Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Do you use CMSS-3d or Dolby headphone for gaming?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do you use CMSS-3d or Dolby headphone for gaming?

Poll Results: What do you use for gaming?

 
  • 25% (34)
    Normal Stereo
  • 39% (53)
    CMSS3D
  • 29% (40)
    Dolby Headphone
  • 5% (7)
    Thx Tru-studio
134 Total Votes  
post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 

I just want to make this a simple poll. What do you use?

post #2 of 38

I don't expect THX Tru-studio to get many votes, pretty sure it just came out.  

post #3 of 38

Given that THX TruStudio Pro is only available in Entertainment Mode on the X-Fi Titanium HD, for which people will obviously use Game Mode instead while gaming, I don't expect it to get many votes...on the flip side, some of the newer USB devices, X-Fi MB2, and the Recon3D products use it with no mention of CMSS-3D Headphone in sight.

 

As you already know from past conversations, I always use CMSS-3D Headphone when playing anything with a first-person or third-person perspective that I'm sure supports 3D hardware-accelerated sound, or at the very least, 7.1 pre-mixed in software.

 

Oh, and while I do use Dolby Headphone via SU-DH1 for console gaming, my tests with feeding it Dolby Digital Live from the X-Fi Titanium HD result in it either performing on par with CMSS-3D Headphone in newer games with software audio engines that pre-mix to 5.1, or utterly getting smoked by CMSS-3D Headphone in DirectSound3D and OpenAL titles because it's only providing virtual 5.1 instead of a true binaural 3D sound space.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 1/22/12 at 7:37pm
post #4 of 38

I have an Essence STX and a Titanium HD, and I find CMSS-3D MUCH better than Dolby Headphone.

 

THX TruStudio Pro is also garbage compared to both DH and and CMSS-3D. To me it just sounds like that "bathroom" EAX effect that adds a ton of reverb.

 

EDIT: gonna quote what I just typed into that gaming headphones thread where people are also discussing DH vs CMSS-3D:

 

 

 

Quote:

Different people hear things differently, but to me CMSS-3D is better than Dolby Headphone and THX TruStudio.

 

THX TruStudio being the worst, it literally just sounds like that "bathroom" or "basement" EAX effect you see all the time, to me. Dolby Headphone is OK to me, but I don't like its positioning that much, it never felt very precise with the Essence STX. It's hard to explain, but the moment I tried a properly set up Creative Titanium HD with CMSS-3D the difference was noticeable straight away.

 

DH with the Essence STX to me felt like I was wearing headphones - it was definitely better than pure stereo audio, but discerning front sounds from rear sounds was difficult. Because of this, pretty much all sounds at 10:30, 1:30, 4:30 and 7:30 (I'm referring to positions on a clock, just in case anyone gets confused) were difficult to pin point as well.

 

Then I got a Titanium HD, and positional audio to me felt perfect. It didn't feel like I was listening to headphones when I was playing, it felt like all the sounds completely surrounded me, there were no "holes" where it was difficult to tell where anything was coming from.

 

So was the problem Dolby Headphone, is the Essence STX poor at imaging or am I just different than most other people in this thread? Who knows. Unfortunately, anyone who wants to know which method is better for gaming is just going to have to try it out for themselves.

 

Also, make sure you set up your games and Windows audio settings correctly when using CMSS-3D - you want to make sure Windows and the game you're playing are using 5.1 surround sound, then turn on CMSS-3D and it'll use all those channels for positional audio in your headphones.

 

With the Titanium HD I can actually listen to music with CMSS-3D on and it still sounds great. It doesn't make it sound any worse to my ears as the effect is fairly subtle with music; it just ends up being a different presentation of the music. Dolby Headphone I find OK with music too, definitely listenable but less subtle than CMSS-3D. For the most part, though, I prefer to stick to stereo for music, even with the Titanium HD. The only DSP that I felt made music (and games) sound terrible was THX TruStudio.

 


Edited by Arnotts - 1/22/12 at 1:47am
post #5 of 38

I've used CMSS and DH, DH smokes it in comparison IME.  Sounds like proper off angle speakers are setup with definite points of origin.

post #6 of 38

DH all the way. Stero just looses all positioning for me and I struggle telling whats around me.

post #7 of 38

CMSS3D > Stereo > DH. No experience with THX Tru-studio.

post #8 of 38

DH.

post #9 of 38
Thread Starter 

I'm just bumping the thread to see some more results. I'm sure that I'm not the only one thats interested. 

post #10 of 38

Where is the option 5.1? :( No DH or anything used but I have windows speaker config set to 5.1. Results in better positioning than using stereo, I like what it does to music as well, the soundstage expands a little (it's not as crammed towards center) and positioning of instruments is improved.

 

I would love to be able to use my custom tweaked Dolby Headphone config like I use with foobar2000 for gaming though, I just don't like how Dolby Headphone sounds on its own, it would need a "channel" tweak possibility like "Channel Mixer" and "Freesurround" plugin does, then you could get some quite impressive results no doubt but DH just like on its own I wasn't particularly impressed with and neither did I like CMSS3D cuz it had way too much impact on sound quality. Can't stand that grainy treble, sounds like you've downgraded to a $10 headset. Dolby Headphone has less of a sound quality impact and mostly just results in slightly more muffled sound due to the frequency response balance change it brings (about 1.5dB boost in bass and 1.0~1.3dB or so decrease in the treblerange) which can be fixed by EQing and then it sounds pretty much the same as stock with no audio quality loss (grab my foobar2000 DH config and compare stock vs it if you don't believe me) but with CMSS3D it's just not a question about being able to EQ out the frequency response balance change, the impact it has is beyond the help of EQing.


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 1/27/12 at 3:11am
post #11 of 38
Thread Starter 


I honestly hadn't heard of too many people using 5.1 without some sort of software to down mix. I may have to give that a shot. 

 

I should add that I finally played around with THX trustudio on my titanium HD and I wasn't too impressed. The hit in audio quality wasn't as bad as cmss3d most of the time but at certain times it was worse than cmss3d. Unlike CMSS3d audio didn't seem as distorted across the line but low frequencies were much worse. You could almost hear crackling in Serious Sam 3 when a werebull comes running at you and when there was a few of them you don't hear footsteps anymore since the low frequencies just seem to blend together. I noticed similar distortion in Skyrim with a dragon landing. The highs sounded off too, just not as bad. Mids sounded ok compared to cmss3d. The worst part was the actual positional audio, it left me completely unimpressed. It really wasn't any better than straight up stereo. IDK, maybe the recon3d does better like I've seen a couple of people claim but I sort of doubt it. 

 

Sadly I don't have any free pci slots since I would love to pick up a cheap Xonar DS to play around with DH. 

 
post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by BababooeyHTJ View Post


I honestly hadn't heard of too many people using 5.1 without some sort of software to down mix. I may have to give that a shot. 

 

I should add that I finally played around with THX trustudio on my titanium HD and I wasn't too impressed. The hit in audio quality wasn't as bad as cmss3d most of the time but at certain times it was worse than cmss3d. Unlike CMSS3d audio didn't seem as distorted across the line but low frequencies were much worse. You could almost hear crackling in Serious Sam 3 when a werebull comes running at you and when there was a few of them you don't hear footsteps anymore since the low frequencies just seem to blend together. I noticed similar distortion in Skyrim with a dragon landing. The highs sounded off too, just not as bad. Mids sounded ok compared to cmss3d. The worst part was the actual positional audio, it left me completely unimpressed. It really wasn't any better than straight up stereo. IDK, maybe the recon3d does better like I've seen a couple of people claim but I sort of doubt it. 

 

Sadly I don't have any free pci slots since I would love to pick up a cheap Xonar DS to play around with DH. 


There's several threads in different forums especially regarding how to set up X-Fi cards for the best positional sound and the common agreed procedure is in windows control panel set speakers to 5.1 but select headphones in the X-Fi software (the X-Fi GUI's speaker config isn't connected to the windows one which is usually the case with other soundcards!) and then enable CMSS3D if you're gaming and just want the best possible positional sound.

 

I've tried both a Titanium HD and ASUS D2 but I ended up selling both as I wasn't really satisfied with either DH or CMSS3D and stayed with Realtek HD onboard ALC889A chip because it's pretty darn good sounding to me despite being onboard and I just put the speaker config to 5.1 and I'm all set with good positional sound, your hear an immediate change when you swap between stereo and 5.1 speakers while listening to music for example. Then I also thought Titanium HD was more on the warm side with somewhat boosted bass vs recessed highend (talking very very tiny amounts here) while ASUS D2 sounded slightly on the bright, thin, analytical side and Realtek HD fits there in-between and actually sounded like having more neutral balance than either of those.

 

But yea using 5.1 speakers works even with headphones and you won't miss out on rear channels. When I try the sound test to check the different channels I get sounds from all but the sub and the different channels come from the right direction too so you can very clearly tell it's front right, front left, center, rear left, rear right. I'd picture it roughly like this:

 

realtek hd-2.jpg

 


Edited by RPGWiZaRD - 1/27/12 at 11:59am
post #13 of 38
Thread Starter 

Yeah, I know that but I've never heard of anyone using 5.1 without cmss3d or DH. Like I said I may have to try it out. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post


There's several threads in different forums especially regarding how to set up X-Fi cards for the best positional sound and the common agreed procedure is in windows control panel set speakers to 5.1 but select headphones in the X-Fi software (the X-Fi GUI's speaker config isn't connected to the windows one which is usually the case!) and then enable CMSS3D if you're gaming and just want the best possible positional sound.

 



 

post #14 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BababooeyHTJ View Post

Yeah, I know that but I've never heard of anyone using 5.1 without cmss3d or DH. Like I said I may have to try it out. 


I believe there's a very simple explanation to this. Who would think about using 5.1 speakers with headphones? xD It goes against the logic. Me then again doesn't care what it says, I just use my own ears to try every possible config/option and judge with my ears as sometimes there's cases where certain settings works unexpectedly good also in scenarios they weren't primarily made for. :)

 

post #15 of 38

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPGWiZaRD View Post
I've tried both a Titanium HD and ASUS D2 but I ended up selling both as I wasn't really satisfied with either DH or CMSS3D and stayed with Realtek HD onboard ALC889A chip because it's pretty darn good sounding to me despite being onboard and I just put the speaker config to 5.1 and I'm all set with good positional sound, your hear an immediate change when you swap between stereo and 5.1 speakers while listening to music for example. Then I also thought Titanium HD was more on the warm side with somewhat boosted bass vs recessed highend (talking very very tiny amounts here) while ASUS D2 sounded slightly on the bright, thin, analytical side and Realtek HD fits there in-between and actually sounded like having more neutral balance than either of those.


I thought the real reason you sold both was that you found the kX Surrounder plugin on your Audigy2 with kX drivers to offer all the positional benefits without the hit to sound quality...but then you started having issues with that card, so you went back to Realtek.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Do you use CMSS-3d or Dolby headphone for gaming?