How to Build an Awesome PC Audio Experience
If you want to improve your PC's quality, there are an endless array of options, products, and services that purport to offer the ideal solution. While there are countless articles and tips on getting the best visual experience while using your PC, improving your audio setup can be a bit more esoteric. Following these steps will help ensure that you can create an ideal PC audio experience that will satisfy even the most hardcore audiophiles.
Consider Selecting Headphones That Are Appropriate for Your Environment
Although many wired and wireless headphone manufacturers claim that their product is ideal for use in a variety of situations, true audio excellence often requires more specialized equipment. One example is choosing open or closed-backed headphones, given that closed-back models are better suited to work or office environments and open-back models are more prone to noise leakage. If you are gaming, streaming, or otherwise enjoying yourself in the comfort of your home, open-back headphones offer much greater audio quality when disturbing colleagues, housemates, or neighbors is not an issue.
It is also worth noting that when purchasing headphone models which do not includes features such as wireless connectivity and noise cancelation, the cost of the unit goes into headphone drivers, speakers, and other audio components. You can often get much better audio quality from comparably priced devices offering less high-tech bells and whistles, so it's worth shopping around to find your ideal set of headphones for your chosen environment.
Buy a Set of High-Quality Desktop Speakers to Boost Your Audio Experience
Built-in speakers for laptops and desktops have come a long way since the earliest generation of home computers, but that is no reason to settle for the limited output that your PC can produce. This trend is especially true for owners of laptops designed to be ultrathin and lightweight, resulting in the need to install smaller and less impressive speakers compared to their larger counterparts. Regardless of the type of laptop or desktop PC you use, you can vastly improve your audio experience by adding a set of high-quality desktop speakers.
No matter the size of your budget, you can find sets of desktop speakers with a variety of aesthetic appearances and technical specifications to best suit your needs. From inexpensive Bluetooth speakers that connect wirelessly to high-end units with 3.5mm audio jacks and coaxial cable ports, desktop speakers can help take your PC audio experience to a whole new level. It can also be worth replacing your old audio cable with newer, more capable models to improve your audio experience for a modest investment.
Improve the Strength of Your Wi-Fi Network for Greater Audio Quality
While this may seem like an obvious solution to more experience PC owners and technologists, the strength and quality of your Wi-Fi network can significantly impact the quality of your audio experiences. The best and easiest solution may be to connect your laptop or desktop directly to your Wi-Fi router using an ethernet cable, but this may not be a practical or affordable option in many cases.
There are several potential solutions for increasing the strength of your Wi-Fi connection which range from relocating your PC or Wi-Fi router, purchasing a Wi-Fi extender or signal booster, replacing your router with a mesh network, and purchasing greater bandwidth from your ISP (Internet Service Provider). Given the potential for significant costs in upgrading your service plan or purchasing new devices, it is well worth experimenting with different setups to get the best possible audio experience.
Upgrade Your DAC to Get More Out of Your Existing PC
One generally accepted rule regarding purchasing technology is that you get what you pay for. To enjoy the best PC experience available, you will have to spend a considerable amount of money to achieve it. Unless you have the funds and wherewithal to order a custom-built laptop or desktop where you can design your ideal audio experience, you can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on a PC that does not necessarily invest heavily in its DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter).
The DAC is a critical component that allows your PC to convert digital audio signals into analog signals, which are then interpreted and broadcast through desktop speakers, headphones, and other devices. If your PC's built-in DAC is not capable of performing its duties with sufficient speed and accuracy, it can cause notable deterioration to your sound quality. There are several options for improving the quality of your DAC, including desktop units that resemble old-fashioned hi-fi components, USB sticks that plug directly into your PC, and headphone amplifiers.
Use a Music Streaming Service with High Resolution to Improve Your Audio
While this will come as no surprise to true audiophiles, the quality of your music streaming service can have a tangible impact on the quality of your audio experience. Desirable features to look for when considering which streaming services to use include access to MQA (Master Quality Authenticated) streaming, CD-quality audio, Dolby-Atmos audio tracks, and a high maximum bitrate for streaming audio files efficiently.
There are many potential solutions to improving the quality of your PC's audio output and creating a genuinely fantastic PC audio experience. By taking the time to shop around, comparing technical specifications, and considering which options work best for you, building your ideal audio setup has never been more possible. Whether you prefer a wired or wireless experience, you can augment your existing setup without spending significant amounts of time and money.