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Question Does it make sense? Soundcard, DAC, bluetooth, etc...

RuiMarto

Member
Feb 19, 2021
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0
20
Hi all,

I've been struggling with this question for years, but now it's becoming more serious cause I'm getting a new place where I'll have more freedom regarding sound. Also, want to give an honest shot at Deezer HiFi, Tidal, DTS HD and TrueHD, etc.

Hardware summary:
PC with Asus H97-Pro and Intel i5. Realtek on-board, integrated graphics.
Yamaha RX-V371 receiver + Yamaha speakers

Link: PC > HDMI > Receiver > HDMI > TV

Is there any point in getting a dedicated sound card, like an Asus Xonar HDAV or EVGA Nu Audio?
I've read that no because the receiver does the DAC conversion but I also read that only with such sound cards you can output DTS HD or really high bitrate audio to the receiver.
I've also read that I should use HDMI whenever possible, instead of SPDIF (which my PC doesn't have).

My second question is about using my Sony WH1000XM2. Using PC Bluetooth is not amazing, so I'm divided between two options:
a) Avantree DG60 connected to PC, it works only for audio as an external sound card but streams AptX HD which the PC can't.
b) Avantree Oasis or Orbit connected to PC (or receiver or guitar amp) through SPDIF (or 3.5 jack).
I'm guessing B is much more versatile with similar cost and quality... No?

And last, is it even worth it to have my ChromeCast audio connected to the receiver to stream from phone/PC or just use the Avantree Oasis/Orbit in receiver mode?

Lost of questions, I know.
 

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
145
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170
Is there any point in getting a dedicated sound card, like an Asus Xonar HDAV or EVGA Nu Audio?
If you are using your PC as a transport source for Blu-rays from an onboard blu-ray player then no. If you are wanting to encode audio files to a Dolby/DTS lossless standard without using the Reciever to upmix PCM then yes.

I've also read that I should use HDMI whenever possible, instead of SPDIF (which my PC doesn't have).
Not necesssrailly. In your use case if you are gunning for Dolby lossless formats then you will want HDMI. However audio can be transported fine over SPDIF and still be lossless. Embarrassingly, the audio world could take optics much further than they currently have.

My second question is about using my Sony WH1000XM2. Using PC Bluetooth is not amazing, so I'm divided between two options:
a) Avantree DG60 connected to PC, it works only for audio as an external sound card but streams AptX HD which the PC can't.
b) Avantree Oasis or Orbit connected to PC (or receiver or guitar amp) through SPDIF (or 3.5 jack).
I'm guessing B is much more versatile with similar cost and quality... No?
Check what your Reciever and Headphones support and purchase what supports their Bluetooth standards.

If you aren't wandering about, use a cable. You have a 6.3 quater inch to 3.5 adapter that you can put into your Reciever? Ultimately they should be better wired than via bluetooth, and you can just output PCM to your reciever via HDMI. It 'should' be better than onboard sound, but not necessarilly a dedicated soundcard.

And last, is it even worth it to have my ChromeCast audio connected to the receiver to stream from phone/PC or just use the Avantree Oasis/Orbit in receiver mode?
If on phone, Chromecast to the reciever. If using PC, I'd PCM straight to the reciever via HDMI.
 
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RuiMarto

Member
Feb 19, 2021
2
0
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Thank you a lot :) Most informative answer I've gotten so far.
If you are using your PC as a transport source for Blu-rays from an onboard blu-ray player then no. If you are wanting to encode audio files to a Dolby/DTS lossless standard without using the Reciever to upmix PCM then yes.
My goal is to listen to high quality music like Tidal masters and other high quality recordings.
Regarding movies, I don't have Blu-ray player, I either stream or use Plex for my own library. I once got my receiver to show "PCM" but can't remember how.

Not necesssrailly. In your use case if you are gunning for Dolby lossless formats then you will want HDMI. However audio can be transported fine over SPDIF and still be lossless. Embarrassingly, the audio world could take optics much further than they currently have.
I think this won't matter much anyway. My PC and office is in one corner of the living room, and it's actually convenient because the projector needs to be in the same corner to project to the screen, which is in the opposite corner. Only speakers are near the screen. So it makes sense to leave the receiver near the PC and projector, all connected with HDMI and then runner copper cables under the carpet to the speakers (I guess 14 gauge oxygen-free copper should be enough for 10 to 15 meter lengths of cable).

This also takes us to the next point, if receiver is near PC, I can use cable from headphones to receiver while working.
Receiver doesn't have Bluetooth, PC does, only AptX on windows 10. Headphones have LDAC, AptX and AptX HD. :)
 

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