Source or Monitor for Best Quality from Speakers?
I have a pair of bookshelf speakers that I have hooked up to an amplifier that's usually connected to my desktop via an auxiliary cable. However, I'm trying to use them for my Xbox 360 and since my Xbox 360 doesn't have an auxiliary cable jack, I just hooked them up to my monitor. Now I'm wondering, will this in some way reduce sound quality in having my speakers hooked up to the monitor rather than the source, i.e. the Xbox 360? And could someone explain why or why not this is the case? Thanks!
sound output is sound output... doesn't matter which wire it goes thru... unless u want to believe the people that sells the 'super' wire for an outrageous price. maybe if the connection is thin aluminum wire it may cause excessive impedance. if u want the best quality audio source, spend your money on a better sound card or audio interface.
i've heard of issues with the headphone jack in monitors where it has caused distortion while in other cases it has worked perfectly fine. if you are having issues they should be rather easy to spot (crackling, popping, static, etc).
unfortunately what was stated above isnt quite true. not all cables, connectors and equipment is the same. while i agree there is no need for anything outrageous there is certainly a difference between "junk that doesnt work" and something "good enough". not all monitors have the same dac inside. some might be good, some might be junk. some monitors have a grounding or electrical interference issue, some dont. you can tell rather easily if its junk or if its good enough though by listening to it.
if you do not feel comfortable using your monitor output you could always get a hdmi sound extractor. this takes your hdmi signal, pulls off a left and right rca (red+white) female input and then sends the signal along to your monitor or tv. basically its a cheap DAC (digital analog converter). the left and right (red+white) can then be connected to your amplifier. they are normally only $20-30.
if you wanted something better quality yet you could get a hifi DAC with hdmi input/output but i dont think that will be necessary at all.
Thanks for the responses. I don't have any popping or crackling or anything, so I think it's fine. Still, I'm a bit paranoid and would rather have my audio connected to the source, but it's annoying to constantly switch my aux from my desktop to my monitor all the time, so I'll probably get an S/PDIF cable and hook that up to my amplifier.
I don't believe so, but excuse me if I mix up the terminology. I have a Lepai amplifier connected to two bookshelves and I think I want to connect an S/PDIF cable from the back of my Xbox 360 into an S/PDIF-to-RCA adapter which I would think connect to the red and white RCA inputs on the back of my amplifier.
you could use a spdif to rca adapter but it would need to have a dac (to convert digital optical into analog composite r+w)
pretty much it accomplishes what the unit i sugested does (a hdmi audio extractor) but instead of pulling it from the hdmi stream it pulls it from the optical output instead. in fact most of these units have both a hdmi and an optical input.
your choice as to which you want to use.