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How do I get 'optical out' from USB?


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Old 22-01-2013, 21:04
Soundbox
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I have quite a bit of downloaded music on my computer and want to back it up to MD to play on my home HiFi. Therefore I need some device that plugs into the USB and gives me an optical out to go into the optical in of my MD recorder.

I have been using the analogue connect but that is not the best as it is just using the cheap headphone stage of my computer and that is not HiFi at all. Also I am doing a D-A conversion when not needed.

There is one item on Amazon but it has been witheld and is no longer offered as it was 'not as decribed' so I won't be getting that.

Any links or buying advice would be appreciated.
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Old 22-01-2013, 22:54
call100
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Turtle beach do this...........USB - Optical
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Old 22-01-2013, 22:56
Chris Frost
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Google or Amazon: "External Sound Card USB 6 Channel 5.1 Audio"

Job done
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Old 23-01-2013, 09:07
Nigel Goodwin
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I have been using the analogue connect but that is not the best as it is just using the cheap headphone stage of my computer and that is not HiFi at all. Also I am doing a D-A conversion when not needed.
Unless there's something seriously wrong with your computer, the headphone/line output should be considerably higher quality than MD - have you actually tried it?.
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Old 23-01-2013, 10:14
jjne
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Unless there's something seriously wrong with your computer, the headphone/line output should be considerably higher quality than MD - have you actually tried it?.
Absolutely.

Why don't we all throw away our hifi CD players while we're at it, and play everything through one of these plugged directly into an amplifier? For this is at about the level of most laptop headphone outputs!

Back in the real world, OP I would suggest you need a USB DAC. Passable ones are available for as little as this for if you want to play 24-bit files etc. This will give you the flexibility of recording to MD, and also a very clean direct output from the PC.

You don't need to spend a fortune, but without some level of dedicated DAC the sound quality will be lacking (has anyone ever owned a laptop whose headphone output isn't slightly hissy?)
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Old 23-01-2013, 17:58
Soundbox
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Thanks for the guidance - I was searching for the wrong thing (I used 'USB to optical audio') and I think that the Turtle Beach option is just about right. I only have a laptop so no room for internal sound cards sadly.

My headphone socket gives fair sound quality but is suffers from some sibilance/harshness on louder passages of music and I know from previous use that MD recorded on my JB980 home system with its Type-S ATRAC gives recordings that I am very happy with. I hope that an optical link may perk things up a bit further.
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