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22 Posts

11-25-2013

Colorado, USA

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Yoga 2 Pro Sound Quality Optimizatio

2014-02-17, 19:21 PM

So I have been trying to optimize the sound quality of the headphone jack (I have a pair of Shure SE-420k IEMs and a small headphone amp) while trying to maintain the relatively good sound quality of the built in speakers, and thought I'd share my results and see if anyone has any ideas that worked for them that they'd like to contribute:

 

1.  Uninstall Realtek drivers and use the basic Windows 8 drivers (this is what I'm currently doing)

 

Pros:  These drivers allow me to cleanly increase the bass with the Bass Boost (up to a 24 dB boost with whatever LPF cutoff you want) setting in the driver, so that plus a little bit of EQ for the highs in whatever music player you use (mainly Spotify and the EQualify plugin for me) plus the headphone amp yields satisfactory sound quality in my IEMs.  This is the only way I have achieved a clean, natural sound with deep low end bass in my IEMs from this computer.  It also gets rid of the annoying popup when you plug/unplug headphones.  Static in the line is also reduced.

 

Cons:  The above way of EQing gets you the perfect signal but at a very low amplitude so you need a headphone amp for your earphones.  And when you listen to music or whatever through the built in speakers, you have to go through the settings and disable the Bass Boost or it will be barely audible.  Even if you do this, the maximum volume is about half of what it was with the Realtek drivers and in apps like Hulu and Netflix this is a real problem.  Dolby Home Theater 4 also goes away when you uninstall Realtek but you don't really need it at this point.

 

2.  Keep the Realtek drivers and EQ the crap out of the earphones with whatever music software you use

 

Pros:  The built-in laptop speakers are loud and sound great.

 

Cons:  Hiss in the line when it comes to earphones.  If you don't EQ, the $400 earphones sound like $10 earphones.  And if you do EQ: 1.  They don't sound natural, 2.  Since most EQs only go to +-12 dB, the only way to get a +24 dB bass boost without distortion is to put your bass frequencies at +12 dB and all your other frequencies at -12 dB and this just sounds weird, also many EQs don't have a 32 Hz band, 3. To sum it up you can't get satisfactory sound out of the headphone jack, 4. There's a popup whenever you plug/unplug the earphones.

 

----------------

 

So what are some ways to minimize the tradeoffs?

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22 Posts

11-25-2013

Colorado, USA

34 Signins

223 Page Views

  • Posts: 22
  • Registered: ‎11-25-2013
  • Location: Colorado, USA
  • Views: 223

Re: Yoga 2 Pro Sound Quality Optimizatio

2014-04-28, 19:27 PM

I ended up leaving the Realtek drivers permanently installed and getting a USB DAC (Fiio E07K).  This gets you the best of both worlds, if you don't mind the bulk and expense of the DAC.

 

The other thing you could do is use Bluetooth earphones or get one of those Bluetooth adapter things that turns whatever existing earphones you have into Bluetooth earphones.

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1 Posts

04-28-2014

United States

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Re: Yoga 2 Pro Sound Quality Optimizatio

2014-04-28, 19:21 PM

Hi, seeing if you had any updates to this. More or less right now it seems if you use headphones than use the windows drivers and if you use speakers use the realtek drivers. Reading http://forum.notebookreview.com/ideapad-essential/742574-yoga-2-pro-faqs.html suggests buying something like this http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=108&cp_id=10823&cs_id=1082703&p_id=7116&seq=1&format=2

 

There has to be a better answer out there.

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22 Posts

11-25-2013

Colorado, USA

34 Signins

223 Page Views

  • Posts: 22
  • Registered: ‎11-25-2013
  • Location: Colorado, USA
  • Views: 223
  • Message 3 of 4

Re: Yoga 2 Pro Sound Quality Optimizatio

2014-04-28, 19:27 PM

I ended up leaving the Realtek drivers permanently installed and getting a USB DAC (Fiio E07K).  This gets you the best of both worlds, if you don't mind the bulk and expense of the DAC.

 

The other thing you could do is use Bluetooth earphones or get one of those Bluetooth adapter things that turns whatever existing earphones you have into Bluetooth earphones.

0 person found this solution to be helpful.

This helped me too

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1 Posts

05-25-2014

Milky Way

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Re: Yoga 2 Pro Sound Quality Optimizatio

2014-05-25, 17:45 PM

I was able to solve the really bad audio out of the phone jack on mine by modifying the following windows setting:

 

It's in the Sound Control Panel applet (execute control /name Microsoft.Sound from the Command Prompt to access Sound directly). Open the properties of the Loudspeakers and switch to the third tab. There is one single setting there:

 

Loudspeaker settings.png

(sorry for the german language)

 

These so called "improvements" need to be deactivated (i.e. set the flag like in the screenshot). This makes the uninvolving and boring sound signature go away - afterwards, I can hear no difference between ASIO and the normal Windows drivers, meaning the sound is no longer touched by the driver.

 

I have to add that this lowers the volume and sound quality of the internal speakers. So you need to switch this setting depending on whether you want to use the internal speakers (off) or the phone jack (on).

 

By the way, I'm using a dedicated headphone amplifier connected to a HD650. I have no hiss or line noise with this setup.

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