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How to improve sound quality? (Adam Audio T7V, Presonus Microstation BT, IPhone/Ipad as source)

antonvsu

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Dear Experts,

I would appreciate advice on how to get better sound quality.
  • Sorry I did not manage to find answers on the forum myself: there is a plenty of information available, but sometimes it’s better to focus on things you are good at, and just ask experts :)

Situation: which devices I already have :
  • Speakers: Adam Audio T7V
  • Music Source: IPhone 13 Pro or IPad Pro (there is USB-C, not lightning, if it matters) via Bluetooth
  • Music apps: YouTube Music
  • Bluetooth -> analog converter: Presonus microstation BT
  • TV (not connected for the moment, but it is planned): LG with HDMI(ARC), optical output, Bluetooth
Complication: the sound quality is good but it seems like it is not good as it can be…

Questions:
  1. Would purchasing a new DAC (e.g. Ifi, Topping, SMSL) improve sound quality significantly?
  2. Would connecting my Apple devices to DAC via USB (e.g. with camera kit for iPhone, or directly to iPad USB-c) improve sound quality significantly?
  3. Could you propose any other ideas?

Thank you in advance.
Anton
 
Could you propose any other ideas?
Try the Apple dongle and see if that improves your sound. Perhaps the Presonus receiver is not so good. Other than that, none of your proposed options are going to make a significant difference. I would rather concentrate on your listening conditions: room EQ (a kit of UMIK-1, REW, and Qudelix 5K can bring much more improvement than an expensive DAC), adding subwoofer(s), etc.
 
The Adam Audio T7V are good speakers, and your audio source is digital.
On average I expect you should be pretty happy with the sound you have.

Questions:
  1. Would purchasing a new DAC (e.g. Ifi, Topping, SMSL) improve sound quality significantly?
  2. Would connecting my Apple devices to DAC via USB (e.g. with camera kit for iPhone, or directly to iPad USB-c) improve sound quality significantly?
  3. Could you propose any other ideas?
In my opinion a new DAC would not make a noticeable difference.

Bluetooth is ultimately not as good or reliable as a wired connection.
However, the latest Bluetooth is pretty good. I think most of us would
not be able to hear a difference.

What is your listening setup? How far away are the speakers when you listen?
What kind of music? How loud? What do you think you might be missing?

A lot of recordings are mixed to emphasize rhythm and bass over clarity.
You might like to have equalization (tone controls). The little switches on
the back of the T7V are intended for that purpose. Do you have equalization
in your phone software?

For my taste dissatisfaction can often be traced to the source. Many popular
music mixes might accurately reflect a live performance, but still feel rather
low fidelity. Try listening to different artists. Do some songs sound good to
you?
 
Try the Apple dongle and see if that improves your sound. Perhaps the Presonus receiver is not so good. Other than that, none of your proposed options are going to make a significant difference. I would rather concentrate on your listening conditions: room EQ (a kit of UMIK-1, REW, and Qudelix 5K can bring much more improvement than an expensive DAC), adding subwoofer(s), etc.
Hello Unpluggged,

Thanks for your reply.
Point by point:
Thanks again.
 
The Adam Audio T7V are good speakers, and your audio source is digital.
On average I expect you should be pretty happy with the sound you have.


In my opinion a new DAC would not make a noticeable difference.

Bluetooth is ultimately not as good or reliable as a wired connection.
However, the latest Bluetooth is pretty good. I think most of us would
not be able to hear a difference.

What is your listening setup? How far away are the speakers when you listen?
What kind of music? How loud? What do you think you might be missing?

A lot of recordings are mixed to emphasize rhythm and bass over clarity.
You might like to have equalization (tone controls). The little switches on
the back of the T7V are intended for that purpose. Do you have equalization
in your phone software?

For my taste dissatisfaction can often be traced to the source. Many popular
music mixes might accurately reflect a live performance, but still feel rather
low fidelity. Try listening to different artists. Do some songs sound good to
you?
Hello rationaltime,

The sound is good, you are tight. I first listed to Adam Audio when visited my colleague, he used it with iFi but my personal feeling was that the sound was better that with my Prosonus: more stereo effect, etc.

regarding listening setup: I would say typical: speakers on the left/right from TV, I listen 1.5-2 meters from speakers, not loud at all. Diffrent kind of music, e.g. Eric Clapton

What I miss: maybe more bass, more stereo effect (differences between channels).

i dont have equalization software in my phone. could you recommend one?

Thank you for your ideas :)
 
Here is a suggestion for equalization.

Change the way music sounds on iPhone
Use EQ and normalize volume levels
Choose an equalization (EQ) setting: Go to Settings > Music > EQ.
Normalize the volume level of your audio: Go to Settings > Music, then turn on Sound Check.

I think Adam T7V should be fine for your listening distance of 1.5-2 m.
The stereo separation not done by the speakers. Separation is put in
during the audio production. Listen to different songs to see how much
the separation changes.

The Adam monitors have good neutral sound. I think for casual listening
they would have enough bass for me. However, you are the listener. If
changing the equalization on your phone does not give you the bass you
want then consider adding a sub-woofer.

Given your setup I suggest Adam audio T10S. It is configured to work
with the T7V speakers. So, you can add a sub-woofer and still use the
PreSonus microstation. It looks like the Adam T10S price is $400. That
is more than your pair of T7V, but maybe it will make you happier.

That is my suggestion.
 
After a little search I think that iPhone equalization will work for
the phone's built in speaker and not work for the bluetooth audio.
I don't have a way to test. Sorry. Maybe there is a third party
application. I don't know.
 
Hello rationaltime,

The sound is good, you are tight. I first listed to Adam Audio when visited my colleague, he used it with iFi but my personal feeling was that the sound was better that with my Prosonus: more stereo effect, etc.

regarding listening setup: I would say typical: speakers on the left/right from TV, I listen 1.5-2 meters from speakers, not loud at all. Diffrent kind of music, e.g. Eric Clapton

What I miss: maybe more bass,
Add a sub, but first check with Umik 1 (microphone) and REW (free software) the frequency response in your room.
more stereo effect (differences between channels).
Increase the distance between the speakers. It should be identical to the distance between each speaker and the listening position. Start with this distance and then experiment with more and less.
 
Consider playing with the placement of the speakers (further apart, toe-in, closer or further from back wall). USB connection should sound better than bluetooth. If it does, you might want to consider a cheap streamer like the Wiim instead of bluetooth.
 
Thank you all very much.
I read you comments and realize that the main problem is with Bass, it is not so deep and low as it can be expected from the speaker of similar size.

I will try your recommendations, have another idea to buy a wire to connect iPhone to speaker directly (avoiding Bluetooth Station), just to measure if bass has changed.
 
one more question:

Is it better to use Balanced (XLR) or Unbalanced (RCA) input on the speaker?
 
I am not familiar with your speakers. Google tells me they are $200 studio monitors. Some people say that studio monitors sound analytical and are not as enjoyable as speakers designed for pleasure rather than production. Also, as a general rule, if you aren't happy with what you are hearing, the only thing that makes sound are your speakers so they are usually the place to start upgrading.

Other than that, yeah the Bluetooth seems like the weakest link in your chain. Try taking it out and see how that sounds.
 
I am not familiar with your speakers. Google tells me they are $200 studio monitors. Some people say that studio monitors sound analytical and are not as enjoyable as speakers designed for pleasure rather than production. Also, as a general rule, if you aren't happy with what you are hearing, the only thing that makes sound are your speakers so they are usually the place to start upgrading.

Other than that, yeah the Bluetooth seems like the weakest link in your chain. Try taking it out and see how that sounds.
They are not universally popular for hi-fi. Among budget studio monitors I would recommend the Yamaha HS8 after some EQing.
 
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I read you comments and realize that the main problem is with Bass, it is not so deep and low as it can be expected from the speaker of similar size.
A good subwoofer should make a huge difference. But it can be tricky without an AVR (Audio Video Receiver). Without an AVR (or an active crossover) it would be best to find a subwoofer with a pass-through & crossover/filter for your active speakers (to block the bass from your main speakers).
 
A good subwoofer should make a huge difference. But it can be tricky without an AVR (Audio Video Receiver). Without an AVR (or an active crossover) it would be best to find a subwoofer with a pass-through & crossover/filter for your active speakers (to block the bass from your main speakers).
This would do the trick.
 
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