It’s because the bits on this card are extra specially good bits, for audio, and not at all like the bits on that other card (from the same Chinese card factory) with different silk-screening, for $20.
Audiophiles are the funniest kinds of dupes on the planet.
Check out http://wathifi.tumblr.com/
Here’s a couple of paragraphs from some people who claim to be able to distinguish differences in music as it is played off of different hard drives.
In our initial listening tests, I couldn’t discern any tangible difference in sound between the two hard drives. Harris thought the Hitachi sounded very ethereal, almost out of phase, and rated it lowest; the Seagate was sharper with a more thumpy bass, slightly brighter with a slight tendency to sibilance. Both lacked much drive in presenting the Madonna track, and were certainly ‘mushy’ compared with the best sound quality we’d heard from the QNAP stable.
Drive three (a solid state type) gave a far from subtle shift in tone and soundstaging. I thought that here this Kingston SSD spread the stage wider, could really pull apart the multi-track layers, and certainly led in blackness too, sounding agreeably quieter than it had any right to. Yet there was also a dull flatness to its presentation, even a graying of timbre.
This is the same as thinking postmen who drive better cars will bring you better mail.
Nobody is saying the SD card for your camera isn’t going to work for audio, it’s just that these binary digits are specially engineered for maximum sound. These go to 3 (in decimal).
…or that JPGs of large buildings are necessarily larger than those of small buildings.
Or in Dilbert’s example:
I’d like to see a comparison of the firmware of the card’s controller with the firmware of an otherwise identical, non-audio card.
Why does the card’s background-color pattern looks like white noise when it is marketed to audiophiles?
Wow, that’s a new one.
Hilarious. I’ve had someone tell me that there are guitar cables which are “uni-directional” and sound better plugged in a certain way. Not because the 1/4 inch plugs are different, it’s the directional properties of the cable itself. Which is basically copper covered in whatever.
I laughed. Hard.
Jitter. It’s probably about jitter. Those people really love/hate the jitter.
The Verge article and the Sony statements seem pretty reasonable, to me. If there is a measurable difference in noise, they’re not peddling pure snake oil, even if the difference will have no discernable effect—people pay more for faster cards than their cameras need all the time. And it’s not like the overcharge is massive, given the market. As stupid audiophile products go, this one seems pretty innocuous.
I was watching Fallon the other day. Neil Young was on and Him and Jimmy played Old Man. It was awesome.
Then after the break he came out pitching a high end ipod device. I would be curious if there are any reviews on that.
“Less electrical noise while reading data”. Sounds to me like lower current fluctuations during operation. Easily curable in the card reader by a good LC filter that prevents spreading of the noise along the power bus.
Which you don’t need at all (at least not at this magnitude, a power bus liberally peppered with blocking caps is a must, see the popularity of high-capacity low-ESR SMD MLCC caps) because it is digital. And the CPU is likely making way more noise on the bus anyway. As long as the DAC and amp are well-shielded and their power filtered, you’re golden.
Pono Player review: A tall, refreshing drink of snake oil
Actually, shielded cables are directional, as only one end of the shield is grounded.
WTF happened to those terrible MemoryStick things?
Sony following a standard they didn’t create now?
Mind you, the graphics card (or PCIe RAM/GPU transfers) on my machine at work produces a very audible amount of noise from the built-in soundcard whenever I move large chunks of graphics around, e.g. by scrolling a web page or dragging a window. It sounds plausible that storage transfers could do something similar, especially in a much more compact device.
No, she was playing this one on me -
“Some cable manufacturers – primarily in the very expensive range – claim their cables are directional in the sense that they are designed to let the signal flow better in a specific direction. These are not to be confused with those that do the ”shielded end” trick, and often use regular coax type cable.”
The actual signal flow through the copper. Which is why I laughed. Because that is utter horseshit.
…emphasis mine. Yes, these cards are known for being crappy, I had the same issues with some. The inside of a computer is also known to be a noise-heavy environment. (If you can switch on spread-spectrum clocks on anything related, do it; sometimes it helps.)
Try a USB soundcard (some not entirely lousy model), or a better internal one. Or, if you want to meddle with the board itself, add a rudimentary LC filter to the power supply of the codec chip; may help.
For the price difference of this card, you can get a way better player with better-filtered DAC power that won’t care about the fairly negligible amount of card-related noise.
I’m already using a USB DAC/headphone amplifier to work around it, so that concrete problem is solved. It was more a generic observation that noisy components leading to audible noise is entirely plausible, making this merely “overpriced” instead of “snakeoil”.