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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 215

post #3211 of 37293

EDIT: Whenever I post, it starts a new page...The forum must know how important my posts are tongue_smile.gif
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Chicolom, every single time I see your posts I get distracted by the overwhelming joy of your avatars. ph34r.gif
Just had to mention it...again. biggrin.gif


 

Well, in that case :)


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Anything that converts the digital signal to something that outputs sounds on headphones is a DAC. But I guess you're reffering to head-fi's term of a DAC, in which, yes, the Pro/Wired has a DAC, but I owned the pre-2010 wired version which didn't have that feature, so I dunno exactly how the new one's USB DAC functions.


 

Technically I think all the mixamps are DACs when used with optical cables, as they decode the Dolby Digital 5.1 into an analog dolby headphone signal.  When used with RCA inputs, with the dolby pro logic turned OFF, it is just an amp.

 

Also, I've never plugged a mixamp pro into a computer with USB to test it, but from what the manual says the usb connection can be used for strictly voice voice communication OR as a straight up DAC:

 

From the Mixamp Pro Manual:


 

"Simple USB Method: The ASTRO Gaming USB MixAmp can simply be connected with the supplied USB cable, enabling both game audio and voice communication with a single connection. Although this is a simple and easy way to connect, by combining both of these audio streams together on one cable, the MixAmp™ will not be able to function as a “Mixer”. That is, the BALANCE control will not function."

 

or....

 

"When used with a PS3/PC, the USB cable may aslo serve as a dedicated voice input/output connection.  When used in conjunction with a seperate cable for main (game) audio, you'lll be able to fully control the voice/game mix with the balance dial on the Mixamp."

 

Using the MixAmp to its Full Potential: Connecting Two Audio Sources:
By connecting game audio and voice communication separately (using the USB cable for power/voice, and a separate cable [Optical/Coax] for main/game audio), the MixAmp™ becomes an audio hub that enables full control over voice-to-game balance in hardware, even when you are playing a game. Most voice over IP (VoIP) programs have a provision to use a USB device as their voice input/output option – if you have such an option, select the ASTRO Gaming USB MixAmp as your audio device.

 

So it sounds like the mixamp CAN just work over a single USB, but Astro wants people to just use the USB for voice/chat and use a seperate input for the game audio in order to mix things.

 

Can someone with wired pro mixamp confirm that you can plug in NOTHING but a USB cable and get proper dolby headphone sound from the computer?


Edited by chicolom - 1/15/12 at 12:10pm
post #3212 of 37293

I almost think Astro took out the analog inputs on the wireless mixamp to prevent fools from hooking it up incorrectly.  Just found this post from someone on the Astro forums on hooking it up:

 

Quote:

"When you have an mixamp you really should use the usb to plug into your computer and use that as your mic input since you want the usb plugged in anyway as a power supply. Also this allows your mixamp to mix the voice channel and the game channel (which can't be done otherwise).

 

 

Ok...that part is correct ^...



I have the exact same setup as you do and I prefer using the analog connectors (I plug my mixamp into the headphone jack of my Xonar DX) due to the fact that the soundcard does have better DAC's (Digital to Analog Converters) than the mixamp and therefore the sound quality gets a bit better. And at least I can't notice any difference in the dolby effects which should be diminished by not using the spdif to plug in the mixamp but I do notice a significant increase in sound quality by using the analog connectors."

 

Noo!!  Enjoy that "significantly increased" Pro Logic sound quality   *facepalm*

 


 

 

post #3213 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

 

 

Can someone with wired pro mixamp confirm that you can plug in NOTHING but a USB cable and get proper dolby headphone sound from the computer?



Ive hooked mine up to the pc and it only works in stereo mode. You dont get DH, turning it on does nothing. I havent tried it for chat.

 

EDIT: Im going to retest it with a dvd. I dont think I had the setting right for the player

 

EDIT2: I think all my settings are correct and DH does nothing when the mixamp is hooked up through usb


Edited by weez82 - 1/15/12 at 12:35pm
post #3214 of 37293

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooplow View Post

I see. I always thought that the mixamp was an amp, not a DAC. Anyways, is there any way to use a USB DAC and still get Dolby Headphone? Or am I stuck with either sound card/mixamp for that? 


Only if the USB DAC itself has Dolby Headphone support, in which case it's not just a DAC, but also a DSP. Most DACs mentioned on audiophile sites like this do without the DSP features entirely.

 

Sure, you could pick up something cheap like a Xonar U3, but is there any particular reason why you'd want to stick to USB for audio in the first place?

 

In other news... *glances at price list* Wow, $1,850? I haven't even spent half that...yet. (It's only a matter of how long I can resist the urge to buy more Stax.)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by weez82 View Post

Ive hooked mine up to the pc and it only works in stereo mode. You dont get DH, turning it on does nothing. I havent tried it for chat.


You have the Mixamp Pro, not the older A40 Mixamp revision, right?


Edited by NamelessPFG - 1/15/12 at 12:49pm
post #3215 of 37293

Let's say I have a Xonar DG. Can I hook it up to a DAC like Fiio E7/17 via digital s/pdif and have both Dolby Headphone and high end sound for music? I read somewhere that if you connected it this way, you bypass the soundcard's DAC but still retain it's software features. 

post #3216 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by weez82 View Post



Ive hooked mine up to the pc and it only works in stereo mode. You dont get DH, turning it on does nothing. I havent tried it for chat.

 

EDIT: Im going to retest it with a dvd. I dont think I had the setting right for the player

 

EDIT2: I think all my settings are correct and DH does nothing when the mixamp is hooked up through usb

 

Incorrect. I have the 2011 version and it does function as a DAC and an AMP. It's tricky to set up on PC, but it can be done.
 

 

post #3217 of 37293

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooplow View Post

Let's say I have a Xonar DG. Can I hook it up to a DAC like Fiio E7/17 via digital s/pdif and have both Dolby Headphone and high end sound for music? I read somewhere that if you connected it this way, you bypass the soundcard's DAC but still retain it's software features. 


In theory, the sound card should be acting as DSP and transport only, while the external DAC does the actual decoding. That's how it works on X-Fi cards, anyway.

 

But Xonar cards allegedly have a limitation with Dolby Headphone; it can't be used with the S/PDIF output. I cannot confirm or deny this without a card to test with.

 

The FiiO E7 is USB-only, which is why I'm not too fond of it as a DAC, but the upcoming E17 does add an S/PDIF input on top, which makes this setup plausible.

post #3218 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 


In theory, the sound card should be acting as DSP and transport only, while the external DAC does the actual decoding. That's how it works on X-Fi cards, anyway.

 

But Xonar cards allegedly have a limitation with Dolby Headphone; it can't be used with the S/PDIF output. I cannot confirm or deny this without a card to test with.

 

The FiiO E7 is USB-only, which is why I'm not too fond of it as a DAC, but the upcoming E17 does add an S/PDIF input on top, which makes this setup plausible.



In that case, are there any budget X-fi cards that are good for gaming? I'm a competitive FPS player, so having CMSS-3D or DH really helps in hearing enemy footsteps and other audio cues. 

post #3219 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooplow View Post



In that case, are there any budget X-fi cards that are good for gaming? I'm a competitive FPS player, so having CMSS-3D or DH really helps in hearing enemy footsteps and other audio cues. 


 

The X-Fi titanium is the cheapest true X-Fi.  The cheaper X-Fi's don't have the actual chip on it.  

post #3220 of 37293

Nice. I think I can find one for around 60-80 dollars. What's the difference between this and the Titanium HD? 

post #3221 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooplow View Post

Nice. I think I can find one for around 60-80 dollars. What's the difference between this and the Titanium HD? 


The titanium HD is made for better analog output, if that's what you're after.  Most people here would use the digital out to an external DAC.  I think the Titanium HD has coax instead of optical digital IO.  

post #3222 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooplow View Post
In that case, are there any budget X-fi cards that are good for gaming? I'm a competitive FPS player, so having CMSS-3D or DH really helps in hearing enemy footsteps and other audio cues. 


Asus Xonar DG ($35, PCI) comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier rated up to 150-Ohms

Comes with Dolby Digital (Dolby Headphone surround sound).

Better with Windows Vista or Windows 7.

 

Windows XP or earlier or with games designed before Windows Vista,

But nothing wrong for using it with Win Vista and 7.

Get the Creative X-Fi Titanium with CMSS-3D (non-HD)

Good prices for used ones on eBay, make sure it comes with the original installation CD(s)

 

 

post #3223 of 37293

-Not as high-quality components (more in line with a Xonar DG, while the Titanium HD was built to compete with the Essence STX and Auzentech's various cards)

-More analog outputs (Titanium HD only does stereo through analog; fine if you only use headphones, not so much for those who also use surround speakers)

-No full 64 MB of X-RAM or EMI shield (not a big deal)

-No THX TruStudio Pro effects you'll never use (especially since they're Entertainment Mode-only and I'm either spending my time in Game Mode for the obvious reason or Audio Creation Mode for bit-matched music playback through ASIO)

-Perhaps not being utterly nonfunctional in Linux...

...that's about all I can think of.

 

Also, as long as it's not an XtremeAudio card (at least out of Creative's lineup; there are other cards like the X-Fi Bravura and Audiotrak Prodigy 7.1 to avoid) and has an S/PDIF output without any hard-to-find adapters, you should be good as far as X-Fi DSP features go, because I can't think of any other non-XtremeAudio-branded cards that lack the EMU20k1 or EMU20k2.

 

One plausible upgrade route is just to get the X-Fi Titanium for now, and if that's not good enough, use S/PDIF/Toslink/optical to feed an audio DAC later, whenever you can justify spending $300+ on one.

post #3224 of 37293

Alright, thanks for your replies. So final setup should look something like this:

 

X-fi card > S/pdif > DAC > Headphone

 

Would the card come with the cables, or do I have to purchase seperately? 

post #3225 of 37293
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny0990 View Post

 

Incorrect. I have the 2011 version and it does function as a DAC and an AMP. It's tricky to set up on PC, but it can be done.
 

 



He was saying that he was only getting stereo.  Are you saying that your getting proper dolby headphone with only USB?

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