Isolation Feet for Laptop


It seems fairly common knowledge that vibration is a form of distortion in many electric components, not just for turntables and speakers. Isolation feet seem to work well in most applications.

I searched around and I didn't find any information to suggest that folks are using isolation feet on laptops or desktops, despite increased streaming usage. In a great many cases, there are indeed heavy vibrations coming from within the computer.  Whether it is the fan for the CPU or even GPU to the all the various chips/transformers, etc or even power supplies and batteries. If adding isolation feet to a streamer, DAC or power supply makes sense, then wouldn't it also make sense to apply isolation feet to your laptop; if you use it for music?

Well, I am going to find out. :)

I ordered some IsoAcoustics Orea Series Audio Equipment Isolators with a max weight of 16 pounds. The laptop weighs about 6.7 pounds, so it shouldn't be that much strain, even with all the cables creating some measure of down force as they dangle over the edge.

My expectation is that the DAC will be able to perform slightly better due to reduced vibration across the USB port and power filter. The DAC is a USB stick (Dragonfly Cobalt) so it has a very rigid hard connection to the laptop; so vibration is very easily transferred.

Has anyone else tried this?

128x128guakus

@jerrybj 

I hadn't heard of Q-tape.  Just did a cursory read up on it.  Seems interesting, mostly for the actual electric box to the house.  According to the manufacturer, it wouldn't be best to use it directly on or near sensitive electric equipment:

"it may end up depolarizing a
small area around the device "

@guakus

The streamer is built from the ground up internally to isolate electro magnetic fields, vibration, and condition and provide clean quiet power. Also the CPU and circuit is made to not wonder off and do non-essential stuff. You cannot do this stuff after the fact. You can improve the sound from a computer, but a good purpose built streamer starts with too many advantages to be competitive with a PC. That said, you can’t expect a $20 or $200 streamer to be competitive. streamers get better as the design, parts and components are improved. I am not an expert on the technology, but am an expert in the way they sound.

 

My cheap streamers were significantly out performed by my first high end  $2,500 streamer (note the cost of a Laptop), this was outperformed by my $4,500 streamer (not subtle), this was outperformed by my $10K streamer… but the biggest jump in sound quality was to my $22K streamer. Of course you have to have the associated equipment to realize these gains. I would imagine you could hear the difference between a $10K and $20K streamer on a $1,000 system… but it would be a foolish investment. You want to deploy your across all your components in a way to maximize sound quality.

 

And before anyone jumps on the “cost isn’t a good guide” I am assuming you are buying the best for that amount of money not just randomly buying on price. I like to give people the credit in caring about how they spend there money and do the work. All of my purchases have been meticulously research an compared… and under those circumstances the cost was highly correlated with price.

 

@ghdprentice 

Ok, fair enough.  I am doing the exact same thing as the "high-end" streamer is doing, it's just being done in separate parts externally. I see no difference in what I am doing.  I am looking to absorb vibration, control EMI, reduce noise, and provide high-resolving DAC conversion, just in different pieces.

I get that Streamers are a closed system, so you don't have to setup other activities and actions to perform. I have done computer engineering and technical support for over 20 years. I understand how the system operates both in software and hardware. To that end, I have made hardware alterations and software adjustments to ensure that this computer focuses on performance and bit-perfect transfers. For those who are caught up in cost=quality, this laptop costs over $2500 after everything I added internally.  Its base price was $1700.  Hardly dismissive by cost factors. Having 10 cores, 3 internal NVME drives and 32 gig of high-speed RAM means I can multitask without so much as a blip on performance.

I don't buy it because it's expensive.  I buy it because I believe it will make a positive improvement.  Sometimes I am wrong, most times I am right.  For example, the Shunyata Research representative said I shouldn't buy the Alpha XC cable for the Venom V16 because he didn't think it would make a difference in performance beyond the Delta XC.  I believed him and at first he was right because of the Audioengine A2+ system I was running.  When I moved to the HD6 flagship....the Delta was not enough.  So, the system will grow, morph, update, probably for years.

At the present moment I am very satisfied with the sound output....but I still have the itch to push forward with other tweaks.