SoundSticks vs SoundSticks II, digital vs analog...is digital better?

SoundSticks vs SoundSticks II, digital vs analog...is digital better?

Post by Will Mullo » Mon, 21 Jun 2004 09:44:13


A friend of mine has the original USB-powered digital SoundSticks and
loves them.

I want to get some, but find they are replaced with SoundSticks II

Technologically, it's been pressed into our minds that "digital is
better" (cable/satellite TV, camcorder, my 900MHz "digital" cordless
phone, my DP Power Mac 533 G4 "digital" audio, the list goes on...

I'm no audiophile, and I know the specs look identical, but USB-only
output notwithstanding, will I get better sound from a used pair of the
original SoundSticks, or are the SoundSticks II 100% equal in
performance?

The ability to plug in my iPod does me little good if the sound isn't as good.

Thanks for all responses!
-Will
 
 
 

SoundSticks vs SoundSticks II, digital vs analog...is digital better?

Post by neillmasse » Tue, 22 Jun 2004 04:55:04


You can't listen to digital audio. It has to be converted to analog,
amplified, and then converted to sound by a transducer before you can
hear it. Where that DA conversion occurs doesn't matter as much as the
quality of the converter and the associated analog circuits. My guess is
that there's no audible difference between the DA converter in the USB
SoundSticks and that in a Mac. Where a Mac might be inferior is in the
analog line output, particularly in adding some noise. Noise also gets
added at the power output stage, which is (AFAIK) identical in both
versions of the SoundSticks.



I've used both and can't hear a difference. The SoundSticks II seem to
have a more sensitive sub.

 
 
 

SoundSticks vs SoundSticks II, digital vs analog...is digital better?

Post by Will Mullo » Tue, 22 Jun 2004 08:12:13

On 2004-06-20 12:55:04 -0700, XXXX@XXXXX.COM (Neill
Massello) said:


Thanks!


"sensitive" being a good thing here, I imagine?

Thanks, again,
-Will
 
 
 

SoundSticks vs SoundSticks II, digital vs analog...is digital better?

Post by neillmasse » Thu, 24 Jun 2004 04:42:19


Meaning the new sub is louder than the old sub at the same setting.
 
 
 

SoundSticks vs SoundSticks II, digital vs analog...is digital better?

Post by shamin » Thu, 24 Jun 2004 11:00:48

Neill Massello writes:


The D/A converter in the SoundSticks may be different from the one in
a Mac or in an iPod. Whether it's better or worse is anybody's
guess.

Even knowing the tech specs of the part, this is subjective. Every
stage of the audio "pipeline" (electronics, the speaker elements, the
casing, where you position it in your room, etc.) "colors" the sound
in some way. This isn't necessarily bad - a purely "flat" response
doesn't necessarily sound best, and what you like may be very
different from what I like. Many people like speakers that give a
"brighter" feel to the sound, while others prefer a "warmer" feel.

Ultimately, you should see if you can find a store that lets you
listen to your favorite music on a variety of different speakers so
you can decide what you think sounds best.

And don't limit yourself to what Apple sells. Once you're dealing
with analog audio, there are a lot of different options to choose
from.

My Mac at home is using a set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers ($180
at Best Buy two years ago). IMO, they are close to the best you're
going to be able to get in this price range. (They also make 4.1 and
5.1 surround systems which get great reviews, but since my Mac doesn't
have surround output, I didn't see any reason to spend the extra money
on them.)

-- David