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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 197

post #2941 of 37374

Quote:

Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

You have a Xonar Essence ST already, and want to throw a Bifrost into the mix? That's a bit of a surprise.

 

Unfortunately, there's a quirk I've heard about with Xonar cards; they allegedly won't let you output a stereo PCM signal through S/PDIF that's been pre-processed with Dolby Headphone. I don't know if this extends to other C-Media-based cards like the HT Omega lineup and the Auzentech X-Meridian, since they use somewhat different driver packages. Note that I cannot confirm or deny this myself without one of those cards.



 

 

Now that I'm looking I see that it can do Pro Logic 2 and a "7.1 speaker shifter" via spdif, but that would get reduced back to 2.0 in the Bifrost anyway. Stereo is fine for my single player gaming. I've been playing in stereo on the PC ever since I got the Lyr.

 

Why is it a surprise that I would want a separate DAC? I figured the Bifrost would sound better than a Xonar ST, but then again I've never had anything like it before.


Edited by Rebel975 - 1/1/12 at 10:08pm
post #2942 of 37374
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post
You have a Xonar Essence ST already, and want to throw a Bifrost into the mix? That's a bit of a surprise.

Unfortunately, there's a quirk I've heard about with Xonar cards; they allegedly won't let you output a stereo PCM signal through S/PDIF that's been pre-processed with Dolby Headphone. I don't know if this extends to other C-Media-based cards like the HT Omega lineup and the Auzentech X-Meridian, since they use somewhat different driver packages. Note that I cannot confirm or deny this myself without one of those cards.


I would assume (guess) that Asus felt that most buyers of the Xonar Essence STX & ST would use the built in headphone output for their headphones.

Anyone using the optical output would run the cable to something like a receiver or a external headphone amplifier for music (2.0 channel).

 

 

post #2943 of 37374

Just skip the Bifrost, and add an extra amp after mixamp before HE-500.

 

Bifrost is useless on gaming with dolby headphone

post #2944 of 37374
I already have a Lyr. I thought a Bifrost would round out my rig. (My PC rig at least).

Alternatively, I could sell the Xonar ST, buy a Titanium HD, and use CMSS via the RCA outputs. Hmm...
Edited by Rebel975 - 1/1/12 at 11:08pm
post #2945 of 37374
Thread Starter 
The reason I'd get the Bifrost is for everything non-gaming related. It will eventually be the External DAC I'm going to get, though I want the USB input in case I ever get a computer without an optical out (my desktop does have one). The Lyr should arrive soon...again, lol.
post #2946 of 37374
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

The reason I'd get the Bifrost is for everything non-gaming related. It will eventually be the External DAC I'm going to get, though I want the USB input in case I ever get a computer without an optical out (my desktop does have one). The Lyr should arrive soon...again, lol.


MixAmp is perfectly fine for gaming. As MLE said, Bifrost is perfect for any non-gaming issues.

post #2947 of 37374

I'm buying a Titanium HD off of a guy from another forum. I haven't ever used CMSS, but I'm sure I'll like it. Playing in plain old stereo is usually fine, but I've been really missing surround sound in my single player PC gaming. Skyrim in plain stereo is painful.

 

So I'll go: PC (cmss) > Lyr > HE-500 for single player gaming.

post #2948 of 37374

Ok so if I'm gonna order the 5.8 mixamp, what extra cables do I need to order along with it for the ps3? I know I need the chat cable and rechargable battery, but what else? I'm going to be ordering the AD700. Also, what would be a good mic (not zalman)?


Edited by cashmoney - 1/2/12 at 2:22pm
post #2949 of 37374
Quote:
Originally Posted by cashmoney View Post

Ok so if I'm gonna order the 5.8 mixamp, what extra cables do I need to order along with it for the ps3? I know I need the chat cable and rechargable battery, but what else? I'm going to be ordering the AD700. Also, what would be a good mic (not zalman)?


I think just the USB chat cable is all you need....

 

You could look at the antlion modmic.  Or the dealextreme clip-on.

 

post #2950 of 37374

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel975 View Post

Why is it a surprise that I would want a separate DAC? I figured the Bifrost would sound better than a Xonar ST, but then again I've never had anything like it before.


Not a dramatic surprise, but I figured that with a separate DAC, you can sell off the Essence ST and "downgrade" to a cheaper card that still has the needed DSP features, since the sound card's analog circuitry is no longer a factor.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel975 View Post

I'm buying a Titanium HD off of a guy from another forum. I haven't ever used CMSS, but I'm sure I'll like it. Playing in plain old stereo is usually fine, but I've been really missing surround sound in my single player PC gaming. Skyrim in plain stereo is painful.

 

So I'll go: PC (cmss) > Lyr > HE-500 for single player gaming.


That will work. Just so you know, I can personally confirm that CMSS-3D Headphone and in-game EAX effects are output through S/PDIF on X-Fi cards. Just make sure that the "Speakers" option is still the primary audio device, go into the audio control panel, click the Digital I/O tab, and make sure "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" is selected.

 

Though in this case, you're not adding the Bifrost to the chain. If you were, then given my point above, you could go with one of the cheaper X-Fi cards, so long as it still retains the EMU20k1 or EMU20k2 DSP (unlike the fake XtremeAudio cards). That said, the Titanium HD seems plenty capable to my ears, albeit ears that have never heard what an audiophile DAC can do.

post #2951 of 37374

Hi,

First time poster, long time reader. :D
I have done a lot of reading recently which is now only serving to confuse me (information overload).
Because of this, I thought it would just be easier to ask for advice.

My Situation:
I play (only) Battlefield - BC2 and BF3.
Until recently I played on XBOX and used PX5's.
Although the PX5's do work on PC, they are primarily designed for console's and I've had issues getting the mic working properly.
I believed that the PX5's offered good sound (although a little light on bass) but you'll probably all tell me otherwise.
I have recently built my first gaming PC which at present only has on board sound via the ASUS P8Z68-V LX (Realtek ALC887 8-Channel Audio).

What I want:
After selling my PX5's I will need to buy headphones (or headset) and a mic.
I do play to win but I still want the immersion so need a balanced headset.
The explosions in Battlefield games are intense, I don't want to miss out on that because they are 100% competitive headphones.
I will be on a budget of about $200 ish (I'm not very good with a budget).
I would like to avoid having to buy a sound card (I will do if necessary).
If I need to buy a sound card I'm hoping I don't need an external amp.

 

  1. What are your thoughts on the most balanced headphones (on a budget)?
  2. Do I need a sound card?
  3. Do I also need an amp?


Thanks in advance.
 

post #2952 of 37374


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowels View Post

Hey guys,

 

So, I've been researching over the past couple of weeks trying to decide on a new set of cans, but am having a hard time figuring out which I even want to try out. Basically, they will be used 50% of the time for competitive FPS gaming, 30% single player/movies, and 20% music (mostly hip-hop/rap/dubstep).

 

I've had AD-700's for ~6 months now, and while they are definitely nice on the competitive side of things, they obviously leave a lot to be desired when it comes to SP, movies, and my preferred music. I don't need or want overwhelming bass, just enough so it's "fun" when I'm not playing competitively, and isn't too much when I am.

 

As of right now, I've broken it down to the HD-598, AKG Q/K7xx, Beyer DT990 (600/250/pro), Beyer DT 880 (600, 250, pro), and the Brainwavz HM5's<<< closed, but I've read they have a pretty decent soundstage>>> but I'm open to suggestions.

 

I understand the AKG's and Beyer's are probably going to need more power than what the Mixamp brings, so would it be worth it to get those without an extra amp or even with a cheaper desktop one like the E9, over say the HD598's/HM5's? Or should I get something like the E9 even with the Senn's/Brainwavz, too (especially for listening to music)?

 

Willing to go up to $300~ or so, but would like to stay as close to 200 bucks as possible. Probably going to decide on two to order and try them out.

 

Great thread by the way, very informative for those new to this like myself.

^^^

 

Alright, so I ended up getting the HD-598's. Very pleased with the actual phones, but I'm having problems with a brand new Mixamp Pro and thought I could maybe get some insight ITT about this. Basically, it works fine when I'm playing MW3/BF3 and have the game/voice knob around 50-60%, but when I turn it all the way to game for SP's/movies and have it at a decent volume, I get a bit of rattling/distortion with any amount of bass, and it seems to usually come from one side or the other, not both. Example of this is on the Skyrim start screen during parts of the music.

 

It's not the cans as they sound fine through my ipod/comp+E7 with heavy bass music (well, they don't distort, haha), so I'm wondering if this is something common with the mixamp set all the way to game or if there is anything I can try. I suppose I could just keep the mixknob around 50%, but for the price of this thing, I don't want to have to use a workaround.

 

I did some digging and saw that some people had a similar problem to this back in '09-10, but it was supposedly "fixed" awhile back, certainly on the new '11 mixamp models.

 

FWIW I had the DSS+mixer setup for awhile, but broke the mixer and just decided to sell the DSS and get the all-in-one solution.

post #2953 of 37374
Thread Starter 
The Mixamp distorts under heavy stress on bass at times. The HD598 has spikes in impedance, spikes that the Mixamp may not be able to handle at times.

If it occurs frequently, perhaps the Mixamp is faulty.
post #2954 of 37374
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

Though in this case, you're not adding the Bifrost to the chain. If you were, then given my point above, you could go with one of the cheaper X-Fi cards, so long as it still retains the EMU20k1 or EMU20k2 DSP (unlike the fake XtremeAudio cards). That said, the Titanium HD seems plenty capable to my ears, albeit ears that have never heard what an audiophile DAC can do.


 

So I could theoretically hook up a separate DAC to the optical output on the Titanium HD (or other X-Fi card) and still get simulated surround sound? If so, this is the road I've needed to go down since I started getting into audio.

 

If I had known about, or understood the implications of the Xonar ST not being able to output dolby headphone via the RCA/optical jacks I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. Unfortunately, back then I didn't realize how nice it is to have that simulated surround sound.

 

 

BTW- I can confirm that the Mixamp distorts under heavy bass. Back when I had my Ultrasone PRO 2900's I just thought that the headphones couldn't handle it, but it happens with my HE-500's as well.


Edited by Rebel975 - 1/2/12 at 9:41pm
post #2955 of 37374

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarKim View Post

My Situation:
I play (only) Battlefield - BC2 and BF3.
Until recently I played on XBOX and used PX5's.
Although the PX5's do work on PC, they are primarily designed for console's and I've had issues getting the mic working properly.
I believed that the PX5's offered good sound (although a little light on bass) but you'll probably all tell me otherwise.
I have recently built my first gaming PC which at present only has on board sound via the ASUS P8Z68-V LX (Realtek ALC887 8-Channel Audio).

What I want:
After selling my PX5's I will need to buy headphones (or headset) and a mic.
I do play to win but I still want the immersion so need a balanced headset.
The explosions in Battlefield games are intense, I don't want to miss out on that because they are 100% competitive headphones.
I will be on a budget of about $200 ish (I'm not very good with a budget).
I would like to avoid having to buy a sound card (I will do if necessary).
If I need to buy a sound card I'm hoping I don't need an external amp.

 

  1. What are your thoughts on the most balanced headphones (on a budget)?
  2. Do I need a sound card?
  3. Do I also need an amp?


Thanks in advance.


1. I don't feel qualified to answer this, but the Samson SR850/Superlux HD668B seems to be the popular budget choice (around $40-50) for a balanced frequency response headphone, especially compared to something like the AD700. However, it's not something I've personally auditioned and cannot really vouch for.

 

2. If you have a PCI slot free and only play Bad Company 2 and BF3 out of the whole Battlefield series, a Xonar DG should do the job and only cost $30. However, if you have any intention of rolling back to Battlefield 1942/Vietnam/BF2/2142, an X-Fi Titanium will fit better with their use of hardware-accelerated audio (the newer games only use software audio engines that actually have worse positioning if you ask me), but will cost $60.

 

You won't be getting CMSS-3D Headphone or Dolby Headphone with the Realtek codec alone, so a sound card is a must unless you just want to be playing in stereo, from an analog output that's probably ridden with hissing and buzzing every time you move the mouse or have any disk activity.

 

3. If your headphones are sensitive enough, they won't require a dedicated headphone amp. With your budget, that's practically a given, since that would barely be enough for something like a K701/K702/Q701, let alone the amp required to drive it properly.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebel975 View Post

So I could theoretically hook up a separate DAC to the optical output on the Titanium HD (or other X-Fi card) and still get simulated surround sound? If so, this is the road I've needed to go down since I started getting into audio.

 

If I had known about, or understood the implications of the Xonar ST not being able to output dolby headphone via the RCA/optical jacks I wouldn't have bought it in the first place. Unfortunately, back then I didn't realize how nice it is to have that simulated surround sound.


Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. I've confirmed it myself with an SU-DH1 (hardly an audiophile DAC, but still a DAC with S/PDIF input nonetheless). RightMark 3DSound's positioning and EAX test doesn't lie to my ears.

 

You don't even really need one of the more expensive cards, since the main benefit of higher-end sound cards like the Titanium HD, anything Auzentech-built, and the Xonar Essence line is a higher-quality analog output stage, which is being completely bypassed by using a DAC. Lower-end X-Fi cards (XtremeAudio aside) also retain all the relevant DSP features like CMSS-3D Headphone and hardware EAX 5 (for older games that use it). In essence, you're using the sound card solely as a DSP to process the audio and letting a higher-end DAC convert it to analog more cleanly than the card itself can.

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