or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Video Games Discussion › Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 172

post #2566 of 37335
Thread Starter 
Just wanna add that the Mixamp 5.8 hassome hiss at high volumes, and I didn't get any more hiss or noise from a second amp.

The proper way to double amp is to max out the volume of the first amp (in this case, the Mixamp), and control the volume with the amp the headphones are attached to.

Ironically, the HE4 was dead silent on hiss/noise, even with the 5.8/Lyr. Lyr hums with everything else.
post #2567 of 37335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillweed View Post

 

As far as the headphone amp and replacement sound card situation goes, would the Beyers not benefit from replacing the onboard sound with a dedicated card? And, are there any specific amps I should be looking at to drive these kinds of headphones? I see you mention the Mixamp and FiiO E9 a decent amount, but it seems like the Mixamp is the lowest option you should go with. If you combined the FiiO with something like the X-Fi Titanium HD, would that cut off the ability to use the virtual surround features? Well, I guess I should ask, does the Dolby Headphone of the Xonar or CMSS-3D from the X-Fi work well with singleplayer/MMO gaming and movies, or is that generally meant for competitive gaming only?

 


Chicolom linked you to the best thread on Beyer model comparisons, that should take care of your first para of questions.

 

I don't think it's fair or wise to assume that replacing onboard sound with a dedicated card will always be better. It's too general a rule of thumb, and it completely ignores the ultimate, fundamental questions: What's your onboard sound chip do? What's it do well? What can a dedicated card do better, and why?

 

As MLE has indicated, some of the Beyers aren't as picky about amping as one might think. If he says the MixAmp's enough, then the MixAmp really is likely to be enough.

 

Combining Fiio with X-Fi will not disable virtual surround. Ditto for MixAmp and similar alternatives. If you connect:

PC/Console > MixAmp/soundcard > Pure amp

Then the signal processing has been done at the MixAmp/soundcard stage already. As Chicolom mentioned, however, you do want to avoid double amping.

 

The bottomline remains the same: you probably should stick with a DT770 or 990 for immersiveness, and hook it up to a DSS or MixAmp for virtual surround sound.

post #2568 of 37335
Thread Starter 
Eric, I get what you mean by not disabling virtual surround (anything once the signal has been processed keeps the signal), but how would you attach an amp to the Titanium? I assume it has to be through the headphone or speaker out meaning it will be double amped. I honestly don't know, because I don't use a soundcard on my PC (I use my E7 as the DAC).

Also, I think the 880 is immersive too, but I just prefer an extra emphasis on bass, which is why I prefer the DT990. The 880 isn't bass deficient to me. That's why I gave it an 8 for fun.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/11/11 at 9:14pm
post #2569 of 37335

Does the Mixamp have RCA output which would allow me to connect my Stax amp or Liquid Fire and get surround sound out of my SR009 and LCD3?

post #2570 of 37335
Thread Starter 
No. It only has a 3.5mm headphone out, so you'd have to get a 3.5mm to RCA cable. This is how I did it with the Lyr to power the Ortho HE4, and it worked like a charm.

Actually, I think I had a 1/4" (6.3mm) to RCA cable, but hooked up a 3.5mm adapter to the 1/4" side.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/11/11 at 9:22pm
post #2571 of 37335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Eric, I get what you mean by not disabling virtual surround (anything once the signal has been processed keeps the signal), but how would you attach an amp to the Titanium? I assume it has to be through the headphone or speaker out meaning it will be double amped. I honestly don't know, because I don't use a soundcard on my PC (I use my E7 as the DAC).
Also, I think the 880 is immersive too, but I just prefer an extra emphasis on bass, which is why I prefer the DT990. The 880 isn't bass deficient to me. That's why I gave it an 8 for fun.


Aye, my ignorance is showing, sorry. I was giving a super theoretical answer (sorry Dillweed) re: Titanium + amp, I don't even game on PC at all, so I wouldn't know the first thing about connecting soundcards to amps.

 

As usual I agree with you on the Beyers. I used to EQ bass on my 880.

post #2572 of 37335


Thanks. Does it accept HDMI and does it have DTS HDMA and Dolby Digital True HD 7.1 decoding?
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

No. It only has a 3.5mm headphone out, so you'd have to get a 3.5mm to RCA cable. This is how I did it with the Lyr to power the Ortho HE4, and it worked like a charm.
Actually, I think I had a 1/4" (6.3mm) to RCA cable, but hooked up a 3.5mm adapter to the 1/4" side.


 

post #2573 of 37335
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, no. It only accepts Dolby tracks. For example, Dolby Lossless would be downconverted to Dolby Digital 5.1. This is something I hope Dolby fixes with Dolby Headphone. That or a new device that can at least accept DTS feeds and convert them.

What I mean is that the Mixamp will convert DTS feeds to some regular stereo and expands it. Its a shame, because almost all Blu Rays use DTS signals, not Dolby, so you won't get the real virtual surround. Meaning, DVDs tend to sound better off the Mixamp than Blurays, due to DVD having Dolby Digital signals.

So in the case of non Dolby signals, I'd turn off the virtual surround button on the Mixamp, unless expanded stereo doesn't bother you. I don't mind, but it does sound quite artificial in comparison to a proper Dolby Headphone signal.

Actually, I have to check, but I don't think the Mixamp even accepts DTS. I have my PS3 set to only feed it DD or 2 channel. You may not even get sound off a DTS signal. I'll check when I get home.

In any case, the Mixamp only has an optical input, so you wouldn't get lossless 5.1 anyways.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/11/11 at 9:42pm
post #2574 of 37335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillweed View Post
Okay, lots of questions incoming.

Eric and MLE, I know you both mentioned to look into those two Beyerdynamic models, and MLE's getting a pair of DT 990s. From the little searching I did to try to find out more about them, it sounds like the DT 880 might be a better choice than the DT 770 in general for my tastes, and the DT 990 has a little more bass punch to it compared to the DT 880. Is that right? What are the differences between them? What makes better use of the DT 880 compared to the DT 990 and vice versa? Also, what difference do the various types (Premium, Pro) and impedance levels of each model make?

As far as the headphone amp and replacement sound card situation goes, would the Beyers not benefit from replacing the onboard sound with a dedicated card? And, are there any specific amps I should be looking at to drive these kinds of headphones? I see you mention the Mixamp and FiiO E9 a decent amount, but it seems like the Mixamp is the lowest option you should go with. If you combined the FiiO with something like the X-Fi Titanium HD, would that cut off the ability to use the virtual surround features? Well, I guess I should ask, does the Dolby Headphone of the Xonar or CMSS-3D from the X-Fi work well with singleplayer/MMO gaming and movies, or is that generally meant for competitive gaming only?

Sorry, guys. Like I said, completely ignorant here.


Beyerdynamic DT 32-Ohm versions have the lightest bass, but easy to use with portable music/video players or on-board sound.

On-board sound will work ok with headphones in the 25-Ohm to 60-Ohm range

Best is to get 250-Ohm versions and a headphone amplifier.

Premiums have a slightly lighter clamping on the head, more comfortable, more expensive.

Pro have slightly tighter clamping force, makes better isolation in the Studio, lower price the Premium.

DT770 closed, DT880 semi-open, DT990 open.

 

Titanium HD does not have a dedicated headphone amplifier, but is rated up to 330-Ohms.

 

Dolby Headphone would be better for movies (and gaming), CMSS-3D is a for FPS gaming.

 

Once you get a sound card with a decent headphone amplifier, no reason to daisy chain a separate headphone amplifier to the sound cards headphone jack.

 

 


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/11/11 at 11:11pm
post #2575 of 37335
Thread Starter 
Let me correct myself. The Mixamp has an optical, diigital coaxial, and RCA input. The Mixamp 5.8 has an optical input. The wired Mixamp is more robust, and if you have two consoles, you can buy an optical to digital coaxial adapter, which will have the exact same sq has the optical input. The RCA input is for something like the Wii, which has no optical out. It will convert a Dolby Pro Logic II signal to Dolby Headphone, which isn't as good as a DD 5.1 signal converted. It will sound more artficial, but still retain the good surround cues.

I myself owning the 5.8 have to disconnect the optical cable and attach another one whenever I use different systems. I tried optical splitter/switchers, but none worked properly. Oh well.
post #2576 of 37335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I think the 880 is immersive too, but I just prefer an extra emphasis on bass, which is why I prefer the DT990. The 880 isn't bass deficient to me. That's why I gave it an 8 for fun.


 

I prefer the DT880 over the DT990 myself, and I do own both. The DT990 does have more bass but the highs get fatiguing when gaming on hours on end. They are both great though.

post #2577 of 37335

I'm still a bit confused about which Beyers would be the best option for me. It seems like the DT 880 is the most neutral of the three and has good clarity in the mids for things like vocals/voices, and the DT 990 has "brighter" highs (which can apparently cause badly recorded material's high notes to sound worse and in my case might exacerbate the sensitivity problems with the highs) and has more bass but because of that, it supposedly makes the mids sound recessed compared to the DT 880. The DT 990 also apparently has a bigger soundstage. I don't know which of the two would make for better gaming headphones, though. Impedance-wise, Zombie_X made it sound like the 600 Ohm versions would be what you should go for if you can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric_C View Post

I don't think it's fair or wise to assume that replacing onboard sound with a dedicated card will always be better. It's too general a rule of thumb, and it completely ignores the ultimate, fundamental questions: What's your onboard sound chip do? What's it do well? What can a dedicated card do better, and why?

Honestly, I can't answer this. All I know is the chip name (Realtek ALC892) and what its listed specs and capabilities are.

 

PurpleAngel, from what you're saying as far as the sound card stuff goes, the Xonar would probably be the one I'd want since it has Dolby Headphone and also has a built-in headphone amp on the headphone out that's supposed to be rated for up to 600 Ohms, which I'm guessing removes the need for a separate amp. I don't know if that rated output is true and would be enough to properly drive something like the 600 Ohm versions of the Beyers, though. I've also noticed people around the web saying that they've had issues with the Xonar's drivers causing certain games to crash, because of things like the game using outdated OpenAL drivers, or the "GX" mode conflicting with the game somehow. It doesn't necessarily sound like a huge issue, but it's something that you may have to work around if it comes up.

post #2578 of 37335

How much do you want to spend?

 

As far as headphones go. It will depend on what sounds better to you.

post #2579 of 37335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dillweed View Post

I'm still a bit confused about which Beyers would be the best option for me. It seems like the DT 880 is the most neutral of the three and has good clarity in the mids for things like vocals/voices, and the DT 990 has "brighter" highs (which can apparently cause badly recorded material's high notes to sound worse and in my case might exacerbate the sensitivity problems with the highs) and has more bass but because of that, it supposedly makes the mids sound recessed compared to the DT 880. The DT 990 also apparently has a bigger soundstage. I don't know which of the two would make for better gaming headphones, though. Impedance-wise, Zombie_X made it sound like the 600 Ohm versions would be what you should go for if you can.

Honestly, I can't answer this. All I know is the chip name (Realtek ALC892) and what its listed specs and capabilities are.

 

PurpleAngel, from what you're saying as far as the sound card stuff goes, the Xonar would probably be the one I'd want since it has Dolby Headphone and also has a built-in headphone amp on the headphone out that's supposed to be rated for up to 600 Ohms, which I'm guessing removes the need for a separate amp. I don't know if that rated output is true and would be enough to properly drive something like the 600 Ohm versions of the Beyers, though. I've also noticed people around the web saying that they've had issues with the Xonar's drivers causing certain games to crash, because of things like the game using outdated OpenAL drivers, or the "GX" mode conflicting with the game somehow. It doesn't necessarily sound like a huge issue, but it's something that you may have to work around if it comes up.

I would say to get something that's 250-Ohm, a few have said the 600-Ohm is only slightly better then the 250-Ohm.

If you spend like $350 or more for a nice external headphone amplifier, then the 600-Ohm might be worth it.

I can see older games from the Windows XP era would have more problems with Asus Xonars.

Back then Creative Labs EAX 5.0 was the thing to have for gaming, Asus Xonar will use GX 2.5 to try to emulate EAX 5.0, but it's not perfect.

Windows audio changed starting with Windows Vista/7, so the newer the game the more stable it should be with Asus Xonars.

Game makers are less dependent on EAX for newer games, starting with Windows vista.

I believe Asus Xonars use a 100% software driver for OpenAL.

The Xonar audio processing chip, the C-Media CMI8788 (CMI8786 for the DG) OpenAL drivers would (guessing) be written by C-Media.

Third party Xonar drivers (Unified Asus Drivers) only use a slightly newer OpenAL then the official Asus drivers.

So using Unified Asus Drivers should make the OpenAL work better.

 

I stopped using Creative Lab card around 3 or 4 years ago, last one was the Titanium (non-HD), not because of the sound quality, but the pain of fixing and reinstalling Creative drivers.

Some have said the creative drivers have gotten better starting with the Titanium HD.
 

 

 

post #2580 of 37335

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post
Eric, I get what you mean by not disabling virtual surround (anything once the signal has been processed keeps the signal), but how would you attach an amp to the Titanium? I assume it has to be through the headphone or speaker out meaning it will be double amped. I honestly don't know, because I don't use a soundcard on my PC (I use my E7 as the DAC).


I don't think double-amping is that big of a deal, at least with the Titanium HD's RCA jacks. I mean, technically speaking, every chain that has a dedicated amp with analog input is going to be double-amped regardless.

 

Also, will we see any gaming-specific reviews for Stax Lambda systems any time soon? Vintage ones aren't nearly as wallet-punishing as the brand new stuff, though the more affordable ones do require speaker amps to drive their bundled transformer boxes. For that matter, what about the Koss ESP/950?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Dolby Headphone would be better for movies (and gaming), CMSS-3D is for FPS gaming.

 

Once you get a sound card with a decent headphone amplifier, no reason to daisy chain a separate headphone amplifier to the sound cards headphone jack.


What makes you say that CMSS-3D Headphone is only better for FPS gaming, exactly? Do you think it colors the sound more, but has more precise directional imaging? (If only I had an Astro Mixamp or something so that I could answer this question for myself, because there's no way I'm going by WinDVD and foobar2000 Dolby Headphone functionality...completely irrelevant to gaming.)

 

And as for that point for not needing a separate headphone amp for a sound card with its own headphone amp...that depends on whether or not you stick with dynamics/orthos. I don't think there's a sound card in existence with an electrostatic amplifier...

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Video Games Discussion
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Misc.-Category Forums › Video Games Discussion › Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added)