A quicky survey...

2Tired2Tango

Tech Monkey
I'm interested in hearing what people use for audio with their computers...

1) Sound card?

2) Speakers?

3) Media Player Software?


In particular I'm interested in how many people have their computers connected up with high end non-PC audio gear ... stereos, HT audio, etc.

And, for those who feel like commenting... why did you make these choices?


Thanks....
 

Doomsday

Tech Junkie
1) Creative 5.1 Sound Blaster....(Cheapos! lol!)
2) Creative M4500 Inspire 4.1....i am thinkin of selling these and going for Logitech 5.1 the X-540
(i thought they might be enough for a good audio experience which they r but, i want 5.1s now, proper surround sound not stoopid 4.1!!)
3) Media Player Classic for HD movies. Windows Media Player for TV shows. Winamp for Moosic!
 

gibbersome

Coastermaker
I have a Toshiba Satellite x205. Possibly the best speaker system you'll find in a laptop.

For media player, I use VLC player. Nothing special, I know, but it does it's job. :)

I think I will do when I get a gaming rig (when I can afford it), I will install an awesome sound system, along with my triple 24" LCDs (running EyeFinity of course). In that sense, I am also very interested in people's responses. :)
 

Rob Williams

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Moderator
Since my place has a lack of room, the option to get a decent set of speakers doesn't exist. So for the main PC, I have cheap Logitech X-240's (which actually don't sound too bad). The vast majority of the time, I'd say around 95%, I use my high-end Ultrasone headphones, along with an ASUS Xonar audio card.

I've been clear in the past that I am the furthest thing from being an audiophile, but it doesn't take an audiophile to appreciate the benefits of high-end audio. The music becomes much more real, as does gaming. I couldn't imagine computing with standard audio... it's half of the experience.

For media players, I use foobar2000 when I'm in Windows for music, because it's excellent for reproduction of high-end audio (players like Winamp are not), and for video, I stick to VLC due to its sheer number of customization options.
 

Kougar

Techgage Staff
Staff member
For media players, I use foobar2000 when I'm in Windows for music, because it's excellent for reproduction of high-end audio (players like Winamp are not), and for video, I stick to VLC due to its sheer number of customization options.

Okay, I'm rather curious. Why isn't Winamp suited for high-def media when Foobar2000 is?
 

2Tired2Tango

Tech Monkey
Okay, I'm rather curious. Why isn't Winamp suited for high-def media when Foobar2000 is?

Ever checked the CPU usage on Winamp?

When setting up these ASRock systems as media players for home theatre I tested a number of different softwares... With VLC or Winamp the system stumbled and could not play AVI files with medium bitrates because of very high CPU usage. On the other end of the spectrum MPClassic Home Cinema will play HD Movies even while the hard disk is being defragmented.

Fancy usually comes at a price.

(Now I'm wishing I'd documented the testing... :( )
 

Kougar

Techgage Staff
Staff member
Well, I asked because I could be persuaded there's higher quality handling of the music going on in software... in fact it wouldn't half surprise me. I've tested with some FLACs and Foobar sounds just a tiny bit better, but I almost think it's a default mixer setting somehwere. It also uses only a third of the memory Winamp requires, but I'm not going to quibble over ~20MB. For me Winamp is quicker to use and works better with streaming radio, so I've stuck with it. I'll have to check if Foobar will work with my multimedia keyboard, last time I tried I had problems getting that to work while running 3D games.

2Tired2Tango, I wish you had as well! Sounds to me like it was a driver or some sort of software problem... or perhaps Winamp has changed in the meantime?

Whatever the reason, for me CPU usage on Winamp stays below <1% when playing FLACs or mp3 files. To be completely honest it has not once registered at or above 1%, it's stayed at 0% the entire time I play FLAC and mp3 music files. (Foobar2000 also does the same which is good to see)

 

2Tired2Tango

Tech Monkey
Well, I asked because I could be persuaded there's higher quality handling of the music going on in software...

I may have misinterpreted your question...

"Why isn't Winamp suited for high-def media when Foobar2000 is?"

When I hear "high-def" I tend to think of video.... and responded with that in mind.

Audio, even the high quality "lossless" stuff, is far less demanding and there you can choose your player on features more than anything else.

I tend to favor MPClassic (Home Cinema version) because of it's simplicity and flexibility. I am very fortunate that it also tends to drain the least CPU power as well.
 
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Rob Williams

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Moderator
Kougar said:
Okay, I'm rather curious. Why isn't Winamp suited for high-def media when Foobar2000 is?

I'm not sure if it's still the case today, but years ago, Winamp used to deliver horrible (when compared to better options) audio quality, sometimes even noticeable by the most layman music listener. There were various reasons for this, one being that it layered too many audio-enhancemence options on top of each other that delivered a less-than-stellar result. foobar2000 on the other hand, is as pure as they come in the audio world. The options are simple, as they should be, and the audio quality is fantastic.

Some nice features is that foobar2000 can handle 24/96 super lossless audio (not a real term, but the raw data is between 3x - 4x that of FLAC), and also output to 32-bit audio if the card supports it. Features like this in a free and simple application tend to show that they are targeting the more serious music listener.
 

Doomsday

Tech Junkie
Bought the Logitech G35 7.1 Gaming Headsets!! w00t! gonna try em at night!
me parents were getting fed up of my 4.1s rocking the house so, awesome headsets were :Dneeded!

Maximum GAME!!! :cool:
 

Rob Williams

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Moderator
I'm curious as to your thoughts on those. Surround sound in a gaming headset is usually little more than a marketing ploy, but if done well, it could give off an incredible effect nonetheless, even if it's not "true" surround sound. I am not entirely sold on the ear pieces for those headphones in particular... they don't look very comfortable, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. They're certainly robust, that's for sure.
 

Doomsday

Tech Junkie
I'm curious as to your thoughts on those. Surround sound in a gaming headset is usually little more than a marketing ploy, but if done well, it could give off an incredible effect nonetheless, even if it's not "true" surround sound. I am not entirely sold on the ear pieces for those headphones in particular... they don't look very comfortable, but I'm hoping I'm wrong. They're certainly robust, that's for sure.

have not tried em for HD movies n games but the music sounds AMAZING!!:D

and videos too!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oowJJu-mdEw&feature=rec-HM-fresh+div

at the end of this vid, the headsets shook my entire head with the bass! WOW!!
u were right Rob, a good pair of headsets r totally a different experience! cant wait to try these on COD:MW2 and Batman: AS !!!!!!!!:)
 
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Rob Williams

Editor-in-Chief
Staff member
Moderator
Glad you like them man! I see, I didn't realize they shook as well with the bass. That must be quite the feeling when in the middle of a heated scenario in a game.
 

Psi*

Tech Monkey
all I will say is ...

"HUH? What?" When I think of the hearing effects of headphones. Just being a [email protected] @ss :rolleyes:

But then, I am the guy likes the sound systems that make my internal organs vibrate against each other. Of course there is noooo harm there.:rolleyes:
 

Doomsday

Tech Junkie
played Modern Warfare 2! AWESOOME!! i was like...IN the game! the explosions the environment felt soo real!!

i had the volume on max. so after the Gulag Mission, i had to take a break!! Too much Booms n Kablooeys! lol!

i say, if i play DOOM 3 with these on, i'll surely wet my pants! cause that game used to make me jump out of my seat and i played it like, in 2004 with regular 2.0 speakers!
 

Rory Buszka

Partition Master
Couldn't help myself.

ASUS Xonar D2 sound card (TG reviewed)
NuForce Icon-1 Integrated Amplifier (12 wpc Class-D 2ch, TG reviewed)
NuForce S-1 Speakers (3.5" Titanium-Cone Wideband Drivers, TG reviewed)
Velodyne Impact-Mini Powered Subwoofer (180W RMS, 6.5" active, 8" passive)

Xonar does D/A (192 kHz) and active subwoofer crossover circa 110 Hz. The Icon-1 is cabled with AudioQuest cables (not that I think it makes any noticeable difference) and Cat-5 speaker cables (NuForce-supplied), and the sub is cabled with cheap generic cable. Never any want for loudness - this setup goes as loud and as clean as any PC setup I've ever encountered and then some (including the Razer/THX Mako) but for more money (about $1100 retail altogether). If you really want me to blow the budget, I could 'sub' in my Velodyne MiniVee subwoofer from my main sound system, which goes deeper and cleaner by virtue of its 1000W RMS onboard amp and larger 8" active driver, but that'll add another $400 to ~le bill~.
 
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Merlin

The Tech Wizard
I'm interested in hearing what people use for audio with their computers...

1) Audigy Z2 sound card ( oldie but still good )

2) Klips 5.1 surround system ( Also Triton surround headphones )

3) Window Media Classic ( plays many more formats )


In particular I'm interested in how many people have their computers connected up with high end non-PC audio gear ... stereos, HT audio, etc

Other system is connected optical with Kenwood Surround system

And, for those who feel like commenting... why did you make these choices?

Costs
 

Doomsday

Tech Junkie
I'm interested in hearing what people use for audio with their computers...
In particular I'm interested in how many people have their computers connected up with high end non-PC audio gear ... stereos, HT audio, etc
And, for those who feel like commenting... why did you make these choices?

Costs

1) Creative 5.1 Sound Blaster....(Cheapos! lol!)
2) Creative M4500 Inspire 4.1....i am thinkin of selling these and going for Logitech 5.1 the X-540
(i thought they might be enough for a good audio experience which they r but, i want 5.1s now, proper surround sound not stoopid 4.1!!)
3) Media Player Classic for HD movies. Windows Media Player for TV shows. Winamp for Moosic!
4) Logitech G35 7.1 Surround Sound Headsets.

cant actually feel the 7.1 though! more like 5.1 or 4.1!!
 
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