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post #15166 of 25567
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. 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.

 

 

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.

 

 

I thought the idea of each method was to best simulate a full room surround setup on the headphone. But I think I understand what you're both saying. Thanks

 

No, I don't think the U7 can be used on a console at all. It's strictly a pc / mac soundcard. The coax has an optical adapter if you need that and the headphone amp is meant to be pretty good. Some pleased users here:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/669127/asus-xonar-u7-dac-amp-appreciation-impressions-thread

http://www.head-fi.org/t/660431/asus-xonar-u7

 

I'm actually not sure if you can use dolby headphones when going digital out of the card. Maybe someone who has it knows.


Edited by lemm - 7/15/13 at 3:14pm
post #15167 of 25567
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 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.

 

That's great. I'll take a read of that soon.

 

Going by a post date on the Creative forum, CMSS-3D seems like the oldest standard compared to Dolby Headphone, THX TruStudio Pro and SBX. Usually with tech the newest is best but I guess as they all try to do the same thing it's a matter of implementation.

 

I've only heard Dolby Headphone, and would have been ok to stick with that, but since I would need a new soundcard anyway I thought I'd check the various options. If I could get them all to test "live" that would be best, but I'm largely going on opinions and explanations here. Your feedback and article will no doubt provide some much needed insight.

 

Thanks.

post #15168 of 25567
Quote:
Originally Posted by lemm View Post

 

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

 

 

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.

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.

post #15169 of 25567

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???

post #15170 of 25567
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 #15171 of 25567
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 #15172 of 25567
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 #15173 of 25567
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 #15174 of 25567
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 #15175 of 25567
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 #15176 of 25567
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 #15177 of 25567
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 #15178 of 25567
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 #15179 of 25567
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 #15180 of 25567

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
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