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ASUS Xonar D2 S/PDIF vs. Onboard S/PDIF Quality

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October 19, 2009 9:57:45 AM

Hi!

I bought ASUS Xonar D2 soundcard, for my Logitech 5.1 speakers, to get the best possible sound quality. The soundcard cost quite much for me, $179.99!

Now, the Logitech 5.1 speakers broke up and I decided to bought and move to HiFi 5.1 Surround system with amplifier, as replacement. To get the real 5.1 Surround sound, for games, movies etc., from soundcard and amplifier, seems to be S/PDIF OUT, am I right?

ASUS Xonar D2:
http://www.9final.com/computer/images/product_20082/asu...

Onboard Soundcard (MSI P55-GD65):
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/motherboards/2009/09/1...
http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/msi_p55gd65/7.h...

Amplifier (JVC RX-5060):
http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/400000...


The question:

Will there be notable difference in sound quality, through S/PDIF with coaxial cable, using either high-end ASUS Xonar D2 OR MSI's onboard sound? Or, will it be the same due to digital signal? Should I consider selling my Xonar D2, because I don't need those analog connections anymore? :/ 


All answers much really appreciated, thanks!
a b Ĉ ASUS
October 19, 2009 12:41:04 PM

The D2 is by far greater then onboard.

As for SPDIF, is a digital format, so you generally lose some of the extremes for each end of an audio stream (Eg; sounds tend to be ever so slightly flatter), but you generally have a clearer overall signal (less signal noise) compared to analog.

In the end, it comes down to the speakers themselves. I have both 5.1 analog and 5.1 digital speakers, and on my D2, the digital speakers win easily in terms of quality.
October 19, 2009 1:06:18 PM

Yeah, I know the D2 is a superb sound card and far greater than the onboard one. I have 4 x Canton CD-10 and 1 x CD-20 speakers.

BUT, I was thinking that is there any sound quality difference between S/PDIF, digital signal, Xonar D2 vs. Onboard one?
I have heard that when you connect:

- Digitally (S/PDIF) = amplifier "does the job"
- Analogically = soundcard "does the job".

Correct me, if I'm wrong...

Thanks!


Related resources
October 23, 2009 6:52:27 PM

1. Digital out (S/PDIF) = the DAC stage of a Pre/Pro or Reciever does the work
Analog out = the DAC stage of soundcard does the work

2 if you say play a movie that is has a DTS or DD sound track there is no different between the either S/PDIFs, because the same data is just passed-through untouched.

3. the difference will come if they up-sample the say PCM from a CD from 44.1/16 to 48/24 or to 96/24 but no difference if they let it get passed-through.


4. You paid for the audio processing that the Xonar D2 can do but if you can not heard a difference sell it.
October 26, 2009 7:43:39 PM

Finally, the answer/answers I was looking for!

So, I thought right, as you said in 2. Yeah, I think I'm going to sell my Xonar D2. The features are quite same in motherboard's Realtek® ALC889 as in Xonar D2... So, no idea to use such expensive sound card when using digital output (S/PDIF).

Thanks Jaakan!
May 15, 2012 4:29:46 PM

olkka said:
Finally, the answer/answers I was looking for!

So, I thought right, as you said in 2. Yeah, I think I'm going to sell my Xonar D2. The features are quite same in motherboard's Realtek® ALC889 as in Xonar D2... So, no idea to use such expensive sound card when using digital output (S/PDIF).

Thanks Jaakan!


I'm not sure, if he is true.

As digital output is no more corrected in external DAC, it will make differance, if something can emit zeros and 1's in more accurate timings. Every little differance will count.

I'm not sure, if digital out in onboard audio is same quality as in Xonar D2. I have never tested it, but from my assumption, I would say, that NO. There WILL be differance, although, questionable is, how much.
I would say, that for sure, such expensive card is little overkill to just digital out. Maybe digital out in cheaper XOnar, for example D1, would make same job, for less money. I would suggest to send e-mail to Asus, if there is differance between Onboard S/pdif vs Xonar D1 vs Xonar D2.
!