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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 7/9/2014: Ultrasone HFI-15G Added) - Page 1117

post #16741 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjosh View Post
 

 

So, basically, I want something like this Mixamp.  Is there any product out there like Mixamp that also has a optical OUT port?  So I can run an optical cord from the console to the mixamp (where my headphones will reside) and also run another optical cord from the OUT port on the "Mixamp" like product to my receiver thus not breaking anything I have going on now?

 

Why not use a powered optical splitter?

http://www.amazon.com/Digital-Optical-Way-Audio-Splitter/dp/B00B1UWSR6/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1379056619&sr=8-4&keywords=optical+splitter

 

A DSS (version 1) will get you console surround sound for cheap:

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?LH_BIN=1&clk_rvr_id=520259103126&_nkw=ear+force+dss&_sop=15

http://tech.woot.com/offers/7-1-surround-sound-gaming-headset-4

 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by fjosh View Post
 

This is what I'm going for.

 

 

That's actually a binaural recording, not Dolby Headphone.

post #16742 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post
 

 

 

That's actually a binaural recording, not Dolby Headphone.

 

Aww, bummer.  Are these surround sound "effect" processors nothing like this?

 

That splitter would work perfect.


Edited by fjosh - 9/13/13 at 12:28am
post #16743 of 24543
Anglvd3th and fjosh,
Yeah, about 60-70% of this thread is made up of variations of your questions over the years, BUT the good news is that the guide in the first post is very helpful, and the thread kinda has gained a life of it's own where previous shoppers turn into people willing to share tips, like me.

Anglvd3th,
The general rule of thumb is that gaming-marketed headphones have problems with sibilance, refined and controlled presentation, and value for their price. Audio is not one of Razer's core competences, though they seem to be trying to learn and, even though their attempts such as their free surround audio processing sound inferior to efforts by Dolby and Creative, I give them kudos for trying to expand the market. Gaming headsets generally increase in quality with price paid, at least till you hit the wireless models which bump quality down to entry-level again plus problems with background hiss and less detailed DACs, but at the end of the day, audiophile favourites around the $80-$170 price range will stomp over "gaming" headsets in sound quality and comfort.

Amusingly, when I went to check out the blackshark just now, I noticed that Mad (Lust Envy) commented on the Engadget "review" (more of a first look) of this headphone.

Good news is that many of the audiophile headphones look unique and cool as well. Take for example the Beyerdynamic DT770 I just looked up for Phol. Those actually HAVE been used for aviation in their headset version, with nicer materials (AND COMFORT) than the Razer, the sound has a lot of energy, clarity, and bass, and then the price speaks for itself. For more airy surround realism, look at the Sony MA900 (reviewed in the guide), or the bass-lite but god-mode gaming and less expensive AudioTechnica AD700 (or the new AD700x, if you prefer black).

I think the AKG Q701 headphones sound AMAZING, my current favorites (new version K712 Pro is in the mail for me though), basically they get the max out of gaming audio and work well with virtual surround processing (see the journal linked in my signature) and make music a more engaging and enjoyable experience (known for their balance and broad soundstage), and look so cool to boot. I love my kinda stormtrooper white ones, but they come in a green and black you might find cool, or a black if you want a serious look.
The slightly higher impedance helps dampen background hiss in an audio signal (silence between sounds improves clarity and is a hallmark of audio quality), but you'll also need a higher volume settings to get the normal level of loudness. Usually you get an acceptable volume at near max settings, but adding a discrete headphone amp makes things sound effortless while also providing the muscle to do things that you shouldn't tell your mom. LoL, but seriously, a good amp isn't about making sound too loud, they improve the impact, ability to "feel" the little detail nuances on your eardrums, and add control to the bass and highs to prevent distortion so you can hear audio as it was intended (which is very pleasurable, so much so that you shouldn't tell your mom, heh). This amping section applies to most headphones as well, to varying degrees.

fjosh,
PurpleAngel and I both use (or have owned and used) Yamaha receivers. I was in the middle of playing around with settings to perfect the surround audio, when I had to pack it up and box it in my basement until I move out T_T
So I don't EXACTLY know/remember the best settings, the manual said you had to have on a DSP and your headphones in the headphone jack to engage Silent Cinema (for virtual surround), what I was finding was that you could adjust the amount of the affects' effect, but perhaps you can even get surround with a surround audio source and the receiver set to "straight."

If you want the surround AND you want to use the vintage receiver as a power amp, you'd have to plug the vintage receiver's input into the newer AVR's headphone jack. Downside of that is you'll be very inefficient with your electricity bill, and, unless you're using a headphone with a very high impedance or a very linear impedance:frequency response, you may hear dB spikes at certain frequencies or distortion. But if you want to do it and it sounds good enough to you, you pretty much just have to use your AVR as a source and connect the vintage to the AVR's headphone jack to get virtual surround basically equivalent to Dolby Headphone.

Phol,
Check out this gaming headset review of the Beyerdynamic MMX300, basically the DT770 I linked above is the same headphone he's testing there without the built-in mic for $160 new. Mostly, that guy has only had experience with gaming headsets, and he was quite impressed, though his line about "this headphone is so great that the compressed audio in games are the only things that hold it back, and actually sound even better when listening to high bitrate music" (paraphrase) speaks volumes about these headphones. Check amazon's used section too, these are pretty tough headphones. While the Q701s are my favourite headphones (so far), I don't know if "balanced" and "reference" is the sound you're looking for wink.gif and the DT770 may be what you're looking for. Then, once you're used to it, you may want to pick up an E17 for amping and to EQ down bass and treble a smidge wink.gif
Edited by Evshrug - 9/13/13 at 1:22am
post #16744 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjosh View Post
 

 

Aww, bummer.  Are these surround sound "effect" processors nothing like this?

 

That splitter would work perfect.

 

 

They are very similar.  Your ability to position the sound in both is due to HRTF (Head Related Transfer Functions).  Basically, the way that sounds change as they bounce off different parts of your head and ear.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUrk2W_r5fc

post #16745 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by fjosh View Post

I'll probably have a lot of questions until my headphone setup is complete.
Sounds like you actually are looking for a service from somebody paid to give said service wink.gif
There are such services, we may give a few tips if we can't sleep and are feeling masochistic (and of course there is a wealth of info on this thread if you judiciously use the search function), but you'll probably also need to do some experimenting.

I wish I was paid for the hour I spent typing my last post, all the time I've spent compiling reviews, and the money (not as much as Mad :P ) I've spent on gear. It's valuable knowledge, but I know that till I stop giving it out for free nobody would pay me. *shrug*

Far as processors that can bake-in surround audio into a 2 channel optical output, the only options for that are from PC. Overall, it's a long rabbit hole, your current gear can't do EVERYTHING so hopefully it does it well enough for you and the compressed audio material in videogames (especially consoles).
Edit: splitting your optical feed and building a separate audio chain for headphones is also an option, didn't know if you were willing to go that route. Knowing ALL your options is good tho, so yeah, you could also split your optical with that box, buy a surround processor like the DSS, send the analogue audio out from that to your vintage receiver, and have surround. I personally find SC very close to DH (have both currently but not compared head-to-head yet), and you may find connecting to the AVR's headphone jack to be a cleaner analogue signal than the DSS' analogue signal.
Ya make me want to experiment! Someday, *raises fist* I will get that Yamaha AVR back out from it's box!
Edited by Evshrug - 9/13/13 at 1:06am
post #16746 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I mean, the all in one factor is what appealed to me, especially since it actually has Mac drivers, but I also have a console and gaming PC. I'm just now booting up my new Recon3D USB. By the way, I always type the USB part so people know which one I'm talking about. Doesn't hurt that it has gone on sale from time to time, too.

Apparently the Mixamp can plug into a PC and use USB for audio, but the quality is really bad (noisy) and doesn't have native drivers. You could also use a Mixamp with a Dolby Digital Live 5.1 (DDL) output from an optical port, but you'd have to figure out how to enable it, may require software, and... I don't know how to do it, you'd have to spend time researching if you want it.

What I HAVE learned about surround audio, I've written almost like a report in my "If I knew then..." journal linked in my signature. You said you don't understand Dolby Headphone and stuff, I wrote those "articles" to be a good starting place.

I'll have to check out some of those tracks, I'm always open to new stuff, but honestly I don't have much experience with the genre. I feel like bass that is slightly on the boomy side might actually be better suited for you, and FWIR the DT770 is impressive while still having good detail and surround imaging. The AKG K240 studios may also be fun for you, they actually have a pretty strong pronounced mid-bass hump (sound different than the flagships). Someone may recommend you the Sony XB500... Uh, no. I mean, you should hear it once, but the bass is ridiculously overblown and you can't hear anything else. The MA900 though, that's supposed to be nice, but I don't necessarily think it's the one best matched to what you're looking for, but I get the feeling you'll like the headphones Mad likes.
 

Hm I see, well the Recon3D seems like the best choice for getting everyting in one package, haven't heard much about it outside of these forums though so I'm still a bit unsure.
Oh that's great, I'll check out your journal when I got time!


 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Phol,
Check out this gaming headset review of the Beyerdynamic MMX300, basically the DT770 I linked above is the same headphone he's testing there without the built-in mic for $160 new. Mostly, that guy has only had experience with gaming headsets, and he was quite impressed, though his line about "this headphone is so great that the compressed audio in games are the only things that hold it back, and actually sound even better when listening to high bitrate music" (paraphrase) speaks volumes about these headphones. Check amazon's used section too, these are pretty tough headphones. While the Q701s are my favourite headphones (so far), I don't know if "balanced" and "reference" is the sound you're looking for wink.gif and the DT770 may be what you're looking for. Then, once you're used to it, you may want to pick up an E17 for amping and to EQ down bass and treble a smidge wink.gif

Not to sure about the gaming headset, it's pretty damn expensive and I rather just have a really good new headphone for that asking price :p.
I'm actually looking at the DT990 atm. I know I stated that I didn't want an open headset at first, but this one seems to be really well suited for my needs (a bit scared about the treble being too much though). The thing is since it's the 250 Ohm Pro-version I will have to invest in an amp, and I could get a Fidelio X for about the same price as a DT990+amp. Thought the Fidelio has that cable problem x.x.

Edited by Phol - 9/13/13 at 3:53am
post #16747 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

 compressed audio material in videogames (especially consoles).

PC and PS3 aren't so bad but the 360, because it uses DVDs, is pretty bad.  The bluray drive in the XB1 should bring it on par with it's competition.

 

I appreciate your help and advice.  Truly.

 

If we had a section in the forum here for "regular" stereo equipment, I could return the favors.

post #16748 of 24543

PC games get their multiplat audio always from the Xbox Version unless specifically taken care of. Almost all extra work done for a PC version is mostly just graphics and lesser video compression - rarely the audio treat like the PS3 version (if it hasn't already been gimped by getting the X360 files as well).

 

So no, "especially consoles" isn't really the truth.

post #16749 of 24543
Phol,
I know what you mean by not much exposure outside of Head-Fi, virtual surround in general is not well known (I myself didn't know about it till I found this thread like two years ago, but only started participating like a year and a couple months back), there are only a few reviews of it on Amazon Et Al, but I took a chance based on it's features (and a sale price) and really liked it (also new Mixamps at the time were back ordered for months and twice the cost). That's why I try to tell people about it... Creative themselves didn't work enough to give it traction. Now, it's possible that Creative may release a refreshed device similar to the Recon3D USB for their Z series line within a couple of months, I'd love to see that, but right now I just rebought a Recon3D USB and am glad to have it back.

I originally had a grand idea for the journal, aka it was going to be longer and grow a life of it's own, but not many people found it and then I got a job... We'll see. And the current stuff is still good info.

The DT770 headphone IS just a really good headphone, the MMX 300 is quite expensive but basically it's just a DT770 with a mic integrated. The X1 is a step up, and yeah it's open which is generally preferred, I'd say if you were looking at the dt990 just go with the X1 instead, else if that's too much stick with the other suggestions from Mad's guide.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fjosh View Post

PC and PS3 aren't so bad but the 360, because it uses DVDs, is pretty bad.  The bluray drive in the XB1 should bring it on par with it's competition.

I appreciate your help and advice.  Truly.

If we had a section in the forum here for "regular" stereo equipment, I could return the favors.

I don't mean to whine, I just know that people buy magazines for their reviews, even if said reviews don't have as much juicy info and subjective evaluation (Stereophile is an exception that I greatly enjoyed reading). I also see Mad doing this because he would anyway out of passion, yet basically being impoverished, and not on a you or my fault level but I think his time ought to be rewarded somehow. Thus I was really happy for him when Skullcandy/Astro asked him to review a few models, hoped it would lead to more, coz more reviews from him were helping everybody.

I think there is a "regular stereo speaker" section, I just don't go there often coz right now, in my living situation and income level, headphones are just way more practical and high-value for the dollar. I do have a pair of Polk M40's for laid back relaxing, will hook hem up again once I move back into an apartment (trying to find a reliable roommate that isn't a stranger).

Fegefeuer,
Thanks for adding to my want for a PS3, lol, though I may jump straight to a PS4. Bunch of PS3 titles I'm sad to miss, maybe I'll "get" a PS3 for "free" with a roommate, LOL! Hope he wouldn't mind if I shared my Panasonic plasma, speakers, headphones, furniture, rent... etc.
Edited by Evshrug - 9/13/13 at 5:43am
post #16750 of 24543
Thread Starter 
Well, the PS4 may stream PS3 digital game through Gaikai so you just might be able to play whatever is available on PSN.
post #16751 of 24543
That would be awesome. Didn't EA buy GaiKai tho? I do think that, in general, games streamed live will become the future.
post #16752 of 24543
Thread Starter 
No. Gaikai was bought by Sony.
post #16753 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Phol,
If you want something for the computer and console, the easiest solution right now is to get a Recon3D USB from Creative (which I just rebought yesterday). Sure, the Mixamp can kinda do a PC, and maybe with research and reconfiguration you might be able to use a Turtle Beach DSS with a PC, but the Creative external soundcard actually has custom drivers for Windows (and Mac) while also supporting the ability to decode surround sound sent from a console. I don't know of any in-production internal soundcards that actually can support 5.1 DDL audio decoding from a PS3, and besides having the external Recon3D means you don't have to have your PC running to have console surround.

You can adjust the balance between game and chat volume on PC (even increase the gain/sensitivity of your microphone), but unfortunately it can't offer that on consoles (though the PS3 may offer system settings for a workaround, I admit I'm not very familiar with the PS3 advanced settings). On my Xbox, there is a setting that can quiet the game audio while somebody is talking, but I prefer to turn up the volume on my amp till i can hear my friends clearly, then use a game's setting to lower game volume manually to a comfortable level – this way game audio won't change when I'm trying to listen for an enemy and a friend starts talking.

If you want the cheapest devices that will process surround audio, those would be the Turtle Beach DSS for consoles (Woot just posted an offer for a DSS v1 with a headset... All TB headsets can easily be outmatched in SQ, but the mic is good, allows console chat mixing, and is essentially free with a $30 DSS: http://tech.woot.com/offers/7-1-surround-sound-gaming-headset-4) and a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Go! Pro or Asus Xonar U3 for the PC. Dolby processing in the DSS and Xonar products is ok, but I prefer the headphone surround from THX and Creative.

What is post-core? Post hardcore? What's an example track?

 

ugh that woot deal is so tempting. I could just toss the headset to one of my brothers and keep the DSS for myself. I don't like justifying the dss just for GTA5 though. I literally haven't touched my PS3 in months but GTA games are the only reason why i buy consoles (took a week off work at my first job for GTA4 lol). If rockstar would only announce a PC port already.... I know I would buy it bc I got GTA4 for PC once it hit steam essentially buying the same game twice.

Mad, in your review you said the noise scales on the DSS so i'm guessing the hiss will be pretty bad if if i hooked up the DSS --> Asgard 2 --->X1


Edited by xero404 - 9/13/13 at 11:44am
post #16754 of 24543

Phol,

If you want the woot deal, jump on it, those sell out fast (if not already). Probably the best thing I can say about turtle beach headsets is the mic is quite sensitive, and you can balance chat/game volume, but otherwise there are easily better headphones. If you can buy a whole console for one game series, then you can justify a DSS and a birthday present for $30 :D Think of it as a special limited edition of GTA enhanced for headphones, LOL! Then, buy a Soundblaster Z. Asgard 2 maaaaaay be overkill for the X1, but hey do what makes ya!

 

 

 

 

I GOT A PACKAGE TODAY!!!! :k701smile:

post #16755 of 24543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
 

Phol,

If you want the woot deal, jump on it, those sell out fast (if not already). Probably the best thing I can say about turtle beach headsets is the mic is quite sensitive, and you can balance chat/game volume, but otherwise there are easily better headphones. If you can buy a whole console for one game series, then you can justify a DSS and a birthday present for $30 :D Think of it as a special limited edition of GTA enhanced for headphones, LOL! Then, buy a Soundblaster Z. Asgard 2 maaaaaay be overkill for the X1, but hey do what makes ya!

 

 

 

 

I GOT A PACKAGE TODAY!!!! :k701smile:

 

What is it? :o

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