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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 156

post #2326 of 37369
The only important bit of info there is S/PDIF output. The input, speakers, etc. are irrelevant for your situation.

Do some googling on S/PDIF, digital, optical and coaxial audio? Or just write Astro directly if that doesn't solve it?
post #2327 of 37369

And what am I looking for ? How is this information relevant to purchasing DT770's ?

I got lost on the way of what we are trying to find  :)

post #2328 of 37369

Sorry, was replying you on my phone earlier, so I didn't have time to look through the reply.

 

You mentioned that you were looking at an Astro MixAmp, right? And then Purple Angel stated the MixAmp can give you simulated 5.1 sound if you can feed it Optical output from your laptop. 

post #2329 of 37369

At the same time I'm trying to buy some decent set for my cousin who will be spending christmass with us, something in under $100 range.

I see that amazon has Sennheiser HD 448 on sale for $55, these any good ? I need to get him something, so he won't feel left out :)

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DGTGO0/ref=s9_simh_gw_p23_d0_g23_i2?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_r=0ZJS7GAVSNQ49T6QM19K&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938811&pf_rd_i=507846

post #2330 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

Sorry, was replying you on my phone earlier, so I didn't have time to look through the reply.

 

You mentioned that you were looking at an Astro MixAmp, right? And then Purple Angel stated the MixAmp can give you simulated 5.1 sound if you can feed it Optical output from your laptop. 


 

Can someone clear up exactly what kind of processing Dolby Headphone does to a stereo PCM signal?

 

As I understand it, if your digital output is dolby encoded such as a movie or soundcard with DDLive! encoding, then DH kicks in full bore, and you get simulated surround using DH processing.

 

According to dolby's website however, dolby headphone also has limited "stereo expansion" technology where it takes stereo sources and makes them sound more immersive.  The dolby website implies that it is only using dolby prologic II encoding for stereo sources.

 

Therefore, just feeding a digital SPDIF signal (which is usually just a PCM stereo signal) into something like an Astro mixamp is not going to be enough, in order to get the "full effect", your digital signal also has to be DD5.1 encoded.  For example a movie with DD5.1 soundtrack.  Or, a soundcard that has DDLive! real time encoding.  I don't believe there currently are any laptop or motherboard integrated sound solutions that have DDLive! support, so you'd need a discrete soundcard (internal expansion slot or USB) that supports this in order to maximize benefit from DH and a device like the Astro mixamp.

 

As far as laptop sound, I think your only options are to use a USB sound card such as the Creative X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro which IIRC has DDLive! support.  Also there is the ASUS Xonar U3 which is another USB sound card that has DDLive! output however it also has built-in Dolby Headphone processing (which the creative card lacks, as it uses its own proprietary CMSS 3D technology), so there would not really be a need to use the mixamp, the Xonar U3 can do the DH processing on its own.  These are the only 2 USB sound cards I am aware of with DDLive! or DH support.  There is also the ASUS Xonar U1 (basically the same hardware as the U3 but in a different form factor) but it seems like it is harder to find.  If you only intend on using your laptop for gaming, I don't think you'd need the mixamp, rather you could get by with just the Xonar U3 (or similar) instead which would be cheaper- unless you wanted the wireless functionality of the mixamp 5.8, or the better control over voice/game chat mixing.

 

Ruahrc

post #2331 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruahrc View Post
Can someone clear up exactly what kind of processing Dolby Headphone does to a stereo PCM signal?

As I understand it, if your digital output is dolby encoded such as a movie or soundcard with DDLive! encoding, then DH kicks in full bore, and you get simulated surround using DH processing.

According to dolby's website however, dolby headphone also has limited "stereo expansion" technology where it takes stereo sources and makes them sound more immersive.  The dolby website implies that it is only using dolby prologic II encoding for stereo sources.

Therefore, just feeding a digital SPDIF signal (which is usually just a PCM stereo signal) into something like an Astro mixamp is not going to be enough, in order to get the "full effect", your digital signal also has to be DD5.1 encoded.  For example a movie with DD5.1 soundtrack.  Or, a soundcard that has DDLive! real time encoding.  I don't believe there currently are any laptop or motherboard integrated sound solutions that have DDLive! support, so you'd need a discrete soundcard (internal expansion slot or USB) that supports this in order to maximize benefit from DH and a device like the Astro mixamp.

As far as laptop sound, I think your only options are to use a USB sound card such as the Creative X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro which IIRC has DDLive! support.  Also there is the ASUS Xonar U3 which is another USB sound card that has DDLive! output however it also has built-in Dolby Headphone processing (which the creative card lacks, as it uses its own proprietary CMSS 3D technology), so there would not really be a need to use the mixamp, the Xonar U3 can do the DH processing on its own.  These are the only 2 USB sound cards I am aware of with DDLive! or DH support.  There is also the ASUS Xonar U1 (basically the same hardware as the U3 but in a different form factor) but it seems like it is harder to find.  If you only intend on using your laptop for gaming, I don't think you'd need the mixamp, rather you could get by with just the Xonar U3 (or similar) instead which would be cheaper- unless you wanted the wireless functionality of the mixamp 5.8, or the better control over voice/game chat mixing.

 

Ruahrc

I really doubt they would include an "optical output" labeled "7.1 channels" if the laptop's audio could only output a 2.0 stereo signal.

Add-on sound cards have had Dolby Digital 5.1 output for over 6 years,

Desktop computers have 5.1 digital output built into the motherboard.

Why would it not be possible for a brand new laptop?

 

A DVD player can bitstream audio from a DVD movie disk to another device.

 

But the Asus Xonar U3 USB sound card would be way cheaper then a Astro Mix-amp.
 

 

 

post #2332 of 37369

Ruahrc: Does a soundcard need to be able to process a 5.1 or 7.1 signal, in order to pass the signal over the an external device (such as the MixAmp)? 

I do agree with you that the signal itself must be 5.1 or 7.1, but that has to do with the encoding of the game or movie. 

post #2333 of 37369

Hey all,

 

Not sure where to post this, but joined the forums before I sleep JUST so I could :D

Been reading this thread a lot (a ton) over the last week, thought I'd contribute to its awesomeness.

 

FiiO e9 $28 on Amazon!

 

-Ashii

post #2334 of 37369

That's $88 shipped to Australia. Not a bad deal, but not cheap enough to make me want it. Now $40 shipped would be a different story.

post #2335 of 37369

Hm, just woke up, deal is done, weird. At about 2am PST last night, a bunch of 3rd party (fulfilled by Amazon) sellers had it listed for $28 (I bought one), when a couple hours prior they were retail price. But now they're back to normal.

post #2336 of 37369
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post
Ruahrc: Does a soundcard need to be able to process a 5.1 or 7.1 signal, in order to pass the signal over the an external device (such as the MixAmp)? 

I do agree with you that the signal itself must be 5.1 or 7.1, but that has to do with the encoding of the game or movie. 

At least with a movie with Dolby, I do not believe(guess?) a sound card really has to do anything but pass the bitsteam audio signal on to the next device.

Not sure what games do.
 

 

 

post #2337 of 37369

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I really doubt they would include an "optical output" labeled "7.1 channels" if the laptop's audio could only output a 2.0 stereo signal.

Add-on sound cards have had Dolby Digital 5.1 output for over 6 years,

Desktop computers have 5.1 digital output built into the motherboard.

Why would it not be possible for a brand new laptop?

 

A DVD player can bitstream audio from a DVD movie disk to another device.

 

But the Asus Xonar U3 USB sound card would be way cheaper then a Astro Mix-amp.

 

Addon cards have had 5.1 output but the vast majority of it actually seems to be pass-through only.  Your source audio has to be pre-encoded into DD5.1 in order for the sound card to put it out as DD5.1.  For movies it's pretty straightforward, the audio is pre-encoded in DD5.1 format and the computer audio hardware simply bitstreams it through its SPDIF Port.  Games do not natively generate DD5.1 signals, however, and to do that you need processing hardware and driver support, which is where audio cards come in.  AFAIK, very few onboard sound solutions have realtime 5.1 encoding, and I don't know of any laptop integrated solutions.  So yes, the laptop can be labeled 7.1 multichannel output by marketing but in reality it only means "7.1 multichannel bitstream or passthrough" and not true "7.1 output".  The laptop itself can only generate a 2.0 stereo signal because it lacks the hardware to do the realtime multichannel encoding.  Unless someone can provide an example of a laptop that has built-in DDLive!, as I am not aware of any.

 

Consoles all have hardware that allows realtime encoding of DD5.1 (or maybe even DTS in the case of the PS3, I don't know) content which is why you see the dedicated DH Processors like the mixamp targeted at console gamers.  On the PC typically the soundcards themselves have drivers or hardware that replicates or simulates DH processing so a dedicated processor is not as necessary.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

Ruahrc: Does a soundcard need to be able to process a 5.1 or 7.1 signal, in order to pass the signal over the an external device (such as the MixAmp)? 

I do agree with you that the signal itself must be 5.1 or 7.1, but that has to do with the encoding of the game or movie. 

 

I guess the key issue is that while movies are already encoded, games are not, because you can't encode it ahead of time as the content is interactive and changing.  Audio in games is processed irrespective of speaker channels or output format, being handled in an arbitrary 3D coordinate system within the game engine.  It seems most modern sound cards can output 5.1/7.1 as discrete audio channels, translating the 3D sound within the game engine to 5.1/7.1 channels (although the meaning of ".1" in the LFE sense doesn't really apply here).  It is also common to see audio cards being able to decode dolby digital or DTS encoded multichannel and again output that as discrete analog signals.  Realtime encoding, however, is less common and you need a card that specifically lists that capability to get actual benefit from something like a mixamp.  The mixamp can only decode dolby digital 5.1 sound and downmix it using dolby headphone.  If you feed it a PCM stereo signal, it applies a simpler Prologic II algorithm to it in order to enhance the stereo image.  If your sound card has built-in dolby headphone (or other similar) processing, then there is no need for dolby digital encoding/decoding as the dolby headphone algorithm will work directly on the 3D sound in a game at the driver level, and give you the finished output.

 

Dolby digital 5.1 encoded content is like putting a letter in the mail.  You put it in an envelope (the encoding) to send it to another device where it is decoded (receiver takes your letter out of the envelope).  To further this analogy, most integrated sound cards can only forward mail that is already in an envelope, but not put anything in an envelope and send it.  Some (an increasing number) of dedicated sound cards can actually put letters into envelopes and send them out.  For soundcards with DH capability, no envelope is needed, the same as if you gave a letter to someone in your house, you don't need to pack it in an envelope and send it to them, just give it to them direct.

 

I guess the tl:dr version is that multichannel passthrough is very common for audio hardware these days, but has limited/no application for games.  Realtime encoding, which is the one that's more important for games, is less commonly found and and if you want to take full advantage of DH surround sound for gaming, you either need to make sure your gaming device (console or PC) can output real-time encoded 5.1 content which you then give to a decoder like the mixamp, or you have to get audio hardware (PC only) that does DH processing right on the card itself.  FWIW none of the Creative cards have DH processing capability on-card AFAIK, they use their own CMSS3D system which some say is better for gaming others prefer DH.  If you actually want DH and use creative hardware, you need to get one of their cards that does DDLive! encoding, which you can then pass to a DH processor like a mixamp.

 

Ruahrc


Edited by Ruahrc - 11/11/11 at 3:17pm
post #2338 of 37369

Wow. That's a really great explanation Ruahrc, thanks.

Also: mind = blown.

post #2339 of 37369

So, anybody gonna assist a word on what would be a worth while upgrade from a Tritton AX-720?

 

 

post #2340 of 37369
Hi, I have to choose GAMING headset and do not know what I'm choosing between these three:

G35

Sennhesier PC 360

Sennheiser HD558

For Sennheiser with a sound card like this would suffice? Asus Xonar SD / XD.

Thank you!

 


Edited by resakas - 11/12/11 at 6:10am
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