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HDMI to S/pdif converter audio quality

MrNice13

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Hi

I have an old DAC/headphone amp that I love and have only optical and coaxial input. If for example I use an old mini PC for making an audio setup that doesn't have optical but HDMI..

Can I use an HDMI to HDMI and S/PDIF out converter to connect the PC via HDMI to the converter, HDMI to a monitor and optical to my DAC without losing audio quality ?

In my mind from the PC to the converter box its digital via HDMI and again digital to my DAC via optical so technically the audio its just passing into the converter without losing audio quality? Knowing that I have small cable length. But what about the pc sound card can I bypass it with audio via HDMI ?

Thanks
 

Joachim Herbert

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It depends. HDMI will be limited to 44/48 kHz, optical might be jittery. So better get some USB>SPDIF box.
 

twsecrest

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How about a USB to S/PDIF optical converter.
A used Asus Xonar U3 USB sound card is one option.
 

twsecrest

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If your old Mini PC has a free slot, use a low cost sound card (with optical output).
 

Blumlein 88

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Here are tests of a couple USB to SPDIF converters. Basically perfect.

Lots of HDMI to split out optical SPDIF are jittery. Here is one I measured a few years back. Red is the HDMI route (ViewHD PRO 3X1with HDMI in and optical out) while green was an older V-link USB to Toslink converter. Lots of jitter related tones and raised noise floor via HDMI. Source was a Lenovo Thinkpad with HDMI out.
index.php
 
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MrNice13

MrNice13

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Wow so those HDMI to S/pdif are not so good. SO even with a usb to optical out sound card you got a lot of jitter and noise..
 
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MrNice13

MrNice13

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Blumlein 88

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Wow so those HDMI to S/pdif are not so good. SO even with a usb to optical out sound card you got a lot of jitter and noise..
HDMI can be better than what is shown, but in that $39 HDMI switcher converter it was pretty poor. Now I used that for a time for movie sound. It isn't terrible, but not great. For about the same cost you can have one of those Douk Audio converters which work great. I have one of the Douk Audio U2 models.
 

Joachim Herbert

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You also might consider one of these. Sort of swiss army knife.SMSL PO 100 pro
 
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MrNice13

MrNice13

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SMSL PO 100 pro
vs the douk. I don't know the need of an HDMI out. to plug it to a receiver ? I think the xmos XU316 better than the douk XU208 but I think its not big deal,.
 

Joachim Herbert

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...I don't know the need of an HDMI out...
This does I2S. It is just the HDMI connector. But you are right: Noone needs this.
 
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MrNice13

MrNice13

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I don't have the mini pc yet but 95% of the mini pc I see and that I am interested in for my project don't have optical out. I want something compact to stream some Qobuz with the dac/HP amp that I have. So the USB route with smsl or the douk should be good. Small powerful setup :)
PC > SMSL PO1000 > SMSL 793ii > Headphones and/or NAD 3020e > Old Technics speakers :)
 
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