Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.




15432 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

# 182490 18-Oct-2015 09:32
Send private message

I have a headphone amp that has an optical SP/DIF input, as well as RCA, but the optical goes to a decent quality DAC. My other motherboard had an optical out, but the new one doesn't. Can anyone recommend a cheap way to get an SPDIF output into my computer? I only use it occasionally. Presume a PCI card, I'm not a huge fan of USB stuff but if it's cheap I'd do it.

I suspect some sound cards would do it, but it's not worth paying much for this for me.

Create new topic
2139 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1408516 18-Oct-2015 10:17
Send private message

Some PCs have the header ready for it, in which case, you only need the adapter unit that plugs in. Check the motherboard specs




Location: Dunedin

 




15432 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1408518 18-Oct-2015 10:22
Send private message

I have a header on the motherboard, but it's electrical and I want optical. I assumed I'd need a card for that.

 
 
 
 


1560 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1408521 18-Oct-2015 10:28
Send private message

I have got a USB one you can have , I got this a few years ago and never used it. Its yours for the price of the postage if you want it.

In the picture its sitting on an old galaxy s4 to give you an idea of size.







Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding : Ice cream man , Ice cream man


2139 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1408524 18-Oct-2015 10:33
Send private message

there is a unit that plugs into that header to produce both SPDIF and coax audio. It takes up one case slot at the back.

like this one on amazon

A computer shop gave me one for free.




Location: Dunedin

 


425 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1408529 18-Oct-2015 10:46
Send private message

Yep, it's a very basic photodiode that plugs into the electrical header, converting it to an optical output. That's the easiest way to do it and works fine, however it uses your PC's onboard audio.

If the onboard audio's a Realtek chip, it'll output 5.1 only if it's already encoded (video soundtrack, etc). If it needs to encode it on the fly, it'll only output 2 channel audio, unless you use hacked drivers (which is a real pain under modern versions of Windows, as they aren't signed). If it's only a stereo amp, or you just watch movies then that'll be fine. For surround sound gaming I'd suggest getting a proper PCI or PCI express sound card.

EDIT: I have some spare optical S/PDIF brackets if you want to use the electrical header and can pickup in Auckland.



15432 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1408535 18-Oct-2015 10:50
Send private message

Presso, thanks for that kind offer. I don't think it's quite what I need right now though.

What I'm trying to do is get unprocessed digital audio information out to the external DAC via optical out so I can plug my headphones in. Does it really get processed if I use that header? Does your bracket have the little circuit that does optical Michael? The headphones, DAC, and amp are all moderately high end - headphones I got free because of my headphones website as review samples but sell for US$1K.

Thanks for the link Andrew, now I know what they're called I can probably find one in NZ, or add to my next Amazon order.

425 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1408544 18-Oct-2015 11:22
Send private message

timmmay: Presso, thanks for that kind offer. I don't think it's quite what I need right now though.

What I'm trying to do is get unprocessed digital audio information out to the external DAC via optical out so I can plug my headphones in. Does it really get processed if I use that header? Does your bracket have the little circuit that does optical Michael? The headphones, DAC, and amp are all moderately high end - headphones I got free because of my headphones website as review samples but sell for US$1K.

Thanks for the link Andrew, now I know what they're called I can probably find one in NZ, or add to my next Amazon order.


No, it won't get processed if you use that header, unless it needs to be. If it's already encoded (DD5.1 or DTS or anything similar), it'll just output it as is. The issue is that if it does need to process it, then it can only output uncompressed bitstream audio which is limited to 2 channels on S/PDIF. So it's only an issue if your DAC's not compatible with the encoding, or your computer is generating the audio unencoded (gaming, system sounds, etc). I find it a bit annoying as my HT can handle Dolby Digital and DTS, but not DTS HD. So DTS HD tends to get re-encoded to stereo. You can get around this by using something like reclock, which can re-encode it (using the CPU, not sound card). Introduces a bit of a delay, but you can delay the video as well.

Again, there are Realtek drivers designed for their PCI sound cards that are actually compatible with the onboard audio. They're just a real pain to get running under modern versions of Windows.

I have a bracket with the little circuit, but the circuit's actually not necessary. Most brackets don't have it. The header already outputs at the correct voltage for the photodiode, which is built into the back of the socket. My guess is the reason for the circuit is to handle both the coax and optical outputs on one header.

If you don't need it, I might ask Presso for that USB adaptor. Have an old netbook with no S/PDIF output that I'd like to use for some basic media playback.

 
 
 
 


1560 posts

Uber Geek

Lifetime subscriber

  # 1408546 18-Oct-2015 11:28
Send private message

This is the full spec for the usb sound box. Its 7.1-Speaker SPDIF Optical Output so not to bad.

http://www.dx.com/p/c-media-cm106-usb-2-0-external-sound-card-box-with-7-1-speaker-spdif-optical-output-15746#.ViLLB2ucw5s




Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding : Ice cream man , Ice cream man




15432 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1408550 18-Oct-2015 11:34
Send private message

Oh interesting that the diode works fine from the header. If you can be bothered sending it to Wellington, great, happy to flick up payment of course.

USB thingy looks pretty good, not so much for what I want to do but for Michael. I had something similar a while back, better sound than onboard audio for sure.

425 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 1408559 18-Oct-2015 12:32
Send private message

timmmay: Oh interesting that the diode works fine from the header. If you can be bothered sending it to Wellington, great, happy to flick up payment of course.

USB thingy looks pretty good, not so much for what I want to do but for Michael. I had something similar a while back, better sound than onboard audio for sure.


Give me a day to find it, but sure, I can send it to you.



15432 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1408560 18-Oct-2015 12:33
Send private message

Thanks :) Just PM me any costs, I can send you money via bank transfer or paypal.

22750 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1409378 19-Oct-2015 17:15
Send private message

I have one of those USB blue box output things that I used on my old PC.

its the only digital output device I have had that manages to add hiss to an optical signal. I have no idea how it happens but there is hiss on that which is not there when I use my basic onboard audio.




Richard rich.ms

1954 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1409749 20-Oct-2015 11:45
Send private message

It WILL NOT be unprocessed output btw.

To do that , you need to bypass the Win mixer
You want a USB-DAC device with software that will bypass the Win mixer.
http://www.audialonline.com/articles/kmixer/

"The windows mixer does distort the sound quality by re-sampling the audio stream. So you want to by-pass this mediocre link."
http://blog.musichi.eu/post/2484571391/how-to-set-up-a-pc-to-be-a-hi-fi-transport-for




15432 posts

Uber Geek

Trusted
Subscriber

  # 1409754 20-Oct-2015 12:02
Send private message

I guess a USB sound card with SPDIF output is probably a better approach then, thanks :) Any recommendations anyone? Presso, is yours still available?

There's a chance I have one laying around, back from the Windows XP days. If I can find it maybe it'll work on W10...

Create new topic



Twitter and LinkedIn »



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:





News »

Intel introduces cryogenic control chip to enable quantum computers
Posted 10-Dec-2019 21:32


Vodafone 5G service live in four cities
Posted 10-Dec-2019 08:30


Samsung Galaxy Fold now available in New Zealand
Posted 6-Dec-2019 00:01


NZ company oDocs awarded US$ 100,000 Dubai World Expo grant
Posted 5-Dec-2019 16:00


New Zealand Rugby Selects AWS-Powered Analytics for Deeper Game Insights
Posted 5-Dec-2019 11:33


IMAGR and Farro bring checkout-less supermarket shopping to New Zealand
Posted 5-Dec-2019 09:07


Wellington Airport becomes first 5G connected airport in the country
Posted 3-Dec-2019 08:42


MetService secures Al Jazeera as a new weather client
Posted 28-Nov-2019 09:40


NZ a top 10 connected nation with stage one of ultra-fast broadband roll-out completed
Posted 24-Nov-2019 14:15


Microsoft Translator understands te reo Māori
Posted 22-Nov-2019 08:46


Chorus to launch Hyperfibre service
Posted 18-Nov-2019 15:00


Microsoft launches first Experience Center worldwide for Asia Pacific in Singapore
Posted 13-Nov-2019 13:08


Disney+ comes to LG Smart TVs
Posted 13-Nov-2019 12:55


Spark launches new wireless broadband "Unplan Metro"
Posted 11-Nov-2019 08:19


Malwarebytes overhauls flagship product with new UI, faster engine and lighter footprint
Posted 6-Nov-2019 11:48



Geekzone Live »

Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.


Support Geekzone »

Our community of supporters help make Geekzone possible. Click the button below to join them.

Support Geezone on PressPatron



Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.