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post #15151 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

Nameless was good enough to give me some info regarding game surround sound processing for headphones. I have used Dolby Headphone but was also told about CMSS-3D as an alternative that uses binaural rather than virtual.

 

As I need a soundcard I expect one of these standards or something similar would be useful. I've been given a link to this to hopefully gain better clarification on the differences and hence which soundcard may be better.

 

Is CMSS-3D the most comprehensive / most up to date method?

What about SBX Pro Studio Surround in the recent Sound Blaster Z Series?

Is THX TruStudio Pro a good option?

And how do these compare to Dolby Headphone?

 

As for different methods of headphone surround, aren't all games essentially generating real time discrete 6 or 8 channel audio? If all in-game audio have either native 5.1/7.1 positional sound which are then made into virtual 5.1/7.1 surround over 2 speakers for headphones, how then do the various headphone methods above differ in simulating the native 5.1/7.1 game audio for headphones?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Regards,

Islam

There's a lot of debate between CMSS-3D and Dolby Headphone.  I haven't tried CMSS-3D, but I have tried Dolby Headphone.  I've also tried SBX Pro Studio, which is supposed to be an improved version of THX TruStudio Pro.  Here's what I can tell you:

 

I've tested the Xonar DGX, DX, and Sound Blaster Z.  I also have the original Turtle Beach DSS with Dolby Headphone.  I like Dolby Headphone better for positioning over SBX surround. However, the Sound Blaster Z is a great sound card.  The pure sound coming from it is superior to the two Xonar cards I tried.  I also like the bass enhancement and crystalizer software that comes with it.  So I ended up using the Sound Blaster Z, with some bass enhancement, crystalizer, and EQ from the SBX software.  I turn Dolby Digital Live on and use the optical output into my DSS and use Dolby Headphone on that unit.  Then I output from there to my mixer, which has a headphone amp (or you could output to whatever amp you like).  For me, this is giving me a sound I'm really happy with for music and games.  For games, I really only play BF3, and there were a lot of windows/in-game settings I had to play with to get things sounding right for each setup.


Edited by ethan7000 - 7/15/13 at 12:00pm
post #15152 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakanao View Post

No I want to use it for my xbox 360, but I'm getting sound from my headphones though, it's just not surround sound. It goes like this: The DSS is connected to the xbox 360 through usb, my headphone is plugged in the DSS, and the DSS optical out is plugged in the TV. How can I get the DD light back on?

I use a PC, so I don't know what the 360 has for outputs.  If it has an optical out, you should be using that into the DSS, not the TV.  The USB is just for power.

post #15153 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakanao View Post

No I want to use it for my xbox 360, but I'm getting sound from my headphones though, it's just not surround sound. It goes like this: The DSS is connected to the xbox 360 through usb, my headphone is plugged in the DSS, and the DSS optical out is plugged in the TV. How can I get the DD light back on?

Dumb question time.

Why do you not just plug the optical straight from the Xbox to the DDS?

post #15154 of 25561
Thread Starter 
You do NOT connect the optical from the TV to the DSS. It MUST be from the 360's optical out. Almost all TVs downconvert Dolby Digital to stereo. You will never get proper surround for game systems this way.

Again, optical out of the 360 to the DSS. End of story. You're not getting proper Dolby Headphone any other way, unless certain devices do passthrough. Tvs dont.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 7/15/13 at 12:19pm
post #15155 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

I'd suggest go hear for yourself if you can find any youtube videos with dolby, cmss-3d and the like applied. Look in the OP, I think he provides a link to some russian site with different videos with virtual surround applied.

 

Thanks. I've tried some vids and will likely try some more. Nothing like hearing it for yourself.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan7000 View Post

There's a lot of debate between CMSS-3D and Dolby Headphone.  I haven't tried CMSS-3D, but I have tried Dolby Headphone.  I've also tried SBX Pro Studio, which is supposed to be an improved version of THX TruStudio Pro.  Here's what I can tell you:

 

I've tested the Xonar DGX, DX, and Sound Blaster Z.  I also have the original Turtle Beach DSS with Dolby Headphone.  I like Dolby Headphone better for positioning over SBX surround. However, the Sound Blaster Z is a great sound card.  The pure sound coming from it is superior to the two Xonar cards I tried.  I also like the bass enhancement and crystalizer software that comes with it.  So I ended up using the Sound Blaster Z, with some bass enhancement, crystalizer, and EQ from the SBX software.  I turn Dolby Digital Live on and use the optical output into my DSS and use Dolby Headphone on that unit.  Then I output from there to my mixer, which has a headphone amp (or you could output to whatever amp you like).  For me, this is giving me a sound I'm really happy with for music and games.  For games, I really only play BF3, and there were a lot of windows/in-game settings I had to play with to get things sounding right for each setup.

 

I've tried Dolby Headphone on movies and I like it but not on games so am considering my options for positional audio.

 

So you're saying Dolby Headphone is better for positional audio than SBX. Accurate positional audio is mainly the the goal of all these options for headphone use, and rather than using SBX on the Sound Blaster Z you choose to leave SBX off and use Dolby Headphone through DDL instead, (with some added DSP you like). This helps put at least Dolby Headphone and SBX in some perspective. Thanks.

 

Initially I was thinking I'd do exactly that (ie DDL) so was looking for a soundcard that has the best DDL and was leaning to either the Sound Blaster Z or the external Asus U7 or U3 to use between 2 computers, and then maybe even forgetting about a new soundcard and getting audio through HDMI instead.

 

I was concerned about possible latency with DDL with the different soundcards. Obviously in movies I can adjust the av sync but in games the latency would be fixed to however long it takes to process the DDL. I think under 50ms would not be perceptible but I read some can go over 100ms. Are you experiencing any latency by going through DDL without the bass enhancement, crystalizer, and EQ you're applying from the SBX software? And with all that DSP over DDL does it not affect av sync in BF3? FPS games would be really good to pick up any latency so I assume you're not seeing any at all?

 

Then I thought I could just as easily avoid that and implement either Dolby Headphone, CMSS-3D or SBX processing through a new soundcard and pass that directly to the headphone. You've helped shed some light on Dolby Headphone vs SBX. Would you go as far to say SBX is inferior to straight Dolby Headphone (through DDL or directly in the Xonar DGX, DX, or Sound Blaster Z) without all the SBX software DSP from the Sound Blaster Z?

 

Anyone else used CMSS-3D and know how it works and what I can expect from that?

 

Thanks.


Edited by lemm - 7/15/13 at 1:11pm
post #15156 of 25561
I think your best bet would be asking that in Nameless' thread or decide for yourself after listening to audio samples either on youtube or somewhere else online.
post #15157 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakanao View Post

No I want to use it for my xbox 360, but I'm getting sound from my headphones though, it's just not surround sound. It goes like this: The DSS is connected to the xbox 360 through usb, my headphone is plugged in the DSS, and the DSS optical out is plugged in the TV. How can I get the DD light back on?

 

Xbox 360 -> Optical cable -> DSS.   It won't work going through the TV.

 

If you do that ^ and the 360 is set to output Dolby Digital 5.1 (it should be by default) the DD light will turn ON with the DSS.  Anytime the DD light is NOT ON, you're not getting the correct dolby digital 5.1 source, and your not getting the proper effect. 

post #15158 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naingolann View Post

I think your best bet would be asking that in Nameless' thread or decide for yourself after listening to audio samples either on youtube or somewhere else online.


Thanks. I'm also interested in technical implementations between them. I was told CMSS-3D somehow does more with the game audio than other options, but I'm not sure how this is achieved as all modern games are essentially realtime 5.1 / 7.1 so headphone positional audio should be limited to that?

post #15159 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post


Thanks. I'm also interested in technical implementations between them. I was told CMSS-3D somehow does more with the game audio than other options, but I'm not sure how this is achieved as all modern games are essentially realtime 5.1 / 7.1 so headphone positional audio should be limited to that?

Maybe on this link they can tell you of any advantages that CMSS-3D has.

http://forums.creative.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6

post #15160 of 25561

Thanks I understand guys. Just ordered the xbox 360 audio adapter.

post #15161 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by dakanao View Post

Thanks I understand guys. Just ordered the xbox 360 audio adapter.

 

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...

post #15162 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

Nameless was good enough to give me some info regarding game surround sound processing for headphones. I have used Dolby Headphone but was also told about CMSS-3D as an alternative that uses binaural rather than virtual.

 

As I need a soundcard I expect one of these standards or something similar would be useful. I've been given a link to this to hopefully gain better clarification on the differences and hence which soundcard may be better.

 

Is CMSS-3D the most comprehensive / most up to date method?

What about SBX Pro Studio Surround in the recent Sound Blaster Z Series?

Is THX TruStudio Pro a good option?

And how do these compare to Dolby Headphone?

 

As for different methods of headphone surround, aren't all games essentially generating real time discrete 6 or 8 channel audio? If all in-game audio have either native 5.1/7.1 positional sound which are then made into virtual 5.1/7.1 surround over 2 speakers for headphones, how then do the various headphone methods above differ in simulating the native 5.1/7.1 game audio for headphones?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Regards,

Islam

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 for CMSS-3D and Dolby Headphone. I also mention the difference between 5.1/7.1 surround and binaural, and how those relate to headphone surround. That would be a good place to start and learn.

 

Release date of headphone surround processing techniques isn't necessarily going to be the best method for you. Each person's ears are different, and different ones work better on a per person basis. Mad Lust Envy's favorite is Dolby Headphone, NamelessPFG swears by CMSS-3D, and personally, of all the different one's I've heard from owning or demoing, I liked THX TruStudio Pro the best. For me, DH (which I'm using these days from my Turtle Beach DSS) sounds more processed and has a distinct echo effect sometimes but it does produce a decent impression of front/back/side distinction of direction, CMSS-3D makes the treble sound IMO brittle and harsh (without echo problems, and also has impressed me a few times with directionality when viewing longer demos to give context to sound cues), and THX TruStudio Pro has the tonality I like with less processed sound or echoes. I think headphone choice makes a difference too... I usually use AKG Q701 headphones, if I was using my M-100 I might not feel CMSS-3D was too bright but I might also feel THX has less distinct directionality.

 

I haven't heard Creative's newest sound card in person, the Z-series Soundblaster cards (Z, Zx, ZxR), but from YouTube demos I've heard it does a fine job, and I want to hear it in person. THX still had a slight edge in the one recording of Tomb Raider's benchmark test with different surround options, but in the end having the card in my system and played "live" is the best test. I think I'm going to re-buy the Recon3D USB so I can connect it with my Mac, Windows, and Xbox systems and get surround, but if Creative made a USB Z-series card that worked with Mac, I would get that. YMMV.

post #15163 of 25561

I find dolby headphones to be like listening to surround in a room from the videos I have seen with it applied. Not very immersive. CMSS-3D does not sound like you are in a room. I find that more immersive. I don't care if either of them has slightly better positional audio... cmss-3d all teh way!

 

Also, I don't quite understand if and how you should be able to connect the u7 to a console? Anyone know how good the coax out (would really like to know!) and headphone amp is? You can apply dolby headphones when going digital out of the card, right? I don't want to be impaired by a mediocre DAC.


Edited by davidsh - 7/15/13 at 2:42pm
post #15164 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Maybe on this link they can tell you of any advantages that CMSS-3D has.

http://forums.creative.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6


Thanks. I took a look at some of the posts on that link. I think I understand that CMSS-3D uses the native 5.1 game audio (is that correct as some of the posts for CMSS-3D are dated almost 10 years old which would be before games used native 5.1) Nameless broke it down as binaural compared to virtual but I don't get how native 5.1 can be anything more than virtual 5.1

post #15165 of 25561
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

I find dolby headphones to be like listening to surround in a room from the videos I have seen with it applied. Not very immersive. CMSS-3D does not sound like you are in a room. I find that more immersive.

 

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.

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