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PC Hardware in a Nutshell, 3rd Edition by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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Chapter 18. Speakers and Headphones

No matter how good your sound card is, it’s useless unless you have speakers or headphones to listen to the audio it produces. Extreme high fidelity is usually unnecessary in PC speakers, both because system fans and other ambient noise tend to overwhelm minor differences in sound quality, and because most PC sound applications do not use or require high fidelity. That said, inexpensive PC speakers, with their 3-inch drivers and low-power amplifiers, often provide surprisingly satisfactory sound, and inexpensive headphones can produce sound rivaling the best consumer-grade audio equipment.

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