Is a wired audio connection via 3.5mm cable better sound quality than Bluetooth 4.2 on 2016 MBP?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Hieveryone, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. Hieveryone macrumors 68040

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    #1
    I used to own a 2016 ntMBP which I used to connect to my external speaker via bluetooth 4.2.

    The sound quality was AMAZING.

    I was wondering if using an 3.5mm audio cable and connecting via headphone jack would produce the same quality?
     
  2. thesaint024 macrumors 65816

    thesaint024

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    #2
    It shouldn't be better than bluetooth, but there are other factors that could influence the sound quality. Bluetooth connection stays digital until it reaches the BT speakers where it does the DAC. The 3.5 jack route does the DAC in the MBP, then there are more variables that could affect the sound quality after that, namely the cable itself, the analog connections. I suppose it's possible for the analog route to be better if the DAC in the MBP is significantly better than the one in the speaker. Also there could be connection issues in the BT that affect the sound, but those are rather obvious, drops, skips, etc. Are you talking about using the same speaker that has both BT capability and analog jack? All things being equal, the BT should sound better because of the lower chance of analog interference and variables, assuming the DAC's are close in quality.
     
  3. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #3
    Yes, and no. It does, or it does not, though it should not have to, but depends on the Maker of the components (and how they implement the standard, the type of file being played, and the type of cable being used.

    It's important to recognize that while Bluetooth (as commonly implemented) does degrade audio quality (to varying degrees), it doesn't have to. It's primarily up to the device manufacturers to use Bluetooth in a way that impacts audio quality the least – or preferably, not at all. Then you have to consider that the subtle differences among audio codecs can be hard to hear, even on a really good system. In most situations, Bluetooth will not have a significant impact on the sound quality of an audio device. But if you ever have reservations and want to eliminate all doubt, you can always enjoy music by connecting sources using an audio cable.
    https://www.lifewire.com/what-to-know-about-bluetooth-3134591

    https://superuser.com/questions/464388/3-5mm-analog-audio-vs-bluetooth-audio-quality/464403





    If you are listening to an uncompressed or lossless studio master replication using your Krell or McIntosh vacuum tube amplifier and Bowers and Wilkins 80X series speakers, then you might want to use a high quality wired (digital or analog) connection.
     
  4. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #4
    @ZapNZs @thesaint024

    Ok so like if I went to youtube and played a 1080p music video would it sound better wired or bluetooth 4.2?
     
  5. thesaint024 macrumors 65816

    thesaint024

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    You're a funny dude, but I'll bite. Content, youtube or anything else will not matter on which has better relative sound. The relevant facts are what was stated above: which BT speaker, analog cable used, distance, any other sources of potential interference, any other connected hardware in your setup. Without knowing any specifics, it's hard to say. But I'll assume you're using a regular BT speaker and not anything on the high end audio level that @ZapNZs is talking about. In that case, BT should sound better by transferring as much info digitally without analog loss. I've experienced this in various setups, specific sounds that weren't audible before through analog. That being said, if you have any drops in connection or interference, BT will clearly suck more. But regular BT setups should sound better, if you can distinguish the differences at all. The quality of the speakers, and to a lesser degree the amp if applicable, will really dictate whether you can hear differences. TLDR: it shouldn't be much different in either case with the same consumer grade BT speaker.
     
  6. ZapNZs macrumors 68020

    ZapNZs

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    #6
    In less words than more, it is very unlikely you will notice a difference, considering the source of the sound.
     
  7. Hieveryone thread starter macrumors 68040

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    #7
    @ZapNZs @thesaint024

    Ok! Yeah I'm just using a speaker I got off amazon it was like ~100 I think.

    I might do an unscientific sound test and update this thread. Just hear both and see if there's a difference.

    Thanks for the explanation yall
    --- Post Merged, Mar 17, 2017 ---
    Ok I did the unscientific test and tbh honest the wire sounds better. Like more fuller. The bass seems to hit harder too. Maybe it's just in my head. But that's what it seems like at least.
     

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