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Windows 7 has extensive room equalization software (as does Vista) provided the driver for the sound chip supports the many features (known as Audio Processing Objects) that are available. According the the material in the links below, the room EQ is highly sophisticated, and is especially designed to handle common office scale scenarios such as nearby reflective surfaces.

Please see http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/windowsvista/pages/450038.aspx for a detailed review of all the features, and also http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=713073 started by Amir Majidimehr.

On an HP HDX 18, fortunately everything is intact, using the IDT High Definition Audio CODEC as default device.

Assuming the sound device driver supports the Windows Just go to Control Panel>Sound>select Speakers and Headphones>Properties and you'll see a windows with General/Levels/Enhancements/Tone Controls/Advanced.

By installing the docking station, I'll have S/PDIF via RCA connector, which can go to an external DAC.

Now, how to connect up a calibrated Sennsheimer microphone? These are XLR, so an external device with XLR connector and preamp will be required.

Obviously, there are many products that could do this, for example the M-Audio FW 410. However, at least the Vista version of its driver doesn't seen to support the Windows Audio Core APIs.

What other DAC/preamps have people tried that support the Windows room EQ software? What kind of experiences have they had using it?
 

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Judging from the links you provided, it appears that Microsoft aspires to replace the traditional AV receiver, as well as source components like DVD and music playback components. I have no doubt that’s the direction the world is moving, but at least for now I see plenty of problems with it.

First up is the issue of the cheap, noisy power supplies computers use – not exactly conducive to a high-quality audio system.

The PC and all its signal processing - bass management, room EQ, etc. – will ultimately have to be sent to amplifiers of some sort. This brings us to the connectivity issue:





Needless to say, audiophiles will rebel at the idea of using cheap 3.5 mm splitters for connections to a quality audio system. The computer’s SPDIF output I assume would be the preferable choice, but that would require a new kind of basic multi-channel amplifier with a built in DAC.

Then there is the issue of interfacing with satellite and cable TV tuners, or other “outside” components one might want to add. Unless that can happen, their audio signals have no access to the EQ and bass management, and their video signals have to be sent directly to the display.

And of course, remote control of all this from the listening or viewing position is another issue.

Now, how to connect up a calibrated Sennsheimer microphone? These are XLR, so an external device with XLR connector and preamp will be required.

Obviously, there are many products that could do this, for example the M-Audio FW 410. However, at least the Vista version of its driver doesn't seen to support the Windows Audio Core APIs.

What other DAC/preamps have people tried that support the Windows room EQ software? What kind of experiences have they had using it?
With any system of this type, you use the recommended mic. Microsoft claims it can be done with the cheap mics one typically plugs into a computer.

Regards,
Wayne

 
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