Author Topic: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore  (Read 6921 times)

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Online Homer J Simpson

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Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« on: October 26, 2018, 11:07:40 pm »


 

Online nctnico

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2018, 11:24:54 pm »
One of the reasons is that a new version of Windows required to replace the soundcard because the drivers no longer worked. I used to have a whole stack of perfectly fine soundcards but they didn't work with newer Windows versions. People got fed up with that too. Having an on-board audio chip which just works is so much easier.

Linux is kinda the other way around BTW. In my current PC I have a Soundblaster 128 (IIRC) PCI sound card because the on-board soundcard doesn't work. Go figure.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2018, 11:34:18 pm by nctnico »
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Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2018, 11:37:56 pm »
There's also HDMI for lossless surround, which every modern GPU supports.
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Online rdl

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2018, 11:57:16 pm »
Those cheap onboard Realtek chips actually don't sound all that great for music, assuming the rest of your set up is halfway good (amp, speakers, etc.) but he's right that they work fine for games, youtube, movies and such. I've got an Audioquest Dragonfly that plugs into a USB port, no drivers required. It sounds as good as the CD player I was using for music before. I'm no audiophool though, I bought it used for $45.
 

Offline @rt

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2018, 04:55:03 am »
We have external USB DACs with amp if needed.. much easier.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2018, 06:04:53 am »
He coined the name gmail, nice.
Yeah, those sound card makers didn't see the cheap chip motherboard solution coming, doh.
 

Offline Halcyon

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2018, 06:18:40 am »
Balanced audio is the way to go. Decent quality internal and external USB sound devices aren't expensive, but the difference between a balance and unbalanced signal is phenomenal.

There is also something about the satisfying click of an XLR cable and connector.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2018, 08:13:40 am »
the cheap integrated realtek chips are 100% perfectly fine. They're going to drive crappy speakers or crappy headphones anyway.
If one is concerned about quality there are audio interfaces for recording that starts at 50€ that at worst are on par with whatever comes for the consumer marked
 
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2018, 10:09:52 am »
I do but I get old stuff.

When I was about 12 I use to go down bootsales and pick up all different ISA sound cards and test them and they all sounded different.

There was one of them which was an Aztech 2320 and what is unique about it is that it has got a hardware sound effect SRS3D. I didn't want know what it mean't at the time but I can hear the instruments and background stuff brought to the top and I can hear so much more detail. I noticed it appearing on Windows Media Player 7 as a plugin but it didn't sound as clear and was distorted on comparison. I saw a Wikipedia article about it some years after and it stands for "Sound Retrieval System".

I have kept a lot of my old stuff to operate them just loop audio through the line in around the house which has been going for nearly 20 years on a Gigabyte 6BXE under my desk and similar and I have others lying around for spares and other with sounds cards for a midi keyboard like a Yamaha SW1000XG .

A lot of power wasted over my audio foolery desires and expectations.
I got the cables cheap as end of line things I would never pay a lot for them brand new.

I wanted to buy one of those ISA to USB bridge and run it under a virtual machine but it was costly to get here.
They announced a release a Wow3d thing but I never saw it selling so I stuck with that.

Recently I also got some Belkin Network USB hubs cheap off Ebay and Creative USB Live sound cards, 8 for £2 each all with the cables and remotes which work quite well without delay or interruption over the network and two go into an Emu 1820m dock and into one of the Aztechs and in a Philips HD1502 headphone base in the attic. I can play off any laptop and it works well over the Wifi access points to my wireless headphones.

Here is one of them I take around to demonstrate.

Bottom ISA card Aztech 2320. It has got a 28k Rockwell modem on it that you could make calls on it back in 1997.

Nobody believes me until I show them the difference through that particular sound card.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 11:44:29 am by MrMobodies »
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2018, 03:34:48 pm »
Wow. This is the kind of drivel that gives YouTube the reputation of a giant cauldron of misinformation and silly babbling.   :--   :-DD
 
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Offline blueskull

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2018, 03:57:37 pm »
There are tons of good USB sound cards, ranging from sub-CD quality to satisfying the best golden ears.
And they are removable, portable and they work with laptops.
And all major OSes (Windows 10 mid 2017+, macOS and Linux since ancient) support USB audio class 2.0 which easily supports 24/192 recording house standard.

The only legit reason for a PCIe sound card I can see is when you need to stream many, many channels of high sample rate, high sample depth studio quality audio stream to one computer-based DAW.
But even then, 480Mbps with 30% safety margin (336Mbps) can still support 27 stereo pairs of 24/192 audio (padded to 32/192).

USB audio class 3.0 is out, so with 10Gbps BW, I can't see any reason PCIe needs to exist anymore in the audio business.

Sure, PCIe has lower latency, but USB is also good for <=1ms. Anywhere below 10ms, let along 1ms, is challenging from an OS task scheduler perspective.

Unless you run a preemptive OS designed with DAW applications in mind, I don't see how PCIe can benefit at all.
 

Offline JPortici

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 07:31:49 am »
PCIe still exist in the form of thunderbolt for high resolution, high samplerate, high channel count interfaces
 

Offline rjp

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 07:35:44 am »
good  enough and relatively free is the enemy of excellent and expensive.

ditto smartphones killing so many standalone devices, from music players to cameras and gps units and games consoles and and
 
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Offline daqq

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 07:56:24 am »
good  enough and relatively free is the enemy of excellent and expensive.

ditto smartphones killing so many standalone devices, from music players to cameras and gps units and games consoles and and
You make it sound like a bad thing. I'm quite happy not having to drag around:
- cell phone as phone
- camera
- calculator
- music player
- PDA as an organizer and misc
- GPS for GPS
- misc.

as separate devices. And 'good enough', well, most of the time I do not need some really obscure functionality that is only available on a dedicated GPS unit, I just need to know which way to the nearest something. And when I need to take high quality pictures, I'm OK with bringing a camera with real optics. And if you are in a situation where you need sound quality that you can't achieve by a smart phone and would actually notice the difference, then you are not in an outside environment, which kinda defeats the point of wanting a portable music player in the first place.
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Offline rjp

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2018, 08:07:37 am »
good  enough and relatively free is the enemy of excellent and expensive.

ditto smartphones killing so many standalone devices, from music players to cameras and gps units and games consoles and and
You make it sound like a bad thing. I'm quite happy not having to drag around:
- cell phone as phone
- camera
- calculator
- music player
- PDA as an organizer and misc
- GPS for GPS
- misc.

as separate devices. And 'good enough', well, most of the time I do not need some really obscure functionality that is only available on a dedicated GPS unit, I just need to know which way to the nearest something. And when I need to take high quality pictures, I'm OK with bringing a camera with real optics. And if you are in a situation where you need sound quality that you can't achieve by a smart phone and would actually notice the difference, then you are not in an outside environment, which kinda defeats the point of wanting a portable music player in the first place.

I actually offer no   value judgement :) just stating the obvious really.

 
 

Offline technix

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2018, 09:00:20 am »
good  enough and relatively free is the enemy of excellent and expensive.

ditto smartphones killing so many standalone devices, from music players to cameras and gps units and games consoles and and
Actually there is a bit of feedback going on:

* iPod Touch, the last remaining device under the portable media player brand iPod, is an iPhone sans the cellular modem. (If I recalled it right, one early model iPod Touch flat out used the iPhone logic board as-is without the 3G modem installed, and the connector footprint for the 3G modem is clearly visible.)
* Nintendo Switch, likely the first 9th generation game console, is based on the same Tegra chipset as used in some smartphones.
* A lot of consumer cameras now comes with Android for wireless connectivity and image enhancement applications - almost as if it is a smartphone with cellular modem removed and camera module beefed up.
* The TI Nspire series graphing calculators uses their OMAP processor, as used in some early Android devices.
etc.
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2018, 09:18:37 am »
When I see what many User buy for a Crap Headphone I dont wonder why the cant hear the difference.
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2018, 09:36:30 am »
What I have noticed about wireless headphones FM and digital is that many of them cut out on low volumes and when I turn up the volume they cut out at a slightly higher volume and I had to keep returning them. The FM ones are terrible when they cut out as they give white noise and hurts me ears.

It didn't do it on the Philips HD1502 I got imported from Germany ten years ago and I have been using it since.
It has even got a transmit button on the display for when it does cut out.

The quality seems okay but I wouldn't say it is anything great as it sounds a little hissy with certain playback but then I can adjust the bass and treble on the headphones.
Also the rechargeable AA'S can be pulled out on the side of the headphones without taking them off and I don't bother charge them on the station when I got a bank of them sitting in the chargers. I got two of those old Conrad Charge Manager 2020, one for aa's and one for aaa's waiting for all sorts of things so I don't have to wait when I want some round cell batteries.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 09:39:20 am by MrMobodies »
 

Online NiHaoMike

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2018, 01:11:43 pm »
Those cheap onboard Realtek chips actually don't sound all that great for music
The digital output works perfectly fine as it's just data. It is still subject to the limitation of no lossless surround, which is what HDMI addresses. There are no HDMI output sound cards on the market since that function is built into every modern GPU, but what seems to be missing is a USB to HDMI sound card. I suppose a Pi Zero could be programmed to work as one...

There was a time when gamers were all against USB sound cards, but that seems to have changed with USB 2.0 sound cards appearing on the market. Also smartphones have gone USB-C which dramatically increased the demand for single chip USB DACs.
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Offline tooki

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2018, 02:07:18 pm »
good  enough and relatively free is the enemy of excellent and expensive.

ditto smartphones killing so many standalone devices, from music players to cameras and gps units and games consoles and and
Actually there is a bit of feedback going on:

* iPod Touch, the last remaining device under the portable media player brand iPod, is an iPhone sans the cellular modem. (If I recalled it right, one early model iPod Touch flat out used the iPhone logic board as-is without the 3G modem installed, and the connector footprint for the 3G modem is clearly
No, they’re totally different boards to accommodate the different form factor of the case. Tons of shared components of course.
 

Online The Soulman

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #20 on: October 28, 2018, 02:21:37 pm »
Balanced audio is the way to go. Decent quality internal and external USB sound devices aren't expensive, but the difference between a balance and unbalanced signal is phenomenal.

There is also something about the satisfying click of an XLR cable and connector.

There shouldn't be a audible difference between balanced and unbalanced for short cable runs (i.e. 99% of all consumer applications).

Yes, the click of a proper xlr connection can be satisfying.
 

Offline Jan Audio

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #21 on: October 28, 2018, 03:56:40 pm »
For professional audio gear there are cards with more ins & outs.
Now a days there are table mixers that are a soundcard, multichannel audio via USB into your "analog" mixer.

Throw away all your old soundcards with each new windows ?
Its getting more standard now so maybe you wont have to throw away so much no more.
 

Offline Lord of nothing

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #22 on: October 28, 2018, 04:08:52 pm »
Why not use W7?  :palm:
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Offline Jr460

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #23 on: October 28, 2018, 04:09:11 pm »
Not only more ins and outs, but low latency, or very controlled latency.   Having an ASIO computable driver is a must if you want to do recording.  Making sure your PC doesn't have some other poor driver that doesn't play well and holds interrupts for too long, is also important.
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: Why Nobody Buys Sound Cards Anymore
« Reply #24 on: October 28, 2018, 04:12:11 pm »
PCIe still exist in the form of thunderbolt for high resolution, high samplerate, high channel count interfaces

Yes, but mostly for Apple devices before Apple's adoption of USB3.0.
 


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