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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1398

post #20956 of 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

To those of you asking if virtual surround is possible on the new consoles? It's BEEN possible for over a decade; the game developers just don't feel like implementing it! DICE is the only one who even tried with BF3, and that was after the audio travesty that was BF:BC2.

I suspect the same trend will continue on the current generation with console manufacturers only providing stereo mixes for the headphone outputs on the gamepads, maybe offering virtual 7.1 at best like Sony does on their wireless USB headsets.

Why else would they require PS3/PS4 firmware updates to work, going by the listed requirements? I bet it's mixed right on the console CPU, in which case they could do so much better than virtual 7.1 if they'd just set the groundwork for native 3D audio! They probably don't enable it on other USB audio devices to make it a headset selling point, too.

I believe the new consoles have the audio processors only to take the DSP calculation load off of the CPU. The final mix for headphones will likely be subpar at best without the game developer going the extra mile to code a native headphone binaural mixing option.

 

The other issue; there aren't enough pure headphone gamers in the console market. Over 70% of console gamers (this is a rough statistic, but it could certainly be less) still play with audio from their TV, so go figure why devs would bother with the time, effort and money to hire proper audio engineers to add a feature where only a minority uses. And also, many gamers don't care or know what HRTF is.

 

Of course, the slightly good news is that headsets and headphones has been gaining sales and is on the rise over the last few years. Everyday, there are more gamers starting to switch to headsets/headphones instead of sticking with the TV only.

 

It'll take a big push from someone like Sony, to tout that binaural is for real (ooh pun!) and market it to the masses who don't know what it is. Then and only then I would see devs start to take the innitiative to implement native HRTF like you said, right out from a game. Otherwise, it's only going to happen to a few niche games here and there over the next generation.

post #20957 of 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreyka View Post
 

 

Use your subwoofer with your headphones. Even headphones with sub-bass aren't going to give the chest compression you want with cars.

How would I go about using the subwoofer and headphones at the same time?

 

And even if I could, that kills the purpose of using headphones in the first place doesnt it ;) lol?

 

I mean, I dont want to make noise in the house, that is why I use headphones and need a headphone specifically for Racing games with lots of bass but that are cheap and dont require amping.

post #20958 of 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post


Why else would they require PS3/PS4 firmware updates to work, going by the listed requirements? I bet it's mixed right on the console CPU, in which case they could do so much better than virtual 7.1 if they'd just set the groundwork for native 3D audio! They probably don't enable it on other USB audio devices to make it a headset selling point, too.

I believe the new consoles have the audio processors only to take the DSP calculation load off of the CPU. The final mix for headphones will likely be subpar at best without the game developer going the extra mile to code a native headphone binaural mixing option.

Who are you, and where has our computer-audio-master gone?

Jk, but seriously... To the part that is bolded, both the new consoles have dedicated audio processing hardware, and what has "us" excited is that several sites have stated that AMD's Trueaudio, which uses positional data from before the 7.1 channel mixing stage, has been incorporated into the PS4. The proof is in the pudding, and of course we're awaiting pudding, but AMD pushed TressFX into the PS4 version of Tomb Raider: Def Ed, and Thief for PC has already been confirmed as the first TrueAudio 3D surround game... Hopefully that feature will also be on consoles to encourage developer adoption of something they've already invested resources into hiring sound engineers and entering in to a contract with GenAudio.

At this point, AstoundSurround has (IMO) a good chance of breaking onto the scene via TruAudio and Sony's choice to use AMD parts, but apart from the DAC and Amp built into their Dual-Shock controllers (which will probably be cheap to keep costs down), it's entirely likely that we will have at least a marginal improvement in audio quality, and unlikely to see audio any worse than the last generation.
post #20959 of 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
Who are you, and where has our computer-audio-master gone?

Jk, but seriously... To the part that is bolded, both the new consoles have dedicated audio processing hardware, and what has "us" excited is that several sites have stated that AMD's Trueaudio, which uses positional data from before the 7.1 channel mixing stage, has been incorporated into the PS4. The proof is in the pudding, and of course we're awaiting pudding, but AMD pushed TressFX into the PS4 version of Tomb Raider: Def Ed, and Thief for PC has already been confirmed as the first TrueAudio 3D surround game... Hopefully that feature will also be on consoles to encourage developer adoption of something they've already invested resources into hiring sound engineers and entering in to a contract with GenAudio.

At this point, AstoundSurround has (IMO) a good chance of breaking onto the scene via TruAudio and Sony's choice to use AMD parts, but apart from the DAC and Amp built into their Dual-Shock controllers (which will probably be cheap to keep costs down), it's entirely likely that we will have at least a marginal improvement in audio quality, and unlikely to see audio any worse than the last generation.

 

That bolded part was referring specifically to Sony's virtual surround implementation for their PlayStation headsets, which if you read the requirements carefully, actually denotes a minimum firmware version. Those same headsets also work on PCs, but present themselves as stereo USB audio devices with no surround options.

 

The conclusion's pretty clear to me: the headset and USB transceiver don't do any of the surround processing whatsoever. It's all on the PS3/PS4, which detects that particular USB transceiver as being for one of Sony's wireless gaming headsets and then permits the virtual surround mix they've implemented to be output to that USB audio device, if enabled on the headset.

 

I wasn't talking about next-gen hardware as a whole with that bolded statement. I know about the TrueAudio and Sphere DSPs; those can take the load off the CPU for processing reverb, chorus, occlusions, wavetracing, etc. But it's still up to the developers to provide good positional cues in the final audio mix; a hardware DSP won't magically solve that if the developers still code their games to only output one-dimensional stereo audio to headphones and not a proper binaural mix.

 

GenAudio may just be the ticket we're looking for, but they've got to get established to the point where no major game developer even thinks about using FMOD or Wwise without the AstoundSound plugin. On top of that, they need to ensure that PC versions of AstoundSound-enabled games can reap the benefits WITHOUT an AMD TrueAudio DSP present, even if it means greater CPU usage, because they can't afford to alienate the majority of the market, especially the portion that's loyal to NVIDIA.

post #20960 of 37339
Quote: NamelessPFG (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post
 

 

That bolded part was referring specifically to Sony's virtual surround implementation for their PlayStation headsets, which if you read the requirements carefully, actually denotes a minimum firmware version. Those same headsets also work on PCs, but present themselves as stereo USB audio devices with no surround options.

 

The conclusion's pretty clear to me: the headset and USB transceiver don't do any of the surround processing whatsoever. It's all on the PS3/PS4, which detects that particular USB transceiver as being for one of Sony's wireless gaming headsets and then permits the virtual surround mix they've implemented to be output to that USB audio device, if enabled on the headset.

 

I wasn't talking about next-gen hardware as a whole with that bolded statement. I know about the TrueAudio and Sphere DSPs; those can take the load off the CPU for processing reverb, chorus, occlusions, wavetracing, etc. But it's still up to the developers to provide good positional cues in the final audio mix; a hardware DSP won't magically solve that if the developers still code their games to only output one-dimensional stereo audio to headphones and not a proper binaural mix.

 

GenAudio may just be the ticket we're looking for, but they've got to get established to the point where no major game developer even thinks about using FMOD or Wwise without the AstoundSound plugin. On top of that, they need to ensure that PC versions of AstoundSound-enabled games can reap the benefits WITHOUT an AMD TrueAudio DSP present, even if it means greater CPU usage, because they can't afford to alienate the majority of the market, especially the portion that's loyal to NVIDIA.

 

 

Do we know if a graphics card with AMD TrueAudio is required  or can the calculations be done on the CPU? I'm wondering whether it's another PhysX situation where you need to have Nvidia hardware for it to work.

post #20961 of 37339

The current information ist a bit confusing.

 

AMD stated multiple times that rendering is done off the DSPs that come with selected AMD series and those DSPs are also on the PS4. Plus Middleware has to support it as well of course. What I am wondering though is if Genaudio on WWise can run on the CPU as well or will only work with Tensilica cores.

 

I asked Nixxes about True Audio and binaural features on the PC, awaiting response. I suggest you guys ask as well, maybe a dev from AMD and WWISE. Better than speculating.

post #20962 of 37339
So, I wasn't too cared about my audio quality before because from what I had known, onboard sound with a "surround sound" "gaming headset" was perfectly fine! When I got my headset one of my friends who knows much more than I do told me I should have just gotten some headphones instead with a separate mic and would have far superior quality. So, now that my headset is falling apart (cracked in several places and sound failing unless the cord is held in a certain position) I have decided to take him up on his advice. The headset I was using had a closed back and I found it great. But, I am living alone in a quiet neighborhood with the only ambient noise being the gentle purring of my desktop PC. I have read that open backed headphones have a more accurate sound to them and generally a better quality so I figured I would be adventurous and give them a shot!

I studied long and hard over many different options but narrowed it down to two. It was going to be either the Beyerdynamic 990s, or the Sennheiser 598s. Finally though I made my decision because I figured I would appreciate having a little more bass in the long run...

So, with that said, I ordered the Beyerdynamic 990 pro 250 ohms headphones along with the Fiio E09k amp and E17 DAC!

I am by no means an audiophile (obviously) but I am really excited about this purchase. How much of a difference do I have to look forward to Wednesday when it all arrives!? smily_headphones1.gif
post #20963 of 37339
Quote: Adynos (Click to show)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adynos View Post

So, I wasn't too cared about my audio quality before because from what I had known, onboard sound with a "surround sound" "gaming headset" was perfectly fine! When I got my headset one of my friends who knows much more than I do told me I should have just gotten some headphones instead with a separate mic and would have far superior quality. So, now that my headset is falling apart (cracked in several places and sound failing unless the cord is held in a certain position) I have decided to take him up on his advice. The headset I was using had a closed back and I found it great. But, I am living alone in a quiet neighborhood with the only ambient noise being the gentle purring of my desktop PC. I have read that open backed headphones have a more accurate sound to them and generally a better quality so I figured I would be adventurous and give them a shot!

I studied long and hard over many different options but narrowed it down to two. It was going to be either the Beyerdynamic 990s, or the Sennheiser 598s. Finally though I made my decision because I figured I would appreciate having a little more bass in the long run...

So, with that said, I ordered the Beyerdynamic 990 pro 250 ohms headphones along with the Fiio E09k amp and E17 DAC!

I am by no means an audiophile (obviously) but I am really excited about this purchase. How much of a difference do I have to look forward to Wednesday when it all arrives!? smily_headphones1.gif

The E17 supports optical input so what many people do here is buy a sound card for the virtual surround sound software and then use optical out on the sound card to the E17 which does the digital to analogue conversion. Personally, I'm not a fan of the E09k if you can get the Objective2 or Schiit Magni at a similar price. Not that it is a bad amplifier but that the 10ohm output impedance is 10x higher than the Objective2 or Magni.

 

I would suggest listening to my VSS audio tracks and then buy a cheap sound card that has whatever VSS you prefer. In the meantime you can use Razer Virtual Surround Sound which is free and doesn't require a sound card.


Edited by AUserName501 - 2/16/14 at 5:51am
post #20964 of 37339

Does anyone what the PS4 USB audio output format is?

 

Like when you select "All Audio" so game sounds go through USB instead of HDMI?

post #20965 of 37339

I originally posted this in its own thread, but decided it might just fit better in here.

 

Since your original reviews, some prices have shifted around a lot.  I know you get these kinds of questions a lot, but here's the question from my original post:

 

I'm a long time lurker with an incredibly generic first post.  I have thoroughly gone through MLE's gaming headphone thread, and I have a decent idea of what I'm interested in, but all the headphones I want are suddenly very hard to find, and not a god damn place in town has a station where I can listen to any of them.

 

I am a 100% PC gamer who focuses primarily on the FPS genre.  I am "competitive", but now feel like I'm moving out of my detail whoring stage and would like something with more bass and "fun" than my AD700s (I realize I might have to give up a little bit of directional accuracy to do so).  From what I've read here, it sounds like this is a very common stage in most headphone enthusiast's evolution =p

 

I guess to make this post slightly more specific than similar ones in the past, I will ask this: at current listed prices, which of these can be made into the best $300ish value?

 

It looks like I've narrowed it down to:

 

MA900s (approx. $240): I would have already picked these up if I could have found them from a reputable vendor at anywhere near retail price.  The comfort, sound stage, and minimal amping requirements sound perfect for my price range and they could likely be driven on my Xonar DG.  I just feel dirty paying $60+ above retail for them now that they are discontinued.  If I have to pay $240 for them, I worry I might get more value out of the X1's at the same price.

 

Fidelio X1 (approx $240, amp questionable): I also may have already bought these if it weren't for the fact that Amazon had them as a "Deal of the Day" for $150 a few weeks back.  Now I feel like a schmuck for buying them at $240.  They are still a great value from what I understand, and sound like the exact kind of sound signature I'm looking for.  I know they don't take much to drive, but with these I wonder how much I would benefit from upgrading to a soundcard in the $100 range to get more out of them.  At that point, I'd be inching beyond my goal of a $300 budget, but would I see significant gains?

 

Q701 ($200 headphone, likely $100 minimum amp/soundcard): The soundstage on these while amped is very enticing, though these are another set that would force me to spend $100+ on a soundcard or an amp.  Still, if there is a really solid $300 "total package" (headphone plus amp or soundcard) that can drive these to meet their potential for PC gaming, then I would probably just pull the trigger on that.  They probably don't quite have that super fun/bassy punch "wow" factor that I'm looking for, but I'm hoping I would still notice a big difference coming from the AD700s.

 

AD900X (approx. $220): I just wonder if these would be enough of a departure from my AD700s.  I like that they don't require amping, and I love the comfort/airiness of the AD700s, but I don't want to drop $200 for them to just end up sounding like my EQed AD700s.

 

 

I am open to ANY advice/suggestions that deviate from this list.  Soundstage is probably still my most important feature, as I primarily play shooters like CS:GO and Planetside 2 where pinpointing direction is essential.  I know I can't get much more accurate positioning than my AD700s, but I am willing to give some of that up for something more immersive, dramatic, and universal for music genres outside of female vocals (though female vocals are also high on my list of priorities).

 

 

It is possible for me to spend up to $400, but I would really prefer to stay around $300.

 

I realize that this is a painfully generic first post and the same question has been asked several times, but really I'm just looking for an ideal pairing for my specific needs as well as any recommendations for vendors to buy the items from (also interested in used pairs for sale).

 

Thank you for reading my noob wall of text, I look forward to any advice you might have.

post #20966 of 37339
You've pretty much done your own research, my friend. There's nothing else we can say that you have not covered already.

We can't make the choice for you... you must do so, yourself. Each headphone you inquire of has been mentioned and compared enough throughout the thread... for the choice to be simpler than many people make it out to be.
post #20967 of 37339

Quick question:  The DT990 Premium 32 and 250 are on sale for $249 right now (http://slickdeals.net/f/6724080-beyerdynamic-dt-880-premium-headphones-32-ohm-or-250-ohm-219-beyerdynamic-dt-990-premium-headphones-32-ohm-or-250-ohm-249-fs-ac), which is way under their normal price.  At that price, is it a no-brainer to get them over the Fidelio X1 for the same price? 

 

The X1, of course, has the advantage of a removable cable for the Vmoda Boommic and I don't believe it needs to be amped.  If I'm reading things correctly, the DT990 should have better sound but only with the extra cost of an amp.

 

To be clear, I'm still not sure if I'm even going to bump my budget enough to get them, but saving $100-150 is pretty tempting.

 

EDIT - /facepalm.  I just reread the X1 review and MLE says it obsoletes the DT990.  Guess that answers that question!


Edited by Stillhart - 2/16/14 at 2:37pm
post #20968 of 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

You've pretty much done your own research, my friend. There's nothing else we can say that you have not covered already.

We can't make the choice for you... you must do so, yourself. Each headphone you inquire of has been mentioned and compared enough throughout the thread... for the choice to be simpler than many people make it out to be.

Maybe the K612 is a great contender too?
post #20969 of 37339
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post


Maybe the K612 is a great contender too?

 

Yes it would, but the fact that it's quite picky with the amount of juice/synergy required, it may not be the ideal choice for around $300. He can, however, pick up a K612 and FiiO E12 at that range. It scales better with my desktop amps, but the E12 is no slouch in driving these babies.

post #20970 of 37339

Thanks for the reply.  I guess I'm just curious if any of the value discussions have been updated now that prices have shifted.  The MA900s have risen in price, while the X1s have dropped.  The Q701s have had their retail price drop as well.  Now that all three of them are more or less the exact same price, I was wondering if they have moved up or down the price/performance list.  

 

When reviewed, for example, the X1s were about $300 and the MA900 $180.  At that time the MA900 was a slightly better value in a close contest for overall performance.  Now that they are both essentially the same price, does that shift the value scale in favor of the X1?

 

I know sooner or later I'm just going to have to pull the trigger on something, but I'm as obsessed with deals as I am with headphones and don't want to overlook anything now that the prices have shifted.

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