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

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Also, edit on the surround sound via optical section:

 

- 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.

     

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Also, edit on the surround sound via optical section:

 

alright, man. just as soon as I get out of airport hell, I'll update everything.


"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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Oh my god, my name is in this thread! :O


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Great article. You should mention that vinyl rips are generally better than CDs. Places like HDTracks typically do a nice job of these.

 

I like to use this site (http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/) to check which recordings are the best, it's usually pretty accurate.

 

General guidance has no place in a FAQ. If you wanna write up a quickie blurb on facts as to why/how vinyl is better, that'd be great.  :)

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General guidance has no place in a FAQ. If you wanna write up a quickie blurb on facts as to why/how vinyl is better, that'd be great.  :)

Maybe something like this:

 

Question: How should I decide which track or album to purchase when I have multiple options?

 

Answer: - Lossless or lossy; choose what will suit you best based on your setup. Opt for lossless if you're unsure. Remember that the file type can be converted if necessary.

 

- Vinyl vs. CD rips; vinyl is typically better mastered, but are harder to find and usually more expensive.

 

- Use the DR Database (http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/) for feedback on various recordings of the same song.

 

- Try them out if possible.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Maybe something like this:

 

Question: How should I decide which track or album to purchase when I have multiple options?

 

Answer: - Lossless or lossy; choose what will suit you best based on your setup. Opt for lossless if you're unsure. Remember that the file type can be converted if necessary.

 

- Vinyl vs. CD rips; vinyl is typically better mastered, but are harder to find and usually more expensive.

 

- Use the DR Database (http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/) for feedback on various recordings of the same song.

 

- Try them out if possible.

 

Keep in mind this is a FREQUENTLY asked questions thread.  Basically that means it deals in the questions FREQUENTLY presented in posts by curious forum members in order to reduce the number of threads asking the same question.  While I appreciate your input, NOBODY has started a thread asking what sort of source technology they should be buying, and I've only seen one thread with anyone asking about vinyl playback.  None have asked about ripping vinyl.   Probably because it's really not all that important to 99% of people and nobody cares how "loudened" their track is.  The music industry does this because people want it after all.

 

>Remember the file type can be converted

 

Only going to come out right in a conversion if it's lossless

 

 

General guidance has no place in a FAQ. If you wanna write up a quickie blurb on facts as to why/how vinyl is better, that'd be great.  :)

 

I'd be OK with general guidance, since asking "what should I get?" is a valid question.  However, I'd rather it be a more common question than this.  If he'd like to make a vinyl guide, well, that's up to him.


"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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Keep in mind this is a FREQUENTLY asked questions thread.  Basically that means it deals in the questions FREQUENTLY presented in posts by curious forum members in order to reduce the number of threads asking the same question.  While I appreciate your input, NOBODY has started a thread asking what sort of source technology they should be buying, and I've only seen one thread with anyone asking about vinyl playback.  None have asked about ripping vinyl.   Probably because it's really not all that important to 99% of people and nobody cares how "loudened" their track is.  The music industry does this because people want it after all.

 

>Remember the file type can be converted

 

Only going to come out right in a conversion if it's lossless

Mhmm

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I suppose it may not be a frequently asked question, but I think that vinyl recordings are really underestimated. It only takes ~$100 headphones to hear the difference.

 

The difference is in the mastering, not in the medium itself, but I concede your point. Alas, people who don't already have this knowledge are most likely to be the people who don't care.

 

I'd be OK with general guidance, since asking "what should I get?" is a valid question.  However, I'd rather it be a more common question than this.  If he'd like to make a vinyl guide, well, that's up to him.

 

I was just trying to say "no" nicely.  :unsure:

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I was just trying to say "no" nicely.  :unsure:

 

yeah, I know. np man.  The main issue is I'd have to talk about vinyl rips, at which point I get to a touchy area since the best place to get those is .... well, you know.


"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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Keep in mind this is a FREQUENTLY asked questions thread.  Basically that means it deals in the questions FREQUENTLY presented in posts by curious forum members in order to reduce the number of threads asking the same question. 

In that case you should just change the first post to this:

 

"NO, a sound card will not improve your audio."

 

 

:P  :D


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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In that case you should just change the first post to this:

 

"NO, a sound card will not improve your audio."

 

I liked what JJ said in the last WAN show when Linus asked how PLX chips are justifiable. When it comes down to it, products that might not improve the main function of the product can be worth it for other factors. So though a soundcard wont improve the audio quality, we need to ask what their usage will be because there might be other things to consider.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

I liked what JJ said in the last WAN show when Linus asked how PLX chips are justifiable. When it comes down to it, products that might not improve the main function of the product can be worth it for other factors. So though a soundcard wont improve the audio quality, we need to ask what their usage will be because there might be other things to consider.

 

Exactly

 

 

"NO, a sound card will not improve your audio."

 

Ha! "90% of the time, you don't need a soundcard" resulted in my signature quote when I first started posting on this board.  So I shy away from being so blunt.  However, there ARE points to having an Essence STX.  Very few points, like Surround sound visualization and aesthetics, or the 5 headphones it can drive well that cost many times this card's price.  By the feature bill, the Phoebus is a better soundcard, honestly.  No better a headphone amp, however


"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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Exactly

 

 

 

Ha! "90% of the time, you don't need a soundcard" resulted in my signature quote when I first started posting on this board.  So I shy away from being so blunt.  However, there ARE points to having an Essence STX.  Very few points, like Surround sound visualization and aesthetics, or the 5 headphones it can drive well that cost many times this card's price.  By the feature bill, the Phoebus is a better soundcard, honestly.  No better a headphone amp, however

 

 

I liked what JJ said in the last WAN show when Linus asked how PLX chips are justifiable. When it comes down to it, products that might not improve the main function of the product can be worth it for other factors. So though a soundcard wont improve the audio quality, we need to ask what their usage will be because there might be other things to consider.

 

Yeah, I know it was just a bit of tongue in cheek.  Still the ANALytical  side of me wants to see specifics and actuals not just people parroting the "get what ever Asus card you can afford" line.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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I would like to propose some changes and add more information regarding open vs closed headphone/headset.
 
Proposed changes: [marked in Grey/removed ,Orange/added and Green/pending below.]

 

2. Get better headphones or speakers - Even sub $100 headphones can seriously improve audio quality, especially with designs that have open cups. 
.
.
.
What should I look for in a pair of headphones?
-Sound Quality - Two good drivers go a LONG way. Not always as expensive as you think.
-Comfort - It's just uncomfortable otherwise.
-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? 

  • 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 surrounding
  • More info:  

 

 
Reason for Changes proposed above:

  • "especially with designs that have open cups." : Even though I actually agree, that might not be fact. I've never had a chance to try something like a wood closed cup set (how about the meze?).
  • replacing "Comfort" with "Ergonomics" : Comfort falls under the ergonomics, but ergonomics also considers usability of equipment and their environment.
  • adding "What to look for in...":  If people are asking what to look for in headphone, this will give them some starting points (since sound, build, ergonomics are general and already obvious).  I'm also not sure about how this can fit in without sounding like a buying guide.
  • adding Open vs Closed to faq:  Besides Linus making a video on it, I think this is kind of a under-realized option. 

 

Last thing for anyone interested... my personal experience and thoughts.

  • To start, my first headset was closed, and good quality sony (90's).  Then in college I got my Grado SR80's.  What a difference... but not necessarily in just sound, but it was more comfortable to wear while moving around and didn't close me off from the world.
  • I prefer open headsets over closed ever since, but I forgot why I went and bought the ATH-M50's and the FOSTEX T50RP (which was supposed to be  partially open).  As soon as I tried them, I knew again why I prefer open.
  • Now most of my time I'm using the HD650's and for overall comfort and since it's much easier to talk than closed headset.  

My Rigs (past and present)

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Reason for Changes proposed above:

  • "especially with designs that have open cups." : even though I actually agree, that might not be fact. I've never had a chance to try something like a wood closed cup set (how about the meze?).
  • replacing "Comfort" with "Ergonomics" : Comfort falls under the ergonomics, but ergonomics also considers usability of equipment and their environment.
  • adding "What to look for in...":  If people are asking what to look for in headphone, this will give them some starting points (since sound, build, ergonomics are general and already obvious).  I'm also not sure about how this can fit in without sounding like a buying guide, but if people are curious, this gives them some starting points.
  • adding Open vs Closed to faq:  Besides Linus making a video on it, I think this is kind of a under-realized option. 

 

1. The simple fact of it is that sound waves need somewhere to go on both sides of the driver - this is why a big deal with subwoofers is the design of the port. The enclosure you put speakers in is sometimes just as big a deal as the speakers themselves. With headphones, it takes a lot more engineering to get the right enclosure due to shape, size constrictions, etc. This isn't to say closed headphones are bad or that it cant be done, just that it usually isn't done well (much like multiple-driver headphones) when comparing to similarly priced open headphones. There are people who prefer the sound of closed headphones, or who need the isolation, so they remain viable options. 

 

As far as meze goes: Meze Rebranded OEM

 

2. Me gusta.

 

3. Me gusta.

 

4. Linus's notes on the mic picking up noise from open headphones seems exaggerated, and I don't think anyone's listening level should be loud enough for the sound to travel far from open headphones. What he says about noisy environments are a problem for some people so again what I said last in #1.

 

Nice write up. :)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

1. The simple fact of it is that sound waves need somewhere to go on both sides of the driver - this is why a big deal with subwoofers is the design of the port. The enclosure you put speakers in is sometimes just as big a deal as the speakers themselves. With headphones, it takes a lot more engineering to get the right enclosure due to shape, size constrictions, etc. This isn't to say closed headphones are bad or that it cant be done, just that it usually isn't done well (much like multiple-driver headphones) when comparing to similarly priced open headphones. There are people who prefer the sound of closed headphones, or who need the isolation, so they remain viable options. 

 

As far as meze goes: Meze Rebranded OEM

 

2. Me gusta.

 

3. Me gusta.

 

4. Linus's notes on the mic picking up noise from open headphones seems exaggerated, and I don't think anyone's listening level should be loud enough for the sound to travel far from open headphones. What he says about noisy environments are a problem for some people so again what I said last in #1.

 

Nice write up. :)

 

agreed. Linus's video really misses the point about open vs closed headphones.  2 and 3 are added.


"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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The difference is in the mastering, not in the medium itself, but I concede your point. Alas, people who don't already have this knowledge are most likely to be the people who don't care.

Unfortunately I don't think so. I stumbled upon it by accident when I ripped some CDs. Later on I tried some vinyl rips from HDTracks, etc. without any knowledge of it and heard a distinct improvement, later finding out that it was as a result of better mastering. Still, it may not be suitable in a FAQ but definitely in some other thread

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Unfortunately I don't think so. I stumbled upon it by accident when I ripped some CDs. Later on I tried some vinyl rips from HDTracks, etc. without any knowledge of it and heard a distinct improvement, later finding out that it was as a result of better mastering. Still, it may not be suitable in a FAQ but definitely in some other thread.

 

It does need to be in a thread somewhere, I think we need a dedicated thread for stuff like this, somewhere we can talk about stuff that usually either derails threads or is not posted due to being off topic.   Although vinyl is not new to me (I grew up with it and watched the conversion to tape) there are many other aspects of audio that I either know little about or rarely consider.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

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It does need to be in a thread somewhere, I think we need a dedicated thread for stuff like this, somewhere we can talk about stuff that usually either derails threads or is not posted due to being off topic.   Although vinyl is not new to me (I grew up with it and watched the conversion to tape) there are many other aspects of audio that I either know little about or rarely consider.

 

Start it yo!

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Posted · Original PosterOP

EDIT:  sorry bladeofgrass I was dealing with irl and having to write letters to a certain youtuber about interconnects.  Totally forgot about you.  You and your near doubling the length of the FAQ.


"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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EDIT: sorry bladeofgrass I was dealing with irl and having to write letters to a certain youtuber about interconnects. Totally forgot about you. You and your near doubling the length of the FAQ.

Don't worry about it :) I just thought more was better XD

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1. The simple fact of it is that sound waves need somewhere to go on both sides of the driver - this is why a big deal with subwoofers is the design of the port. The enclosure you put speakers in is sometimes just as big a deal as the speakers themselves. With headphones, it takes a lot more engineering to get the right enclosure due to shape, size constrictions, etc. This isn't to say closed headphones are bad or that it cant be done, just that it usually isn't done well (much like multiple-driver headphones) when comparing to similarly priced open headphones. There are people who prefer the sound of closed headphones, or who need the isolation, so they remain viable options. 

 

As far as meze goes: Meze Rebranded OEM

 

2. Me gusta.

 

3. Me gusta.

 

4. Linus's notes on the mic picking up noise from open headphones seems exaggerated, and I don't think anyone's listening level should be loud enough for the sound to travel far from open headphones. What he says about noisy environments are a problem for some people so again what I said last in #1.

 

Nice write up. :)

 The beyerdynamic custom one pro: closed with the "bass port" got some good reviews.  I was very close to getting the Meze because of Logan's from TekSyndicate  review... still not sure of the quality of sound, since the "conspiracy" is overshadowing the product itself.  Not much reviews on the esmooths either.

 

 

 

agreed. Linus's video really misses the point about open vs closed headphones. 2 and 3 are added.

Thanks.  Linus uses his open headphone with the mod mic but didn't say much about it (at least a quick search didn't come up with much).

 

 

 

Btw... FAQ getting huge.  Table of contents? or Compressing everything with "spoilers"?


My Rigs (past and present)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

The beyerdynamic custom one pro: closed with the "bass port" got some good reviews. I was very close to getting the Meze because of Logan's from TekSyndicate review... still not sure of the quality of sound, since the "conspiracy" is overshadowing the product itself. Not much reviews on the esmooths either.

Thanks. Linus uses his open headphone with the mod mic but didn't say much about it (at least a quick search didn't come up with much).

Btw... FAQ getting huge. Table of contents? or Compressing everything with "spoilers"?

Yeah, this weekend I'll work on it


"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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