Sound quality with 3.5 to RCA?

dorianwalk

Honorable
Aug 7, 2015
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10,510
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I have tried to hook up both my iphone and an Echo Dot to my 20-year-old Technics receiver (at different times of course). My experience has been that I have to turn the volume up a lot (on the device and the receiver) and the sound quality is not as good as listening to the radio or a CD hooked up through the same receiver. Is that just the way it is or is there anything I can do to improve the quality of sound? Thanks!
 
The only streaming services that offer CD quality music are Tidal and Deezer.
If you are using other streaming services the quality will be mid to low level MP3. This might be worse than FM depending on the quality of your local FM stations.
Try streaming your local station and compare it to the radio signal that the receiver picks up.
The typical CD player has an output of about 2v max. The Dot isn't made to drive headphones so no harm in maxing out the volume on it. It should sound its best at max volume since digital volume controls work by reducing the number of bits available.
You can connect a computer to the receiver and try that. Should have plenty of output.
 

getochkn

Splendid
Moderator
Well the thing is, the headphone jack on any device, is amplified. Headphones don't have an amp, so the device amplifies the device. So now you're plugging a device outputting an amplified signal to a device expecting a non-amplified, or line-level signal. This usually provides distortion. Bluetooth speakers avoid this problem because they transfer the signal digitally, and un-amplified. Same with devices that use an iPod dock, or USB interface for Android phones.
 
Don't have an Echo so I can only speak of the iPhone.

Mobile devices tend to send out a weaker signal, as compared to your desktop CD player, so this, unfortunately, is normal. Some receivers have individual input trims so you can make adjustment to these "low signal" sources.

The signal out of mobiles' headphone jacks is been known to sux. You can fix by buying a Digital Dock, taking the signal directly out of the lightening connector and doing the DAC right there, usd$200+ or this may work cheaper, go through Bluetooth. Buy a BT receiver and attach it to the receiver. After exhaustive personal research, I find BT receiver audio quality hit and miss, buy somewhere you can return easy if unhappy.

Of course you are playing 192-320 kbps MP3 right? If you are playing 128 kbps MP3 all bets are off.
 
The only streaming services that offer CD quality music are Tidal and Deezer.
If you are using other streaming services the quality will be mid to low level MP3. This might be worse than FM depending on the quality of your local FM stations.
Try streaming your local station and compare it to the radio signal that the receiver picks up.
The typical CD player has an output of about 2v max. The Dot isn't made to drive headphones so no harm in maxing out the volume on it. It should sound its best at max volume since digital volume controls work by reducing the number of bits available.
You can connect a computer to the receiver and try that. Should have plenty of output.
 
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