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audio from DP or HDMI #1782647 11/03/11 07:07 PM
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Csillag Offline OP
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Hi,

I am planning to use a computer for virtual pianos.
I have been advised to get something like a Presonus AudioBox USB (or Firebox) to get the sound out in a decent quality (as opposed to integrated audio solutions), but I have just realized that I also have digital audio output in the form of HDMI and/or DisplayPort.

So, my question is this: how do I get the digital audio from DisplayPort or HDMI to headphones? What kind of hardware do I need for that? Is this better or worse that using an external USB or FireWire audio device? (In terms of latency, sound quality and price.)

Thank you for explaining:

Csillag

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Re: audio from DP or HDMI [Re: Csillag] #1782656 11/03/11 07:23 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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Headphones only take analog input, so at some point there must be a digital-to-audio conversion. The AudioBox you mentioned does that (takes digital input through USB and converts it to analogue). HDMI carries it as digital and it gets turned to analog in the TV or whatever.

Even USB headphones have a digital-to-analog converter built in.

No way around getting a digital-to-analog converter. Sound interfaces designed for this purpose will probably have the best one around, which is why people recommend them.

IIRC you are on a hardcore budget. I'd suggest for now using onboard audio (in your computer, assuming it's a relatively recent computer). External is better, but not by such a huge margin that it's do or die. Better to spend the $$ on a better set of headphones or speakers.

On the other hand, many good headphones require a headphone amp, which is also something the external box provides.

Bottom line: you can't use HDMI to bypass a sound interface and win, unfortunately.

Last edited by gvfarns; 11/03/11 07:28 PM.
Re: audio from DP or HDMI [Re: gvfarns] #1782876 11/04/11 03:59 AM
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Csillag Offline OP
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Let my rephrase my question.

- What is the name of the hardware device category that can do digital-to-analog conversion on digital audio coming from DisplayPort / HDMI ?

- How do these devices compare to devices connected to FireWire or USB?

* * *

Since I need midi input, I probably need to get a USB/FireWire external device anyway; the only question is that should they be midi-only, or should they do sound, too. Since I intend to use a notebook* for the sound source, I am afraid that the onboard sound will be really crappy, so if possible, I would like to go for external sound - either via USB, or FireWire, or DisplayPort.

(* A Dell Precision M6400 mobile workstation, to be more precise)

Re: audio from DP or HDMI [Re: Csillag] #1782899 11/04/11 05:50 AM
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sullivang Offline
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Csillag - I have a Dell E6500 running Windows 7 and I wouldn't dream of using the Display Port for real time audio. It's even quirky for it's main purpose - sending audio to a monitor or TV. Stick with USB or Firewire.

Greg.

Last edited by sullivang; 11/04/11 04:07 PM.
Re: audio from DP or HDMI [Re: Csillag] #1783209 11/04/11 02:41 PM
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gvfarns Offline
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I can see no way it would ever make sense to use HDMI or Displayport. These USB boxes do a bunch of things (headphone amp, DAC, analog to digital, possibly MIDI in/out) while anything you could find to attach to your HDMI (if such a product exists) would likely not have these features and would likely be more expensive because that's just not the way things are done.

USB (or firewire) is designed to be a flexible two-way digital communication carrying lots of different types of signals (possibly simultaneously) and it is how the relevant hardware is designed to connect to your computer. HDMI has no such goal.

Re: audio from DP or HDMI [Re: gvfarns] #1783256 11/04/11 04:21 PM
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Csillag Offline OP
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OK, I get it, I will just go with an USB or FireWire device then.

Thank you for explaining.


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