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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1013

post #15181 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

No problem, let me know if you have any other questions.  I spent weeks testing all of this stuff!

Actually, I do have another question on this. I'm assuming games that are encoded to use 3D surround on a headphone also include 5.1/7.1 for use with home cinema systems?

post #15182 of 37353

I can see opinions here are divided between all the available option and each persons experience along with the explanation of how things work should allow a more informed decision. But I'm left wondering one thing: how common are the different audio encoding options in games? Are most games now encoded to use 3D surround thereby making CMSS-3D/SBX/THX more useful? Or is discrete multi-channel like in movies still more common in which case Dolby Headphone would be most useful? (And if so is 7.1 more widespread than 5.1 in current games which would allow for better positional audio?)

post #15183 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Honestly though, if you can spring for the Fidelio X1, I completely recommend going for that instead. It's like a better behaved 990, with strong bass and really good mid to treble linearity. Gaming performance is on par as well. Best thing, they need very little power, so the Mixamp alone is fine. I know my review isn't up, but it's worth it.

 

How would you compare the quantity/quality of sub bass between the 990 (250ohm) and the X1?

post #15184 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

I can see opinions here are divided between all the available option and each persons experience along with the explanation of how things work should allow a more informed decision. But I'm left wondering one thing: how common are the different audio encoding options in games? Are most games now encoded to use 3D surround thereby making CMSS-3D/SBX/THX more useful? Or is discrete multi-channel like in movies still more common in which case Dolby Headphone would be most useful? (And if so is 7.1 more widespread than 5.1 in current games which would allow for better positional audio?)

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

Actually, I do have another question on this. I'm assuming games that are encoded to use 3D surround on a headphone also include 5.1/7.1 for use with home cinema systems?


You're actually looking at several different options.  First of all, most games support at least 5.1 surround output, meant for home cinemas, but also used for Dolby Headphone.  Take a look at this list:  http://satsun.org/audio/

 

Regarding SBX/THX, this is another option for simulating surround.  When using these, you want to have your game in headphone mode, with 2-channel output.  The SBX/THX software does the rest.

 

Regarding games "encoded to use 3D surround on a headphone" this is something that certain games do attempt, but not many.  I'm only aware of a couple.  In BF3, you use their 3D simulation encoding by using headphone mode and checking "use enhanced stereo."  Dirt Showdown also has their own 3D simulation encoding called Rapture3D.

 

I've tried all 3 of the above mentioned options and prefer 5.1 output with Dolby Headphone for positioning.  Oh, and BTW, trying to combine any of these doesn't work well.  It makes things sound really strange and positioning is pretty much lost.

 

Edit:  I just read benbenkr's assessment and should add that I've only ever used Dolby Headphone with what he describes as optimal headphones: "open headphones with decent soundstage and some possess at least some tight bass."  So the kind of headphones you're using might be an influence as to which technology you go with.  Also, another thing to keep in mind is that the older the sound card, the more likely you will have issues with the driver.  The two Xonar cards I tried both caused driver crashes, only fixed by using the unified driver developed by a third-party.  If you read reviews of older cards on newer systems, you'll see lots of reports of issues.  The drivers are not continually updated.


Edited by ethan7000 - 7/16/13 at 9:10am
post #15185 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

I can see opinions here are divided between all the available option and each persons experience along with the explanation of how things work should allow a more informed decision. But I'm left wondering one thing: how common are the different audio encoding options in games? Are most games now encoded to use 3D surround thereby making CMSS-3D/SBX/THX more useful? Or is discrete multi-channel like in movies still more common in which case Dolby Headphone would be most useful? (And if so is 7.1 more widespread than 5.1 in current games which would allow for better positional audio?)

I believe console gaming is now leading and PC games follow their lead.

So with a console it really does not make sense to have game audio more then basic 7.1 (8-channel) or even 5.1 surround sound. So I would think modern PC games would not really have a good incentive to offer anything better (would not really increase PC games sales).

post #15186 of 37353

5.1 is still the most common type of audio in gaming.
 

post #15187 of 37353

Does anyone know of albums with 5.1? I know they exist but I don't now of any.

post #15188 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

Picked up a multi-headphone stand at Bed Bath and Beyond that someone had mistakenly mis-labeled as "mug holder."

 

 

 

Quick question, what did you do to your AKGs to make them look more comfortable on the head band?

Thanks!  Mine give me a slight headache after a few hours and that looks like a good solution!

post #15189 of 37353

I just attached some padding and hold it on with two velcro ties.  Seatbelt pads work well. 

 

That's an old pic ^ - the padding I use know is a little piece of memory foam (again, cut from a seatbelt pad then stitched together).  I still hold it on with the velcro ties though.

 

Looks like this:

 


Edited by chicolom - 7/16/13 at 10:42am
post #15190 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by miceblue View Post

Does anyone know of albums with 5.1? I know they exist but I don't now of any.

Try doing an Internet search for "5.1 Music", looks like some music disks use DTS 5.1 surround sound for audio tracks.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 7/16/13 at 10:53am
post #15191 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post


That was very useful. I had seen a lot of that before such as the YouTube vids and some quotes you referenced, but the explanation of how 3D surround works was not so clearly provided elsewhere. Thanks.
This is the short version of what I typed in my "article" linked in my signature. I felt that there wasn't a good explanation for the layman, just "Here it is!" I spent a while reading to understand the benefit of a game that doesn't have positional audio funneled into 5 channels.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

I can see opinions here are divided between all the available option and each persons experience along with the explanation of how things work should allow a more informed decision. But I'm left wondering one thing: how common are the different audio encoding options in games? Are most games now encoded to use 3D surround thereby making CMSS-3D/SBX/THX more useful? Or is discrete multi-channel like in movies still more common in which case Dolby Headphone would be most useful? (And if so is 7.1 more widespread than 5.1 in current games which would allow for better positional audio?)
The two encoding options I know of in games that give positional data, instead of in-game mixing to 5.1, are OpenAL and DS3D. No console games use these, but some games that appear on console and PC (like Borderlands 2) do have a thing like OpenAL. By the way, borderlands 2 was the most recent game I'm aware of that has OpenAL, but it's a little buried and takes a little configuration outside of the game to get it to work. 5.1 surround is relatively common though, 7.1 a little less common.

Something like Call of Duty (my fav is 4, the first modern warfare) has pretty good positional info, where it lacks compared to OpenAL implementation is sometimes you can't tell if someone is around the corner or upstairs from you. Height is the main benefit of OpenAL. I could swear Halo:Reach had height perception mixed in-game though, so there may be exceptions where the game engine simulates that for you. Would be easier just to use the OpenAL standard.
Edited by Evshrug - 7/16/13 at 11:03am
post #15192 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I believe console gaming is now leading and PC games follow their lead.

So with a console it really does not make sense to have game audio more then basic 7.1 (8-channel) or even 5.1 surround sound. So I would think modern PC games would not really have a good incentive to offer anything better (would not really increase PC games sales).

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by daleb View Post

5.1 is still the most common type of audio in gaming.
 

 


In light of this I don't see why it would be worth worrying too much about 3D audio in games unless the specific games we like has a 3D headphone audio option. Thanks.

post #15193 of 37353
There's no magic involved. Middleware has all the exact positional information, voices.

It could do the same as CMSS-3D (like elevation), it's just too CPU-bound so it's less precise and accurate and often only does the most basic stuff like doppler, panning, matrix etc...and relies more on prebaked audio (Dead Space is a heavy contender here). Some Xbox 360 games occupied a single core just for audio, it was inevitable for the Xbox One to get a dedicated audio chip. The current consoles kept that standard in all these years. Easier for multiplats, easier for porting to PC, less driver problems or hickups compared with DS3D etc...
A few titles like Killzone etc..went beyond that standard and did stuff like wave tracing. Killzone game audio is among the best you can get. Killzone Shadow Fall uses the whole Ram of a Xbox 360 just for audio (DF tech analysis).

With the new generation the bar will be raised and we get more CPU-intensive audio, which is not a problem for the platform PC. There's the technical potential and then there's the designer's talent. All the horsepower is useless if the designer is mediocre. See plenty of movies, blockbusters as well.

Middleware like fmod, miles etc...could start working with binaural algorithms, FIR filters, HRTF measurements to offer something for the headphone craze so ingame headphone modes behave like CMSS-3D and better. Then we don't need DHP, SBX etc.. anymore.
Edited by Fegefeuer - 7/16/13 at 11:25am
post #15194 of 37353
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

 

You're actually looking at several different options.  First of all, most games support at least 5.1 surround output, meant for home cinemas, but also used for Dolby Headphone.  Take a look at this list:  http://satsun.org/audio/

 

Regarding SBX/THX, this is another option for simulating surround.  When using these, you want to have your game in headphone mode, with 2-channel output.  The SBX/THX software does the rest.

 

Regarding games "encoded to use 3D surround on a headphone" this is something that certain games do attempt, but not many.  I'm only aware of a couple.  In BF3, you use their 3D simulation encoding by using headphone mode and checking "use enhanced stereo."  Dirt Showdown also has their own 3D simulation encoding called Rapture3D.

 

I've tried all 3 of the above mentioned options and prefer 5.1 output with Dolby Headphone for positioning.  Oh, and BTW, trying to combine any of these doesn't work well.  It makes things sound really strange and positioning is pretty much lost.

 

Edit:  I just read benbenkr's assessment and should add that I've only ever used Dolby Headphone with what he describes as optimal headphones: "open headphones with decent soundstage and some possess at least some tight bass."  So the kind of headphones you're using might be an influence as to which technology you go with.  Also, another thing to keep in mind is that the older the sound card, the more likely you will have issues with the driver.  The two Xonar cards I tried both caused driver crashes, only fixed by using the unified driver developed by a third-party.  If you read reviews of older cards on newer systems, you'll see lots of reports of issues.  The drivers are not continually updated.

So SBX/THX simulate virtual surround from a standard stereo source and CMSS-3D decodes an enhanced stereo source? Thanks

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post


This is the short version of what I typed in my "article" linked in my signature. I felt that there wasn't a good explanation for the layman, just "Here it is!" I spent a while reading to understand the benefit of a game that doesn't have positional audio funneled into 5 channels.
The two encoding options I know of in games that give positional data, instead of in-game mixing to 5.1, are OpenAL and DS3D. No console games use these, but some games that appear on console and PC (like Borderlands 2) do have a thing like OpenAL. By the way, borderlands 2 was the most recent game I'm aware of that has OpenAL, but it's a little buried and takes a little configuration outside of the game to get it to work. 5.1 surround is relatively common though, 7.1 a little less common.

Something like Call of Duty (my fav is 4, the first modern warfare) has pretty good positional info, where it lacks compared to OpenAL implementation is sometimes you can't tell if someone is around the corner or upstairs from you. Height is the main benefit of OpenAL. I could swear Halo:Reach had height perception mixed in-game though, so there may be exceptions where the game engine simulates that for you. Would be easier just to use the OpenAL standard.

As OpenAL and DS3D are still comparatively rare in games compared to 5.1 but still may be used in specific games a person likes it's a shame there isn't one soundcard that has all these standards.

 

Thanks for the clear info.


Edited by lemm - 7/16/13 at 12:03pm
post #15195 of 37353
What? For SBX you set your input to 5.1, not 2.0.
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