Improving sound quality on a laptop

xBanzai89

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Thinking of buying a xmas gift for a friend to improve the sound quality of their laptop. Looking to keep this under $60, but when spend a few extra bucks if its worthwhile. My friend mostly just listens to music on a laptop and playing the occasional game with headphones. I have been searching the webs for solutions and I am seeing usb sound cards, dac, amps, and amp/dac combos as possibilities. Totally getting lost in all this, be great to get some recommendations as to what I should do. Thanks in advance.
 

Mchart

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You aren't going to hear much better from the integrated audio on your laptop if those are the headphones you have.

You'd be better off saving for better headphones.
 

jmilcher

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A cheapclow end USB DAC would possibly improve by simple increasing noise source isolation. But sound reproduction will vastly improve with some nice cans.
 

atarione

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well ordering for ebay china / hk sellers this close to xmas may result in disappointment as the delivery window for that e10 may or may not make it in time for xmas.


but no matter $76~ amazon (prime eligible)

http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E10-USB-...=UTF8&qid=1386535030&sr=1-1&keywords=fiio+e10


that E10 would be good

there is also this cheap option (I own one of these and they sound really good) $30 Behringer UCA222

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA222-U-Control-Ultra-Low-Downloadable/dp/B0023BYDHK/ref=pd_cp_MI_0

i have also heard nothing but good stuff about this $50 dac

http://www.amazon.com/HiFiMeDIY-Dig...e=UTF8&qid=1386535181&sr=1-7&keywords=usb+dac


and over budget but this thing gets much love as well $99 (had a huge fan base at it previous $199 price point) AudioQuest Dragonfly

http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-DragonFly-Digital-Converter-Version/dp/B00882U782/ref=pd_cp_MI_3


however the E10 is probably what I'd get them (as it looks the nicest from a giving a gift perspective) and has good functionality for the laptop / headphone user.

I do not own a E10 but I own a E07K/ E09K and a Fiio E11 their stuff works well and has a nice price point generally in my experience.
 

atarione

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I don't want to delve to deeply into the bose hate... mainly because I don't have it .. their stuff can sound alright if rather overpriced frequently.

if you wanted you could get them new headphones instead i guess

I just got these on a cybermonday deal (shipping to me about 2 days total from HK) Takstar HD5500... I got mine for $64 (they are $74~ now) they come with free headphone stand and brainwavz headphone case also)

http://www.mp4nation.net/takstar-hi2050-hifi-monitor-headphones-1


I own a fair number of headphones

(DT770, ATH-M50,Shure 440, Pioneer SE-A1000, JVC HA-RX700 (great bargain headphones at $30 some) and a could vintage cans as well.

these new Takstar's impress with the SQ and portability (removable cord and lighter weight making them more travel friendly than my ATH-M50's

but if your friend needs portable ~ish headphones these or the AudioTechnia ATH-M50's (or shure 440 or Sony MDR-V6 or 7506) might make a great gift as well.
 

xBanzai89

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You aren't going to hear much better from the integrated audio on your laptop if those are the headphones you have.

You'd be better off saving for better headphones.

A cheapclow end USB DAC would possibly improve by simple increasing noise source isolation. But sound reproduction will vastly improve with some nice cans.

Hmm that is what I was afraid of. I wasn't sure if those type of headphones would benefit much.


well ordering for ebay china / hk sellers this close to xmas may result in disappointment as the delivery window for that e10 may or may not make it in time for xmas.


but no matter $76~ amazon (prime eligible)

http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E10-USB-...=UTF8&qid=1386535030&sr=1-1&keywords=fiio+e10


that E10 would be good

there is also this cheap option (I own one of these and they sound really good) $30 Behringer UCA222

http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-UCA222-U-Control-Ultra-Low-Downloadable/dp/B0023BYDHK/ref=pd_cp_MI_0

i have also heard nothing but good stuff about this $50 dac

http://www.amazon.com/HiFiMeDIY-Dig...e=UTF8&qid=1386535181&sr=1-7&keywords=usb+dac


and over budget but this thing gets much love as well $99 (had a huge fan base at it previous $199 price point) AudioQuest Dragonfly

http://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-DragonFly-Digital-Converter-Version/dp/B00882U782/ref=pd_cp_MI_3


however the E10 is probably what I'd get them (as it looks the nicest from a giving a gift perspective) and has good functionality for the laptop / headphone user.

I do not own a E10 but I own a E07K/ E09K and a Fiio E11 their stuff works well and has a nice price point generally in my experience.

Thanks for the recommendations. I'll check them out.
 

xBanzai89

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Joined
Aug 24, 2007
Messages
4,788
I don't want to delve to deeply into the bose hate... mainly because I don't have it .. their stuff can sound alright if rather overpriced frequently.

if you wanted you could get them new headphones instead i guess

I just got these on a cybermonday deal (shipping to me about 2 days total from HK) Takstar HD5500... I got mine for $64 (they are $74~ now) they come with free headphone stand and brainwavz headphone case also)

http://www.mp4nation.net/takstar-hi2050-hifi-monitor-headphones-1


I own a fair number of headphones

(DT770, ATH-M50,Shure 440, Pioneer SE-A1000, JVC HA-RX700 (great bargain headphones at $30 some) and a could vintage cans as well.

these new Takstar's impress with the SQ and portability (removable cord and lighter weight making them more travel friendly than my ATH-M50's

but if your friend needs portable ~ish headphones these or the AudioTechnia ATH-M50's (or shure 440 or Sony MDR-V6 or 7506) might make a great gift as well.

Certainly a possibility. I'd only be concerned if my friend didn't want a bulkier headset than he has now. How are those Takstar's in terms of that?

What laptop?

A 17 inch Dell with a C2D from like 2007/8 I think. I can't believe its still going, especially since it had the 8600M GT in it. Remember the solder fiasco Nvidia ran into a few years ago/
 

atarione

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Certainly a possibility. I'd only be concerned if my friend didn't want a bulkier headset than he has now. How are those Takstar's in terms of that?



honestly they are going to be bulkier looking at the pics of the bose.... not honestly quite sure how much more..but more for sure..

this is the takstars folded up which hopefully helps give an idea what you'd be working with, with these headphones.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us
 

xBanzai89

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Messages
4,788
honestly they are going to be bulkier looking at the pics of the bose.... not honestly quite sure how much more..but more for sure..

this is the takstars folded up which hopefully helps give an idea what you'd be working with, with these headphones.



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Thanks I'll take a closer look at these.

I would consider another gift.

Yup thankfully avoided a paper weight on his desk. Thanks for the help everyone.
 
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