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Topic: [TOS #8] What Really Made my Speakers Sound better? (Read 588 times) previous topic - next topic
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[TOS #8] What Really Made my Speakers Sound better?

Hi everyone,

For the longest time I noticed that my Bose Companion 3 series II computer speakers sound very bloated ever since I got them in 2009. I've read many reviews years later and noticed that these speakers lack mids. I can turn down the bass control on its "Acoustimass" only so much without sacrificing SQ. Even then, its bass still sounded bloated like I can't really hear the mids much. It has been plugged in straight to my laptop's 3.5mm headphone jack. My laptop has a Realtek ALC269 soundcard.

It wasn't I got a Schiit Modi DAC and plugged in straight to the speakers bypassing the laptop's internal sound card, then it finally sounded better. It sounded like the DAC really cleaned things up and brought out all the missing details. The bass felt more controlled and lean, and I felt like I can hear more mids. I got the same result using the line out to the speakers on my Fiio E17K DAC only mode. Their difference between the external DACs and my laptops soundcard is significant. However, plugging into my HD650 headphones instead, their difference between the external DAC's and laptop's soundcard is not significant.

So what really made my speakers sound better? Is it due to double-amping from the laptop sound card that made it sound worse (both the "Acoustimass" and Realtek sound card have amps on their own)?  Or did the external DAC's really cleaned things up (especially on poorly-made equipment)? Or is it just placebo (which I highly doubt)?

Thank you for your feedbacks!

Re: What Really Made my Speakers Sound better?

Reply #1
Your laptop may not be able to drive line level outputs without distortion. If so, you would not notice this on headphones.  You could try turning down the laptop volume then turning up the amp gain to see if that improves things.

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