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 457

post #6841 of 37340
Thread Starter 
I'll replace my mixamp once something affordable can do Dolby Headphone-like processing and DTS. The only thing I've personally heard so far that does that is the damn uber expensive Headzone...
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/7/12 at 9:00pm
post #6842 of 37340

1000

 

Dangit, no idea how to put images under a spoiler to save space. Oh well. And I actually think I misread this, it has DTS connect. ENcoding, no DEcoding. I apparently have issues reading tonight.

post #6843 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post

Having owned the Recon3D and currently owning the Mixamp my personal preference is towards the Mixamp. I felt that the Recon3D just didn't do the positioning as well the Mixamp. However, the Recon3D gives you a lot more bells and whistles and can be used USB off a computer (with the supplied drivers) so it is a more well rounded device. I felt like "Scout Mode" basically just EQ'd up the treble so the sharp sounds came through more pronounced, but I turned it off within moments of enabling it in TF2 as it really irritated my ears. THX is some fine processing, and I felt that the Recon3D did movies better than the Mixamp. But at the end of the day, I just wasn't sold on the Recon3D and instead turned around and purchased myself the Mixamp. It's simpler to use and the positioning was better to me. The amp inside the Recon3D also isn't as nice as the one in the Mixamp, which did a better job driving my headphones.

 

I know it wasn't directed to me, but as someone who has owned both there's my 2 cents.

 

I should also note that since you're looking to use it as an external sound card, the Recon3D is a good choice. While I feel the Mixamp is superior for positioning, it sounds like it won't work with your current situation too easily. You'd need some kind of additional USB card to supply 5/7.1 out to the Mixamp. For my personal laptop I use the Asus U3 when traveling to get my Dolby Headphone, but sadly it's not Mac compatible :(

 

I was going to ask if you were exclusively talking console gaming for a moment, but then you mentioned that you have a laptop and a Xonar U3 for your PC Dolby Headphone fix.

 

What I'm curious about on the Recon3D is how well it handles DirectSound3D and OpenAL games, more specifically how well the positioning works in those. I doubt it supports hardware acceleration like the X-Fi internal cards (but not the USB ones) did, which is a cause for concern.

post #6844 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

I was going to ask if you were exclusively talking console gaming for a moment, but then you mentioned that you have a laptop and a Xonar U3 for your PC Dolby Headphone fix.

 

What I'm curious about on the Recon3D is how well it handles DirectSound3D and OpenAL games, more specifically how well the positioning works in those. I doubt it supports hardware acceleration like the X-Fi internal cards (but not the USB ones) did, which is a cause for concern.

 

I gotta be honest, I only had it for about 2 weeks before I sent it back, and sonic memory is sketchy. I had both the Mixamp and the Recon3D side by side for only about 4-5 days, not all that long. During that time I did play Portal, and I felt that it did a great job for an external sound card. Portal is the only game I know I own that does DirectSound3D and Dolby Digital. I've used the Mixamp with my PC as well for Portal and I feel that while the front and back positioning is better on the Mixamp with Dolby, I feel that the up and down positioning was a bit better on the DirectSound3D. Normally I don't pay attention to up and down sounds but with Portal and flying around it's pretty easy to notice. I fell the areas off to the side sounded pretty close. Again, this is all going off memory, so I can't say what I'm remembering is actually what I heard.

 

One thing I am curious about, and you might know this answer Nameless, but since the Recon3D doesn't do hardware acceleration for OpenAL/DS3D would the difference with a marginally better CPU be noticeable? I'm curious what the ROI is on that kind of thing.

post #6845 of 37340

More that $1000 worth of audio equipment, let's put it to some good use:

 

 

post #6846 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post

Having owned the Recon3D and currently owning the Mixamp my personal preference is towards the Mixamp. I felt that the Recon3D just didn't do the positioning as well the Mixamp. However, the Recon3D gives you a lot more bells and whistles and can be used USB off a computer (with the supplied drivers) so it is a more well rounded device. I felt like "Scout Mode" basically just EQ'd up the treble so the sharp sounds came through more pronounced, but I turned it off within moments of enabling it in TF2 as it really irritated my ears. THX is some fine processing, and I felt that the Recon3D did movies better than the Mixamp. But at the end of the day, I just wasn't sold on the Recon3D and instead turned around and purchased myself the Mixamp. It's simpler to use and the positioning was better to me. The amp inside the Recon3D also isn't as nice as the one in the Mixamp, which did a better job driving my headphones.

I know it wasn't directed to me, but as someone who has owned both there's my 2 cents.

I should also note that since you're looking to use it as an external sound card, the Recon3D is a good choice. While I feel the Mixamp is superior for positioning, it sounds like it won't work with your current situation too easily. You'd need some kind of additional USB card to supply 5/7.1 out to the Mixamp. For my personal laptop I use the Asus U3 when traveling to get my Dolby Headphone, but sadly it's not Mac compatible frown.gif

It's certainly fine to get your response, actually its very valuable to hear a user experience beyond spec speculation.

Since both the Mixamp and Recon3D have the Dolby headphone codec for handling 5.1 surround virtualization, it's hard to size up how they can create positioning all that differently. The differences you might've heard could be due to the better amping though.

Now on PC, for the games supporting 3D audio instead of a Dolby codec that is limited to specific direction channels (if I understand correctly), it makes much obvious sense to me that height can be represented more realistically with OpenAL than Dolby Headphone. The ability to adjust the EQ's (at least the THX mode) and save a custom preset for when you plug the Recon3D into a console sounds extra enticing, as does the chat smart volume and background noise filter. Hopefully Scout mode can be adjusted too: I like the idea in gaming of making quiet sounds a little louder in the mix, but EQing up a treble spike sounds unpleasant. Scout mode has mixed reviews.

About Nameless' concern about hardware accelleration, I dug up some info from my research this morning. In a review of the Asus XONAR XD, they quoted Asus in explaining how their software emulation of EAX 5.0 would make negligible performance impact in these days of single-threaded games on multi-core computers with massive computational power. In the Recon3D, it actually does have its own quad-core processor to handle all the digital sound decoding and DAC activities, so it should offload the sound duties from your PC's CPU & GPU. Although, I still think its worth mentioning that I haven't seen as much performance difference since when I decided 8 channels of sound would be enough in Marathon on my non-powerPC Mac in the 90's. It seems only one Creative internal soundcard had its own dedicated RAM for audio in supported games, that "supported" term brings up a yellow flag in my mind.

Oh by the way, while I'm writing, I've seen too many conflicting things about gaming on Windows 7 home: does it allow games from the XP era to play, or are many going to require Win7 Pro?

If I didn't care about Mac audio, I'd probably just get the Creative X-Fi Go! for $30 (similar to Xonar U3 but cheaper and with native EAX support) and forget XBox virtual surround until I move and can perminantly set up my Yamaha receiver, but... the Recon3D seems to do it all for stereo headphones and speakers, I might even sell the Yamaha and just use a cheaper integrated amp until I can afford a really nice receiver.

Here are the reviews I read on the Recon3D, if anyone is interested in sources & journalism:
http://www.techspot.com/products/sound-cards/creative-soundblaster-recon3d-usb.80990/
post #6847 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phos View Post

More that $1000 worth of audio equipment, let's put it to some good use:

http://www.youtube.com/v/V2XGp5ix8HE
Lmao! Never saw what before... There's a new taco @ the 'Bell, it's called Catchy Supreme.
post #6848 of 37340

Yeah, I wish Astro would bring out a Mixamp with better signal quality since the Mixamp totally pales vs. a Xonar STX. No contest. You could consider expensive headphones a waste on the Mixamp. Is there still no other/better alternative to the Mixamp?

 

I still haven't hadn't much time for a T90 and the Mixamp (played BF3 on PC but you know how BF3 cheats with prebaked sounds and below average positioning) but what I liked so far is the T90s clarity and high resolution (it really "opens up and "clarifies" the Mixamp). The bass characteristics are different than the DT990, the subbass is stronger and technically better, more precise, same for the mids (which are much better). Highs are less pronounced but can become sibilant in certain songs, though not like DT990 or Ultrasones. It's unfair to compare both though, the DT990 is not in the same league. Soundstage is great, it's not a HD800 or a K/Q701 (which I don't like) but it's out of the head and very 3D. Positional Accuracy is very good.

 

I am still amazed with Bioshock + CMSS-3D + EAX HD. That's 2007. Industry is in a sad state regarding audio technology though there are notable examples like Killzone using wavetracing and occlusion via their SPUs. 

 

Really hope the rumours about PS4 and its Audio DSP are true. 


Edited by Fegefeuer - 8/8/12 at 1:50pm
post #6849 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

I was going to ask if you were exclusively talking console gaming for a moment, but then you mentioned that you have a laptop and a Xonar U3 for your PC Dolby Headphone fix.

 

What I'm curious about on the Recon3D is how well it handles DirectSound3D and OpenAL games, more specifically how well the positioning works in those. I doubt it supports hardware acceleration like the X-Fi internal cards (but not the USB ones) did, which is a cause for concern.

 

I don't know what it does on the PC (no need when you can get internal cards) but on the consoles it can't do more than DHP since it receives no positional information of single voices/streams, just the processed stuff.

post #6850 of 37340
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

Yeah, I wish Astro would bring out a Mixamp with better signal quality since the Mixamp totally pales vs. a Xonar STX. No contest. You could consider expensive headphones a waste on the Mixamp. Is there still no other/better alternative to the Mixamp?

I still haven't hadn't much time for a T90 and the Mixamp (played BF3 on PC but you know how BF3 cheats with prebaked sounds and below average positioning) but what I liked so far is the T90s clarity and high resolution (it really "opens up and "clarifies" the Mixamp). The bass characteristics are different than the DT990, the subbass is stronger and technically better, more precise, same for the mids (which are much better). Highs are less pronounced but can become sibilant in certain songs, though not like DT990 or Ultrasones. It's unfair to compare both though, the DT990 is not in the same league. Soundstage is great, it's not a HD800 or a K/Q701 (which I don't like) but it's out of the head and very 3D. Positional Accuracy is very good.

I am still amazed with Bioshock + CMSS-3D + EAX HD. That's 2007. Industry is in a sad state regarding audio technology though there are notable examples like Killzone using wavetracing and occlusion via their SPUs. 

Really hope the rumours about PS4 and its Audio DSP are true. 

Beyerdynamic Headzone, which costs over a grand. I owned it briefly, and while the SQ was better than the Mixamp, the positional cues were similar. I'd be happy with a Mixamp with a black noise floor, and DTS decoding.
post #6851 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

Yeah, I wish Astro would bring out a Mixamp with better signal quality since the Mixamp totally pales vs. a Xonar STX. No contest. You could consider expensive headphones a waste on the Mixamp. Is there still no other/better alternative to the Mixamp?

 

I still haven't hadn't much time for a T90 and the Mixamp (played BF3 on PC but you know how BF3 cheats with prebaked sounds and below average positioning) but what I liked so far is the T90s clarity and high resolution (it really "opens up and "clarifies" the Mixamp). The bass characteristics are different than the DT990, the subbass is stronger and technically better, more precise, same for the mids (which are much better). Highs are less pronounced but can become sibilant in certain songs, though not like DT990 or Ultrasones. It's unfair to compare both though, the DT990 is not in the same league. Soundstage is great, it's not a HD800 or a K/Q701 (which I don't like) but it's out of the head and very 3D. Positional Accuracy is very good.

 

I am still amazed with Bioshock + CMSS-3D + EAX HD. That's 2007. Industry is in a sad state regarding audio technology though there are notable examples like Killzone using wavetracing and occlusion via their SPUs. 

 

Really hope the rumours about PS4 and its Audio DSP are true. 

 

There's the Beyerdynamic Headzone that Mad Lust Envy just mentioned, as well as the Smyth Realiser. Sorry about your wallet.

 

I still don't have any hands-on time with the Mixamp, but I do have a JVC/Victor SU-DH1. Unfortunately, there's a very audible noise floor with the HTF600, and I really don't think it would do my Stax setup justice if such an obvious problem presents itself on a $30 headphone. I just wish I had an understanding of its internals so I can preserve the DAC/DSP parts while building a much cleaner analog audio section around them and maybe even add chat mixing like the Mixamp in case I ever need it.

 

...Wait a minute, did you say that the PS3 Killzone titles use wavetracing in their audio engine? That's something I haven't heard of in gaming audio ever since Aureal got bankrupted by legal fees and ate up by Creative, just for A3D and its wavetracing to be dropped and buried in favor of Creative's own EAX. I have a feeling that modern general-purpose GPU designs would be particularly suited to wavetracing if they can do visual raytracing in real-time, but it doesn't seem like anyone has even bothered with the thought of GPU-accelerated audio.

post #6852 of 37340
Thread Starter 
Nameless, the Mixamp's noise floor is almost dead silent with harder to drive headphones like the 600ohm Beyers, K701/Q701, etc. I have to put it up real loud to get noticeable hiss with the HE400 (which is relatively efficient for a planar).
post #6853 of 37340
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post
Nameless, the Mixamp's noise floor is almost dead silent with harder to drive headphones like the 600ohm Beyers, K701/Q701, etc. I have to put it up real loud to get noticeable hiss with the HE400 (which is relatively efficient for a planar).

 

Hmmm, you think it's a matter of impedance? Come to think of it, whenever I break out the vintage Sansui SS-20 (that has individual volume and tone controls on each earcup for whatever reason), turning the volume dials down and raising the source volume generally gets around the hiss.

 

On the other hand, that sort of hiss is generally fixed-volume, no matter what volume setting you use at the source. So it scales up with the volume in the Mixamp's case?

 

While I'm at it, what level of volume do you generally set the Mixamp to if you're only using it as a DAC, DSP, and pre-amp, with a second amp connected to do the dirty work (as would be required of any electrostatic setup)?

post #6854 of 37340
Thread Starter 
I tried both maxing the volume and not maxing it and raising the volume on the attached amp, and got the same hiss. It's usually best to max or nearly max the volume on earlier parts of the audio chain as to not lose details.

Yes, it the hiss (when using the Mixamp alone) does scale with more volume. The hiss doesn't usually start until you get near max with my HE400, and it gets hissy at around %70 with the D7000 and other easy to drive headphones.

I'm currently playing Walking Dead on the PS3 with my HE400, and that game doesn't exactly have the loudest volume. My Mixamp is fully maxed out, and the HE400 is at moderate level... kinda wish I still had my E9, lol. The HE400 gets definitely loud enough with other games, but I can see that some games will have an issue getting loud enough for my taste, just like the DT990 Pros did.

I'm considering the E17 (want one for portable use), but I'm not sure how well it boosts volume when attached to another amp like the Mixamp. I know the E5 and E7 didn't add much of anything.
post #6855 of 37340
First off, I want to apologize if anyone thinks I'm posting too much or referring to reviews rather than personal experience. I don't want to bug anyone, I'm just curious about what I read and what you guys would think about it. The windows 7 thing... I'll go figure that out on my own
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

I don't know what it does on the PC (no need when you can get internal cards) but on the consoles it can't do more than DHP since it receives no positional information of single voices/streams, just the processed stuff.
Yes, the recon3D USB uses Dolby Headphone to process 5.1 to virtual surround for headphones, so it ought to be on the level with the Mixamp. AxelCloris' comments make me question the quality of the built-in amp; I bet that a synergistic amp in-line between Recon3D/Mixamp and headphone would level the playing field.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

...Wait a minute, did you say that the PS3 Killzone titles use wavetracing in their audio engine? That's something I haven't heard of in gaming audio ever since Aureal got bankrupted by legal fees and ate up by Creative, just for A3D and its wavetracing to be dropped and buried in favor of Creative's own EAX.
What is wavetracing? I remember a friend describing ray tracing as a way to visually model something by the way light rays interact with it, would wave tracing be like audio occlusion around an object?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I'm considering the E17 (want one for portable use), but I'm not sure how well it boosts volume when attached to another amp like the Mixamp. I know the E5 and E7 didn't add much of anything.

ClieOS has done pretty comprehensive reviews on portable amps, broken up into sub $100 and sub$200 amps. You might want to look that up (they're in his signature) to see how the E17 stacks up. For portable use, an amp/DAC combo may be overkill.
Edited by Evshrug - 8/8/12 at 8:32pm
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)