I posted this same topic on the centrafuse forum. I just thought I might get more opinions over here So here I go :
Let's talk about this once again. Sound setup seems to be a nightmare, at least for me . I have used the internal RealTek card. sounds rubbish. I have an intel motherboard. I disabled the Realtek and bought a Terratec Usb card. It sounded better but not that strong. The rear speakers were almost silent ! The Terratec died a few days ago and now I'm driving without my carpc, without music. So I did some reading and discovered this stereo device called DAC for Digital to Analog Converter. I'm sure there have been topics about this but I wanted to make mine, why not
Let's talk about pros and cons and which DACs are better suited for a carpc.
I did some reading and searching and found some decent devices:
Nuforce UDAC-2. reviews are very good. price is around 150€ delivered to France.
Discrete USB audio receiver and D/A converter
Coaxial S/PDIF output
Double jitter-reduction mechanism at data level and at oversampling filter stage
High voltage 2V analog output
A highly linear TOCOS volume control for improved channel tracking at low listening levels.
No capacitors in any of the audio signal paths
USB powered, no external power supply required
Headphones impedance between 16 ohm to 300 ohm are suitable for use with Icon uDAC-2
Mind the 2Volts rms. This means the volume of sound going to the amp is higher and you don't need a LOC (Line Output Converter) to boost the signal.
I also found this website:
HotAudio BitPerfect. The guy who makes it told me the RMS output is 1.6 volts. Price is 109 $ delivered.
BIT PERFECT USB DAC HEADPHONE AMPLIFIER [BIT PERFECT USB DAC AMP] - $109.99 : HOTAUDIO.COM, It's About the Experience!
Powered Directly from your PCs or Laptops USB Port
Self Installs - No drivers necessary
Maximum Output Power 62mW into 32 Ohms
Maximum Output Power 7mW into 300 Ohms
THD+N when driving a 32 Ohm load is 0.02% at 1 kHz
THD+N when driving a 10,000 Ohm load is 0.005% at 1 kHz
Thermal and Short-Circuit Output Protection
Sampling Rate: 16 BIT @ 32, 44.1, 48 kHz
3.5mm Stereo Headphone Output Jack & LEFT - RIGHT GOLD RCA Line Outputs
Dimensions: 70mm by 65mm by 30mm ( 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 1 inch )
COMPATIBLE OPERATING SYSTEMS
Apple Computer Mac OS™
I would appreciate everybody with opinions or experience with DACs or DACs Vs USB sound cards to participate in this topic and give us some feedback.
Personally, apart from the fact that the DACs output stereo 2 channels music they seems to be a great solution to all the Sound setup hassle in a carpc. And personnaly I don't care about 5.1 or 7.1 sound in the car. If I can get a nice stereo sound with a higher volume without replacing my OEM amp I'll be fine. I still have some questions as to how to use the DAC with a second sound card for phone and how to wire all this with a Soho (PCI version) for echo cancellation. I have my idea about this setup but I'd like some opinions here as well.
Thanks for reading so far