Interested in a USB Audio Amplifier?
Additional Information at End of Post
Well thanks to justchat_1, I have been hard at work on a new project. Now that I have concluded it is feasible, I want to know if it is something you guys (and gals) would be interested in.
What I am working on is a 4.1 (4 speakers and 1 sub, 5 channels) USB sound card and amplifier. So plug it into your PC via USB and you get 5 speaker level connection to connect directly to your car's speakers. Sound quality will be between 16bit and 24bit, so high def using high quality components. Should rival most standalones out there to begin with.
No startup thump because it is USB audio and will be somewhat programmable.
As for output power it would be in the low to mid range but at high quality. Meaning it will be extremely loud for mostly everyone if needed as well as keeping a normal/reasonable volume with great sound. Obviously you audiophiles will never go for anything where you can't control it, but the design thus far is a high quality Class D amplifier with between 88% and 94% efficiency and a SNR greater than 100dB.
So, what do you think? Would you be interested in something like this? Price I am not sure yet. In low volumes to begin with it will obviously be a bit higher.
Thoughts, opinions, whatever please post and let me know. If you have opinions on wanted power output, bit rate, bit depth, other features, please post as well!
If you guys can, I would appreciate some feedback on the following questions:
- What sound resolution do you need? 16bit, 20bit, 24bit, or 32bit
- What sampling rate do you need? Is 48KHz acceptable? Would 192KHz sampling frequency be worth a *substantial* price increase?
- As for Form Factor and Installation Location, would a standard amplifier "look" be preferable to a single din or small hide-away unit?
- Signal Channel Power Output: Is 4x40W acceptable output (generic headunit power output)? 100W per channel? 200W per channel? And I am talking actual power output to the speakers per channel, no BS wattages. If I say 100W, I mean 100W.
- Subwoofer Channel Power Output: Desire for low level output in addition to high level output? Desired Subwoofer Power output: 40W, 100W, 200W, 400W, 600W, > 600W?
- Price: How much is your ideal soundcard and amplifier worth ($USD): <$80, $80, $100, $200, $300, >$300USD
Also would like at least 2 people, at most 10 people willing to beta test probably around December 2010. Depending on final manufacturing cost, we may need to ask for a bit of cash as the cost to participate in being a beta tester, but that all depends on how much this costs. I would appreciate a little "why I should beta" blurb. Nothing too elaborate, but I would like these to go to people that can actually use the power and features for testing. :)
Remember this will be the second ever soundcard in the world with this number of channels at this resolution, and the first in the world to have an extremely powerful output stage as well. Not your average $10 feabay sound card...