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Consider i want to listen to music in medium volume.

Is there any difference between the following two scenarios?

  • keeping System Master Volume to medium and Full Volume in my media player
  • and full System Master Volume and medium volume for my media player

Is there any difference in audio clarity between these two? Or is it just an alternate way of adjusting volume?

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I hope NO. Clarity depends on hardware (speakers) – Khaleel Sep 24 '12 at 10:35

Basically, no, there is no difference. Sound is routed digitally in your operating system, so you can lower the volume at one point and then increase it later. It won't make a difference if you're just talking about volume.

Only in actual analogue hardware (e.g. between your computer output and speakers), you run into problems when your source volume is too low. Why is that? Each analogue signal carries noise. How much is explained by its signal-to-noise ratio.

If you amplify a low signal to make it louder, you'll also amplify the noise with it — makes sense, right? Thus, if your source signal is loud enough, you don't have to amplify it and therefore won't get as much noise as you'd get otherwise.

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