Topic: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

So since I got the awesome rme adi-2 dac, I loved it, but have exclusively used the digital out from my phone to usb B adi-2 dac. Sound was great and loved it.

Until today!
Today I plugged the old crap laptop and played just some streaming services out of it (so not bit perfect) and absolutely loved the sound. Using just usb out to rme adi-2.
Major difference over my phone.
Why does this matter?
I thought digital out is digital out...
Wow! Now I can't use my phone because there is a significant drop in sound quality.

Help me understand please?  What is something else I can do to further increase quality.?
I only use streaming services to discover music before I buy a hi rez track.

2 (edited by Curt962 2020-03-08 22:12:55)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Itchy..Oh My...here we go again!

Do you know the amount of BS that the
typical Smartphone applies to the Data?

*Know that the data says MOST people listen to music via Smart Phone/I Pad Speaker, and wouldn't know SQ if it hit them in the Head.

Turn ALL the "enhancements" OFF!!!!   and source your listening from source files in Memory. Not from "Boom Sound" or other. 

Try that.

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic Edition"
Cables:  Red Ones, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes (2)

3 (edited by ramses 2020-03-08 22:14:18)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

What phone, player, file type ? Crystal balls are sold out here ...

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Thanks Ramses.  My Crystal Ball is Inop at the moment.

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic Edition"
Cables:  Red Ones, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes (2)

5 (edited by KaiS 2020-03-09 08:47:08)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

You should do the ADI-2 Bit-Test to confirm which, or if, one of the variants plays correct.

RME's unique Bit-Test is a perfect tool to verify that finally ADI-2 gets the original, unchanged signal.
As long as the test fails, a configuration is wrong.
Read manual page 92.

Download Bit-Test files:
http://www.rme-audio.de/download/bit_test_wavs.zip

Play the one with your typical Sample Rate and Resolution
Start with the basic:
441_16_adi2pro_bittest.wav

ADI-2 recognizes the file and shows a confirmation if everything is OK.
If you don't see that message there's something "wrong".
OK, it's not necessarily extremly "wrong", but ADI-2 gets somewhat changed signals that might sound different.

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

I appreciate your responses, all!

So I typically have used my note 10 phone (using uapp, an app that allows bit perfect playback via USB out). I used that. I know streaming services are elementary and sound quality is not their focus. But I use them, wildly, to discover new tracks before I buy a high rez file if I can find one.
I used a usb C to usb B cable (audioquest Forrest) from my note 10 phone to adi-2 dac.
Again, sound was great and was enjoying it very much, loved it, gushed and circle jerked about it on the forums.

Today I decided to work on my pc for some work stuff... I figured I download Spotify and plug the adi-2 into the USB of thr computer (using the cable supplied with the rme adi-2 dac), sound was significantly better! 44.1,tested the bit perfect files and worked. Significantly better sound, it feels like 30% better overall, resolution, dynamics ect. Absolutely love it even more now.

Now I *can't * use my phone anymore as it is significantly worse sound quality. Now I'll order a *better* usb cable (don't worry Curt, I'll keep it cheap) just so I can *feel *better about myself.


Now I'm not used to extensive DSP or other things I can use a pc to alter sound to potentially get better in sound quality. And I don't need to, jeez the rme adi-2 dac is better than I ever ever heard. I essentially got another player today! Wow.
I used to think the quarter inch out amp section was quiet but weak.
It isn't so via pc to rme.

I don't understand why this is the case. If usb out is digital out then why is there a change of sound? Furthermore, what more can I do to further increase sound quality... A better pc usb port? Lol... Idaf I'll spend a little more to get the best I can get.

Yes Curt! Yes.

7 (edited by Curt962 2020-03-09 01:02:50)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Itchy...

Mu Metal is your Answer!!  big_smile

https://www.hammertoneaudio.com/product … no-digital


For merely a touch under $2K...WOW!  You could be the Envy of all "those other" forums. smile

Just imagine!!  Wow...Violent Shifts in the Earth"s Magnetics Poles, Cosmic Bombardment, Solar Flares, Disruptions in Convergent Harmonic Energies...absolutely nothing could possibly alter your sound!  smile

Really...I've never considered using a Smart Phone as a serious source/transport for my nice RME.   It could surely be done, and it's not like I have a Short Temper or anything...it's just that I have an extreme intolerance for BS. smile     

Get a Laptop Bro. 

Best!

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic Edition"
Cables:  Red Ones, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes (2)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Curt962 wrote:

Itchy...

Mu Metal is your Answer!!  big_smile

https://www.hammertoneaudio.com/product … no-digital


For merely a touch under $2K...WOW!  You could be the Envy of all "those other" forums. smile

Just imagine!!

I've never really considered using a Smart Phone as a serious source/transport for my nice RME.   It could surely be done, and it's not like I have a Short Temper or anything...it's just that I have an extreme intolerance for BS. smile     

Get a Laptop Bro. 

Best!

Curt

Wow that's nice, thanks, ordered!

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

I knew you couldn't resist!  smile

Hey Man...that USB Cable that came with your ADI-2DAC?  I'm using mine.  Right at this Moment.  Tests Perfectly.   Why pay more?

Have Fun!!

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic Edition"
Cables:  Red Ones, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes (2)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Curt962 wrote:

I knew you couldn't resist!  smile

Hey Man...that USB Cable that came with your ADI-2DAC?  I'm using mine.  Right at this Moment.  Tests Perfectly.   Why pay more?

Have Fun!!

Curt

I hate hate money! Haha
I know it sounds great, just want something shorter for my setup. A foot or so.

11 (edited by Curt962 2020-03-09 02:06:05)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Just use the supplied cable.  It's perfectly qualified for the task, and I'm not about to get into a contest to determine "Whose is shortest"  big_smile

Ehh...that seems inappropriate. smile

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic Edition"
Cables:  Red Ones, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes (2)

12 (edited by ramses 2020-03-09 08:14:14)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

> I don't understand why this is the case. If usb out is digital out then why is there a change of sound?

There shouldn't be a change of sound if
a) your smartphones player is able to work bit perfect
b) if the music content is lossless

Please re-read Kai's post #5. You need to check, whether your player is able to play bit perfect. For that to work you need to deactivate everything what alters sound (Bass, Treble, Booster, EQ) and the volume level of the application needs to be at 100%.

You can also use the PC to pre-check an USB cable for the smartphone, if smartphone and PC have the same USB-C plug. if your PC doesn't have it, you can buy an additional expansion card. This would have the charm that you are then able to pretest the cable on the PC with the feature of the RME ASIO driver (in the settings dialog) that there are no errors during data transport (audio is also simply data).

If the bit perfect test succeeds and if quality is still not ok on smartphone, then its much likely that the music content is not in a lossless format or that you are comparing Smartphone vs PC with with different volume levels. Louder sounds always better to our ears.

Another possibility for perceiving differences between audio playback from smartphone
and from PC might be, that
a) your checks have a longer delay in between, our brain can only remember sound for short moments, why its necessary to make quick A/B tests
b) additionally personal expectation influences the perception.
c) you do not use the same volume level, louder sounds better to our ears (-> loudness war)
If you do not know all this, then its much likely that a combination of all this is what happens and makes you think, that something is different.

USB cable price is not relevant here, simply do not get the cheapest to get no issues with bad plugs.

I payed with €25 already a lot of money for such a cable because I needed a 5m USB3 cable and this is longer than the technical specs allow for USB3. So I invested into a 3x shielded Lindy premium cable for around €25 to be able to use a longer cable without issues.

On the PC you can install the RME ASIO driver and if you open the driver settings window and keep it open you can watch the CRC counter there, if they stay 0 then you have no USB transport issues.

Buying expensive USB cables is not required, its like buying a Rolls to drive to Mc Donalds. If you want to burn money, please do, but there is technically no requirement for this. It won't alter the sound in any way, its pure digital transmission.

RME Steadyclock eliminates any jitter and the fhe final D/A conversion is being performed on the ADI-2 Pro using its own internal Femto Second clock.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

There's nothing wrong using a smartphone as front end for music listening.
In my headphones setup ADI-2 Pro mainly is fed by an iPhone/USB using Tidal Hifi.
Bit-Test runs suscessfully for the relevant resolutions.

There is not the slightest sound difference to using my CD/DVD player or any other souce I have, as long as the release versions of the streaming and the CD are the same.

The only thing, that's not always the case, in streaming often there are newer "remastered" version's that are not always favorable.

A lot of those remasters are victims of the loudness war, they are louder, but dynamically more squashed, often with unsuited EQ applied.
Louder, but less transparent and impactful, a less favorable listening experience.

So with every comparison, you need to make sure that you don't compare apples to pie.

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

+1 Thanks Kai, you found the proper words for this.

Some more thoughts on this topic as you say streamed audio can become manipulated.
I tell you all this as an option to simply keep control over the audio quality ....

I am old fashioned and still buy CDs.

I am using EAC (exact audio copy) for high accuracy ripping which validates correctness of ripping result by comparing CRC checksum  with an online database so that you can be sure (based on other peoples results) that your result is proper.
Its called "AccurateRIP".
The strength of this application is, that it slows down the drive on errors and tries to extract as much data as possible.
The extraction result (original WAV file from CD) will be converted into FLAC lossless format.

In MusicBee I can manage these FLAC files and create playlists and also auto playlists which work perfect.

I can normalize volume if I want and its only being written into the FLAC header.

For EAC there is an optional add-on product which transfers to you automatically the CD cover, in most cases excellent quality, but not in all, sometimes less quality or missing.

But MusicBee also fills the gap here and you can retrieve covers from itunes and other sources in hi res format and add or overwrite it to the header of your FLAC files.

MusicBee also allows me to transfer stuff automatically to a Smartphone.

On the Smartphone you have nowadays so much space. I bought for my Android DUAL SIM Phone (Galaxy 5)
an additional 32 GB SIM card and have now all content in FLAC format on the phone.

I can even use an Android app from Oppo and send audio to my Oppo Bluray Player, from there audio is being transferred bit perfect to my ADI-2 Pro FS R BE in front of my HiFi.

What I wand to say by this .. you have options nowadays and I personally prefer, that I am the real owner of my music content and having by this the control to have original audio files that do not become remastered or otherwise manipulated for the one or other reason.

By this I also avoid the bloat, that some CD content is being upsampled to 192 kHz or even DSD format, which does not increase the quality in any way but simply wastes much more space on disk or smartphone.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

I just want to know what's the highest quality digital out I can do. Does one need to buy a usb port for a computer that is *for audio*?

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Curt, I'm actually wealthy and spending money on lies or peace of mind is just not a problem for me.

17 (edited by ramses 2020-03-10 07:04:47)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

ItchyEars wrote:

I just want to know what's the highest quality digital out I can do. Does one need to buy a usb port for a computer that is *for audio*?

No, USB supports lossless digital data transfer and thats it.

BR
Ramses
X10SRi-F, Win10 Pro 1909, Cubase, UFX+, Octamic XTC, ADI-2 Pro FS BE/R BE, RayDAT, ARC USB

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

ItchyEars wrote:

Curt, I'm actually wealthy and spending money on lies or peace of mind is just not a problem for me.

If you want to really improve the sound of your system, we can help you and address your room or your speaker positionning. And choice of speakers, room and speaker positionning are at least 95% of the sought after sound quality...

But if you only want to buy "peace of mind" by spending your money on useless snake oils like Shatki Stones, Audio Quest USB cable, magical sounding USB port,  iFi DC purifier or other audio BS, maybe it is not the right forum to ask...
Most of the members here are professionals or "sound educated" people with a technical background and objective approach... And USB is USB: the sound is not some magical entity; through USB it is only data... and like your printer, who prints each letter you send to it via USB to perfection, the DAC will receive to perfection each bit of sound data through USB (if your player and system are ok, check with the bit test). It's sad but true: no magic in digital audio... And the USB port of a cheap PC has the same "sound quality" that the one you can find on some fancy sources...

ADI-2 DAC (with stock PSU) - Neumann KH 310 A monitors - Cheap USB and XLR cables

19 (edited by KaiS 2020-03-10 11:33:02)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

ItchyEars wrote:

Curt, I'm actually wealthy and spending money on lies or peace of mind is just not a problem for me.

Donate to UNICEF or other aid group, this will give you more peace of mind than any spending to those fraudulent cony-catchers that tell you digital cables have "a sound".

If something goes wrong in a digital connection the errors become very obviously audible by clicks, crackles and dropouts, or even the connection fails.

There's no error correction or masking in audio over USB, every error=audible click.

But beware, sometimes there are strange clicks already in the recordings, more often in streaming sources than on CDs.
Repeat the same passage - same click = error is in the recording.


Bit-Test is a wonderful tool to verify, within seconds, EVERYTHING is OK.
If Bit-Test runs successfully that's all you need for peace of mind.


Don't chase shadows, enjoy listening to music.

20 (edited by Curt962 2020-03-10 16:00:43)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

Itchy,

How do I keep getting dragged into this?  smile

N00b, Kai, Ramses have all offered fine insights, and I'd wager if you tried it THEIR way, (EQ/Enhancements OFF, Vol at 100) all would be fine.   In the end, your DAC doesn't care WHERE the data came from...so long as it's not been corrupted in any way.   Give it a Whirl! 

Download the RME Bit Test to your Smart Phone, Run the Test, and you'll have a definitive answer.

Don't Worry.  There'll be plenty of time to discuss Vacuum Tube Audiophile Wi-Fi Routers, etc at a later date. big_smile

Curt

Vintage 2018 ADI-2 DAC. "Classic Edition"
Cables:  Red Ones, and White Ones.
Speakers:  Yes (2)

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

OK fair enough.
I use headphones for listening only. No speakers.
Got a cardas clear usb a to usb B cable and it noticeably improved sound over the stock cable. I'm happy so far.

Re: Phone digital out VS Computer digital out.

At 200$ the printer cable, I bet you notice the difference!!
But as explained before, a USB cable just tranfers data, 1 and 0, and can't "improve" the sound... It's not even a sound signal in it, but computer data...
A deficient cable can create pop & clicks, but changing the cable can't improve the stereo soundstage or other audiophile's BS. It doesn't make sense. If with the stock cable you pass the "Bit perfect" test, the cable data transmission is perfect... And you can't do better than that, despite of all Cardas marketing promises...

But after all, all that matters is that you are happy with your set up.

ADI-2 DAC (with stock PSU) - Neumann KH 310 A monitors - Cheap USB and XLR cables