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post #19966 of 30802

The budget includes everything yes. I've never used a soundcard or amp before and thought it would be easier to just get headphones. Is that wrong?

post #19967 of 30802

 Are these any good?

post #19968 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

The budget includes everything yes. I've never used a soundcard or amp before and thought it would be easier to just get headphones. Is that wrong?

 

Well I'd recommend at least having a soundcard that can output in a surround signal. Something that can handle Dolby Headphone, THX TruSurround, CMSS-3D, etc. You can do this easily and relatively cheaply, pair it with a decent starter amp and then get a quality pair of headphones.

 

For example, you can do a nice soundcard that has a decent amp in it and a pair of Creative Aurvana Live for under $250. The CAL aren't power hungry so you don't need a super-amp to drive them.

post #19969 of 30802

Other headfi'ers have suggested mr speakers maddog with no amp/soundcard or the AKG K550 with no amp/soundcard (the no card was my idea, but these were given as good options). This would cost me $330-350 (mrspeaker) or $280 (AKG), would the option you suggested result in better quality all round?

 

 

thanks for the help by the way

post #19970 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

Other headfi'ers have suggested mr speakers maddog with no amp/soundcard or the AKG K550 with no amp/soundcard (the no card was my idea, but these were given as good options). This would cost me $330-350 (mrspeaker) or $280 (AKG), would the option you suggested result in better quality all round?

 

 

thanks for the help by the way

 

My Mad Dogs are super enjoyable for immersive games. No doubt about that. I'd still recommend a surround sound card. If you want to go that route at least get a card like the Asus U3 or a budget internal card to go with them. Surround sound makes a big difference, honestly. Skyrim is AMAZING when you have a good surround processor.

 

I recommend against the K550. I love AKG, but I find the K550 lifeless and dull. And they have loose fit issues. I love both analytical and fun headphones, and the K550 is neither of those.

 

I'd be lying if I said I never ran my Mad Dogs off a computer directly. They're very nice headphones, especially with the Alpha pads. They do benefit from power, but they sound decent without an amp. I don't know prices in Australia on cards, but something like the Asus Xonar DG or the Xonar U3 can be had for $30 in the US and will give you Dolby Headphone. I'm not the most knowledgeable with soundcards; usually Nameless or Purple are the ones to answer those questions.

post #19971 of 30802

Ok, well it looks like i can get an Asus Xonar DG or Xonar U3 for about $30. I have a msi 7673 mother board, is that compatible? Are soundcards easy to install?

If i don't get a soundcard/amp, what would be a good recommendation for a closed, over ear headphone for up to $300?

 

2 of the cheaper headphones on the list are the skullcandy slyr and the audio technica ath-m50, would either of those work without a soundcard/amp?

post #19972 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

Ok, well it looks like i can get an Asus Xonar DG or Xonar U3 for about $30. I have a msi 7673 mother board, is that compatible? Are soundcards easy to install?

If i don't get a soundcard/amp, what would be a good recommendation for a closed, over ear headphone for up to $300?

 

2 of the cheaper headphones on the list are the skullcandy slyr and the audio technica ath-m50, would either of those work without a soundcard/amp?

 

It looks like the MS-7673 does support PCI cards, so the Xonar DG would work with it. The U3 is USB based. And soundcards are super simple to install. Very easy upgrades. Your motherboard has integrated audio, the Realtek® ALC892, so you'll get sound out of it without a dedicated soundcard. Keep in mind by doing this you'll be plugging up to $300 headphones into a $1.50 audio device that can only give you stereo sound at low resolutions. Some people game in stereo but this thread is specifically about gaming with surround sound. No matter what headphones you end up getting I'd recommend having something to give you surround sound.

 

The SLYR and M50 don't require amps. No dynamic headphone requires an amp to produce sound. The amp just improves the quality and volume they produce. With the SLYR and a Xonar DG you'll have a very nice set to get you started. If you don't need the microphone of the SLYR I'd say go with the CAL instead.


Edited by AxelCloris - 1/12/14 at 4:00pm
post #19973 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post

We want a better DAC, better amp, multiple inputs, and of course mic input for chat with console support. I'd love for it to have USB input as well for PC and console gaming. There's only one device that I know of that can natively handle console, PC and Mac gaming without additional hardware, and that's the Creative Recon3D USB. I'd love for a device from Fiio that directly competes with it and has multiple inputs with Fiio's better amps and DAC. Currently I have to amp off my Recon3D to get the best sound.

You mention that the Recon3D USB works on console, PC and Mac. I can see it presenting itself to the latter two as a USB soundcard. On the other hand, it receives signals from consoles via optical? This would be a Dolby Digital or DTS signal right? Where does Dolby Headphone or GenAudio Astoundsound come into this? As far as I know these are handled by the computer / console and output a processed stereo output that would only need to be amplified or decoded in the case of a digital output (insofar as all digital output need to be decoded by a DAC like the E18)?
post #19974 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post


You mention that the Recon3D USB works on console, PC and Mac. I can see it presenting itself to the latter two as a USB soundcard. On the other hand, it receives signals from consoles via optical? This would be a Dolby Digital or DTS signal right? Where does Dolby Headphone or GenAudio Astoundsound come into this? As far as I know these are handled by the computer / console and output a processed stereo output that would only need to be amplified or decoded in the case of a digital output (insofar as all digital output need to be decoded by a DAC like the E18)?

 

The Recon3D USB has USB and toslink inputs. It does present itself as a soundcard to computers. For consoles it's simply an external DAC coming in over toslink. It handles THX TruSurround, a competitor of sorts to Dolby Headphone. The computer/comsole handles the Dolby Digital signal and is sent as such to the Recon3D. The same is true for the Astro Mixamp. They take the 5.1 Dolby Digital signal and then decode it. At that point it's processed through the THX TruSurround, Dolby Headphone, or any of the other surround DSPs. I believe this is all done within the DAC circuitry and software. Finally it's sent through the amp and out to the headphones.

post #19975 of 30802

Just following up, the AKG 712 Pro's arrived today and sound absolutely incredible. Really appreciate all the replies and the extra info from @evshrug and everyone else!

post #19976 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

You mention that the Recon3D USB works on console, PC and Mac. I can see it presenting itself to the latter two as a USB soundcard. On the other hand, it receives signals from consoles via optical? This would be a Dolby Digital or DTS signal right? Where does Dolby Headphone or GenAudio Astoundsound come into this? As far as I know these are handled by the computer / console and output a processed stereo output that would only need to be amplified or decoded in the case of a digital output (insofar as all digital output need to be decoded by a DAC like the E18)?

On computers, the Recon3D USB connects via USB like your FiiO DACs, but it has drivers to enable settings and identify it's available resources (surround decoding) to the computer and games. For consoles, it has an optical input that takes the Dolby Digital Live 5.1 signal that would be normally sent to a home theater speaker system. It would be nice to have two optical inputs for two consoles, but that's a secondary goal. Here's basically what we, as consumers, have figured out about these surround processors, with Creative's Sound Blaster Recon3D USB as an example:

- Computer or console sends a Dolby Digital Live (or in some cases a DTS Connect) signal out, digitally. These encoded signals have already split the sounds into positional channels corresponding to where 5.1 or 7.1 speakers would be placed in a typical home theater setup.
- The Recon3D receives that home theater mixed sound, and uses a licensed decoder to understand the DDL or DTS signal
- the Recon3D applies a Head Transfer Related Function (HRTF) encoder to create a stereo virtual surround mix for headphones, the Recon3D's HRTF is called THX TrueStudio Pro (perhaps available for licensing from THX?) but other processors use Dolby Headphone to do the same thing.
- At this point the audio is a common 2 channel stereo mix, so that is transferred to a DAC, and then an Amp.

So basically, the external device needs a processor and some licensed software to convert home theater surround into headphone virtual surround, after that is just basically the hardware which is FiiO's strength and where the current products are weak. OpenAL and TrueAudio are kinda special cases, may be beyond FiiO's scope to implement those (and games have to have been created with support built-in), so I'd suggest just looking at HRTF's that can convert the common home-theater surround. Microphone input with a computer is easy, unfortunately each console is different (I believe the PS3 uses USB? Can anyone confirm?). It might be best for FiiO to start out with a more simple device, like an improved Turtle Beach DSS. Some HRTFs that FiiO may be able to use could be:

- Dolby Headphone (mode 2, or DH2, is used by the Astro Mixamp, Asus Xonar products, Turtle Beach DSS (the first one), Tritton's AX720+ processor, and others)
- Cirrus Logic (headphone surround? Name of the processing isn't clear, Cirrus Logic is the company)
- AstoundSound (by GenAudio, I don't have enough info for you to say it can process any 5.1 or 7.1 mix)
- THX TrueStudio Pro (may be a Creative exclusive, but maybe THX could license it to you?)

FiiO probably could NOT use CMSS-3D or SBX ProStudio, I doubt Creative would license this to a competitor... But who knows? DH isn't my personal 1st place favourite, but I do like it and use it, pretty much everyone here would be happy with DH2 processing. A few of us here thought FiiO was already doing this when your company announced the D5 DAC, but it wasn't what we had hoped (5.1 to 2.0 headphone virtual surround processor and DAC).

Thanks for checking this idea out! Headphones + gaming still has untapped potential, we gamers realize this would be a bit of an expansion to your current target market, but it's awesome to get your attention and we'll try to help if you need it.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Moskrilla View Post

Just following up, the AKG 712 Pro's arrived today and sound absolutely incredible. Really appreciate all the replies and the extra info from @evshrug and everyone else!
Rock on man!
Edited by Evshrug - 1/12/14 at 11:09pm
post #19977 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Bourne View Post
 

So I just got the Beyerdynamic 990 Pro's and Im wanting to use them for some late night blu-ray movie viewing (some gaming too) mainly with the PS3 and was wondering what would be the best route in providing them with virtual surround for blu-rays?! Was debating between the 2013 Mixamp Pro or the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D USB, any input appreciated especially with some running a similar setup.

 

Anyone?

post #19978 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Bourne View Post
 

 

Anyone?

 

It all depends on which kind of surround sound you prefer. The mixamp has Dolby Headphone while the Recon 3D has THX TruStudio Pro. Check the videos provided on the front of the guide and make your choice based on that. Don't let one of us make the decision for you...

 

By the way, Mad, I see (as others have mentioned) that the surround sound processors section is missing/deleted... in case you didn't notice that when they mentioned it. And also, thanks for returning everything safe and sound :)

post #19979 of 30802

Ok so upon further consideration, I think i'm happy to get a reasonable pair of headphones <$150 and pair them with a soundcard or amp.

So for a closed, over ear headphone which is good for gaming, is the CAL! the best?
Is the CAL!2 any good? it has an in line mic i could use for chat i guess.
 

With sound cards the Xonar Asus DG would be best? Is there value in external DAC vs sound card or rather what is the difference in quality?

 

Any recommendations are welcome and help is appreciated!

post #19980 of 30802
Quote:
Originally Posted by noswej View Post
 

Ok so upon further consideration, I think i'm happy to get a reasonable pair of headphones <$150 and pair them with a soundcard or amp.

So for a closed, over ear headphone which is good for gaming, is the CAL! the best?
Is the CAL!2 any good? it has an in line mic i could use for chat i guess.
 

With sound cards the Xonar Asus DG would be best? Is there value in external DAC vs sound card or rather what is the difference in quality?

 

Any recommendations are welcome and help is appreciated!


Bear in mind you'd need an adapter to use the mic with a PC if it's designed for phones.

As for soundcards vs external, generally soundcards are a good cheap option (since money isn't spent on box, power supply etc) but in the high end I'd go with an external.

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