Desktop 2.0 & 2.1 speaker discussion thread VI [consolidated]

Apparatus

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There are two types

The more common one has a DAC built-in, just like the iPhone dongle. Which measures well too.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pple-vs-google-usb-c-headphone-adapters.5541/

The Roland one in your link is likely that type.

The other type which is in your other link, those are passive cables. Just wires. And it is normal for you to be confused. These are for specialized equipment, that can actually work with these cables. Some mini MP3 players use the 3.5mm for both analogue audio and USB. Some video equipment use the USB connector to transfer video/audio. There are even things like passive HDMI to VGA cables, or VGA to composite.

The Roland one as quoted on amazon site

Quote

This cable is passive, and relies on your computer’s native USB audio support for operation.

Unquote

So it means USB-to-rca and USB-to-audio jack cables work on Windows ADC-2, right? Then they should work to connect directly from laptop's USB ports to speakers rca ports directly, no?
 
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wwenze

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The Roland one as quoted on amazon site

Quote

This cable is passive, and relies on your computer’s native USB audio support for operation.

Unquote

So it means USB-to-rca and USB-to-audio jack cables work on Windows ADC-2, right? Then they should work to connect directly from laptop's USB ports to speakers rca ports directly, no?

The passive here refers to the lack of a guitar preamp. Because a guitar needs a preamp with a high-Z input. That's why they also wrote: "To connect a guitar with this cable, we recommended placing a buffered-bypass pedal (such as a BOSS compact pedal) in line."

To work with computer’s native USB audio support, a USB receiver chip is needed.
 

lxXXxl

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So it means USB-to-rca and USB-to-audio jack cables work on Windows ADC-2, right? Then they should work to connect directly from laptop's USB ports to speakers rca ports directly, no?

Go for these if you want usb > audio jack

https://www.amazon.com/OEM-Part-GenuineLogitech-Surround-Headset/dp/B00PZC792K/
31ztqaDxs%2BL._AC_.jpg


https://www.amazon.com/Creative-BlasterX-Portable-Gaming-70SB171000000/dp/B01DLY3IW8/
718iKpEVDOL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 

Apparatus

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The passive here refers to the lack of a guitar preamp. Because a guitar needs a preamp with a high-Z input. That's why they also wrote: "To connect a guitar with this cable, we recommended placing a buffered-bypass pedal (such as a BOSS compact pedal) in line."

To work with computer’s native USB audio support, a USB receiver chip is needed.

The BOSS compact pedal's output looks like an analog out which means the connector type conversion already done by the BOSS. No difference if I connect it to an external DAC with USB input and output using RCA/audio jack out to speakers mah

My concern is to connect from laptop USB output to iLoud Micro Monitors rca/audio jack inputs

So for speakers like the iLoud Micro Monitors they won't work with USB-to-rca/USB-to-audio jack cables because it don't have a USB input port? Am I right to say that assuming even if it has an internal DAC?
 
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lxXXxl

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My concern is to connect from laptop USB output to iLoud Micro Monitors rca/audio jack inputs

Yes, get an external usb dac if that is your aim.



So for speakers like the iLoud Micro Monitors they won't work with USB-to-rca/USB-to-audio jack cables because it don't have a USB input port? Am I right to say that assuming even if it has an internal DAC?

Yes, it's likely the cables won't work. And iLoud has no digital input, so only thing you can decide on is whether you want to connect from laptop stereo out or connect from external usb dac.
 

Apparatus

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Just called up Star Vista and will be visiting them in the afternoon to take a look at the iLoud Micro Monitors. They aslo said will check how to connect to a subwoofer since there's no sub out

:D
 

lxXXxl

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Just called up Star Vista and will be visiting them in the afternoon to take a look at the iLoud Micro Monitors. They aslo said will check how to connect to a subwoofer since there's no sub out

:D

They may be wondering why suddenly so many iLoud enquires :s13:
iLoud need to sponsor wwenze siah...

If you plan to eq your subwoofer separately, get the Asus U7 dac, or any of the Creative multi channel DACs.

If you prefer a stereo dac, then as mentioned earlier, go with the RCA cable splitting method to channel the audio into both your speakers and the sub.
 

Apparatus

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They may be wondering why suddenly so many iLoud enquires :s13:
iLoud need to sponsor wwenze siah...

If you plan to eq your subwoofer separately, get the Asus U7 dac, or any of the Creative multi channel DACs.

If you prefer a stereo dac, then as mentioned earlier, go with the RCA cable splitting method to channel the audio into both your speakers and the sub.

The ASUS Xonar U7 MKII is promoted more as a gaming DAC/Headphone Amp because it comes with a mic input. But I think for gaming use the audio quality is great. It also has a sub out since it's meant for surround use.

Its specs says USB 2.0 high-speed/USB 1.0 for playback means I cannot playback anything better than 32-bit/96KHz or 16-bit/192KHz for Windows ADC-1. HiRes music file formats like DSD, MQA, or even higher resolution PCM/DXD 32-bit/384KHz files etc also not supported.

https://www.asus.com/sg/Sound-Cards/Xonar-U7-MKII/specifications/


The CREATIVE Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition looks similar to the above ASUS unit.

https://sg.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x7-limited-edition

Many types of input/out connections too since it's for surround and gaming use and with sub out

Same as the ASUS above it doesn't support HiRes file formats

As a DAC to connect to speakers I have targeted the iFi Zen DAC/Headphone Amp combo available at Stereo Eelctronics. The DAC part got raving review on youtube especially after upgrading its firmware and adding a low-noise power supply to it. Its headphone amp, however, lose out to FiiO K5 Pro.

The Zen DAC also has 1xrca outs, 1xUnbalanced stereo out and 2xBalanced stereo outs. The volume control can be selected between speakers and headphone. So taking the iLoud Micro Monitors

From Zen DAC 6.35mm stereo out ==> 6.35 stereo jack in of speakers
Then connect rca outs from Zen DAC ==> rca ins of sub woofer

Or reverse the connections if the sub woofer has stereo jacks in also can. Will they work?

Would the ASUS Xonar U7 MKII/Creative Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition be better than the iFi Zen DAC/Headphone Amp combo unit as a DAC alone for connection to speakers?


For headphone use I intend to buy a separate dedicated headphone amp instead........that will come later
 
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Apparatus

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Ok found out that the iLoud Micro Monitors can be used with a subwoofer

https://cgi.ikmultimedia.com/ikforum/viewtopic.php?t=14373

In this case the connection is audio in to subwoofer then out to speakers instead of the traditional connection of audio in to speakers then out to subwoofer

Audio in => subwoofer => speakers
 
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lxXXxl

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The ASUS Xonar U7 MKII is promoted more as a gaming DAC/Headphone Amp because it comes with a mic input. But I think for gaming use the audio quality is great. It also has a sub out since it's meant for surround use.

Its specs says USB 2.0 high-speed/USB 1.0 for playback means I cannot playback anything better than 32-bit/96KHz or 16-bit/192KHz for Windows ADC-1. HiRes music file formats like DSD, MQA, or even higher resolution PCM/DXD 32-bit/384KHz files etc also not supported.

https://www.asus.com/sg/Sound-Cards/Xonar-U7-MKII/specifications/


The CREATIVE Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition looks similar to the above ASUS unit.

https://sg.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-x7-limited-edition

Many types of input/out connections too since it's for surround and gaming use and with sub out

Same as the ASUS above it doesn't support HiRes file formats

As a DAC to connect to speakers I have targeted the iFi Zen DAC/Headphone Amp combo available at Stereo Eelctronics. The DAC part got raving review on youtube especially after upgrading its firmware and adding a low-noise power supply to it. Its headphone amp, however, lose out to FiiO K5 Pro.

The Zen DAC also has 1xrca outs, 1xUnbalanced stereo out and 2xBalanced stereo outs. The volume control can be selected between speakers and headphone. So taking the iLoud Micro Monitors

From Zen DAC 6.35mm stereo out ==> 6.35 stereo jack in of speakers
Then connect rca outs from Zen DAC ==> rca ins of sub woofer

Or reverse the connections if the sub woofer has stereo jacks in also can. Will they work?

Would the ASUS Xonar U7 MKII/Creative Sound Blaster X7 Limited Edition be better than the iFi Zen DAC/Headphone Amp combo unit as a DAC alone for connection to speakers?


For headphone use I intend to buy a separate dedicated headphone amp instead........that will come later

Yes, if you believe the hype about all the Hi-Res stuff, then get the DACs that have those magic stickers. Personally, I had the D10, then the U7, and even tested the Ares II. The U7 is lower volume compared to the other 2, outputs 1v instead of 2v, so amplifier need to increase volume.

But other than the above, when I level matched the volume between the DACs (using mic), my ears, and the frequency measurements of the speaker output, did not find any differences sonically.

Note though, the U7's headphone amp is apparently not good (in ASR's review), so if you want to use it to drive your headphones directly, then Creative's stuff may be better choice (if you want multi channel DAC). I rarely use headphones nowadays, so factor that in when reading anything I write.



Ok found out that the iLoud Micro Monitors can be used with a subwoofer

https://cgi.ikmultimedia.com/ikforum/viewtopic.php?t=14373

In this case the connection is audio in to subwoofer then out to speakers instead of the traditional connection of audio in to speakers then out to subwoofer

Audio in => subwoofer => speakers

Yes, you can use the high level inputs of the subwoofer as well. Depending on the subwoofer's inputs/outputs, you will need specific cables though, like RCA to speaker wire, a bit harder to buy off the shelf. But yes, you can just cut the RCA connectors off, but still.... XD

Hence my earlier suggestion for the RCA cable splitters.
 
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Apparatus

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Just tested at Star Vista.

The iLoud Micro Monitors with the Adam Audio Sub7 ($649) sounds great. The subwoofer has rca in/out and XLR in/out as well. The guy showed me using a cable with audio jack connected to the PC and connect with rca to the subwoofer. A Y-splitter cable.

https://www.amazon.com/ADAM-Audio-Powered-Studio-Subwoofer/dp/B002Z01IXQ

Unfortunately. for the white color monitors need to preorder and wait for about 3 months. The Adam Audio Sub7 shown is the last piece and sitting on the floor some more like a display piece lor



A list of recommended studio subwoofers here

https://ledgernote.com/reviews/best-studio-subwoofers/

Sian. I think better to order online from other sources for faster delivery

On the way to Stereo Electronics@Plaza Singapura now
 
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lxXXxl

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Just tested at Star Vista.

The iLoud Micro Monitors with the Adam Audio Sub7 ($649) sounds great. The subwoofer has rca in/out and XLR in/out as well. The guy showed me using a cable with audio jack connected to the PC and connect with rca to the subwoofer. A Y-splitter cable.

https://www.amazon.com/ADAM-Audio-Powered-Studio-Subwoofer/dp/B002Z01IXQ

Unfortunately. for the white color monitors need to preorder and wait for about 3 months. The Adam Audio Sub7 shown is the last piece and sitting on the floor some more like a display piece lor



A list of recommended studio subwoofers here

https://ledgernote.com/reviews/best-studio-subwoofers/

Sian. I think better to order online from other sources for faster delivery

On the way to Stereo Electronics@Plaza Singapura now

So you found something suitable?
 

wwenze

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Tiagong Yamaha HS8S reaches 22Hz... can believe or not

I think this data is from Yamaha
402893d1402712366-yamaha-hs8s-subwoofer-necessary-pair-yamaha-hs8s-performance-graph.jpg
 
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Apparatus

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So you found something suitable?

Yup, will order the white color iLoud Micro Monitors and the Adam Audio Sub7 online later

BTW, already pre-ordered the iFi Zen DAC and Zen CAN from Stereo Electronics after testing them. Will try out with my headphone when received late this week. The mentioned items will arrive likely end of this week


:D
 
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Apparatus

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Tiagong Yamaha HS8S reaches 22Hz... can believe or not

I think this data is from Yamaha
402893d1402712366-yamaha-hs8s-subwoofer-necessary-pair-yamaha-hs8s-performance-graph.jpg

I did check out this heavy item from Yamaha@Plaza Singapura but I think the Adam Audio S7 is better. Also, no stock available now.
 

Apparatus

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Just found on youtube that the iLoud Micro Monitors make a low humming sound at 50 - 60 Hz from their ports



Have to reconsider leow. At the shop I wasn't able to hear noise maybe because that place was noisy however at home it might be a different thing

There was a comment at amazon on this product during BT connection whan a noise was made. This I heard at the shop when that guy was trying to make the BT connects from his phone. You can watch the clip posted

https://www.amazon.com/product-revi...e=all_reviews&pageNumber=1#reviews-filter-bar

:s8:

Genelec 8010A (Genelec G One) vs iLoud Micro Monitor Sound Compariosn Test

Mixed results. One thing is when the frequency was reduced slowly for both at the end of the video I could hear the low hummming sound from iLoud at 55 to 60 Hz from my wired headphone



Genelec 8010A (Genelec G One) vs Audioengine A2+ Sound Comparison Test



Kanto YU2 vs Audioengine A2+ Sound Comparison Test



iLoud Micro Monitor vs Audioengine A2+ Sound Comparison Test



So, which sounds the BEST? Any opinions here?


Detailed review of iLoud Micro Monitor here

http://noaudiophile.com/IK_Multimedia_iLoudMM/
 
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AZE

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http://noaudiophile.com/IK_Multimedia_iLoudMM/

IK_Multimedia_IloudMM_Measurements_Bass_RTA.jpg

Above is a capture from the Real Time Analyzer showing bass compression while playing Mason's "It Was About Chicago" being played at two different volume levels. You can see the Bass response at 50Hz compress by 8dB as the volume increased by 15dB.

Bass starts to audibly compress at 80dB.


Speakers will play as loud as 96db, but sound horrible and will thermal overload very quickly.

My personal limit settled at 85dB. This is the edge of good - above that I can hear amp distortion even if the warning light is not flashing. Bass is good at this level, but not outstanding.

Using the -3dB bass switch make the music more palatable at lower volumes, and keeps it that way longer.

Best performance between 80-85dB, which is loud enough to enjoy most music, but don't expect to throw a party.

Port turbulence on Deadmau5 I Remember at 87dB with -3dB switch

The usual issue with small ports trying to force low FR at high volume(hence high port displacement volume) leading to massive port turbulence and SPL compression, and also issues with amp/dsp power/compression/distortion limits. :o

There is always a trade off unfortunately.:o
 

wwenze

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So, which sounds the BEST? Any opinions here?

The mic sounds best :s13:

You should try it out when u get the chance, try recording 2 different speakers and then play back the result. That is usually how people find out speaker recordings are pointless.

Although in extreme cases like this you can clearly hear iLoud having much deeper bass. I'm surprised the Genelec sounds so light tho.

Reason because, a mic recording is really no different from frequency response measurement. And you've seen how hard it is to measure speakers in a room. We don't even dare to begin without a calibrated mic. This doesn't mean we can't measure frequency response with a normal mic, we can. And the result that we get is just a graphical representation of speaker recording with a mic. It is still useful for straight up comparison between two speakers, but hope you can see what are also the issues. It is still usable data if you know what the limitations are.

RE: Port noise and compression, I never play my speakers loud enough for that to happen. I'm usually at 60dB and rarely over 70dB so that LED never changed color from white ever. I would say 80dB is the max if you are buying iLoud for the bass, because above that then the advantage reduces. Still, it's like a dynamic range compression as opposed to straight up having no bass right from the start. Adds harmonic products tho. So best to avoid if possible.

So yes, if that is really a concern, then I can't recommend iLoud. It is always a trade off between bass extension and SPL, and iLoud is the only company that goes this extreme. That being said I think even with the bass compression the response is still pretty good.

iloudmm_max_spl@2x.jpg


Also if you're buying a sub then all the above won't happen / doesn't matter. But so is the advantage of iLoud anyway. So it becomes a variation of post #57: Would you keep speakers that have insufficient bass on its own but sound good with a sub, or speakers that also sound good with a sub but have enough *Terms and conditions required* bass on its own. Note that for the latter, you always EQ away the bass and avoid the problem. You can't do the opposite for speakers that don't have the bass to begin with.
 
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Apparatus

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http://noaudiophile.com/IK_Multimedia_iLoudMM/

IK_Multimedia_IloudMM_Measurements_Bass_RTA.jpg



The usual issue with small ports trying to force low FR at high volume(hence high port displacement volume) leading to massive port turbulence and SPL compression, and also issues with amp/dsp power/compression/distortion limits. :o

There is always a trade off unfortunately.:o

Does that means I need a subwoofer for the iLoud Micro Monitors?

:s8:
 

Apparatus

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The mic sounds best :s13:

You should try it out when u get the chance, try recording 2 different speakers and then play back the result. That is usually how people find out speaker recordings are pointless.

Although in extreme cases like this you can clearly hear iLoud having much deeper bass. I'm surprised the Genelec sounds so light tho.

Reason because, a mic recording is really no different from frequency response measurement. And you've seen how hard it is to measure speakers in a room. We don't even dare to begin without a calibrated mic. This doesn't mean we can't measure frequency response with a normal mic, we can. And the result that we get is just a graphical representation of speaker recording with a mic. It is still useful for straight up comparison between two speakers, but hope you can see what are also the issues. It is still usable data if you know what the limitations are.

RE: Port noise and compression, I never play my speakers loud enough for that to happen. I'm usually at 60dB and rarely over 70dB. I would say 80dB is the max if you are buying iLoud for the bass, because above that then the advantage reduces. Still, it's like a dynamic range compression as opposed to straight up having no bass right from the start. Adds harmonic products tho. So best to avoid if possible.

So yes, if that is really a concern, then I can't recommend iLoud. It is always a trade off between bass extension and SPL, and iLoud is the only company that goes this extreme. That being said I think even with the bass compression the response is still pretty good.

iloudmm_max_spl@2x.jpg

If the iLoud is not to be recommended then should I go for Audioengine A2+, Kanto YU2 or the Genelec 8010A?


Thanks
 
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