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laptop docking station USB vs direct output USB

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For anyone using a laptop and DAC combo as their primary music server, has anyone noticed an appreciable decrease (or increase) in sound quality when using a laptop docking station and connecting the DAC to the dock instead of the laptop? Any pros or cons to using a laptop docking station?


Please note, I am not talking about listening to docking station speakers, this is for feeding the signal from the laptop to DAC to high-quality amp and speakers.

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  • 3 years later...

Wondering the same. Swapping my dragonfly back and forth it seems to sound best out of the laptop direct. Hard to tell though. System not high end. 

My hardrive goes into the docking station via usb. Laptop runs jriver and I’ve always gone laptop usb direct to powered monitors via the external DAC.

But I wanted to use a shorter cable today and started swapping from the dock to the laptop. Anyone with more knowledge have the logic to this?

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