Laptop/PC for Audio


New member
Username: Cpfletch

Post Number: 2
Registered: 02-2004
I am interested in integrating a laptop into my home audio system as a "source" -- CDs I have ripped to MP3 and WMA, but also Internet radio channels, etc. Does anyone have any recommendations in how to get the best possible sound out of the laptop? (because it is a laptop installing a better quality sound card is not an option for me).

Unregistered guest
Hi..I'm exploring the same option too and is literally banging my head on the wall. I think if you have a AV receiver that accepts digital inputs, you can connect from the digital/SDIF output of the laptopm. However, by connecting from the headphones socket to the RCA inputs of your amp, the music really sucks.

Bronze Member
Username: Feot

Houston, TX USA

Post Number: 12
Registered: Apr-04
best option for quality sound is the soundblaster extigy.

New member
Username: Drajod

Post Number: 2
Registered: Mar-05
I've been doing this for a long time now. I use a Dell Laptop and a Compaq tablet PC. Both have my thousands of songs on em.

Don't use musicmatch jukebox for playing. In my opionion it is great for organizing music and editing tags, but lousy sound quality. Use winamp (free download. The sound is increadible.

I use the headphone jack to connedt a y adpater (headphone plug to RCA plug). Plug this into the CD-R or other digital input on the back of your amp and you're ready to go.

Your quality of music will depend on the quality of your mp3's. I only download at 192kbs. Also, you may have to play around with Winamps equalizer to get the sound you like. And lastly, your music will sound better with better sound cards. I played same song, same speakers, program, etc on my laptop and tablet and the laptop did have better quality due to its superior sound card. But, the tablet is a nice size for the kitchen and my wife can't tell the difference.

Hope this helps.


New member
Username: Drajod

Post Number: 3
Registered: Mar-05
I use my laptop all the time. Download a free copy of winamp from Use it to play your mp3's. I find the sound quality far superior to other players like musicmatch.

Use the headphone jack to a RCA plug adapter. Monster cable makes one. Plug it into a digital input in the back of your amp.

Play around with the volume on the laptop. I keep mine around 70%.

Play around with the equalizers and find one that fits your type of music.

I like making playlists for certain types of company.

And yes, your sound card does make a difference.

Hope this helps.


Raspberry Rabbit
Unregistered guest
Okay so humour me here. A 1/8 inch headphone jack is a pretty measly way of putting out sound. There are some great stations out there on the internet. Has any bright light designed some sort of device which would allow two standard RCA output plugs to protude from a laptop?

Unregistered guest
most modern soundcards are for 5.1 or 7.1 sounds and to connect to a surround amplifier. how do i have to connect such a soundcard to my "old" stereo ampli wich has no digital input only the traditional aux input(RCA connection). please help me? i know i could use the headphone jack to RCA cabel, but isn't this reducing the quality of teh sound?

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Glendale, CA US

Post Number: 611
Registered: Dec-03
Waveterminal u24 on ebay is a better way to get the sound out. 24bit 96kh. It is small enough tobe carried around, with a laptop.
Sound is beter than soundblaster or any other options so far mentioned.

You can find more info here -
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