Laptop to stereo: Use Headphone or Line Out?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by The Leet Beagle, Oct 4, 2003.

  1. The subject is basically the question, but here it is in detail:

    If I want to connect my notebook computer to my stereo receiver to
    listen to music, would it be in my best interest to connect via the
    headphone jack or the line out jack.

    And more importantly, why?

    Will the audio quality be any different at all? If so, why?

    Honestly, I have done this already and have noticed that line out's
    volume seems to be higher than headphones, but I don't know enough
    about it to understand it.

    Can someone please shed some light?

    Thanks!
    -Nick.
    The Leet Beagle, Oct 4, 2003
    #1
  2. The Leet Beagle

    the Wiz Guest

    (The Leet Beagle) wrote:

    >The subject is basically the question, but here it is in detail:
    >
    >If I want to connect my notebook computer to my stereo receiver to
    >listen to music, would it be in my best interest to connect via the
    >headphone jack or the line out jack.
    >
    >And more importantly, why?
    >
    >Will the audio quality be any different at all? If so, why?
    >
    >Honestly, I have done this already and have noticed that line out's
    >volume seems to be higher than headphones, but I don't know enough
    >about it to understand it.
    >
    >Can someone please shed some light?
    >
    >Thanks!
    >-Nick.


    Line Out is the preferred method because it:
    1. is a closer impedance match to the input of the stereo
    2. is a fixed audio level, where the headphone jack is usually adjustable by the
    PC volume control.

    More about me: http://www.jecarter.com/
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    johnecarter at@at mindspring dot.dot com. Fix the obvious to reply by email.
    the Wiz, Oct 5, 2003
    #2
  3. The Leet Beagle

    Bob Masta Guest

    On 3 Oct 2003 20:39:55 -0700, (The Leet Beagle)
    wrote:

    >The subject is basically the question, but here it is in detail:
    >
    >If I want to connect my notebook computer to my stereo receiver to
    >listen to music, would it be in my best interest to connect via the
    >headphone jack or the line out jack.
    >
    >And more importantly, why?
    >
    >Will the audio quality be any different at all? If so, why?
    >
    >Honestly, I have done this already and have noticed that line out's
    >volume seems to be higher than headphones, but I don't know enough
    >about it to understand it.
    >
    >Can someone please shed some light?
    >
    >Thanks!
    >-Nick.


    The headphone output will have gone through a
    (cheesy) power amp to drive the phones, which are
    low-impedance devices. That means they take
    relatively higher currents at relatively lower voltages.
    The line input on your stereo is a much higher
    impedance, which doesn't take much current
    to drive so doesn't need the power amp.

    On many laptops there may not be much difference
    in quality between these outputs, as laptop sound
    is often not that great to begin with.


    Bob Masta
    dqatechATdaqartaDOTcom

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    www.daqarta.com
    Bob Masta, Oct 6, 2003
    #3

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