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Connecting MP3 player to a stereo

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
2,556
2
0
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a new hifi for the kitchen and want to hook up an MP3 player to it to avoid having loads of CDs/MP3 discs around.

My quesry is related to connection. Will there be a difference in sound (or signal) quality between connecting via a USB connector or via the conventional aux sockets on the back of most amps ?

I'm wondering if it is worth looking for a unit with a USB connection

Thanks for looking
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Certainly using the headphone socket to connect the mp3 player to the amp sounds absolutely horrible, perhaps you can get a dock for it? although others are knowledgeable than me so shall wait for them to suggest alternatives
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I wouldn't say that connecting via the headphone socket to the amp sounds horrible as such, but I connect my Sony MP3 player with a dock. It keeps it charged and it sounds decent for what it is, so I would go for a dock if your MP3 player has one.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
just my opinion, but the volume suffers, the midrange suffers, the vocals suffer, acoustically it sounds like the music is being strangled, you won't be too impressed but you will know what I mean when you try it.
 

fatboyslimfast

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
158
0
18,590
It rather depends on how much you are spending on the kit for the kitchen.

If it's less than £250 for the unit and speakers, then I don't believe you will hear that much of a difference. The money allocated to a dock would be better spent on better speakers IMO.

If you are looking at a separate amp / speakers totalling around £400 or more, then a dock may be worthwhile.

The USB will allow the unit to use it's own DACs, which may well give better sound. But again, it rather depends on bitrates. If all your songs are ripped/downloaded at 128kbps, then don't worry about it - the headphone/aux option will do you just fine.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Can you connect many mp3 players to a dac from the usb socket I don't think you can on an ipod.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks Fatboyslimfast and all others who replied - your input is appreciated

When you say 'allow the unit to use it's own DACs' do you mean the MP3 player or the amp ? I'm assuming a signal from a USB will be digital and from the MP3 player headphone socket analogue ? Is that correct ? I'm in danger of learning something here !!

I only have a creative MP3 player at minute (hence can't dock) but may get a large capacity ipod in near future, and yes, most of my listening will probably be done from 128kbs MP3 tracks, with the occasional fave CD. I don't think I'll be spending much over the £250 mark.

Another question, don't units like the Lars & Ivan BK21 just have inputs from the mp3 player headphone socket.

You'll have to excuse my ignorance- the last informed, serious hifi purcahse I made was around 20 years ago !

thanks again
 

fatboyslimfast

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
158
0
18,590
This isn't ignorant Donno - you are asking about it, which is the first step to knowledge (if you can count my rantings as knowledge)!!!

If you use the headphone output, you are using the MP3 player's DAC whereas if you use USB (and to clarify, this will only work on players which work as a data storage drive rather than a manager-only a la iPod), you would be using the stereo's DAC.

Personally, I use an iPod Classic with a headphone lead into my Naims, and also into my 2nd system (Technics receiver and Eltax Symphony floorstanding speakers) and the sound is perfectly acceptable.

If you are looking at an iPod, then the Apple Dock for 35 quid is really useful, as it has a remote, connects the iPod to the stereo and charges it at the same time...

If you do get an iPod classic, try ripping your CDs in a higher bitrate (256 AAC or apple lossless) as I think you will hear quite a difference!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks agin for taking the time to reply fatboyslimfast (good monicker, btw !)

I'll probably post later re the lossless compression once I get an ipod ! Of course, the 100's of CD's I've already ripped to mp3 will have to go, but I'll try a few in LAC first

Thanks again
 
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Anonymous

Guest
fatboyslimfast:If you use the headphone output, you are using the MP3 player's DAC whereas if you use USB (and to clarify, this will only work on players which work as a data storage drive rather than a manager-only a la iPod), you would be using the stereo's DAC.
My old (2nd? 3rd?) generation iPod can be configured as a storage drive... is this not still the case with newer models?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
tractorboy:fatboyslimfast:If you use the headphone output, you are using the MP3 player's DAC whereas if you use USB (and to clarify, this will only work on players which work as a data storage drive rather than a manager-only a la iPod), you would be using the stereo's DAC. My old (2nd? 3rd?) generation iPod can be configured as a storage drive... is this not still the case with newer models?

So, in simple terms, does this mean that if you connect an ipod (or other mp3 palyer) via the USB you will only get the benefit of the stereo's DAC if you configure it as a storage device only ? Does this then mean that you then couldn't play the ipod/mp3 player through it's own headphones ?

In this case, the USB port on a stereo is really only beneficial for a stick drive which you put a playlist on ?

I'm now thinking it may just be easier to get a stereo with built in HD ? Any recommendations anyone ?

Thanks
 
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Anonymous

Guest
tractorboy:fatboyslimfast:If you use the headphone output, you are using the MP3 player's DAC whereas if you use USB (and to clarify, this will only work on players which work as a data storage drive rather than a manager-only a la iPod), you would be using the stereo's DAC. My old (2nd? 3rd?) generation iPod can be configured as a storage drive... is this not still the case with newer models?

So, in simple terms, does this mean that if you connect an ipod (or other mp3 palyer) via the USB you will only get the benefit of the stereo's DAC if you configure it as a storage device only ? Does this then mean that you then couldn't play the ipod/mp3 player through it's own headphones ?

In this case, the USB port on a stereo is really only beneficial for a stick drive which you put a playlist on ?

I'm now thinking it may just be easier to get a stereo with built in HD ? Any recommendations anyone ?

Thanks
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The above is all wrong. Configuring an iPod as a storage device will not allow you to use an external DAC. In storage mode, its data transfer, not audio out. eg MP3s are sent as compressed data. The MP3s need to be decoded to a bit stream WAV which is then outputted to the DAC.
 

Johnno2

New member
Feb 2, 2009
45
0
0
would I be able to connect my mp3 player with usb out port (archos 405) directly to a DAC with usb input like the CA dacmagic and hear my mp3 sound better .
 

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