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cipher7
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-03-2017
Location: CA
Views: 818
Message 1 of 5

X1E - Realtek ALC285 Specs

I just received my X1E a couple of days ago and love this laptop.   However, one area I'm running into a few issues, and have questions, concerns the audio performance on this machine.  Before I can troublehshoot, I'm trying to determine the capabilities of the Realtek chipset in my X1E.  Using Aida64, I can see that it's using the Realtek ALC285 audio chipset.  Unfortunatley, my online searches haven't turned up much on the capabilities of this chipset.

 

When I open the Windows 10 Sound applet there is only one entry which is named "Speaker H/P".  When I go to Properties->Advanced it only lists support for the following two formats:

 

1) 16 Bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality)

2) 24 Bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality)

 

This seems limited to me as my 6 year old laptop from Asus with a Realtek ALC269 chipset has the following 8 formats listed:

 

1) 16 Bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality)

2) 16 Bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality)

3) 16 Bit, 96000 Hz (Studio Quality)

4) 16 Bit, 192000 Hz (Studio Quality)

5) 24 Bit, 44100 Hz (Studio Quality)

6) 24 Bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality)

7) 24 Bit, 96000 Hz (Studio Quality)

8) 24 Bit, 192000 Hz (Studio Quality)

 

Is everyone else only seeing the two formats I listed above?

 

SyneRyder
Punch Card
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎11-22-2018
Location: AU
Views: 799
Message 2 of 5

Re: X1E - Realtek ALC285 Specs

I don't know about the X1E, but on the 2018 Yoga X1 3rd Gen model, I also see just those same two audio formats. The Yoga X1 uses a Realtek ALC3286 chip, though.

 

I haven't been very happy with the default Realtek, it has been a bit noisy & with annoying clicks at the start & end of playback.  (The Realtek in my MacBook Pro sounded better, but didn't support 24-bit and had really bad latency for recording work.)

 

If you need better sound & lower latency (eg for music production work), plugging in a USB audio device like a Focusrite 2i2 will give you all of those audio format options.  The Focusrite has been working well so far with my Yoga X1 3rd Gen.  If you're on the go, a tiny M-Audio Micro DAC 24/192 should also work (the size of a USB stick / flash drive).

cipher7
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-03-2017
Location: CA
Views: 787
Message 3 of 5

Re: X1E - Realtek ALC285 Specs

Hi SyneRyder,

 

Thanks for the response as I hadn't even considered those external options yet.   If the chipset they choose is this limited then I'l definitely start looking at adding something to the laptop since I have numerous hi-res audio files (SACD, 24-192 FLAC etc).  I like the idea of the smaller USB attachment as its really for mobile listening that I'm interested in gettting the best out of my laptop.  For all other music listening I would feed audio from Foobar through my home speakers.  

 

Hopefully, some X1E owners can confirm what they are seeing on their laptop's.

cipher7
Paper Tape
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-03-2017
Location: CA
Views: 714
Message 4 of 5

Re: X1E - Realtek ALC285 Specs

Just wanted to add a quick update.  There was a new Realtek driver (v 6.0.1.8606) released recently which i installed yesterday.  This has made the following changes to my system:

 

1) We now have the following 4 output options:

     a) 16 Bit, 44100 Hz (CD Quality)

     b) 16 Bit, 48000 Hz (DVD Quality) 

     c) 24 Bit, 44100 Hz (Studio Quality)

     d) 24 Bit, 48000 Hz (Studio Quality)

2) A craclking sound which I was hearing through the headphone jack is now gone

3) The volume level of the audio is higher than before (both via speakers and headphone)

4) The quality of the audio is better (hard to say if this is related to the above fixes or may in fact be slightly better)

 

While the audio out support isn't as great as my much older laptop, these fixes have made the laptop a joy to use when it comes to audio.  

 

SyneRyder
Punch Card
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎11-22-2018
Location: AU
Views: 692
Message 5 of 5

Re: X1E - Realtek ALC285 Specs

Unfortunately the 6.0.1.8606 update doesn't seem to be available for the Yoga X1 3rd Gen yet through Vantage, so I can't test if the fix works for me too. I'm still stuck on 6.0.1.8551 here.

 

However, I've found an even cheaper workaround than the one I suggested above - the $15 Apple USB-C to Headphone Port adapter works perfectly with the Yoga X1 3rd Gen. There's no clicking audio, and it seems to have richer sound quality (my guess is it's providing more power/signal to the headphones). The inline play/pause buttons also work on my Bose QC25 headphones with it. So for anyone else still fighting with this clicking sound issue, if you can spare a USB-C port, I definitely recommend the Apple USB-C to Headphone adapter dongle until Lenovo / Realtek fixes this.

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