of the source of your audio.
Sonarworks offer a free trial before you decide to buy (I think the price is a little steep but how do YOU value headphone precision?).

http://sonarworks.com/headphones/overview/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=ads_Fb_generic_HP&utm_term=headphones&utm_content=UK%2FCA%2FAU_CustomerLookalike

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I think you should actually mention that many cheap motherboards that come with realtek DO NOT have low output impedance of 2 ohms as you state because implementation on the motherboard increases it.

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On 11/10/2016 at 6:49 AM, FoxyOrange said:

Had something that has been sitting in the back of my mind. Hope I'm not doing anything wrong by asking in here, it's kinda odd but nothing that I think would warrant its own thread. I see other users asking questions so I hope it's fine. (If not, my bad. Can remove the contents of this post and I will learn my lesson.)

My Sennheiser Game One's have a volume wheel on them and weird things go down when I mess with it. When using a rMBP I need to turn the volume way up using them. On HD 202s and 439s, volume at one notch is already LOUD for me. Game Ones I turn up to 80% to get decent volume and I'm someone who tries to keep things moderate when it comes to that. Now I am given the choice of either just using the volume wheel on the side or turning up the system volume but I get different results when I try both.

When turning up only the volume wheel, the sound has less body and presence to the low end. Like bass guitars or bassy synths just don't feel like they're there as much. When I use only system volume everything is fine and increases at the same rate. On the PC when I keep the OS volume at 1 or 2 and turn up the wheel I get a similar thin result but it brings in all this noise to the sound too. When put the wheel back to its lowest point and just turn up the OS volume that noise isn't there and the headphones have their full sound again.

I'm not super concerned by this, I just keep the wheel at its lowest setting and use the OS to make adjustments and the headphones sound fine this way, but I'm just curious as to what might be going on here. 

Inline volume controls are usually just a variable resistor, the changes in sound are because of the volume control messing with the impedances. Results may vary depending on the implementation/capabilities of the amplifier.

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Hello. I just switched my audio technica at1000x to a pair of hifiman he500's. Now in every track I hear a low hiss, on some tracks it's much clearer and easier to hear. I haven't change anything in my setup that consists of an odac revb and schiit magni 2 (non-uber). I listen through tidal with hifi quality (sometimes masters). Anyway, does this hiss simply depend on the production quality of the track? Or is something in my setup perhaps broken or so? 

 

Also, as a second note. I would like to switch my magni 2 for a aune x7s or similar. This is mainly because I want to use the xlr cable that feels more higher quality and looks better. Also I tried the headphones with the mentioned amp and thought it sounded better than my magni 2 did. Hwoever, I realise after watching the video in this post, that it might have been to do with place. The setup was similar to mine, ol dac, tidal hifi/masters. I listened to the same tracks I did at home. Only difference was the amp. Also the setup was cleaner, and better lighting. Im starting to think there's a whole lot of things that can act as placebo in the world of hifi.. The tracks I listened to were "hotel califorina- remastered", "It's time" by imagine dragons, "Chin Check" by N.W.A, "Skinny love" by birdy.

 

Thanks in advance!

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On 5/22/2013 at 4:13 AM, h264 said:

I'm SLOWLY digging out from under the mess of this new editor.  BRING BACK TEXT TAGS. PRETTY PLZ.

 

Note: It's getting complete, somehow. Post your complaints corrections and additions below. Everything is my opinion, even if it has a graph or flies in the face of something Linus said.

 

First watch this:

Hidden Content

 


FAQs:

What's the most important thing I can do to improve my audio experience?

 

  Reveal hidden contents

The order of operations that you should improve first to last is:

1. Improve your source - Get lossless music files in formats like FLAC, Monkey's Audio, and True Audio by re-ripping your CDs or buying them from sites like HDTracks.com or Bandcamp.com.
2. Get better headphones or speakers - Even sub $100 headphones can seriously improve audio quality, especially with designs that have open cups. Speakers don't need to run you dry, either. Need some suggestions? Just ask. We've got way too many speakers and headphones to not have listened to a set you might like.
3. Get a better AMP/DAC or Soundcard - Once you know that your headphones or speakers would really only get loud enough with special amplification or your onboard is just too noisy, then this step becomes worth your time and money. For more information on what kind fits what sort of headphones, keep reading. For speakers, it's a receiver to go with your bookshelf units if your speakers don't come in a set. Good speakers don't.
4. Cables - They don't matter unless they have bad connectors or they break inside. Digital matters even less as long as it's a properly built cable. See: http://www.biline.ca/audio_critic/mags/The_Audio_Critic_26_r.pdf(page 5)
5. Power Conditioning - NO
6. Other things - Pebbles, wooden blocks, fancy power and USB cables, PCI bus conditioners, AND MORE! - NO

 

I have a low impedance headset. People tell me that onboard audio is terrible and a dedicated soundcard will improve my audio experience. How much will it really improve?

  Reveal hidden contents

The short answer is, not very much, unfortunately. 90% of the time, onboard audio chipsets like the Realtek ALC889 are actually more suitable for your favorite gaming headset than fancy add-on cards. WHY?!? The long answer is much more complicated. First of all, most -- if not all -- gaming headsets have a low impedance and a high efficiency, meaning that driving them does NOT take special amplification. While you could certainly plug your headset into a Xonar Essence STX, for example, and it would get plenty loud, you'd only be able to use about 30% of the volume control before it blows your ears off, and if you ever set it too high by mistake it can even damage your headphones or even worse, your hearing. Basically, it's overkill in most cases for low impedance headphones. Second, and most importantly, as you'll see below the output impedance of most dedicated soundcard amps is relatively high, in the Essence STX's case it's 10 Ohms as opposed to the Realtek ALC889's 2 Ohms. That's around 1.6 db of extra distortion, and is AUDIBLY detrimental to the fidelity of your audio. Please take pause before you write off the onboard you already have as inherently worse than a dedicated card which could cost you a lot of extra money. A lack of power is the main issue with onboard chipsets such as the Realtek chips, and higher impedance headphones will be hard to drive with these chips. There are lots of other issues with the quality of onboard audio solutions, such as drivers, latency, and other software-based issues, but as you've seen from posts on this board, NO SOUNDCARD is immune to these issues. The Xonar Essence STX for example, is NOT a true pci-e device, but a pci to pci-e bridge card, meaning that a pci bus is attached to the pci-e card and requires exactly an extra 6 ms of latency to transfer the data across that bridge. The Creative driver problems need no introduction. If you really want hassle free sound, your best bet is a class 1 usb audio device like the O2+ODAC or FiiO E10. These are driven by windows native drivers and are plug-and-play.

 

What is a DAC? How is it different from a soundcard? Which is better?

  Hide contents

A DAC is a Digital to Analog Converter. It takes the digital data stored in your music files and processes it into a linear function of electrical pulses that can drive headphones and speakers. However, it's usually used in chain with an amplifier mainly because the output of a DAC is rarely a good driver of either speakers or headphones. A sound card usually combines a DAC with an amplifier.

AMP/DACs (an external amplifer and a DAC either together or stacked) are usually outside the computer case and contained in their own case(s). Normally they interface with your computer over USB and are recognized by your computer like any other soundcard on your computer. Some need drivers, and some use Window's standard USB class 1 audio device driver. Most are compatible with Window, Mac, and Linux.

In Theory, neither is better than the other since soundcards ARE the same thing as a Amplifier and Digital to Analog Convertor combined. However, in practice, noise can become an issue for soundcards inside of computer cases. (Thanks to Blade of Grass for this answer!)

 

So, do I need a better soundcard or external AMP/DAC or is my onboard good enough?

  Reveal hidden contents

That's a good question, and it depends entirely on your headphones/speakers. The test is pretty simple, if you plug your headphones/speakers into the back onboard ports and play audio through your speakers or headphones and they sound loud enough for you at a volume under 80-85% and don't have audible noise, then your headphones are well driven by your current equipment. If you have to crank the volume to max or they have buzzing, humming, or popping that drives you nuts, it's probably time to look at a good soundcard or an external AMP and DAC combo.

 

I think I need a better soundcard. What should I look for in a sound card or an external AMP/DAC?

  Reveal hidden contents

- A low output impedance under 2 Ohms. Where do you find this spec? It's hard since most manufacturers that don't make products for professional use don't even list this number. Some popular AMPs measure as such:

 

Sound cards:
Asus Xonar STX/STU/One/DG: 10 Ohms (due to the TI TPA6120A2 headphone amp)

Creative ZXR:  As high as 22 Ohms??? (same TI-Omp amp as Essence STX)

 

Portable Media Players:
iPod 3g: 7 Ohms
iPod Classic: 5 Ohms

Sansa Clip+/Zip: 1 Ohms

 

 

Onboard Chips:
Realtek ALC885/889/892: 2 Ohms

Realtek ALC1150 w/ TI TPA6120A2 headphone amp: 10 Ohms (as seen on Asus ROG Formula boards, known as SupremeFX.  Note that some ROG boards only feature the ALC1150 chip and not the TI TPA6120A2 Op-Amp.  Confused yet?)

Realtek ALC1150 w/ TI NE5532 headphone amp: 0.3 Ohms (as reported in the Op-Amp spec sheet, still unconfirmed.  ASRock's "Purity Sound" featured on the Z87 Extreme4 and up)

 

External Amp/DAC Combos:
FiiO E10: 0.5 Ohms
O2+ODAC: 0.5 Ohms
Schiit Magni+Modi: 0.1 Ohms


Why is this so important? If you headphone's impedance is not 8 times higher than your amp's output impedance, it can AUDIBLY distort the sound of your headphones. This difference is called the damping factor. If you want your headphones to sound like they should, get an amp with a damping factor of at least 8!

- Power to drive your headphones to acceptable volume AT your headphone's impedance. Many companies don't list this spec either, or only list it at a single point, like 32 Ohms

 

What should I look for in a pair of headphones?

  Reveal hidden contents

-Sound Quality - Two good drivers go a LONG way. Not always as expensive as you think.
-Ergonomics - Usability for your situations and physical comfort
-Build Quality - You should be able to toss them around and not break them. If you pay good money for any product it SHOULD last.

 

What do I look for in sound quality?

  Reveal hidden contents
  • Quality isn't always about numbers, many headphones have different sound signature suited for different tastes and content.  Try them out if possible, and here are some things to be aware of.  Is it clear, is it too "sharp", too mellow, enough bass,...etc  For example, a high end headphone with a broad frequency range might produce all sounds, but not necessarily in equal volume.

What do I look for in ergonomics? 

  • This is a very personal choice, but here are some things to keep in mind that can effect usability:  open vs closed (see below), cushion type (foam, rubber?),  material (cloth, pleather?), cup type (on, over, asymetrical, spacious?), single vs dual cable... etc

What do I look for in build quality? 

  • These are some things to look for that can effect the durability and lifespan of a headphone:  metal vs plastic, joints, replaceable cable, cups ... etc.

Open or Closed headphones? 

  • closed headphones
    • Prevent/reduce noise from and to surrounding environments.
    • Will have have occluding effect... hearing your own voice, heartbeat.. etc.
    • Tend to amplify little movements in cables and things attached to the headphone.  This is especially prominent in in-the-ear types.
    • Typically less ventilation.  Add in the leather/pleather ear cups, and it can get humid.
  • open
    • Low / non occluding effect:
    • More ventilation and less moisture trapping.
    • Very little or no passive cancellation of outside noises but better surrounding awareness
    • More sound emanating to surroundings 

 

(thanks stevv!)

 

 

I was thinking about buying good high impedance headphones in the future. Should I just get the amp/dac or soundcard now that would drive them, and buy the headphones later?

  Reveal hidden contents

Remember the order of operations listed above, as it is the main answer to this question. A soundcard, even a more expensive one, will really only succeed in making your headphones or speakers sound louder as they usually push more power into them. While many perceive this as higher quality, in reality, not only is this not the case, at average volumes above 85 decibels sustained over a long period of time WILL damage your hearing. The real difference is the driver on your headphones, and even with onboard audio you'll notice the difference in detail and clarity at both high and low frequencies with even decent headphones that cost as little as $30. Of course, I'm not advocating you to buy a pair of Sennheiser HD800s and plug them into your onboard, but to implore you to weigh your budget towards your headphones and not your soundcard or amp/dac. If you buy a pair of headphones and feel they don't get as loud as you would like, you can always exchange them or purchase a very cheap method of amplification later.

 

Should I get a cheap soundcard with virtual surround like dolby headphone or use a headphone with discrete drivers?

  Reveal hidden contents

Neither of these options is ideal, of course. As Linus stated in many of his videos, discrete drivers are usually smaller, cheaper, and poorly placed. Meanwhile virtual surround can make normal music sound very funny, and you'll constantly have to switch it off when you're not gaming. More often than not, as far as video games are concerned, virtual AND discrete surround is more often becoming an unneccesary feature. More and more games just mix a virtual surround experience into your stereo headphones without any setup or special drivers. A good demo is the virtual barber shop:

 

 

 


If you want to watch movies or play video games with seperate audio channels, your best bet is virtual surround like dolby headphone for your stereo headphones since DVDs and Blu-Rays use a seperate audio track for each channel.

 

But I want a surround sound headset! What are the advantages of a good pair of headphones with a cheap mic?

  Reveal hidden contents

The problem with creating a headset with a built in mic is that if if breaks, you end up having to buy a whole new unit (a problem for you, not the headset maker!) , and the fact that both exist in the same device with complicated cable routings and moving parts for the mic attachment means the device is even more likely to break. Also, since you're paying for both, you're getting less money in BOTH the headphone part and the mic part. Our suggestion is get the best headphones you can and then get the cheapest mic possible and attach it to the headphones or stick it on your desk. Properly leveling your mic will make it sound better than putting it next to your mouth, except in very high noise environments like sports stadiums. Does Brian Williams give the Nightly News with a boom mic? Nope, it's a clip on!

 

OK, fine, but can't you just tell me what to get already and be done with it?  This is all very confusing!

  Reveal hidden contents
post-7799-0-05328100-1378325794.png


and done.

FEATURES:

Headphones:

  Reveal hidden contents

-Impedance

This determines how hard a headphone is to drive. The higher the impedance, measured in Ohms, the more power your amp must deliver to increase its perceived volume. Keep in mind that the impedance of a headphone can vary greatly over the frequency spectrum, with a notorious example being the AKG K701/2:

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=7&graphID=2621&scale=5

-Sensitivity

The other factor that will determine how loud your headphones get with any given amp is the sensitivity, or the amount of decibels output by the headphone drivers in a given amount of milliwatts (db/mW or more commonly SPL). The higher that ratio, the quicker the headphones will get louder when a load is applied to the drivers. This is where the music that you listen to can make a real difference. If the range of volumes in your favourite audio track varies by a lot, you’ll lose a lot if you can’t crank the volume up high enough to hear the quiet parts. Even headphones with low impedance, like the Hifiman He-500s can be hard to drive if their sensitivity is very low (89 db/mW in this case). Conversely, the Beyerdynamics DT line of headphones have a relatively high sensitivity for their impedence, causing some people to over-estimate their power requirements.

-Noise canceling

Is a feature available on some more expensive headphones. They use a reversed hearing aid to feed the negative of the sound of the noise to your ears in order to "null" or negate the wave entering your ears from outside the headphones. Great for use to block out your annoying roommate or coworker in the next cube on his damned cell phone. However, it's detrimental to the overall quality of the sound, since the negative wave can become audible in certain situations, and requires batteries. Actually, In-ears provide the best overall isolation, as measured below (lower is quieter).

http://graphs.headphone.com/graphCompare.php?graphType=6&graphID[]=3411&graphID[]=733&scale=30

 

Surround Sound:

  Hide contents

It's a feature most of you require when posting threads on this board. How does it work anyways? Surround sound in your normal modern video game is mixed into however many channels you have and fed to your DAC. Even if you only have 2 channels in your headphones, any number of sources can be mixed into a single three dimensional audio picture by the best surround sound processor of all time: YOUR BRAIN!
 

 

If you have a movie with SEPERATE channels in surround sound that you'd like to listen to with your headphones, a sound card with Dolby Headphone will take care of this for you.

Getting a headset with multiple drivers for each channel is insulting your brain's intelligence!

 

- Phase Code Modulation (PCM)

  • The type of PCM most commonly used in computers and over HDMI is LPCM (PCM with linear quantization), and PCM/LPCM are colloquially interchangeable when referring to computer digital audio.
  • Audio in PCM is always uncompressed when referring to computer digital audio
  • PCM data transmitted over S/PDIF (optical and coax) is always 2-channel due to S/PDIF's limitations.

 

- Surround sound via S/PDIF - Single RCA or TOSLINK Optical (Thanks to ShearMe)

  • Surround sound can only be passed over S/PDIF when encoded by Dolby Digital Live (DDL) into a Dolby Digital (DD) format or DTS Connect into a DTS format, due to bandwidth limitations
  • Most motherboards can only passthrough DD/DTS (they cannot encode an audio stream in real time to DD/DTS unless they specifically have DDL/DTS Connect)
    • movie audio usually comes pre-encoded because it's a static file
    • game audio does not come pre-encoded because it is mixed/rendered in real time
  • Soundcards that support DDL or DTS Connect will encode the audio stream in real time before sending it over S/PDIF.

     

    • ASUS Xonar DX supports DDL.
    • ASUS Xonar DS supports DTS Connect. 
    • ASUS Xonar DG supports Dolby Headphone, which is virtual surround.

- Surround Sound via HDMI (Thanks ShearMe)

  • Device support for audio is optional.
  • For digital audio, if an HDMI device supports audio, it is required to support the baseline format: stereo uncompressed PCM.
    • Other formats are optional, with HDMI allowing up to 8 channels of uncompressed audio at sample sizes of 16-bit, 20-bit and 24-bit, with sample rates of 32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 48 kHz, 88.2 kHz, 96 kHz, 176.4 kHz and 192 kHz.
    • HDMI also supports any IEC 61937-compliant compressed audio stream, such as Dolby Digital and DTS, and up to 8 channels of one-bit DSD audio (used on Super Audio CDs) at rates up to four times that of Super Audio CD.
  • Audio adapters for HDMI will act as a pass through for the audio when the signal sent over HDMI is 2-channel PCM, Dolby Digital Live (DDL), or DTS.
    • If the HDMI signal is in any other format, compatibility is not guaranteed.
    • Analog outputs on such adapters have a built in DAC.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDMI#Audio.2Fvideo (thanks ShearMe)

 

Speakers:

  Hide contents

-Types and Sizes

Egg, box, sea shell. Bookshelf speakers have tested sound, but go nuts if you have the money! Speaker systems can make Ferraris look cheap though, so do practice some restraint:

 
Active vs. Passive:
All speakers - regardless of its type - falls under one of these two categories.
 
Passive speakers are speakers that do not have an internal amplifier and require external amplification to sufficiently power them.
Whereas an active speaker has a built in amplifier and will amplify (make louder) the signal that it receives, and powers itself.
 
Speaker vs. Driver:
A driver is the actual component that reproduces the sound, whereas the speaker is the whole driver, enclosure, and any internal circuitry.
 
Different Types of Speaker Drivers:

  • Full range
  • Tweeters
  • Mid-range
  • Woofer
  • Subwoofers

Full Range/Wide Range:
These drivers are usually used in systems without a subwoofer or additional tweeter. They are made to have a wide range of frequency response, but usually do not excel in any. This is the "all-in-one" speaker, and is typically found in TVs, some computer speakers, small radios, phones etc.
 
Tweeter:
A high frequency driver designed to reproduced the high tones in songs. There are many different designs for tweeters, including horn, soft dome, and ribbon.
 
Mid-Range:
A driver designed to reproduce the middle frequencies.
 
Woofer:
A driver that reproduces low frequencies. 
 
Subwoofer:
A driver designed to play the lowest part of the audible spectrum, typically under 200 Hz. Usually the heaviest speaker as their enclosure has to be the most sturdy and usually ports the amplifier (for active speakers).
 
What do All These Numbers Mean? (2.0, 2.1, 5.1, 5.2, 7.1, 7.2)
The first number refers to the number of speakers (tweeters/mid-range/woofer speakers).
So a 2.0 system would have two speakers.
Now, the second number refers to the number of subwoofers that a system has.
A 5.1 system would have 5 speakers and one subwoofer. A 5.2 would be the same except have two subwoofers.
These systems usually consist of a sub/woofer with satellite speakers connected to them for amplification. These satellites usually have a tweeter and mid range driver, or a tweeter and a woofer.
 
How do the Systems Know What to Send Where?
Speaker systems use something called a crossover to actively/passively separate the high, mids and lows into three separate signals, which in turn are wired to the appropriate driver. (Thanks BladeofGrass!)

 

-Placement

http://www.crutchfield.com/learn/learningcenter/home/speaker_placement.html

 

AMPS:

 

DACs:

  Reveal hidden contents

-bits per sample and polling frequency

myth:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vd94WYRkaj4#t=452s

reality:

https://www.xiph.org/video/vid1.shtml

 

https://www.xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml

 

-Interfaces (SP/DIF vs USB vs PCI/PCI-E)

All Digital. All the time. Use them over analog whenever you can.

 

-connectors

-3.5mm (1/8" or mini-Stereo) jack: Your common jack found on most audio products, including the walkman and iPod. It's a small interface and can be used on portable devices easily. Not to be confused with the TRSS jack found on smartphones with a 4-part connector for an in-line microphone.

-6.35mm (1/4" or Stereo) jack: The larger common jack found on Stereo receivers and higher end audio equipment. It's bigger, but provides a much more secure connection and lasts for many more insert cycles than the smaller 1/8" jack. Also known as the TRS connector.

-RCA (or Composite/Component in video applications) Jack: 2 or 3 component cables either separate or attached together connect to these jacks. Named for the Radio Corporation of America, it has been a standard since the 1940s. For audio, the Red and White jacks output the right and left channel audio signal. Can be used as a S/PDIF connector for digital communication.

-TOSLINK (Toshiba Link) Optical Jack: Supports a special fiber optic cable for short range transmission of digital audio signals over S/PDIF. The smaller 3.5mm-like mini-TOSLINK is also available.


-HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface): The newest standard cable for carrying digital audio and video signals, revision 1.4a cables can even carry gigabit ethernet over the cable as well. A simple plug in connector has made this design an instant success, however since several revisions of the jacks and cables exist, the supported features can vary based on the jack or cable until the standard matures further.

 

Sources:

  Reveal hidden contents

-Lossy vs. Lossless audio


A compressed file is a file that is made smaller in size through a compression algorithm, and may or may not be lossy.

A lossy codec is an algorithm that cuts a portion of the original waveform in ways that attempt to be audibly lossless to the listener while saving a considerable portion of the file's original size.

A lossless codec preserves the original waveform and attempts to compress the file in other ways. Usually the file size is much higher, but quality preservation is assured. They can be converted to any other format without any quality loss. A lossy codec by contrast will lose EVEN MORE quality if it is transcoded again to another lossy codec.

Here are some common file formats:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_codecs

(Thanks to Dave Zember for this)

-Where to get lossless music (eg HDtracks or your CD copy ripped with EAC or the like)

http://www.hdtracks.com

 

Microphones

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A microphone is a acoustic-to-electric converter that converts the audible sound into an electrical signal.
 
What are the Two Different Most Common Microphones Types?

  • Condenser
    • The most common microphone type used in recording
    • very sensitive and have a wide frequency response (usually sound the best)
    • Require a power source (phantom power)
    • Most common Polar patterns (see below) include:
      • Cardioid 
      • Omni-directional
      • Super Cardioid
      • Shotgun
  • Dynamic
    • The most common type used in live sound
    • robust and inexpensive
    • Does the same basic operation of a speaker but in reverse
    • Most common Polar patterns include:
      • Cardioid 
      • Super Cardioid
      • Hypercardioid

Microphone Polar Patterns:
How sensitive a microphone is to sound coming from different directions
 
Omni-directional:

 
480px-Polar_pattern_omnidirectional.png

 

The microphones response is generally considered to be a perfect 3D sphere.
 
Figure Eight/Bi-Directional:

 

 
480px-Polar_pattern_figure_eight.png

 

Equally excepts from the front or back, but rejects from the sides.
 
Cardioid:

 

 
480px-Polar_pattern_cardioid.png

 

The most common unidirectional microphone, named because its response is a cardioid. Most commonly used in vocal/speech applications, as it is good at rejecting almost everything except from the front. 
 
Hypercardioid:

 

 

 
480px-Polar_pattern_hypercardioid.png

 

 

Similar to a cardioid microphone but with a Figure Eight like response added.
 
Supercardioid:

 

 
480px-Polar_pattern_supercardioid.png

 

Like the Hypercardioid but with less of a Figure Eight and more of a front response.
 
Shotgun:

 

 
480px-Polar_pattern_directional.png

 

 

(Thanks BladeOfGrass!)

 

Charts

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post-7799-0-37199800-1404796830.jpeg

 

This chart shows instruments and their relative frequency responses in relation to each other.  The colors determine at which parts of the spectrum they are most pronounced.  Note that the descriptions at the bottom are a matter of common excepted terminology and are in no way scientific.  These might be helpful in making sense of things if you're trying to read an audio review, or they might confuse you more if the reviewer has a different opinion on what things should be called.

 

Credit to Lays for the image.

 

Links to headphone and Amp reviews on LTT forums (Please check for broken links and report!):

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Headphones:

 

Hifiman He-500 (t0wer)

Hifiman He-500 (H264)

Grado SR-60i (Huntsman)

Dr. Dre Beats Solos (pewpewmerica)

Dr. Dre Beats Solos (Windspeed36)

Logitich G230 (bchampion96)

Sol Republic Amps Earphones (virusal19)

Logitech z506 Speakers (M4XvPA1N)

Turtle Beach XP Seven (rankupgamers)

Marshall In-Ear Minor (KaareKanin)

Audio Technica ATH-M50 (habiba29)

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50 (h264)

 

Audio Technica ATH-M50 (Lauen)

Grado Sr225i (josh_05)

Etymotic ER-4P/T (h264)

Steelseries Flux (Nit3Rid3R)

Sennheiser PC350se (xWacko)

Bose QC-15 vs Proears Predator Gold Edition (h264)

Klipsch S4i (TheShmodo)

Sennheiser HD600 (Travis)

Monoprice 8323 (t0wer)

Koss Porta Pros (t0wer)

Meelec CC51p Ceramic IEMs (t0wer)

 

Shure SRH-840 (t0wer)

 

Shure SRH-550DJ (t0wer)

 

Meelec CC51P (tower)

 

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro (Hoppa)

 

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro (h264)

 

Audio Technica ATH-TAD500 (Pipinhot)

 

Audio Technica WS55i (oThatsEric)

 

Samson SR850 (Stav Kats)

 

JBL J88 (ShearMe)

 

SoundMAGIC HP-100 (h264)

 

Fostex TR50p Mayflower Mod v3 (ShearMe)

 

Fostex TR50p Mayflower Mod v3 (h264)

 

Sennheiser HD558 + Mic (Parkway Drive)

 

Pioneer SE-A1000 vs Audio Technica ATH-AD500x (ShearMe)

 

Skullcandy Aviators (ShearMe)
 

Audio-Technica ATH-T400 (ShearMe)

 

California Headphone Company Silverado (ShearMe)

 

JBL J33i (Lauen)

 

Soundmagic PL50 (Lauen)

 

Shure SRH440 w/ 840 pads (Lauen)

 

Beyerdynamic Custom One Pro (Stefano)

 

Clip-On Headphone Round-Up (ShearMe)

 

Takstar HI 2050 (dylandylandylan)

 

t0wer's Headphone cable fixing guide (t0wer)

 

AMPS:

DT990pro and FiiO E10 (Rhizo)

iBasso D4 (tower)

AMB M^3 diy headphone amp (tower)

Woo Audio 5LE (LividPanda)

Objective 2 Objective DAC Combo Desktop Version (h264)

 

Spotted in the types of drivers, what about electrostatic drivers and rotary subwoofers? or are you just putting them into the other categories.


20.2 (15.2.5) home theater - all in a bedroom - if you've got any questions dont hesitate to pop me a message :) and remember to quote me so i see your reply. (Huge denon fanboy, hence me proudly owning a Denon avc - X8500H)

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