Solved Improving sound quality from PC HDMI out to Onkyo Amplifier?

September 3, 2012 at 00:07:24
Specs: Windows 7
Currently I have my PC connected to my Onkyo receiver via HDMI OUT for both audio and video. I have an ATI Radeon HD5700 GPU and was wondering if there was any possible way of improving the sound quality/features coming from my PC with this current connection?

Is my ATI GPU dictating the quality of my sound as it's connect to the amp via HDMI OUT, or would I benefit from purchasing a higher quality sound card for the PC and connecting that to the amp instead?

All and any advice is much appreciated.

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September 3, 2012 at 05:17:04
Sometimes there is a port on video cards that can plug into your digital output on the motherboard. There may also be an external digital output on your motherboard which you may have as an input on your receiver. If either of these does not help, a sound card may be your best answer and are not typically that expensive.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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September 3, 2012 at 08:06:38
Sound via hdmi is not using the internal or add on card. The audio is coming from the sound chip on the video card. It should not sound bad but it may be that the volume is set too high or too low to the input of the onkyo. Adjust in in windows properties.

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September 3, 2012 at 13:07:45
✔ Best Answer
How does it sound with other sources? You should be getting perfect audio, since HDMI is a purely digital connection. If you haven't already done so, run the receiver's audio calibration program. Speaker calibration can make a huge difference, especially in acoustically challenged rooms.

I don't know what you're using to decode audio on your PC, but foobar2000 is easily the best music player, and LAV Filters + MPC-HC does a great job with surround formats. If you have MKV files with TrueHD or DTS-HD Master audio, LAV will even let you bit-stream the raw data directly to your receiver, bypassing any software decoders.

Also, if it's an older receiver, you may want to try running an optical cable to it. Some older receivers (like the Onkyo I once had) sound slightly better playing S/PDIF sources. I recently switched to a Pioneer receiver, which does a (much) better job with HDMI audio than my old Onkyo.

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Related Solutions

September 3, 2012 at 17:57:23
" It should not sound bad but it may be that the volume is set too high or too low to the input of the onkyo"

He's using an HDMI signal, there is no too high or too low, it's digital not analog.

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September 3, 2012 at 18:05:48
Ok, thanks you all for your help, very informative. So what you're saying is that because I am using HDMI OUT from my GPU that the audio chip on that GPU is the hardware doing all of the work from the PC side of things?

Correct me if I'm wrong then, but would an upgrade of my GPU with potentially a more advanced audio chip provide me with better quality audio or would it not make enough of a difference for me to even bother.

Should I be putting more emphasis on upgrading my receiver (currently using Onkyo TX-SR606) rather than worrying about the audio quality my GPU is sending there in the first place?

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September 3, 2012 at 22:02:40
Onkyo is very high quality, I doubt the problem lies there. As jackbomb asked, how does it sound with other sources?

You also haven't mentioned what make and model speakers you have.

I'm guessing your listening to MP3s which don't sound that good when played back on high quality equipment. Try using higher bitrate MP3s such as those encoded at 256kbps or higher or try playing a CD in your computers CD drive and see how that sounds.

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September 4, 2012 at 14:30:51
I don't care if it is digital. you can still control it from the host os.

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September 10, 2012 at 01:17:37
THX 1138, I have high quality Wharefdale speakers in 5.1 surround to compliment my Onkyo amp, from the answers I've read above, it sounds like there is no way to improve sound/signal quality between the HDMI out on my GPU to my Onkyo amp.

If I want to improve the sound from there, I guess I'll need to upgrade my amp and speakers...

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