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Is high end computer audio worth it

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May 25, 2010 10:00:10 PM

This thread is an attempt to draw off the discussion of this subject from another thread in the cpu and other component's section. It is therefore open to all opinions, so long as they are defended reasonably.
May 25, 2010 10:09:11 PM

Short Awnser?

No, No it's not.

High end audio setups are very expensive, and they offer no real improvment over what you can get with 50$ speakers and onboard sound.

Some people claim they can "hear the diffrence" but they are realy just delosional.

They are having buyer's remorse over wasting so much cash, so in thier mind they convince themselves that it is better.

And it makes them feel even better about themselves to try to get other people to piss away thier cash much the same way they did thiers, as if having more people do the same silly thing will somehow validate thier useless waste of cash.

In short, High end audio sound the same, just costs more.

Some people convinve themselves that it sounds better to justify buyer's remorse.

I doubt that in a blind test they could iddentify my Low end audio setup from thier super-duper setup.

The only diffrence? My setup is cheaper.
May 25, 2010 10:21:03 PM

I think that an important distinction would be what you are using your setup for. Some different categories would be; flash games, 'real' games, web surfing, cd listening, movie watching, sound recording, professional monitoring. I think that you would increase your budget for at least some of these?
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May 25, 2010 10:23:25 PM

^ Honestly, realy, no.

There's just no tangible/signifgant benifts.

So why pay more for the same?
May 25, 2010 10:30:19 PM

Hmm, well I've spent around $4.5k for speakers, speaker stand, subwoofer, receiver, and power amp.

speakers: Paradigm Signature S2v2
subwoofer: Rythmik Audio F15 servo sub
receiver: onkyo tx-sr805
power amp: d-sonic 1100W ICEPower
stands: steel reinforced, sand filled studiotech

builderbobftw, feel free to fly over to california where I live, I bet you $2k if you think you can't tell the difference in a double blind test. If you lose, you can pay $2k - price of your tickets.
May 25, 2010 10:34:30 PM

So you've paid 4.5K$.

Congrats, thats enough $ to buy 2 of the most awesomest full builds ever.

You wasted every penny.

I'm not flying to californa, why don't you do a blind test you'reself?

It;s not hard, just get one guy to help you.
May 25, 2010 10:37:14 PM

That's what I thought.
May 25, 2010 10:38:51 PM

Even professional monitoring?
edit: oops, I didn't scroll down far enough, I guess you answered that
May 25, 2010 10:41:08 PM

There's no reason to buy anything more expensive than a Ford Pinto. It's just a car, and if anyone claims they can "tell the difference" they are just delusional and pissing away their money.

Oh, and by the way, there's no reason for me to test drive those cars to back up my statement. Why don't you go do it yourself?

Hmm, where's my green font?
May 25, 2010 10:47:43 PM

Hmm I think that it can be worthwhile if you really buy great equipment. In the home theatre department, I've heard pretty standard quality sound varying greatly in price with little difference in actual sound quality. I have a very basic receiver at home with 5.1 sound, and it's a massive step above tv audio, and a good step over 2.1 but it's not tremendous. Then, I heard my uncle's sound system - top end harmon kardon receiver and 6 foot front towers and 5 foot rear towers and a big ass sub, the box was like a coffee table. And yes, you could really, really hear the quality. Of course, that was probably a $15k system. That's way too much for most people to spend, obviously.

Still, comparing my pretty crappy 5.1 system ($300, 300W, plus I bought new center, left, right speakers for about $60) to my dad's system ($1500) it's pretty significant. Crisper, cleaner, bassy-er. With mine I hear sounds "coming from behind me" with my dad's I hear sounds coming from 12.8 feet, 31 degrees to my back left lol. The point is, there is a big difference in sound but you need to be able to spend money on it.

I'd like to have the extra disposable income to spend $1000 on a really nice sound card, receiver and 5.1 speaker set up to use for PC and PS3 but that's just not feasable for me. So, I might go buy the $100 Logitech X-540 5.1 system which will be a really big step over my 2.1 system but to pair a sound card with that will probably be a waste given the onboard high def RealTek audio.
May 25, 2010 10:51:25 PM

Considering sound has the same radiating pattern as photons, that's pretty much like saying you are delusional if you thinking a 180W light bulb is any brighter than a 2W LED.
May 25, 2010 11:06:39 PM

^ Nope.

It's like saying you are delusional if you think a 180W bulb with a 2$ price tag on it is worse than the same exact bulb with a 4.5k$ price tag on it
May 25, 2010 11:06:43 PM

Where do they sell your $50 speakers for $4.5k? In Antarctica?
May 25, 2010 11:09:29 PM

What?

The point is that our sound setups sound the same, the only diffrence is:

1. Max voulume.

2. Angle at wich speakers are mounted.
May 25, 2010 11:10:14 PM

Cool story bro.
May 25, 2010 11:13:07 PM

Well said, wolfram. I'm not an audio expert myself, but I work at a manufacturer of top-of-the-line recording equipment (Cranesong Ltd., if you're curious). I come from the electronics side of the business, not audo, but it still means that I get to hang out with some of the better audio techs from my area. Last week our tech support guy got an e-mail from someone who was praising one of our products, the Avocet, to the sky. He said that he had a bunch of friends who (if I can remember the quote) 'believed that the only pure sound came from electrons sliding along red-hot plates in a vacuum'. He was talking about how he was going to bring the unit home and show them how clean transistors can sound if done right. No, this isn't advertising. If people can hear the difference between tubes and transistors, they can hear the difference between a $50 speaker and a $500 one.
May 25, 2010 11:14:26 PM

Thanks mate.

I'll try to tell it more often.

Buying High end Audio is like buying a Radeon 5770 (Your ears) and a Xeon 12 core (Your ausio setup)

There is no bottleneck becuase the 5770 (ears) wouldn't be able to tell the diffrence in frames (Sound quality) regardless of wtehrer you are using an Athlon x3 (My adudio) or a Xeon 12 core (your audio) becuase the GPU (Ears) is the bottleneck
May 25, 2010 11:22:25 PM

We're all willing to admit that if you say you're ears are like that - I'm sure that some people's are. But we're not willing to admit that about our own.
May 25, 2010 11:27:33 PM

Ok, Fine.

Lets say my ears are a 5770 and your ears are a 5870.

There is still a GPU bottlneck.

And for the record we had a test at my school and my eyesite was in the top 1% and my hearing si in the top 10%. I was so proud!
May 25, 2010 11:35:31 PM

elel said:
This thread is an attempt to draw off the discussion of this subject from another thread in the cpu and other component's section. It is therefore open to all opinions, so long as they are defended reasonably.

Thank You for creating this thread so he can troll here all he wants noone will care here if he kept it up on my thread it was bound to get locked sooner or later.

builderbobftw said:
Thanks mate.

I'll try to tell it more often.

Buying High end Audio is like buying a Radeon 5770 (Your ears) and a Xeon 12 core (Your ausio setup)

There is no bottleneck becuase the 5770 (ears) wouldn't be able to tell the diffrence in frames (Sound quality) regardless of wtehrer you are using an Athlon x3 (My adudio) or a Xeon 12 core (your audio) becuase the GPU (Ears) is the bottleneck

See you are stuck on the performance aspect when we are talking about the quality aspect.

astrallite's setup OMG I can garantee that setup will blow you away and its not about how loud a system can get I can buy a cheap 500 watt amp and hook it up to a cheap woofer and get 160db but thats not what we are talking about we want the quality we want crystal clear highs nice and smooth mid range and lows that just hint on the real thing being rite in front of you. The whole point is to make your audio sound as if the instruments are rite there in the room with you.

You keep talking about graphics cards and processing and bla bla bla you all over the place with your thoughts on this. Some people just can't hear the difference between it and those are the people that dont mind listening to those cheap setups. No one on this thread or on my thread are saying you have to or you need to go out and buy these setups we are just merely trying to educate a few people on what real sound quality is and thats the bottom line. All you are doing is trying to debate about money be better spent else where and well in a perfect world instead of spending 4.5k on a sound system astra would have given 4.5k to a needy family in some 3rd world country but guess what thats his choice to buy those nice expensive things and he gets the pleasure of hearing the most realistic sound you can get.

I have a pair of Paradigm cheaper bookshelf speakers and a center speaker from Paradigm hooked to a Yamaha Receiver and they sound dam good and I paid like 450 for the pair of bookshelf speakers and 400 on the center 10 years ago and they still sound absolutely amazing they are some of the best speakers I have ever heard.
May 25, 2010 11:47:28 PM

Wait, What does "Noone" mean? I saw it twice in that wall on noobitry.

And I never sugested he donate it.

I just think he should spend it on something that would be realy nice, like if likes to game a nice GPU, or a nice moniter, or a nicer car, or 200 12 pack cases of beer.

And stop talking about your precous thred being in danger of being locked. Nobody was going to lock it.

Randomizer was THERE, and he had no problems with the discussion going on there, he most certaintly wasn't going to ban anyone, or, god forbid, lock the thread.
May 26, 2010 12:34:03 AM

builderbobftw said:
Wait, What does "Noone" mean? I saw it twice in that wall on noobitry.

And I never sugested he donate it.

I just think he should spend it on something that would be realy nice, like if likes to game a nice GPU, or a nice moniter, or a nicer car, or 200 12 pack cases of beer.

And stop talking about your precous thred being in danger of being locked. Nobody was going to lock it.

Randomizer was THERE, and he had no problems with the discussion going on there, he most certaintly wasn't going to ban anyone, or, god forbid, lock the thread.

The only reason randomizer stepped in was because I asked him to.
May 26, 2010 12:34:18 AM

If you hang around, you will find that rand is the least of your worries.
May 26, 2010 12:53:06 AM

Why?

THis isn't north korea, I can voice my opinion.

May 26, 2010 1:12:01 AM

LOL not like I am trying to sensor it I just wanted to stay on topic and you just wanted to debate on something that kind of had something to do with my thread. Look everyone has an opinion and freedom of speech is great but it was going a little too far thats all.
May 26, 2010 1:21:15 AM

A story I heard last night: Once upon a time, there was a man who thought he was dead. He would walk only at night, and he frequented graveyards and empty houses, because that's what dead people do. His friends tried everything they could think of to convince him that he was still alive. They talked to him, they fed him, they threw cold water on him. But he was firmly convinced that he was dead, and nothing they did could shake the conviction.
Finally they brought him in to a psychologist. The psychologist talked and analyzed, trying to delve to the root of the problem, but just couldn't get anywhere. Finally he asked the man whether dead men bleed. The delusional person answered that of course they don't, don't be silly! The psychologist got up and walked over to his desk, and came back with a pin. He asked his patient to sit still, so that he could show him that he really wasn't dead. Then the doctor took the pin and pricked the man's hand, and sure enough a drop of blood came out. The man jumped, stared, and then, with a shake of the head said, "Well, wady'a know! Dead men DO bleed!"

Moral: sometimes facts aren't enough to change presuppositions.
May 26, 2010 1:31:17 AM

Could somebody show me some studies/facts that spending more on Audio yields higher audio quality to a signifgant degree?

I would be very aprecitive.

So far nobody has pricked me with the needle yet.

Also, Censor has a C not a S SAAIELLO.

Sensor is like tempature sensor, or a sensor in the brain.

Censor means to well, restrict certain info.
May 26, 2010 1:36:23 AM

The facts that we are pointing out are that virtually all (I would suspect all, but I don't know that) professionals in the field can, yes can tell the difference in sound quality between different setups in the higher value area.
May 26, 2010 1:55:28 AM

There are no facts that support your Radeon 5770 gives you a higher quality gaming experience than a 5400 either, so I don't see why you bought a more expensive GPU for zero benefit.
May 26, 2010 2:02:22 AM

OK, I'll ask at work tomorrow and get an expert opinion, but if that doesn't convince you I don't think there's any point carrying on this debate. To lighten the mood, here's another story I heard.

There once was a rich man, who, after having lived his life in pursuit of wealth, came to be in a hospital with but two weeks to live. So he called his doctor, lawyer, and minister to his bedside and gave them this charge.

"I have worked all my life for the money I have now. I have suffered countless setbacks, bitter opposition, sleepless nights, but I have a great fortune. I have been told since I was a child that I can take nothing with me when I die, but I have decided to prove this wrong. Sirs, here are three envelopes. In each is ten thousand dollars. I ask you, as my trusted advisors, to take one each and promise that when I am dead, and they are burying me, you will throw these envelopes onto my coffin, that the dirt that buries me may also intern some of what I have gained."

The promises were duly given and the envelopes received, and two weeks later the three men found themselves talking together next to a fresh grave.

The minister had been looking uncomfortable for some time, and finally broke out and said, "I, well I just can't keep this to myself anymore. I'm dreadfully sorry, but I really needed a thousand dollars for my Church's food shelf. I thought that the money would do so much more good there than in our friend's grave, so I just took it out of my envelope, and now I feel terrible."

The doctor looked relieved and said, "Well, I'm sure glad that you said that, Reverend, because you see I needed some money myself. You both know about the children's hospital I'm building, and you've been very generous I'm sure, but I was still about five thousand dollars short, and I took it out of the envelope, and only threw in half of what I was given."

"Gentlemen," said the lawyer, "I am ashamed of both of you. I threw in my personal check for the entire amount!"
May 26, 2010 2:06:29 AM

astrallite said:
There are no facts that support your Radeon 5770 gives you a higher quality gaming experience than a 5400 either, so I don't see why you bought a more expensive GPU for zero benefit.

You are committing a red herring fallacy there by switching the topic of debate from sound to graphics cards.
May 26, 2010 2:27:10 AM

elel said:
You are committing a red herring fallacy there by switching the topic of debate from sound to graphics cards.


Am I? builderbobftw was using video cards repeatably for his argument. By the way, that's a brilliant Republican-style rebuttal. You would make John McCain proud.
May 26, 2010 3:19:53 AM

I'm sorry I didn't hold him to good logical standards on the other thread - I didn't want to complicate it any further. BTW, as long as I'm on the topic of logic and debate techniques, comparing myself to Mr. McCain (whom I assume you despise) is a transfer propaganda technique. Just because someone you don't like does something it doesn't automatically make it wrong. Not that I particularly mind, it just doesn't mean anything.
May 26, 2010 4:46:46 AM

I love how all he can say is show me like its possible to show sound lol. And then he corrects my spelling.

I know the difference between sensor and censor but when some noob like you comes around sporting your fake as hell veteran badge talking all this smack gets me not thinking all to straight and my fingers just start flying. I use the word sensor alot and so thats what I typed. I really wish that trolls like you could just get banned you have no real input on this site all you do is troll and ask dumb questions. I mean anyone that is veteran should at least have 6 badges you dont even have one real badge. You have shown absolutely nothing to show me on this site that you know anything at all except how to troll.

You really are not worth even arguing with because you lack any real concept of anything technical. Now go back to your mommies basement and go back to playing with your "nice-ish" computer and go troll somewhere else. You would fit in perfect over at one of those gaming forums, you would probably fit right in with the rest of the noobs that think all a computer does is play games.
May 26, 2010 7:26:36 PM

astrallite said:
There are no facts that support your Radeon 5770 gives you a higher quality gaming experience than a 5400 either, so I don't see why you bought a more expensive GPU for zero benefit.


yes there are.

I can show you countless charts of the 5770 pulling more frames at higher settings than the 5450.

So notice how with Graphics unlike sound, you auctually get better quality products by paying more.
May 26, 2010 7:43:46 PM

saaiello said:
Now go back to your mommies basement and go back to playing with your "nice-ish" computer and go troll somewhere else. You would fit in perfect over at one of those gaming forums, you would probably fit right in with the rest of the noobs that think all a computer does is play games.


I love how I try to have an educated disscusion and you just jump in here and troll me, and then call ME a troll.

Look whos talking.

DO one of the flowing:

1. Jion in the convo in a helpfull manor.

2. Bugger off.
May 26, 2010 10:44:30 PM

The sound can only be as good as the source recording it starts with
May 26, 2010 11:56:13 PM

^ Good point.


But an "Audiophile" has its ways of "maximing sound qauilty" though "diffrent sound formats"
May 27, 2010 12:22:32 AM

builderbobftw said:
I love how I try to have an educated disscusion and you just jump in here and troll me, and then call ME a troll.

Look whos talking.

DO one of the flowing:

1. Jion in the convo in a helpfull manor.

2. Bugger off.

lol, you'd better not correct people's spelling for awhile after that post!
May 27, 2010 12:30:15 AM

I never correct spelling, only grammer.

My spelling is horrid cuase i type at 120 words per minute, and dont use a spellcheck
May 27, 2010 12:57:00 AM

Well, that's a good reason.
May 27, 2010 7:05:32 AM

builderbobftw said:
yes there are.

I can show you countless charts of the 5770 pulling more frames at higher settings than the 5450.

So notice how with Graphics unlike sound, you auctually get better quality products by paying more.


Higher end speakers have lower THD, lower IMD, more linear frequency response, faster impulse response and wider dispersion.

You claim there is no proof there are better speakers asside from growing louder. Your basis is none of the measured values of loudspeakers mean anything and therefore, anybody who spends money improving these meaningless statistics are deluded and wasting their money. So let me ask you, how does faster frames prove you are getting better quality? This is a very easy question of semantics. Framerate is a nominal statistic, it doesn't prove one product is better than the other, just that the two cards pull different nominal values--I'm using your logic here.

How can you PROVE one is better than the other? How does a framerate graph does prove one is better than the other? It only proves that you think it is better, and by the way (again, using your reasoning), I can easily say that you and anybody who agrees with you that a higher framerate is better is deluded and wasting his money. Apparently all you need to do, is to make a sweeping statement backed by no evidence and all detractors are instantly discredited.

Your whole argument boils down to better = "builderbobftw think its better." In your world, nobody can prove to anybody that one thing is better than the other. In your world, I can say a framerate graph doesn't prove anything about video cards. If you tell me my argument on video cards is flawed, then you are actually contradicting your own position on audio. Sorry, but you can't have it both ways.
May 27, 2010 7:46:33 PM

^

Framerates to Sound is apples to oranges.


The diffrence is that playing with higher detail settings/higher fraemrates is a perceptibel diffrence, therfore I understand paying more for it.

Of course you can't see the diffrence bewteen 300 frames and 30000 frames, or bewteen my sound and high end sound setups.

But you can see the diffrence bewteen 8aa and 4aa
May 27, 2010 9:05:34 PM

Here is a link to a podcast which I think takes care of the problem very well, and is done by experts in the field. Skip to about minute 56 and start listening there if you want only relevant material. It's only about 15 mins, let me know what you think. (in future weeks in case the link doesn't go to the same place I am referring to number 22)

http://twit.tv/htg22
May 27, 2010 10:19:33 PM

I bought a Klipsch Proaudio 4.1 system some 6 years ago and have enjoyed it since - great for music as well as immersive gaming, with the surround speakers and a pretty good subwoofer. But that's about as much as I would spend on a computer-only setup. Now I have a midrange HT 7.1 setup with an Onkyo TX-SR607 AV receiver, Klipsch RB-10 reference bookshelf speakers plus Klipsch Synergy Quintet 3 HTPC surround & center speakers, and a Klipsch SW-350 subwoofer. As you can tell, I favor Klipsch speakers :p .

Anyway, I am in the process of putting together a gaming build and probably a NAS to go with a PS3 console that incidently has an excellent BD player built-in. The Onkyo receiver got panned in the reviews for a mediocre upscaler but the PS3 has one good enough (for DVDs) that I bypass the Onkyo's. And of course BD doesn't need no stinkin' upscaling to 1080P :D .

For the video, I have a Pioneer Kuro Elite 50" plasma that is quite noticeably better than my Sony XBR4 LCD set that it replaced.

Anyway, so now I have console gaming, PC gaming/music/video and HT movies/audio all making use of a decent audio setup, which obviously I think was worth the the ~$1200 it cost.

And the Onkyo has 4 more HDMI inputs waiting for other components to connect to :) ..
May 27, 2010 10:34:37 PM

fazers_on_stun said:
I think was worth the the ~$1200 it cost.



My mind has been blown.

Realy?

That's 2 5970s.

That's a car.

That's a entire sick PC.

That's 1,000 bottles of beer.

That's 60 grams of herion.

You really think it was worth all that cash? Is it THAT diffrent?
May 28, 2010 12:22:39 AM

Dear delusional no-nothing moron a.k.a. builderbobftw.

Please, PLEASE post your diarrhetic dribble you're spouting off over at the Hydrogen Audio forums so I can watch you get ripped apart by people that have a properly functioning brain between their ears.

Honestly I'm still laughing at this
builderbobftw said:
High end audio setups are very expensive, and they offer no real improvment over what you can get with 50$ speakers and onboard sound.


And seeing as you're such a smartarse...
builderbobftw said:
Also, Censor has a C not a S SAAIELLO.

builderbobftw said:
I never correct spelling, only grammer.


Really? You never correct spelling? What the f*** is that then? And not only that you even spelt grammar wrong LOL!

And my absolute favourite part of your incoherent rambling...
builderbobftw said:
My spelling is horrid cuase i type at 120 words per minute

No wonder nothing of what you say makes sense, you're brain clearly can't keep up with rational thinking.
May 28, 2010 12:31:22 AM

Wow, this thread is about to be locked. At least it served it's purpose.
!