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Old 11-19-2014, 07:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Is There a Way to Get Audiophile Sound From My PC?

I wasn’t sure if this is the right thread for this but couldn’t find a more appropriate one.

I have a Sony STR-DH830 home theater stereo receiver and an older Macintosh 1700 45 watt per channel amplifier/tuner, both of which provide audiophile quality sound. Recently, I have been using my computer more and more for listening to CD’s, Hi quality radio, computer music files and online streaming music /video sources.

While the sound I get on my computer is very good quality, it’s obviously not the same quality as the sound from my AV equipment when using the same headphones (Sennheiser). My computer is an ordinary Dell Inspiron 560 desktop with 8GB ram and 2.2 Ghz processing speed and running Windows 7. Is there any way I can get similar audiophile sound on my current Dell by adding a particular sound card?

If so, which one and if not and I have to get a different computer, which one? Another idea would be to move my MAC 1700 over to the computer and use the amplifier portion of it for playing back the audio from my computer. Is there a way that could be done? Even if there is though, I would think it would still be limited to the audio quality coming out of the computer itself. I could easily do that however since I still would have the Sony STR-DH830 for my home theater system.

Right now, I just use my 22” HD PC monitor for video and am mostly interesting in upgrading the audio on this computer. That's more important to me than upgrading the video although I can certainly do both. I already have an HDTV though and am not looking for another one of those. I am simply interested in something that I can use to listen to high quality music while working at my computer and while using my regular HD computer monitor. Thanks for any feedback.

Last edited by Scott_111; 11-19-2014 at 09:40 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:14 AM
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Using HDMI, digital coax or optical (toslink) would be a bit-perfect copy of the source and not require a high end sound card. The cheapest sound or video card you can find with any of those outputs will work fine. Use LAV filters or similar for decoding.

There are some good options in this thread:

Problems with Toslink (optical) from HTPC to AVR

Last edited by mdavej; 11-20-2014 at 06:31 AM.
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Old 11-20-2014, 06:29 AM
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It looks like the Inspiron 560 and Sony AVR both have HDMI ports, so that would be the easiest option. Connect them and select the Sony as the sound playback device in the windows sound control panel. That way, the Sony is doing the sound processing. See for a setup guide.
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Old 11-21-2014, 05:26 AM
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I have a USB (Musical Fidelity V-Link) running off my "Music Server PC" . It sends a 24/96 PCM out either coax or Toslink to my AVR. I have compared both it with both SPDIF, and HDMI output, and the sound is much cleaner and more detailed. Those V links were pretty pricy at the time (2 years ago) but you may find a deal on a similar setup. The key is asynchronous usb DAC
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