audyssey media speakers

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by dmak, May 17, 2013.

  1. dmak

    dmak Master Guru

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    http://www.audyssey.com/products/media-speakers

    I have a set of these and am quite enjoying them via the optical out from my motherboard. I am contemplating getting a sound card with a better analogue out to power these speakers instead. thoughts?
     
  2. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    I have heard good reports about the creative z series soundcards :) Or there are also a number of great cards in the ASUS range :)

    regards,
    RagDoll.
     
  3. yasamoka

    yasamoka Ancient Guru

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    Budget?
     
  4. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Theres little point getting a sound card unless you only want the soundcards features.
    The improved analogue sound quality output from a better soundcard wont be used as the sound is converted back to digital again inside the speakers.
    It could actually be a detriment to quality because you are putting the audio through and extra DAC and an ADC.
    (assuming the analogue input is still processed by Audyssey, otherwise this feature of the speakers is wasted)


    What makes these speakers special is the Audyssey EQing/correction built in, but this only works in the digital domain, it isnt analogue.
    Optical in will be your best option.

    If you want a quality optical in, your speakers may be good enough to sound better with an audiophile grade USB to optical converter.
    They arent cheap though!
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2013

  5. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    Muff, there is analog audio input aswell as optical, via 3.5mm cable :)

    regards,
    RagDoll.
     
  6. dmak

    dmak Master Guru

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    I am likely getting a sound card anyway for other reasons. I've been looking around trying to figure out how the sound processing is done on these speakers to figure out if it is worth moving over to the analogue input of a decent sound card instead of the optical out.

    Are all optical outs made equal? Currently I am just using the one on the motherboard, but I do plan on getting the ZxR and that also has an optical out.

    I'm trying to get the best out of what I have (and will have) and having both of these inputs available on these speakers is making the choices hard!

    Anyone played with the optical/analogue in on the ZxR? I've been wanting to get a record player but dont want to move to a receiver and book shelf speakers so the ZxR seemed a good way to blend old school records with my modern computer based audio setup.
     
  7. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    If he uses analogue in 1 of 2 scenarios will occur: I'm not sure which will occur, but neither is desirable.

    1) Audyssey being a digital sound processing tech wont be applied to analogue.
    This wastes one of the major points of this speaker.

    2) The analogue (converted from digital by the soundcards DAC) has to be converted back to digital again through the speakers ADC to be processed by Audyssey, and then through another DAC to be fed to the speakers internal amp.
    So the sound goes through an added ADC, anlogue connections/wiring and another DAC, meaning the quality of the analogue sound from the soundcard will be reduced and then fed into a different DAC which will control the final quality, but with an already mutilated signal.
    This can be avoided if the soundcard feeds digital audio to the speakers.

    Either way, to best use this speaker it should be fed via optical.
     
  8. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    This is desirable because it then uses the soundcards DAC which will have it's own special qualities that will produce the sound, much better than audyssey :) Which makes it no different than any other set of speakers going through analog, the soundcards DAC :)
     
  9. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    No they are not all equal, but it takes some good hifi kit to reveal the differences, I dont know if these speakers (and their processing, DAC and amp) will be able to show them up. Any one of those could stand in the way.
    You also need to care about it, you may not be bothered by the difference, it will likely still sound nice, but will be less well defined.

    If you want to use a record player and are getting a decent one, it is best fed directly to a good amplifier with short good quality analogue leads.
    Otherwise the major point of vinyl (quality) will be reduced.
    Records have reduced dynamic range compared to CDs, so once you have reduced the quality of a record as well, it will likely not be as good as the CD.
    (unless the CD is a particularly bad recording)
     
  10. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    Each DAC puts its own imperfections on the sound, they dont improve the sound.
    They are defined by how less they reduce quality.
    Also an ADC adds imperfections too.

    You only want to feed the sound through one DAC and definitely not through an ADC, especially if its isnt studio quality.

    The DAC output being fed to the speakers amplifier is not from the soundcard, it is from the internal DAC in the speakers.
    This is what will define the sound quality.
    But if you put spoiled audio in, you cant get that quality back, so it wont matter how good that DAC is because the quality is already reduced.


    edit:
    If the analogue isnt put through Audyssey and is fed straight to the amp inside the speakers, then it is a bit of a waste using these speakers.
    Their major selling point is the Audyssey correction and EQ system.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2013

  11. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    The only part that I was referring to was the point in your edit... Why were you discussing the optical part of your point, which I know gets fed to the speakers internal DAC?

    If he indeed does go analog, why would it be any different whether they are Audyssey speakers or any old speakers? It wouldn't be, which is why they provide analog connectivity on this speaker system. The Soundcards DAC would be much better than the Audyssey features anyway :)
     
  12. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    I'm trying to cover all the bases, its easy to miss a point, the op isnt wise to these technologies.

    These speakers shine because of the Audyssey tech used in them, it is their major selling point.
    Audyssey can do some quite superb things.

    Its unknown at the moment if Audyssey is applied to the analogue input, if it is, it will be much worse than using optical.
    If it isnt, its a sad waste of the speakers main selling point.
    He may be able to get better analogue speakers/amp for the money.

    I'm not trying to argue with you :)
    Just trying to make it clearer for the op
     
  13. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    I see your point, and I'm not arguing, just saying that they don't provide analog for nothing. Yes, the Audyssey special effects won't be applied, which is a feature of these particular speakers, but remember, he already has these speakers, so getting a hundred dollar SB z card and running it through analog would probably still be the best option imo :)
     
  14. Mufflore

    Mufflore Ancient Guru

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    My feeling is that these speakers need Audyssey in use to get the best out of them.
    I'd put a wager on it :)
    The claims made for these speakers in reviews seem unrealistic without some form of signal processing.
    I dont think they will perform as well without the correction and EQ systems.

    We dont know the quality of the DAC and analogue circuits used inside these speakers.
    Even if the SB Z has the better DAC and the analogue input doesnt use Audyssey, the above statement still applies so they likely still wont sound as good unfortunately.
    This is opinion though because the facts arent fully known yet.
     
  15. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    I agree that it's not fully known until we get some feedback of this exact speaker system used through a 3.5mm cable , coming from a decent soundcard :)

    regards,
    RagDoll.
     

  16. dmak

    dmak Master Guru

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    from the motherboard the 3.5 in sounded HEAVily processed, way to much "boom". The digital in was much more neutral. I also turned off processing the motherboard was doing to the optical out. I still do want a soundcard, once i have it i'll pass on my opinion of what it sounds like via the 3.5 versus the optical. I'll also inquire further to audessy what exactly they are doing in terms of dac inside the speakers.

    I dont have the speakers atm (had to RMA them due to the audio in not wokring) and they said to me " Based on the description of failure being located with the analog and optical input we have replace the input board." So the 3.5 and optical sound like they share the same circuitry.... anyway, less speculation is better on my part, I'll do a bit of research.
     
  17. RagDoll_Effect

    RagDoll_Effect Ancient Guru

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    That's to be expected, the Motherboard audio is nowhere near as good as a soundcard, so no surprise there... When you do get the soundcard, be sure to write back with the results. :)

    regards,
    RagDoll.
     

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