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For those who worry about quality of software volume control

bennetng

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#1
My mainboard has toslink output and my soundcard has toslink input, and they are capable of bit-perfect transfer (verified by null test). Therefore I can evaluate the quality of different audio APIs, playback software and volume control in digital domain.

The video has no sound. Audio recorded in the video can be downloaded below. Beware of loud volume.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/17mejNuTKEvXsEqjlQQGpJlhoH9K6qaEq/view?usp=sharing

 
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#3
Very interesting, thanks. Do you have a Chromecast Audio? It would be also interesting to measure a digital chain like FLAC file on a NAS -> streaming with BubbleUPnP or similar app -> CCA digital out.
 

bennetng

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#4
I don't have Chromecast Audio. However, digital attenuation performance is very easy to predict. Unless there is firmware/driver/software/clipping issue, quality should be no different from DAW render-to-file or other file conversion tools.
 
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#5
Yes I agree. I ordered a cheap external sound card with TOSLINK digital in/out, I will try to make some measurements.
 
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#6
Both videos do not seem to load anymore. Can you give us a summary? Is using Windows' built-in volume control 'safe for Hi-Fi' or not? I have a Koss ESP that has two separate volume knobs for each channel, which means it's simply more convenient to change volume digitally, but I'll suffer with it if the results are not as good.

Thanks!
 

daftcombo

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#8

RayDunzl

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#10
Works for me on Chrome.
 
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#11
I tried Chrome on a PC and a Mac.

Can I have the URLs for them? Maybe something is funny on the embed?
 

RayDunzl

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#13
Using Audacity, the visual effect of -60dB on a music waveform.

Signal is about 1/1000th after attenuation.

That's like turning the volume from rather loud to all but inaudible.

1556729075363.png
 

RayDunzl

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#14

Willem

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#17
I did not manage to get the video, but yes, software volume control is fine. The only reason I have a hardware solution as well (an Emotiva Control Freak) is that it adds a safety margin against unexpected loud sound thjat might destroy my nice Hartbeth P3ESR desktop speakers. Plus I find it more convenient.
 
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#18
I notice that he uses foobar volume, not Windows system volume. I usually use system volume.

Will the results be drastically different? I use my headphones for more than just music.
 
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