Overclock.net › Forums › Consumer Electronics › Home Audio › Laptop Soundcard?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Laptop Soundcard?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I sold my desktop and moved to a laptop, but I still own a pair of HD555s and want to listen to good quality music.

Is it possible to buy an external soundcard for my laptop, or would it not matter since the original source is still my laptop's onboard?

Is there no way to have a good source if you have a laptop and not a desktop?
Gaming Desktop
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ Stock FTM GA-H77M MSI 6950 2GB 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
256GB SSD Boot 5TB External 2TB External 1TB External 
OSMonitorPowerMouse
Windows 8 Acer 27in Corsair 650w G502 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming Desktop
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ Stock FTM GA-H77M MSI 6950 2GB 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
256GB SSD Boot 5TB External 2TB External 1TB External 
OSMonitorPowerMouse
Windows 8 Acer 27in Corsair 650w G502 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 8
You can have a USB soundcard - IMO I'm not sure that you'll actually hear a difference

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100009293%20600011978&IsNodeId=1&name=USB
The Laptop
(6 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7 2860QM AMD Radeon HD 6770M Corsair Vengence 1600MHz Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 
OSMonitor
Mac OS X 10.8 1680 x 1050 anti-glare high resolution  
  hide details  
Reply
The Laptop
(6 items)
 
  
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel i7 2860QM AMD Radeon HD 6770M Corsair Vengence 1600MHz Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 
OSMonitor
Mac OS X 10.8 1680 x 1050 anti-glare high resolution  
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 8
You can have an external DAC via USB

If you want a portable soundcard, get a FiiO E7. That has sound quality similar to a xonar DX for around $90, and it acts as a headphone amp when disconnected from your computer. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E7-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B003E6K1VK/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1313626787&sr=8-4"]Amazon.com: FiiO E7 USB DAC and Portable Headphone Amplifier (Black): Electronics[/ame]

If you really want hardcore audiophile sound, there are a ton of usb DACs, but they are not nearly as portable. Look at the cambridge audio dac magic as an example.

Also, Asus is working on their first external DAC, the essence one. it isnt released yet, but there is a news article on it here http://www.everythingusb.com/asus-xonar-essence-one-21293.html

as to the above, there will DEFINITELY be a sound difference. Onboard sound, especially on laptops, is run off of a super cheap and unrefined DAC, to save money.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
I don't really need portability. I have an mp3 player for that. I just want to be able to replicate my old desktop setup, in that I have the ability to sit down with my headphones at my desk and have high quality audio.

So, despite a laptop's bad onboard, a USB dac will bypass that and increase the quality?

Again, I don't mind it being big and hard to carry around, just as long as it does my HD555s justice, and doesn't break the bank (<$150).
Gaming Desktop
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ Stock FTM GA-H77M MSI 6950 2GB 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
256GB SSD Boot 5TB External 2TB External 1TB External 
OSMonitorPowerMouse
Windows 8 Acer 27in Corsair 650w G502 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming Desktop
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ Stock FTM GA-H77M MSI 6950 2GB 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
256GB SSD Boot 5TB External 2TB External 1TB External 
OSMonitorPowerMouse
Windows 8 Acer 27in Corsair 650w G502 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWolfe;14622235 
I don't really need portability. I have an mp3 player for that. I just want to be able to replicate my old desktop setup, in that I have the ability to sit down with my headphones at my desk and have high quality audio.

So, despite a laptop's bad onboard, a USB dac will bypass that and increase the quality?

Again, I don't mind it being big and hard to carry around, just as long as it does my HD555s justice, and doesn't break the bank (<$150).

Exactly, a usb dac has nothing to do with the onboard sound.

For a setup that doesnt break the bank, i would look at a tianyung zero DAC for around $100 on ebay
DSCF0345_resize.jpg
or a fiio e7, which can later be docket in an E9 to power high impedance headphones up to 600 ohms (the current maximum).

fiio_e7_e9_01.jpg

either one of those will do justice to your 555s. If you want more improvement, check out the 555 to 595 mod.

http://mikebeauchamp.com/misc/sennheiser-hd-555-to-hd-595-mod/
post #6 of 8
The Fiio E7 is far more portable lols. Go for the E7.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, two more questions then:

1. Since the E7 is more portable, does that mean it's not a good as the larger one? Or are they very similar?

2. If I were to one day go back to desktop and buy a soundcard, would that make the E7 useless, or can it be used in addition?
Gaming Desktop
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ Stock FTM GA-H77M MSI 6950 2GB 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
256GB SSD Boot 5TB External 2TB External 1TB External 
OSMonitorPowerMouse
Windows 8 Acer 27in Corsair 650w G502 
  hide details  
Reply
Gaming Desktop
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5 2500k @ Stock FTM GA-H77M MSI 6950 2GB 8GB 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
256GB SSD Boot 5TB External 2TB External 1TB External 
OSMonitorPowerMouse
Windows 8 Acer 27in Corsair 650w G502 
  hide details  
Reply
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheWolfe;14629850 
Ok, two more questions then:

1. Since the E7 is more portable, does that mean it's not a good as the larger one? Or are they very similar?

2. If I were to one day go back to desktop and buy a soundcard, would that make the E7 useless, or can it be used in addition?

1: they are fairly similar, with the zero dac probably being slightly better. The e7 has the portable headphone amp function and can be docked in an e9, and I would get it for that reason.

If you get something better than a xonar dx, like a titanium hd or st(x), I would use them as a dac. Anything else would probably be worse or the same, with a sound card having positional advantages in gaming. And even if you get a better dac, it functions as a good portable amp and can drive two headphones simulatenously.

Sent from my rooted and overclocked Droid 2 Global smile.gif
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Home Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Consumer Electronics › Home Audio › Laptop Soundcard?