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Windows 7: Audio Volume

04 Feb 2012   #1

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 
Audio Volume

This question is more for my educating my curiousity, than for solving a problem, but when I recently replaced my Audigy 2 ZS Platinum sound card with a Xonar D1, I was satisfied for the most part, with one exception. While it is louder than the onboard sound, the maximum volume available is noticeably lower on the new card than the old.

Comparing the specs, the Xonar claims a 116 db sound to noise ratio, and the Audigy a bit less at 108 db. This would make it appear that the Xonar should be able of being louder.

The only other spec that I found that might relate is on the Xonar it states that the Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage is 2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p), but I didn't find a similar spec on the Audigy, and am not certain how it would fit into the picture if I had.

The bottomline is if I should expect the Xonar to be capable of = or > volume or not?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Feb 2012   #2

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

First, the signal to noise ratio. That is not a measurement loudness. That is the ratio between the audio signal and the inherent noise in the system amplifiers. A larger signal to noise ratio is better and means the signal is "cleaner".

As you are feeding the sound to an external amplifier/speaker, the difference in sound output from any PC sound device should be minimal and compensated by the volume level control on the external device. If this was like the sound cards in old systems (back in the DOS days) the PC sound card included the power amplifier and feed speakers directly. This is no longer the case.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #3

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

Okay, that shoots down what I was thinking, but still doesn't explain why the maximum sound volume has lowered as much as it has. For instance, playing a movie in VLC, I will have the apps volume at max, the OS's volume at max, and the volume control on the HDTV, or headset at max, and the end output volume is quite sufficient, but it doesn't reach the level of my old Audigy card...or I could say that it doesn't Blast as it did before.

Since the system that I'm speaking of in located in my bedroom, meaning that a lot of the videos that I play on it are at night, it is kind of good, because the volume doesn't get so loud during commercials or during a noisy scene in the movie, like during a gunfight or battle, which keeps my neighbor from banging on the wall, but I'm still curious why that is?

EDIT: I should also mention that the volume in the Asus Audio Control Center is at maximum too.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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04 Feb 2012   #4

Windows 7, 64 bit Home SP1, Win 8.1.1 Pro 64 bit
 
 

Did the Soundblaster or one of it's applications have a "loudness" control? That tends to compress the sound so it sounds louder.

I have an HT Omega "Striker 7.1" and it uses a CMedia chip which I think is what the Asus uses. I previously had a SoundBlaster Xfi sound card installed and didn't notice any difference in volume level between the two.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
04 Feb 2012   #5

W7x64 Pro, SuSe 12.1/** W7 x64 Pro, XP MCE
 
 

No, no other differences that I know of.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Audio Volume




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