Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by johnspack, May 14, 2011.
I agree stay away form turd beach. (see that I made a funny)
Actually, I would say digital provides better sound quality. Why do you think Dolby digital replaced Dolby Pro Logic?
In my personal testing, digital audio connections don't suffer nearly as much from signal degradation. They provide much cleaner signals, have less static/interference issues, and don't suffer from loss of signal strength (read: loss of volume).
For instance, if I hook my iPod up to my car stereo via its digital connection, sound quality & volume are excellent. If I hook it up to my stereo using RCA (analog) cables, the volume is a bit lower and, though not by much, the quality sounds a bit worse.
However, it would complicate a headset that directly supports digital audio. I'd hate having to plug it into both audio AND USB ports, and therefore having an extra cable flopping around. If that doesn't bother you, go digital. Otherwise, stick with analog.
Because of HDMI. Virtually all high-end speakers are still driven by an analog signal because one can pump a ton of power (read: amplified) through a 12 guage speaker wire. Sending a digital signal to 8 different speakers with different amplifiers makes absolutely no sense (not to mention, require external power sources).
That's the iPod to blame. Apple was pushing all-digital (so they can sell you an expensive set of Apple-branded ear plugs) so they pretty much ignored the analog end of things.
Dolby Digital hit the market long before HDMI, so no.
And it isn't the iPod to blame, as I have tried it with several devices. I used to have a Dell DJ (read: Dell ripping off iPod), and it had the same lower volume/quality with my stereo. I just couldn't go digital with it (and it only held 30GB, and was dropped by Dell, and nobody supported it, and...), so I replaced it. Much better quality now. But I knew it would be as I had compared the DJ (analog) to a simple flash drive (digital) plugged into my stereo, and it sounded better/louder.
Also, as I said, the analog headphones I use have great quality used with my iPod. Sounds as good as my PC/headphones. But that's comparing analog to analog. When I can compare analog to digital, digital wins.
Digital signals win because if the information gets there, it gets there without loss. A digital signal can lose signal strength, be read at the other end, and produce the identical signal it was sent out with in both volume and quality. An analog signal loses volume when losing its strength, and loses quality when you amplify the receiving end to compensate.
Digital signals also win because of being able to carry more data over their media (as in fiber-optic), and carry multiple discreet channels, as GT90 mentioned.
Though I certainly won't argue the bit about Apple pushing ANYTHING so they can sell you more, or more expensive, stuff. I was reluctant to buy an iPod, but since so many car stereos support them (including mine), it was the best choice for me.
However, do you really think Apple would IGNORE the analog side of an iPod? That's 90% of how it's used! If they ignored that, they'd be shooting themselves in the foot by pissing off all the people buying them.
Clip on mic y/n? Head-fi.org? Steelseries Siberia V2?
Yes, speakers themselves do use analog for the reason you stated. Because if they were digital, each would need power fed to it as well as the digital audio signal. It would make the speakers far more complex, even if they fed power & audio signal over a single cable to each.
BUT, digital signal to the receiver is a whole different story! A single fiber-optic digital signal can easily send enough data for all channels of any current surround-sound system, but analog would require how many wires? Great benefit there, but...
The digital signal again suffers no volume/quality loss, where an analog signal will.
We're talking computers. Computers, in most cases, are the receiver. My computer sends a finished signal to my headphones (Razer Characias) and my speakers (Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1). There's no volume nor quality loss because we're talking a maximum of 6' of cable. Yes, there's three cables going to my subwoofer (R/L, rear R/L, C/S) and two to my headset (R/L, mic) and it never bothered me. It's getting signal processing by a HT Omega Striker which is infinitely better than the rubbish <$10 digital decoder (lacking amplifier) most digital systems have.
This "volume/quality" loss is completely subjective. An analog and digital decoder can be set up to match in volume. Apple/Dell didn't take the time to do that. That's not a fault of the medium, but the manufacturer.
As for quality, the nuiances of a studio recording are lost the moment they record it in digital. Decoding is all about trying to rebuild those nuiances from nothing (this is what Dolby technologies are all about). Again, completely depends on the quality of components used.
ViperLancer, I would like you to just stop posting misinformation and generally making a fool of yourself.
First, Dolby Digital NEVER replaced Dolby Pro Logic, Pro Logic II/IIx/IIZ (improved Pro Logic that we use nowadays) is higher quality than Dolby Digital. Where Dolby TrueHD (lossless multi channel audio used in some Blu-ray release) uses Pro Logic II as a decoder. In short, they are two different things and THEY ARE BOTH DIGITAL.
Secondly, iPod connection. Where you said you used a digital connection and an analogue connection. The digital connection, if done correctly will take the digital signal from the iPod bypassing its internal DAC to a different DAC. You are not listening to the iPod, you are listening to a different device. (< Which I doubt you actually have that, as there is only a handful of devices takes the digital signal from an iPod). The analogue signal, which I assume you do not have line-out dock. You took the signal from iPod's headphones plug, which uses iPod's headphone amp, which is crap. Or you can have a line-out dock, connected to iPod's dock connector, it takes line-level signal from iPod's DAC and bypasses the crappy headphone amp on board. It will provide much cleaner sound then double amping a signal. (< The Line-Out dock is what I think you mean by your "digital" signal)
Thirdly, digital speakers/headphones will always be poor compared to a good setup with analogue speakers/headphones. You simply cannot fit a high-end DAC and class-A amp inside a digital speakers/headphones, they might sound better than onboard sound, but with a decent DAC/amp combo, it is not likely to be close.
I could go on, but I guess you got the idea.
Steelseries Siberia V2 is quite good for on the cheap
Back on topic, sorry that I do not have much experience on the lower end market. I do suggest you stay away from PC headsets and get a pair of good headphones and a mic.
Audio Technica ATH-AD700 should be within your budget, although its not on NCIX. Its a great pair of headphones which exceed my expectation, that sound quality at that price, its a bargain.
The AD700s are probably the best you can get. Just get a decent clip-on mic and you are ready to play.
Well, I could go for these then: http://ncix.com/products/?sku=51482&vpn=HD428&manufacture=Sennheiser Electronics but not sure if there's any point. I'll probably just get the Razers for now as they'll still sound better than my $30 headphones. From what I'm seeing, I need to spend $250-$300 for a good set, and that looks like a i7 cpu to me!
Well, from the reviews I've seen, these equal mid-range hi-fi sets, but are made for gaming, so not made for music. The mic is adjustable for background noise for clarity in online team playing, which is a huge plus for me. http://www.ncix.com/products/?sku=37191&vpn=RZ04-00270100-R3U1&manufacture=Razer
I ordered them today, and will test them out and give a review when I get them. Apparently for the $100 range, these kick butt. Now I can worry about $300 hi-fi headphones!.....
Oh, and if I win the lottery, this is what I'm ordering:
That's not exactly true. The quality is inferior to a good sound card, sure, but it is not always inferior to on-board. Depends strictly on the headset.
The Razers and my Titanium should sound not too bad....
The Razers sound like shit. Trust me, I tried.
I would send them back, and go for AD700's or Grado SR80i's if Open Back is OK, or Senn HD280 Pros for closed cans.
+1 for Razer sounding like shit. Not that they are complete shit, but for their price better options can be found.
PLANTRONICS GameCom 377 Open-ear 3.5mm Circumaural...
Best headphones I have ever owned. There is a $99.99 version its the 777. Not sure the difference between the two.
I'd go for AD700's if you can live without monster bass. They are a tremendous pair of headphones for gaming and ridiculously comfortable. The Audio Technica M50s are also a good choice if you want good bass and / or a sealed design. Fair warning though, if you use them a lot the pads harden up and become uncomfortable.
Personally I have never understood headsets all together. Almost invariably you get an inferior set of headphones with a microphone that can be easy to break off. Just get a nice pair of headphones and the Logitech noise canceling pedestal mic .
For headphones, I'm going to get the HD280 Pros. I need a headset for now, these will do.
I have the Audio Technica AD700 and I love them for gaming and music. They do lack a little in the bass but they are comfortable for long gaming sessions and they do sound pretty good when listening to music. Not the best by far, but in the price range I am really happy with them.
Seriously? HD280Pro? They are the most painful thing I have wore and have seriously lacking sound.
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