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Thread: Laptop as a Car Stereo

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Denver, CO

    Laptop as a Car Stereo

    I've been looking through the tubes of the internets and haven't found a good way to do what i want to have done with my laptop in my car.

    I've been looking for the most direct way to push HiFi audio (FLAC) through my car stereo system using a laptop. Looking around the web, a ton of people suggest the AUX port or some other means of using a 3.5mm connection, none of which have good for quality sound. I realize the way to get the sound quality I want, is to push through USB (possibly PCMCIA). I don't mind going to purchase this or that but external sound cards don't seem to have the connections i need to push to the amp.

    My amp is a JL 900/5, it has 3 RCA inputs I could use Front L/R, Back L/R and Subwoofer. Everything I look at does not support a separated Sub output.

    Traditionally the best way to get the best sound quality is to have the most direct connection possible, so if anyone has any suggestions that would be great.

  2. #2
    FLAC PhilG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Have a look at my work log linked below. I am using a laptop to external USB sound card connected optically to a H701 then amps. It beats the hell out of the Alpine W205 I had prior to this install.
    My 2007 Ford F350 Work Log located HERE

  3. #3
    Low Bitrate
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Radelaide South Aus
    Im also using the X-fi surround 5.1 usb...The only real pain is the loud pops from the unit when the system boots (might not happen on optical out) but there are ways around this like switching on your amps after the PC has booted.
    There are other usb sound cards out there but I found the X-fi had all the options I needed/wanted and was at my price
    Also I recommend the PAX drivers over the default creative labs ones
    Last edited by Wozza; 06-15-2012 at 11:25 PM.

  4. #4
    Maximum Bitrate
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Rochester, NH
    I have a diamond and an older sb and both pop. The diamond is worse. I think it's inevitable.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    I use a laptop (cheap old laptop with a $100 Sound blaster audigy 2 zs PC card with SPDIF optical output) with SPDIF output to a Audison Bit ten D ($450 - $500)

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