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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 123

post #1831 of 38662

Hifiman HE-4, second-hand HE-5LE, second-hand Denon D7000, Stax Lambda rig or a DT880 600 with a nice pair of IEMs to compliment them? Are you looking to invest in a single headphone or are you open to purchasing several?

post #1832 of 38662

guys, i'm now really curious about this dolby headphone thing.. so, if i'm using a laptop, the only option for me is to buy mixamp or DSS?? what is the cheapest solution to get this DH feature??

post #1833 of 38662
I'd prefer a single set, music comprises about 10% of my listening so I'm not too concerned about it
post #1834 of 38662

I just got my E9. So I've got DT 990's, the DSS and the E9. The question is does the connection between the E9 and the DSS run from the DSS 3.5mm headphone jack to the LINE IN on the E9 or the PRE_OUTPUT? Also do I leave the gain switch in the up position because I've got the 600 ohm version?


P.S. How are you balancing the volume between the DSS/Mixamp and the E9. Like leave DSS/Mixamp down low or half way or up full and then use the E9 for the main volume control?

Edited by afrocod - 7/13/11 at 8:24am
post #1835 of 38662

You'd probably want to keep volume on the DSS is low as possible.  That thing's very noisy.

post #1836 of 38662

I think you should probably use the E9 as a 'power amp' in this situation, if you will. Turn the volume dial ALL the way up on the E9, and use the volume control on the DSS (like a preamp). Just don't forget to turn the volume down on both units when switching headphones, etc!



post #1837 of 38662

Thank you both.

post #1838 of 38662
Originally Posted by redwarrior191 View Post

guys, i'm now really curious about this dolby headphone thing.. so, if i'm using a laptop, the only option for me is to buy mixamp or DSS?? what is the cheapest solution to get this DH feature??

The absolute cheapest way I was able to get dolby headphone onto my computer was to buy used pair of Plantronics GameCom 777 headset that comes with a usb dongle that has DH built in off of ebay. I bought it from one of Bestbuy's now extinct used goods ebay accounts for $25 and the left ear was blown. I emailed them about it and they refunded my money and just told me to chuck it in the trash, so I chucked the headset and kept the dongle.


You can also find a used Asus Xonar U1 which also has dolby headphone built in. I was able to pick that one from another forum for $25.


post #1839 of 38662
Originally Posted by redwarrior191 View Post

guys, i'm now really curious about this dolby headphone thing.. so, if i'm using a laptop, the only option for me is to buy mixamp or DSS?? what is the cheapest solution to get this DH feature??

I got the Asus Xonar U3 about a week ago.  It is really great.  A huge upgrade over my onboard sound (Alienware M17x R2) for music and movies, and the Dolby Headphone in games is fantastic.

post #1840 of 38662


Tritton AX Pro (TRUE 5.1 headset)

This is my first and LAST 5.1 headset. This is the worst frigging headset I have ever heard. I couldn't believe this junk was worth $189... I was peeved. The sound quality was absolutely mediocre, more on par with $30 headphones (KSC75 excluded).


Lol.  I was recently directed to this thread, and I have to comment on this quote.  It's 100% dead accurate.  My actual first experience was with the Tritton AX 720, which I felt sounded like pure crap compared to just listening to some HD 280's in stereo through my Denon amp so I took them back right away.  I didn't realize that you could use "any" headphone with them either, because I swore the input on the box was essentially the same as the AX pro.  Maybe they changed models, I dunno.  I ended up getting the Ax Pro, and still thought the sound sucked badly, but that it did a much better job at discrete seperation.  It was horrible at emulating the front speaker though, and it always sounded like it was coming angled towards my temples and slightly mixed with the front.  I also dismissed the "Dolby Headphone" tech, because my experience with the AX 720 was not so hot, and I wrongfully assumed that the tech was just trash.

Fast forward to a few days ago when I "rediscovered" Dolby Headphone by setting up MPC-HC on my PC to use it, and I was blown away by how utterly convincing it was in comparison to the Tritton headphones, especially the center as well as dialogue.  About the only good thing the Trittons had going for them was the bass--it was no slouch, but it often muddied everything else.


Now I'm in the market for non competitive headphones that are excellent for movies with Dolby Headphone, yet are no slouch for non competitive gaming.  I had simply been using my Sennheiser HD 280s (yes, I know...) and they created a very "theater like" ambiance which completely and utterly DESTROYED anything the Trittons did when watching Blu-rays.  So much so, that it's ruined me even using the Trittons at all now.  I had also recently purchased some Phonak PFE 122's (IEM) that I rarely use, because they honestly sound too clinical and "dead" to my ears.  Yet I decided to try them out with Dolby Headphone just to see if they were good at anything, and WOW.  If the imaging that the HD 280s gave would be an 8/10, then these would definitely have to be a 10/10 in comparison (and I'm not even saying that they are the best for this either, only the best for what I have).  The channel seperation was out of this world and dialogue was pristine.  Effects like what you can hear during the various action sequences in The Matrix and The Matrix Reloaded were incredible.  The downside is that a) the bass was pathetic beyond belief--the HD 280s felt way more theater like and b) them being crammed inside my ears become painful after an hour or so.

So I'm looking for a combination of the two: the amazing seperation of channels and pretty much perfect dialogue and a representation of a center speaker, but with the theater like bass.  I also do not have $1000 to spend, so the D7000s are out of the question.

Right now it looks like I'm stuck on the DT990 premiums.

Also, does anyone have any idea if you can take a Dolby Headphone source, amplify it with something like an E9, yet also add more bass through the E7 without losing the DH processing?



To put it as a 5.1 or 7.1 would downplay what DH. There are no speaker cues. It's a full 360 degree sound field, it may as well be labeled as 20.1 surround or something.


I'm not sure you understand what discrete seperation is then.  Having a "spherical" sound field does not mean you're getting distinct and isolated sounds all around you--you're getting reverb from each source that's mixing all around you, while at the same time hearing sounds from one of the 5-7 virtual speakers independantly.  If you were to sit in the proper position of a proper 5.1 - 7.1 setup, and turn it up LOUD (as well as factoring the acoustics of your room)--you'll be getting a similar effect, yet with more precise seperation.  That's not a guess, it's a fact.  Dolby Headphone is wonderful for those who cannot blast out their family or neighbors, but in no way does it do what a proper theater setup can do, it only emulates it to a degree.

Edited by Sanctuary - 7/13/11 at 8:02pm
post #1841 of 38662
post #1842 of 38662


post #1843 of 38662

This may help some of you- I wrote this because this "question" comes up quite a bit - This particular post was about Halo Reach. Obviously Headphones are especially important in the comp community, so I will paste it here... 


Halo: Reach has some killer audio, though in some cases that immersive gameplay audio seems to dampen voice communication. Good or bad alot of this has to do with audio set up, and some of the things that are easily overlooked in home theater/office audio set ups.

Halo Reach was written and mastered with Dolby Digital 5.1. This coding allows for Dolby capable processors to analyze in-game sound and output to corresponding channels/speakers. The settings on a home theater receiver may have multiple modes of Dolby. Bungie has some great info on how you can make the best of your set up- Check it out – http://www.bungie.net/projects/reach/article.aspx?ucc=faq&cid=28796


What about Headphones?


Headphones can be a great advantage to the FPS player. They assist greatly in hearing your teammates, as well as the blue fella behind you who wants to go into all assassination animation on you!

Neks, how do I make sense of the info above and apply it to headphones? There are two camps essentially on this subject matter. One being the 5.1 Headphone, the other being the Dolby HP Processor.


Dolby Digital and “5.1” Headphones


The Dolby Digital 5.1 , and Headphone set up in almost all cases has two components. A breakout box that has the ability to process and decode Dolby Digital 5.1 as well as output to its paired counterpart, a Headphone that has multiple drivers. These drivers are usually small and anemic due to the size and ohms they can handle. In this scenario the Dolby Processor exists as it would in a home theater environment- Digital signal is processed and decoded by the source (on topic, Halo)- and the channels corresponding to the process would be translated to analog audio to set up surrounding you- In a headphone, they are now received inside to placed drivers in the phones. Some Examples would be Turtle Beach, Tritton. Though as of late- Tritton and Turtlebeach have moved to the Dolby : HP Technology.

Dolby: HP, and Headphones


Dolby HP is universal processing for any stereo headphone. Though some manufactures still create a non universal scenario for obvious reasons. The details of Dolby HP can be better explained with the coupled definition of how our brain and our ears interpret distance, depth and direction when it comes to aural perception. Essentially our ears are stereo- and our “surround processor” is the brain. Our ears receive signal in the form of vibration/sound, the brain then translates that signal to determine its basic location. In a Headphone set up, your ears are virtually connected to those signals. Determining distance with 5.1 headphone is possible, but the actual distance between the driver and your ear is miniscule, so ultimately it has less of an effect than a true surround set up.


Dolby Headphone attempts to defeat this by emulating your brain! It takes processed Dolby Data and couples it with algorithm targeted delays of sound to give the brain the perception of location. The Dolby HP processor is sometimes harder to find, partially due to the cost to the manufactures. There are Home Theater Recievers that offer this, but they too can be hard to find. Harmon Kardan used it in their previous AVR line, as well as Marantz and Onkyo. In some cases, a true Reciever with many features can be had for a few more dollars then the Astro Mixamp. Yikes. Turtle Beach has one that is 80 dollars and is called the DSS.


Dolby Info - http://www.dolby.com/professional/technology/home-theater/dolby-headphone.html


Over all- when looking for the right pair of headphones, do your research. Gaming Peripheral manufactures don’t always make quality High-Fi. Would you buy a Washer and Dryer from MadCatz?

Edited by neks0ne - 7/14/11 at 2:15am
post #1844 of 38662
Originally Posted by grimzz R View Post


hmm..OK, so it seems that my only option is asus xonar u1 or u3 then..

post #1845 of 38662

I have some spare money and I want a new pair of cans. I have the DT880 250 and I'm between the classic HD650 or the AKG K701. There is a local shop where the 650 have 50% off only this week and thats why I'm considering them.


I think the K701 might just be too similar to my Beyers and not worth the money. I'm interested in the AKG's because they seem to be perfect for FPS gaming. I play a lot and the DT880 are superb but I're read now quite a few times the 701 are better in this regard.


On the other hand I listen to music as much as I game and the 650 might be a great combination now they are cheaper.


I can see myself having them all in a few years lol but at this time I only have room for one more.

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