Sony Claims Pricey SD Cards Produce "Less Electrical Noise"

mad825

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Queen Michael said:
I'm not good at tech. Can anyone explain to me if electrical noise is a thing?
Basically, they're reducing the sound like this:
Then again, this is a very extreme example that I've given. It's rare that someone can hear this without specialised equipment however it's long associated with that low constant "hum" sound that most people can hear.
 

JCAll

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I wonder if my Vita memory card is rigged for premium sound. I certainly paid enough for it.
 

Vausch

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Why do I keep getting the image that the people who say this are the people from Dilbert's marketing department?

 

gxs

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medv4380 said:
Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's.
Bad example. Most audio cards don't support Dolby and other standards even if they do have 7.1 and optical out. Also most of my boards (mind that I buy 150?+ boards and even costlier PSUs) emit a slight hiss that can be distinctly heard when listening to something that doesn't have a lot of bass to mask it. This usually boils down to electrical interference that can be heard through my headset.

Also mind that I'm not an audiophile. I just want my games to sound as perfect as possible and a separate sound card enables me to do just that. Although I buy Asus cards which are cheaper and support all the standards I need and also don't emit any hisses.

So that's that about the need for sound cards. Purchasing any other cable than the standard cheap one is rubbish and that includes "special" SD cards unless the speed makes them special and in that case I'm purchasing a few ASAP (for my phone and tablet so that I can have apps on them).
 

Doom972

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medv4380 said:
Good marketing.

At this point I don't care how badly audiophiles get ripped off. They've been more than willing to buy snake oil from just about anyone. Audiophiles are easily con'd into believing records with the pop and hiss of a needle are "better" than digital [http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697658/why-vinyl-sounds-better-than-cd-or-not]. They think that the sound ranges on vinyl are better, but their actually more restrictive because the needle will bounce if the music gets too extream. They've been sold so much snake oil over the years because there is no more improvements to be made in audio. Once we went to digital signalling, and had the entire range of sound the human ear can hear mapped out there was no more "clarity" to be had. That won't stop them from saying they can hear the improvement, or sounds outside of the range of human hearing that they then fail when tested.

Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
I can already imagine one of those guys trying out this card, realizing that there's no fucking difference and then trying to convince himself that there's an improvement and slowly going insane.
 

maneyan

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Having looked around a little, this sorta seems legit. Copying from reddit here

EDIT: Since i keep getting replies from people who missed this:

In my second point, I am referring to the possibility of interference from an SD card affecting the signal reproduction of an ANALOG TO DIGITAL RECORDING DEVICE.
I am not referring to the SD card mangling or otherwise effecting a digital signal due to interference..

Two points:

First, I'm not sure this is being targeted at end users.

Second, electrical interference from capacitors, motors, and other sources can and will get picked up by audio interfaces.

Computer equipment is VERY prone to generating that interference.

It's a severe enough issue that most professional audio recording uses external usb/firewire audio interfaces when recording directly to a computer. It's just easier to avoid the problems that it is to try and shield things like the computer's CPU.

Stand alone audio recording interfaces are used for on-site recording when you can't be in a studio. Most of them will record to a laptop via USB/firewire, but a large number of the newest ones can record directly to SD.

$160 for an internally shielded SD card is not that much compared to the results of having a whine from a failing card show up in a live recording.

EDIT: If it's got traces/wires and current, it has a magnetic field.
Shielding helps, but portable audio gear rarely includes a faraday cage between the SD card and the inputs.
So yeah, this seems to be a thing?
 

Strazdas

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May 28, 2011
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It actually does not matter how much electrical noise the card makes unless the noise is so bad that it cuts through all the electronics and the shielding of the speaker/headphone wire, at which point it should not be called SDCard but a "small-EMP -generator". The music is only read, digitally, of the card. everything else happens on your memory and processor, which means that the quality of sound is in no way affected by SD card unless we talk about bad sectors and read errors.

medv4380 said:
Good marketing.

At this point I don't care how badly audiophiles get ripped off. They've been more than willing to buy snake oil from just about anyone. Audiophiles are easily con'd into believing records with the pop and hiss of a needle are "better" than digital [http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697658/why-vinyl-sounds-better-than-cd-or-not]. They think that the sound ranges on vinyl are better, but their actually more restrictive because the needle will bounce if the music gets too extream. They've been sold so much snake oil over the years because there is no more improvements to be made in audio. Once we went to digital signalling, and had the entire range of sound the human ear can hear mapped out there was no more "clarity" to be had. That won't stop them from saying they can hear the improvement, or sounds outside of the range of human hearing that they then fail when tested.

Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
Do not mix audiophones with vynil collectors. Digital sound is as "pure" as we got with terms of sound ranges and the like since they are, in theory, unlimited.

There is a reason to buy sound card though. if you are a regular home user that likes to listend to music you dont need one, sure. however if you really care about quality of your audio a seperate card is worth it. of course such card should also be accompanied with audio system that can actually reprduce the difference, which 99% of people do not have (or ever think is affordable for audio equipment). Sound cards nowadays are mostly aimed at people who make music rather than listeners. but it does benefit listeners with proper setups.

Queen Michael said:
I'm not good at tech. Can anyone explain to me if electrical noise is a thing?
Electrical noise is a thing in analog transmission. this means that for purpose of audio playback the only place where electrical noise matters is your speaker/headphone wires. these are usually shielded. even if yours arent (some cheap models arent, but they are also low enough quality that it doesnt matter) the electromagnetic interference from SD cards will be the least of your worries. the electronics that process playback make more electric noise than the card, and the ouside world has even more. you will get more interference just by getting next to a window (in a city) than from SD card on its worst day ever.

Also if you are user of the new apple digital signal headphones (i dont recommend for other reasons) even that is no longer a factor.

maneyan said:
Copying from reddit here
The person him/herself admits that the computer eequipment is doing this and it only affects analog signal. You know what also generates it - not living in faraday cage, that is, your enviroment is FULL of electrical interference. the only way an SD card can have a significant impact on playback that overshadows other components if its some kind of EMP in disguise. He mentionca capacitors, yep, those are usually the culprits for electrical noise in hardware. guess what SD is not - a capacitor.

the part about recording directly to SD is simply wrong. in order to record directly to SD you need to convert your recorded signal to digital BEFORE moving it to SD, so shielding on SD is irrelevant.
 

Lightknight

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JCAll said:
I wonder if my Vita memory card is rigged for premium sound. I certainly paid enough for it.
My guess is that if you crack one of these cards open you'll find a vita card that they're trying to unload. Seriously, who sells you a system and then prevents you from getting enough space (affordably) to buy and store games on? It's like they don't want you to buy games.
 

medv4380

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Strazdas said:
Do not mix audiophones with vynil collectors. Digital sound is as "pure" as we got with terms of sound ranges and the like since they are, in theory, unlimited.
They're equivalent terms when it comes to people who think the sound is actually better. And no they are not unlimited in range. Collectors on the other hand would be different. They don't care as long as they are collectible. Heck collectors wouldn't even play the records since the needle would destroy the collectability if it got scratched. The dynamic range compression that everyone is using to make themselves the loudest that audiophiles complain about actually has to be done for vinyl. But because the tech document uses the word compression the idiot audiophile thinks its done the make mp3's smaller. In truth you don't get added compression from it on CD's at all, or on other Digital compression schemes of any note. You get it on vinyl because you can squeeze the tracks physically closer, and it makes it so the needle is less likely to jump. But you'd know that if you bothered to read the linked npr article I gave.
 

Mortuorum

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truckspond said:
Unless they have fundamentally redesigned the card so that the electrical currents cancel each other out then you will still get exactly the same amount of noise as you get from a dirt-cheap MicroSD-XC card.
It might reduce the microscopic amount of RF interference created by the card, but even if it eliminated RF noise entirely, that would have no effect whatsoever on the quality of audio retrieved from the card.

Sony's major technical achievement is producing a SD card that produces a faint odor of BS.
 

Smooth Operator

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truckspond said:
Unless they have fundamentally redesigned the card so that the electrical currents cancel each other out then you will still get exactly the same amount of noise as you get from a dirt-cheap MicroSD-XC card.
No that isn't true, every electronic component has a certain amount of noise it generates and a certain amount it can function with. A high grade component that is designed for signal stability absolutely does better in that aspect.

But that shit does not become relevant until the connections actually reach breaking point, if you wanted to use an SD card with an absurdly long extension without fault then that shit is important, then the gold plated cables become relevant, and all sorts of other high grade equipment. In regular use however it doesn't matter one tiny bit... or byte.
 

SonOfVoorhees

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Poor Sony. Before Sony was a brand for quality electronics. Now there are many companies making better products that are cheaper. Yet still Sony think their branding is meaningful and an excuse to rip off consumers. No wonder they are losing so much money, they just never learn.
 

Strazdas

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medv4380 said:
They're equivalent terms when it comes to people who think the sound is actually better. And no they are not unlimited in range. Collectors on the other hand would be different. They don't care as long as they are collectible. Heck collectors wouldn't even play the records since the needle would destroy the collectability if it got scratched. The dynamic range compression that everyone is using to make themselves the loudest that audiophiles complain about actually has to be done for vinyl. But because the tech document uses the word compression the idiot audiophile thinks its done the make mp3's smaller. In truth you don't get added compression from it on CD's at all, or on other Digital compression schemes of any note. You get it on vinyl because you can squeeze the tracks physically closer, and it makes it so the needle is less likely to jump. But you'd know that if you bothered to read the linked npr article I gave.
The reason i said it is unlimited in theory is because we could artificially create a soundwave with any range we want digitally, not that we could ever play-back such soundwave.

And i wasnt arguing your point against vinyl fanatics. I just argued that they werent all there is to an audiophile.
 

the doom cannon

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medv4380 said:
Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
I had to buy an audio card because the front ports and rear ports on my computer picked up noise from mouse movement. Yes it was probably a mobo issue, but the card was $20 and everything works wonderfully now.
 

vxicepickxv

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the doom cannon said:
medv4380 said:
Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
I had to buy an audio card because the front ports and rear ports on my computer picked up noise from mouse movement. Yes it was probably a mobo issue, but the card was $20 and everything works wonderfully now.
You also picked up a very, very, very minor upgrade to your system, because the dedicated sound card processes the audio requirements directly, rather than the CPU processing the sound and sending the info to the on board audio.

You also might want to look at the grounds for your motherboard, because you might have a problem on your hands soon.
 

the doom cannon

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vxicepickxv said:
the doom cannon said:
medv4380 said:
Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
I had to buy an audio card because the front ports and rear ports on my computer picked up noise from mouse movement. Yes it was probably a mobo issue, but the card was $20 and everything works wonderfully now.
You also picked up a very, very, very minor upgrade to your system, because the dedicated sound card processes the audio requirements directly, rather than the CPU processing the sound and sending the info to the on board audio.

You also might want to look at the grounds for your motherboard, because you might have a problem on your hands soon.
I forgot to mention this was like 3.5 years ago. Have had zero issues with it, but when I eventually upgrade I think I am going to do a complete overhaul project instead of putting new pieces on the motherboard.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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Denamic said:
And I have a special ethernet cable that makes video streams crisper. Seriously, what the hell.
I think you're joking, but that's actually a thing [http://www.cnet.com/news/denons-500-ethernet-cable/] marketed at audiophiles. The one I linked isn't even the most ridiculous, people pay thousands of dollars for this crap.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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medv4380 said:
Good marketing.

At this point I don't care how badly audiophiles get ripped off. They've been more than willing to buy snake oil from just about anyone. Audiophiles are easily con'd into believing records with the pop and hiss of a needle are "better" than digital [http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697658/why-vinyl-sounds-better-than-cd-or-not]. They think that the sound ranges on vinyl are better, but their actually more restrictive because the needle will bounce if the music gets too extream. They've been sold so much snake oil over the years because there is no more improvements to be made in audio. Once we went to digital signalling, and had the entire range of sound the human ear can hear mapped out there was no more "clarity" to be had. That won't stop them from saying they can hear the improvement, or sounds outside of the range of human hearing that they then fail when tested.

Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
You're kind of right but also kind of wrong when it comes to vinyl. Vinyl absolutely can, under optimal conditions, have a wider frequency range than CD. It's just that all of the additional range is at the top end, above the limits of human hearing, and it literally gets rubbed off of the record after a few playings with a typical stylus, anyway. It also only matters compared to CD -- modern high resolution digital formats have vinyl beat here by a mile.

You also seem to have conflated it with dynamic range (the difference between the loudest and quietest sounds), and explained it wrong. It's actually true that sound at too high of an amplitude can cause tracking problems, with one recording of the 1812 overture being infamous for actually breaking cheap styluses with one of the cannon cracks. However, this lack of ability to get too loud on the recording, ironically enough, actually results in vinyl masters often having more dynamic range than the masters used for CDs and other digital formats. This is because those formats use heavy dynamic range compression, so that instead of having variations between loud and quiet portions, the entire recording is just loud all the way through. Studios like this because it makes singles stand out on the radio. This can't be done on vinyl, because of the aforementioned tracking issues. It's not, however, a way vinyl itself is better than modern formats. Rather, it's a way vinyl, by virtue of being a lesser storage medium, can't be screwed up in the way the digital formats often are. If the studios wanted to, they could make much more dynamic recordings on CD than on vinyl, let alone on something like SACD.
 

Owyn_Merrilin

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medv4380 said:
Good marketing.

At this point I don't care how badly audiophiles get ripped off. They've been more than willing to buy snake oil from just about anyone. Audiophiles are easily con'd into believing records with the pop and hiss of a needle are "better" than digital [http://www.npr.org/2012/02/10/146697658/why-vinyl-sounds-better-than-cd-or-not]. They think that the sound ranges on vinyl are better, but their actually more restrictive because the needle will bounce if the music gets too extream. They've been sold so much snake oil over the years because there is no more improvements to be made in audio. Once we went to digital signalling, and had the entire range of sound the human ear can hear mapped out there was no more "clarity" to be had. That won't stop them from saying they can hear the improvement, or sounds outside of the range of human hearing that they then fail when tested.

Take audio cards as an example. There hasn't been a good reason to upgrade and have a separate audio card in a pci slot for easy upgrades since the late 90's. There is some high end stuff for people who like to use a lot of audio equipment with their PC, but no real reason to get the latest Sound Blaster [http://us.creative.com/p/sound-blaster?ctlcmp=SEM_CLI&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=soundblaster&gclid=CjwKEAiAsJanBRCgnpfa0orvyz4SJAAbxEq-DnAFb0YNZPY24bQAnmcU6kXKlyLFYAIaVLQGspYGuhoC7hPw_wcB] card unless you're doing audio recordings.
You're kind of right but also kind of wrong when it comes to vinyl. Vinyl absolutely can, under optimal conditions, have a wider frequency range than CD. It's just that all of the additional range is at the top end, above the limits of human hearing, and it literally gets rubbed off of the record after a few playings with a typical stylus, anyway. It also only matters compared to CD -- modern high resolution digital formats have vinyl beat here by a mile.

You also seem to have conflated it with dynamic range (the difference between the loudest and quietest sounds), and explained it wrong. It's actually true that sound at too high of an amplitude can cause tracking problems, with one recording of the 1812 overture being infamous for actually breaking cheap styluses with one of the cannon cracks. However, this lack of ability to get too loud on the recording, ironically enough, actually results in vinyl masters often having more dynamic range than the masters used for CDs and other digital formats. This is because those formats use heavy dynamic range compression, so that instead of having variations between loud and quiet portions, the entire recording is just loud all the way through. Studios like this because it makes singles stand out on the radio. This can't be done on vinyl, because of the aforementioned tracking issues. It's not, however, a way vinyl itself is better than modern formats. Rather, it's a way vinyl, by virtue of being a lesser storage medium, can't be screwed up in the way the digital formats often are. If the studios wanted to, they could make much more dynamic recordings on CD than on vinyl, let alone on something like SACD.