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Goot equipment for huge FLAC files?
kylegreer1996
post Jul 25 2012, 12:19
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Hello all, I'm new to hydrogen audio and all biggrin.gif
I was wondering, I'm not the best expert on audio, but I do like as high quality as I can get, recently I've been really occupied with a certain artist and managed to get one of his recent albums from vinyl, first time I've listened to 24 bit - 4608kbps - 96khz, can't fault the audio quality either, but I don't really have anything along the lines of audiophile grade listing equipment.

Does anyone have any recommendations for good headphones? Also, does it make a difference that I'm using a stock basic sound card? I care more about processing power and gpu power than sound cards.

Thanks for any help!

-Kyle
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slks
post Jul 29 2012, 06:58
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First off, as has already been mentioned - 24/96 audio is overkill except in specific situations (such as in a recording studio). The consensus here is that you're unlikely to hear a difference between 24/96 and 16/44.1, barring outside factors (like bad resampling).

That said, I don't think vinyl rips are useless. Vinyl does introduce slight distortions to the sound - surface noise, altered frequency response, etc - that have a certain appeal. I've done a few 24/48 vinyl rips myself, and have no problem listening to these, or dithering to 16-bit then burning a CD of it.

Now on to your question itself! Many (should I say most?) basic sound cards from the past 5 years support 24/96. However it's possible yours only supports 16/48. So first you have to determine what model your sound card is, and then look up which modes it supports.

But the sound card isn't really the first place to look. Sound cards today are, for the most part, adequate. This is why you, I, and lots of other people just use the built-in sound. The #1 thing you're looking at to improve sound, is what actually produces the sound - the speakers or headphones. The single most effective thing you can do is to upgrade those.

Unfortunately I don't know much about which specific models to buy. I've always bought cheap (under $50) headphones, focusing more on my full-size speakers. But I can say with confidence to avoid heavily branded/promoted expensive products! Like Skullcandy headphones, or Beats by Dre. These tend to be way overpriced and not very good otherwise. Run faaaar away from these. Now someone else who knows headphones needs to step in, to tell you what is good!


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