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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (4/8/2015: Full X2 Review update) - Page 1012

post #15166 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

Yes I would say the SBX surround is inferior to Dolby Headphone for positioning.  No, I don't experience any latency with or without DSP using the Sound Blaster Z, and I play at 120fps.

Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to hear.

post #15167 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

Thanks, that's exactly what I wanted to hear.

No problem, let me know if you have any other questions.  I spent weeks testing all of this stuff!

post #15168 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

CMSS-3D do (for a few games) support binaural sound output. This means that said games output sound in coordinates (x,y,z) and cmss-3d simulates how a sound coming from said coordinate would sound. It is actually very neat, and I don't understand wth we are still stuck with inferior 5.1/7.1 simulations.

 

Can you apply dolby and the like when going digital out of a sound card???


That does sound very neat. But given speaker systems are 5.1/7.1 doesn't that mean such x,y,z co-ordinates are only in-game audio that are generated in real time and then being output as discrete 5.1/7.1 and it's the 5.1/7.1 that is used in a virtual headphone implementation? Or is there something else I'm not getting?

 

No, I can't apply any virtual headphone solution for games. My digital out has no processing on it hence my need for a new headphone surround option.


Edited by lemm - 7/15/13 at 4:13pm
post #15169 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by conquerator2 View Post

 

I believe the older Xboxes did not have an Optical out and component/HDMI (at all) available at the same time, so you will probably have to use the component cable (which has an optical out build in) or an adapter of sorts.

It was only from the Slim and onward that the Xbox supports HDMI/component and Optical at the same time.

I remember having to use the component cable on an older unit to get the optical output... Yeah it was pretty ridiculous...

 

This thing...

Yeah that's true. My 360 is from 2008, it has an HDMI input, but no optical input.

post #15170 of 30399
Quote:

Originally Posted by lemm View Post

 

That does sound very neat. But given speaker systems are 5.1/7.1 doesn't that mean such x,y,z co-ordinates are only in-game audio that are generated in real time and then being output as discrete 5.1/7.1 and it's the 5.1/7.1 that is used in a virtual headphone implementation? Or is there something else I'm not getting?

 

No, I can't apply any virtual headphone solution for games. My digital out has no processing on it.

The idea is, that you simulate the HRTF (what allows us to hear direction) of the average person, and then use those coordinates to put the sound into a virtual space, from which you can create the illusion of direction and distance. Kinda like binaural music.

 

And you are using what card?

post #15171 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

The idea is, that you simulate the HRTF (what allows us to hear direction) of the average person, and then use those coordinates to put the sound into a virtual space, from which you can create the illusion of direction and distance. Kinda like binaural music.

 

And you are using what card?

Ok thanks. So rather than simulate a 5.1/7.1 suround speaker setup CMSS-3D simulates a virtual 3d space using audio perceived co-ordinates. That's very different to Dolby Headphone that tries to simulate the native 5.1/7.1

 

Card is on my mb, either multichannel analog out or optical that has no further processing beyond standard 2 channel or DTS/DD pass thru.

post #15172 of 30399
I have ran across this switch (http://www.kinivo.com/Kinivo-HS420-AD-Premium-Optical-Supports/dp/B0092RE8BY) which is an HDMI hub that also has optical OUT depending on which switch is currently being used. Would this be a good solution to use with something like the Fiio E17 (http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E17-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0070UFMOW/) to hook up with XBOX's & PS3's etc?

Edited by Missfi - 7/15/13 at 8:48pm
post #15173 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

That's more or less how I feel when I fire up a game using DS3D or OpenAL.

Dolby Headphone and even THX TSP/SBX Pro Surround kinda sound like I'm in a room with a home theater speaker system, while CMSS-3D Headphone practically puts my head in the game environment.

I should note that for me, positional accuracy and immersion are tightly linked. It has to sound like I'm there, and if the positioning's noticeably off...well, there goes suspension of disbelief.

Oh, and for any of you wondering what that "significant purchase" I hinted at earlier was, it's finally here!




Yeah, I know, not headphones or other audio equipment...but a very significant step toward gaming immersion nonetheless.
Woah, duuuude!
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

Ok thanks. So rather than simulate a 5.1/7.1 suround speaker setup CMSS-3D simulates a virtual 3d space using audio perceived co-ordinates. That's very different to Dolby Headphone that tries to simulate the native 5.1/7.1

Card is on my mb, either multichannel analog out or optical that has no further processing beyond standard 2 channel or DTS/DD pass thru.
Yeah, the most common surround is processed into channels (5 or 7 plus subwoofer) so that a home-theater speaker array can play them. When you have two speakers directly mated to your ears, the simulation of surround can actually be far more accurate; a sound can appear to come from somewhere inbetween where two loudspeakers sit. When music is recorded with microphones (two) inside a dummy head, it's called Binaural recording, designed to record what your ears would hear if actually at the performance.

Sad part is, positional headphone surround was at it's peak when PC gaming was pretty popular... Well, PC gaming (and headphones) may be starting to come back due to Steam and (gotta admit it) Beats headphones, but also true is that lately most games were designed-first for consoles, and the only surround they offer is designed for 5.1 loudspeaker, home-theater style surround. You can still get a good experience though, and luckily Creative's 3D positioning headphone surround tech still makes the most of whatever it's fed. I still prefer THX TruStudio Pro, though Creative has the research to make the best gaming surround, of only they could market it well.
post #15174 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

The idea is, that you simulate the HRTF (what allows us to hear direction) of the average person, and then use those coordinates to put the sound into a virtual space, from which you can create the illusion of direction and distance. Kinda like binaural music.

 

And you are using what card?

 

Which coordinates? Coordinates or let's say it in X-Fi terms: The capability of 128 max. voices placed, rendered, positioned in the HRTF is impossible without OpenAL or DirectSound3D. People should be aware of the fact that most CMSS-3d strengths are useless in a time where middleware audio mixes everything and leaves the stream for the "rest". This is very unfortunate and a failure thanks to MS and Creative's stubbornness. So given that CMSS-3D can't do more than any other card does, except on OpenAL and DS3D games - for middlewaer games it's worse due to heavy SQ influences. That's maybe more of a problem if you use high end headphones. 


Edited by Fegefeuer - 7/16/13 at 2:22am
post #15175 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post

Which coordinates? Coordinates or let's say it in X-Fi terms: The capability of 128 max. voices placed, rendered, positioned in the HRTF is impossible without OpenAL or DirectSound3D. People should be aware of the fact that most CMSS-3d strengths are useless in a time where middleware audio mixes everything and leaves the stream for the "rest". This is very unfortunate and a failure thanks to MS and Creative's stubbornness. So given that CMSS-3D can't do more than any other card does, except on OpenAL and DS3D games - for middlewaer games it's worse due to heavy SQ influences*. That's maybe more of a problem if you use high end headphones. 

True, thought I mentioned that?

 

*I guess that is just an assumption?

post #15176 of 30399

it depends on the gear. With a X1 it should be more forgiving, with the HD 800 some games are almost unplayable. HD 800 + Bioshock Infinite had hurtful sibillance, but generally the "tin can" effect is very revealed. The X-Fi is the ultimate legacy gaming card but when you "only" have the lowest level (middleware) available SQ starts to become more important. Most solutions aren't too bad. If I had a technical ranking it would be CMSS-3D > SBX -> DHP -> THX Tru Studio Pro. On a Signal Quality Level it is SBX > THX >  CMSS-3D/Dolby Headphone

 

PS4 and the Xbox One do have dedicated hardware audio acc. Who could build a new PC API for upcoming games? Will we see OpenAL again? I'm really curious.


Edited by Fegefeuer - 7/16/13 at 3:00am
post #15177 of 30399

Well since we're on VSS tech, I posted this over at Overclock3D a while ago... it's rather brief, but I don't know if it'll add to the discussion -

 

Having tested and used all 4 main VSS technologies extensively, here's my summarized view on them:
 
*note*
Not all VSS technologies work well for all types of headphone, for example Dolby Headphones does not generally work too well with most closed headsets/headphones. This is due to the reverb DH has and having a closed headphones bounces the "echo" effect, leading to what many refer to as "like being in a tunnel".
 
CMSS-3D
They still have the best positional cues over amongst the 3 VSS technologies, they are still the ones to go for if your primary needs is absolute positional accuracy.
The downside of CMSS-3D is that it makes the audio sound overly thin, it's worst especially if you use it with bass-shy headphones and even more so if they're open ones. Though there are people who do feel that the "tin can" effect does help even more with positional accuracy as it accentuates the mid-high frequencies, leading to picking up audio cues around the player.
 
I for one personally think that if you want CMSS-3D to behave like an all rounder, you'll want to use a closed headphone/headset and do at least have tight bass.
 
Dolby Headphones
They're honestly the worst VSS tech in terms of positional accuracy IF you're using it on a closed headphone with relatively narrow soundstage. Many people do not understand that for DH to shine, open headphones with decent soundstage and some possess at least some tight bass is a must. I use DH with a HE-400 and K702, they're just SWEEET. Positional accuracy is indeed still not as good as CMSS-3D, but the immersion I get... I'm willing to look that off.
 
Because of this, Dolby Headphones generally work nice with movies too. Much better than CMSS-3D at least.
 
THX Surround
I don't know what went wrong with THX Surround honestly because what I feel is that it is very inconsistent. In most games, THX surround just doesn't project proper positional accuracy but instead over emphasize on immersion. I honestly only found THX Surround usable with Battlefield 3, I don't know why... but any other FPS or games, THX surround just sounds dull... lifeless.
 
Some users do however feel that THX Surround provides the best immersion and is good for movies, I personally don't feel that way as I think Dolby Headphones fits that bill better... for me, at least.
 
SBX Surround
It's been quite on the upward spiral lately, what THX Surround did wrong... Creative took it and modified whatever they needed to and the result is something I would call: the marriage between Dolby Headphones and CMSS-3D.
SBX does not have better positional accuracy than CMSS-3D, but it IS better than Dolby Headphones (even with a good open headphone combo). It doesn't present that "tin can" effect or have too much reverb.
 
Best of all, I feel that SBX Surround just works with any type of headphones. Be it open, semi-open or closed. SBX fits well within the range and although it doesn't get to be as accurate or as immersive with CMSS-3D and DH, I think SBX is the best all rounder for someone who just wants to game and watch movies.
post #15178 of 30399

Very nice roundup benbenkr. My impressions are basically the same with SBX being the best allrounder and especially not being the same as THX TSP.

post #15179 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Islam,

If you look at my signature, and then my "If I knew then what I know now..." journal, I have a "article" written explaining headphone surround, explaining the general idea about how it works, the various options to get it, and a few samples from Youtube ...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Yeah, the most common surround is processed into channels (5 or 7 plus subwoofer) so that a home-theater speaker array can play them. When you have two speakers directly mated to your ears, the simulation of surround can actually be far more accurate; a sound can appear to come from somewhere inbetween where two loudspeakers sit. When music is recorded with microphones (two) inside a dummy head, it's called Binaural recording, designed to record what your ears would hear if actually at the performance.

Sad part is, positional headphone surround was at it's peak when PC gaming was pretty popular... Well, PC gaming (and headphones) may be starting to come back due to Steam and (gotta admit it) Beats headphones, but also true is that lately most games were designed-first for consoles, and the only surround they offer is designed for 5.1 loudspeaker, home-theater style surround. You can still get a good experience though, and luckily Creative's 3D positioning headphone surround tech still makes the most of whatever it's fed. I still prefer THX TruStudio Pro, though Creative has the research to make the best gaming surround, of only they could market it well.

 

That was very useful. I had seen a lot of that before such as the YouTube vids and some quotes you referenced, but the explanation of how 3D surround works was not so clearly provided elsewhere. Thanks.

post #15180 of 30399
Quote:
Originally Posted by benbenkr View Post

Having tested and used all 4 main VSS technologies extensively, here's my summarized view on them:...
 

 

Again, a nice summary of how each one may sound. Thanks.


Edited by lemm - 7/16/13 at 7:01am
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