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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 358

post #5356 of 37363
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkstar View Post

I bought the mixamp a long time ago after reading this thread and a few other positive posts and I have to say--I thought it sounded terrible.

 

My general impression was that it added a thick layer of reverb/echo effect to everything. In Fallout 3, for instance, when I would rechamber a round in my rifle outside, it sounded like I was inside a small concrete box.

 

I am in no way a fan of Creative, but when I compared DH to CMSS-3D, there was no comparison--DH heavily distorted the sound, while CMSS-3D (with EAX turned OFF) gave me a very believable sense of 360 degree immersion without the fake echo/cave effect. The only thing I did not like about it is that I felt like that it didn't have much LFE, but I didn't hear much low end from the mixamp either ...

 

What's the deal? Do others just not notice the echo/reverb? Did I have a "bad" mixamp?

 

I understand that there are different levels of DH, but from what I remember of the mixamp, you could not select different levels. Am I wrong?

 

Someone help me out here. What am I missing?

 

I notice the reverb, but I don't mind it and I think it adds to the ambience a bit.  It's slightly smooths out the sound, but it's not that bad or too thick IMO.  CMSS does sound drier but almost too dry IMO.  Sound effects sound weird in headphones when they're that dry and separated (same reason I dont' like stereo).  Its like looking at a photoshopped picture where everything has been cut out and pasted on a white background. 

 

I hear a little more LFE from Dolby Headphone.

 

The mixamp is set to DH2, which is the medium amount of reverb/size, and you can't change it.  DH1 is drier and sounds a bit more like CMSS, while DH3 sounds too echoey. 


Edited by chicolom - 5/4/12 at 3:50pm
post #5357 of 37363

Thanks for confirming the reverb thing, chicolom!

 

Still wondering why nobody else seems fit to mention this when posting their impressions of the mixamp. To me it is NOT subtle in any way shape or form. And while we all have different tastes, standing outside in a barren landscape should produce NO echo effects whatsoever. When it does, for me at least, all sense of immersion/believability go flying out the window ...

 

Wish I could get the chance to try DH 1, because I think I would like that a lot better.

post #5358 of 37363
Thread Starter 
Well going from stereo to DH is a big difference and the reverb/echo is the first thing everyone will notice, but after you spend days with it, the effect gets overtaken by the sheer amount of awesomeness, so yeah, not an issue at all.

The benefits far outweigh the cons.

As for CMSS, I agree with Chicolom. I thought it sounded nearly the same as Stereo. Very dry, and two dimensional. At least you're enveloped in a full soundfield with DH.

Of course, thge reverb/echo is NOt good for music, but for gaming I don't see the problem.

And Fallout 3 is a terrible game to demo DH. Just sayin'...
post #5359 of 37363
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

 

Yes, I've tried a bunch  cool.gif My favorite is the Q701. k701smile.gif

They have a good balance between fun and competitive traits, with enough bass and punch to be fun and immersive while having a large soundstage with good positioning as well.

 

My setup is: Xbox >  Mixamp > M-stage > Q701 + modmic.

 

You pulled "underwhelmed" from the word fine? tongue_smile.gif

The mixamp is satisfactory with the Q701s.  I get enough volume from it.  It's obviously not a desktop amp, which is what the Q701s like best, but if you want Dolby Headphone on consoles there aren't a lot of options. 


Most excellent....both you and MLE seem to hold the Q701's in high esteem. I think that will be my next go around then. Much thanks to all of you for your input. Without this great thread I would be lost in a sea of choices.   For now I will take back the HD 558 try PS3 > Mixamp > Q701 then modmic and later an amp. as my wallet lay dying bleeding like a stuck pig HAHA but hey..."Sorry about your wallet" is the motto

 

and... well "it's fine" sounds rather underwhelmed when compared to most opinions on Head-Fi. It's not every day someone says "tried these and...it's fine". Sorry mate. I feel like I am floundering a bit and just trying to get a grip on all of this.


Edited by Heretic817 - 5/4/12 at 10:37pm
post #5360 of 37363

I haven't been able to keep up with this thread in a while but have any of you guys had a chance to compare the q701 with the pro2900 yet? I'm still split to whether buying the q701 would be an upgrade, sidegrade, or downgrade.

post #5361 of 37363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Well going from stereo to DH is a big difference and the reverb/echo is the first thing everyone will notice, but after you spend days with it, the effect gets overtaken by the sheer amount of awesomeness, so yeah, not an issue at all.
The benefits far outweigh the cons.
As for CMSS, I agree with Chicolom. I thought it sounded nearly the same as Stereo. Very dry, and two dimensional. At least you're enveloped in a full soundfield with DH.
Of course, thge reverb/echo is NOt good for music, but for gaming I don't see the problem.
And Fallout 3 is a terrible game to demo DH. Just sayin'...

CMSS doesn't add it's own reverb, Creative is expecting the game to have that.  TBH I think Dolby Headphone adds too much.  I also don't know how good Cryengine's audio is, it seems hard to tell how far away anything is.  

post #5362 of 37363
Thread Starter 
I know it doesn't, that's why it sounds so two dimensional to me. CMSS is too much like stereo, may as well not even use it, IMHO.

I won't deny, Dolby Headphone takes getting used to (I hated it at first, but I realized it was the Astro A40s that didn't help matters). If yuo directly compare to the pure fidelity of stereo, you're going to be disappointed. DH changes sound as a whole, painting it in a whole new way. People need to understand that. A few days (with the proper headphone and SOURCE) and it will reward you.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 5/4/12 at 5:32pm
post #5363 of 37363
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

Well going from stereo to DH is a big difference and the reverb/echo is the first thing everyone will notice, but after you spend days with it, the effect gets overtaken by the sheer amount of awesomeness, so yeah, not an issue at all.
The benefits far outweigh the cons.
As for CMSS, I agree with Chicolom. I thought it sounded nearly the same as Stereo. Very dry, and two dimensional. At least you're enveloped in a full soundfield with DH.
Of course, thge reverb/echo is NOt good for music, but for gaming I don't see the problem.
And Fallout 3 is a terrible game to demo DH. Just sayin'...

 

I'd respectfully have to disagree with you. If the sound designers for a particular game thought an environment should have echo, they would, as Phos suggested, add it themselves. If I pull a handgun out of a LEATHER holster it should NOT have an echo effect ... that is just ridiculous. So I would say it is an issue.

 

I have compared CMSS-3D, via my Auzentech Prelude soundcard, directly to the mixamp and there is no comparison. With CMSS-3D games sound the way their sound designers intended they sound, with the added benefit of positional audio.

 

I also have a full 5.1 Energy speaker setup. CMSS-3D comes very, very close in simulating the experience of actually being surrounded by speakers. It does not sound two dimensional to me at all. I'm not sure what is meant by the term "dry" ... If the opposite of dry is tons of reverb slathered over everything, I think I definitely prefer "dry."


Edited by blinkstar - 5/4/12 at 6:14pm
post #5364 of 37363
Thread Starter 
I respectfully disagree with you. CMSS 3D sounds like a treble oriented, dry, expanded stereo. It does nothing for me. For those that just want stereo with a tacked on simulated effect, CMSS is for you. Positional cues are nowhere near as good as Dolby headphone, considering it all sounds 2 dimensional.

I've owned the Beyer Headzone ($1099) with it's own virtual surround processing, and it was near identical to Dolby Headphone, echo/reverb included, albeit with a higher fidelity sound. To me, it's a necessary evil to achieve the full 'surround like' sound.

But I guess that's why so many different DSPs exist. We all hear differently.

We can go and forth forever, but truth is, there are two camps, one that prefers DH, and the other that prefers CMSS. I've seen this same debate long before I joined Head-fi.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 5/4/12 at 7:23pm
post #5365 of 37363

CMSS-3D Headphone doesn't sound like one-dimensional stereo at all to me. Far from it, when you play a game that uses DirectSound3D or OpenAL so it has full 3D spatial information for a more binaural presentation while Dolby Headphone is unfortunately limited to virtual, two-dimensional 7.1. That's why I even bother to use it. Unreal Tournament, as an example of a multiplayer FPS with great positional audio simply because of the APIs it uses, sounds spatially congested in stereo and kind of flat with no height cues in DH's virtual 7.1.

 

I guess that's different HRTFs at play here, but there's also the whole matter of sound signature colorations. Dolby Headphone emphasizes bass and reduces treble, while CMSS-3D is the exact opposite. We've noticed this in this thread before, and I think that also has a lot to do with the polarizing views in this debate.

 

Rapture3D probably creams them both in terms of positioning and sound quality coloration with no less than six different HRTFs to choose from, but I'm not paying 30 GBP for something that only works in OpenAL games when the majority of mine are DirectSound3D-based.

 

Whatever the case, you certainly can't please everyone, especially in a subjective field like audio. Good thing we all have options.

post #5366 of 37363
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

I guess that's different HRTFs at play here, but there's also the whole matter of sound signature colorations. Dolby Headphone emphasizes bass and reduces treble, while CMSS-3D is the exact opposite. We've noticed this in this thread before, and I think that also has a lot to do with the polarizing views in this debate.

 

Rapture3D probably creams them both in terms of positioning and sound quality coloration with no less than six different HRTFs to choose from, but I'm not paying 30 GBP for something that only works in OpenAL games when the majority of mine are DirectSound3D-based.

 

Whatever the case, you certainly can't please everyone, especially in a subjective field like audio. Good thing we all have options.

 

That's interesting about DH emphasizing bass, where CMSS emphasizing treble.

 

So dolby headphone only has access to the 5.1 dolby digital information from games, but CMSS gets the information from somewhere else (directsound3D?)  And Rapture3D gets information from OpenAL, but I guess that's not common or standardized?

 

Do console games have any standardized audio positioning information besides Dolby Digital, and DTS?  Is there more advanced audio positioning information just not being used?  Is that a licensing thing or just no ones bothered to implement a more advanced standard than the 5.1 dolby digital information on consoles?

post #5367 of 37363
I have found DH to be a mixed bag. For me, it depends on the game though.
In Assassins Creed 2 I thought it was fantastic. However, in Red Dead Redemption it screwed with the galloping sound of horse riding so much it sounded like four horses trotting at the bottom of a tin bucket and I found myself setting the Mixamp to stereo. It's hard to explain but DH murdered horse riding to the point I could not ignore it.
In a game like MW2 there was a certain hollowness added but it improved positioning over stereo so much I got used to it. It took a minute but I now prefer DH in that game by far.

 

CMSS: I can't do direct comparison because I play some games on PS3 and others on my PC but I can say: Dead Space on PS3 with DH = scary awesome. Dead Space 2 on PC with CMSS = scary awesome but something is not quite right. It has me looking at ASUS cards at the moment so that I can get DH on my PC.

 

 The effect of either tech. may change the overall sound in a noticeable way but.... the added sense of position, smoothness of transition and depth of field is something I find hard to give up once you get used to it.


Edited by Heretic817 - 5/4/12 at 10:45pm
post #5368 of 37363

Not that this is going to resolve the debate or anything, but this is an interesting clip on youtube:

 

CMSS 3D vs Dolby Headphone - Crysis 2

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L9ApNLMmeAs

 

Note that you have to disable any HRTFs you have running in order to actually hear the clip above accurately.

 

I'd say they sound similar, although in this instance I actually think DH sounds better ... I don't hear the reverb in this clip as badly, so I'm guessing this is DH1, and not DH2.

 

To further complicate things, Yamaha also has its own HRTF, which some people swear is the best, although I've never heard it ....


Edited by blinkstar - 5/4/12 at 11:24pm
post #5369 of 37363
Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkstar View Post

 

I'd say they sound similar, although in this instance I actually think DH sounds better ... I don't hear the reverb in this clip as badly, so I'm guessing this is DH1, and not DH2.

 

To further complicate things, Yamaha has its own HRTF, which some people swear is the best, although I've never heard it ....

 

I think it is DH1, b/c the uploader said "It's standard settings for Dolby Headphone, as far as I remember - 8 channels input, of course, Dolby Headphone set to the "reference room" aka DH1 mode".

 

I wish the mixamp let you cycle through DH1/2/3.  DH3 sucks IMO, but DH1 and 2 are both worth having.

post #5370 of 37363

this debate is boring. i have no idea whats going on.

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