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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 8

post #106 of 3161
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigsushi View Post

So my question; is there a sound card that supports Dolby headphone or CMSS (I have not had the best of luck with Creative cards though) that can properly drive the K701s or is my best bet to get something like the Xonar DG and a desktop amp?


The Essence ST/STX and Claro Halo cards which have a good amp chip in them have a 10 ohm output impedance which is more than ideal for the K701.  The E9 uses the same chip as well.  That extra output impedance will make the bass loose or boomy sounding compared to an amp with a lower output impedance.  Those cards or the E9 will get the K701 plenty loud without any nasty clipping or anything but a lower output impedance would be better.

 

Something like the Objective2 with just as much power into the the K701s but a lower output impedance would be better but you could do a lot worse than an STX if you're on a budget or don't want an extra box on your desk.

post #107 of 3161


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by facetman View Post

OK - have read this entire thread , and looked at the other thread- and I am overwhelmed to say the least. I just want to be able to tell where the Helicopter or tank or other guy that is shooting at me is in a FPS.

 

Looking for a gaming headset (prefer under $150 ) that is comfortable , has good sound ( not ultra) , and can direct where sound is coming from. I would prefer not to have to buy anything else- sound card, or AMP. 

 

Is that possible?


In that kind of price range if you're looking for comfort, sound, and direction while still being able to be driven easily I would have to recommend the Beyerdynamic DT770-Pro 80 ohm with an separate mic (probably a modmic). You should be able to find them for around $150, mine I found for $130. That's assuming you have a directional audio source to feed them though. Sound isn't the absolute best and you're going to want to do a very long burn in, I've heard some people quote up to 300hrs for the 770s before they really mellow out. In terms of comfort and directional audio though they're generally very highly regarded, although most people here go with the more expensive 990/880 for the better SQ and "sparkle" on the high end. Those however require a amp to drive. Bonus with Beyers in general though, they are built like an absolute tank. Basically, if you're looking to stay in a ~$200 pricerange and just want a solid entry-level setup without any obvious weaknesses, I'd seriously look into getting a 770 80ohm with a modmic, and an Asus Xonar or lower end Creative soundcard.

post #108 of 3161

That CMSS-3d trick w/ windows 7 looks sick.  Any similar functionality with a dolby headphone based unit? I seem to have more enjoyment from dolby headphone.

 

Luckily I didnt trash my Auzentech prelude.  I will try this tonight. Besides it'll give me an opportunity to almost a/b the julias digital output.


Edited by ninjikiran - 2/12/12 at 9:59am
post #109 of 3161

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjikiran View Post

That CMSS-3d trick w/ windows 7 looks sick.  Any similar functionality with a dolby headphone based unit? I seem to have more enjoyment from dolby headphone.

 

Luckily I didnt trash my Auzentech prelude.  I will try this tonight. Besides it'll give me an opportunity to almost a/b the julias digital output.

Apparently most cards have a recording option called "Stereo Mix" instead of "What U Hear" so I think you could pull off porting DH from a Xonar, assuming it does all the processing in software like CMSS does. From a few Google searches it looks like the Xonar cards have Stereo Mix but it's disabled in the Windows recording menu by default, so just show disabled devices and flip it on. If DH is your flavor of choice go for it and be sure to report back if it works. I don't have a DH-supporting card though so I can't do the testing myself :(

post #110 of 3161

Not going to invest in a DH card if it doesn't work with them properly but getting software processed digital audio to my higher end dac is brilliant enough for me to enjoy CMSS-3d.  The analog outputs suck, even on my julia its a significantly(not even audiophile level) change in sound quality between it and my bifrost.

 

The only problem is getting the digital input processed, and then spitting it back out for game consoles.  For that I was using the astro mixamp till a battery destroyed it.

post #111 of 3161

I have a pair of ultraphone 580's - if I got a sound card for the PC will that work?

post #112 of 3161

hmmm maybe I am asking this in the wrong thread but does anybody know: What I should be looking for when shopping for a soundcard?
You see, I heard that built-in motherboard jacks won't be enough to power a headset like the PC360s and in shopping for a new soundcard I am confused as to
what to look for in the first place. Some questions I have are:  

 

Exactly what am I looking for spec wise?


How cheap of a card can I buy? (that will still be enough to power the headset)   

Should I get a optical out? (probably for a DAC later or something?)

Are Creative and Asus the top brands for soundcards?

...I pretty much have no idea how any of this works, In fact I'm still in shock that you would need a separate soundcard to power a headset : /
 

The card I have in mind right now is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102041 it seems good, but I'd like to spend less than $90 if possible

post #113 of 3161


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotriv View Post

hmmm maybe I am asking this in the wrong thread but does anybody know: What I should be looking for when shopping for a soundcard?
You see, I heard that built-in motherboard jacks won't be enough to power a headset like the PC360s and in shopping for a new soundcard I am confused as to
what to look for in the first place. Some questions I have are:  

 

Exactly what am I looking for spec wise?


How cheap of a card can I buy? (that will still be enough to power the headset)   

Should I get a optical out? (probably for a DAC later or something?)

Are Creative and Asus the top brands for soundcards?

...I pretty much have no idea how any of this works, In fact I'm still in shock that you would need a separate soundcard to power a headset : /
 

The card I have in mind right now is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102041 it seems good, but I'd like to spend less than $90 if possible


AFAIK, Asus and Creative are the two most common brands of soundcards, and are on par with each other in most categories like SQ and Dolby (digital, not headphone) support. 50ohm on the PC360 seems reasonable to drive from most sources, I'm running 80ohm Beyers off my run-of-the-mill Creative card with no problems. While the circuits on the card/DAC are what give it its sound and headphones each have a distinctive profile, output impedance on the soundcard is probably something you want to check as it can be a good measure of how they'll work together. My Beyers for example have a very big reputation for "boomy" bass, but it disappears when you listen to them on an output with very low impedance. At that point if they sound "boomy" you can blame it on the artist you're listening to as the problem is most likely in the way the track was made. There are some internal soundcards with built-in amps that can drive even 600ohm cans if you're really worried or plan to upgrade in the future, but they are few and far between. Creative in my experience has been pretty horrible for any kind of driver support compared to Asus, their config menus are mostly useless, and 80% of the options just make the output sound like crap, but they seem to have a lot of extra "instruction sets" that most game engines pick up on and utilize. I'd imagine it's something like how some games like Civ 5 which is very texture and tessellation heavy runs better on Nvidia cards even when compared to AMD cards with essentially the same specs. You'd have to ask some of the other guys here for more specifics on that, as that's pretty far outside my limited knowledge.


Edited by SniperCzar - 2/12/12 at 9:33pm
post #114 of 3161

If you're just using the card as a source, you can go pretty cheap - Asus is probably the better choice as the cheaper Creatives tend to be re-packaged hold-overs from years and years ago. I think most of the "extra options" from both Asus and Creative have a place and function, but it depends on how they're used. They can entirely butcher the signal, if you want them to. Digital out can be worthwile if you want to connect to other devices, but to be quite honest it's going to be fairly transparent vs an outboard device (and yes, outboard devices cost a lot more - mostly because there are people who will pay for it). I don't know a thing about the Recon cards; I haven't heard good things though.

 

Regarding other options - HT Omega is going to be more or less identical to Asus (both use C-Media chipsets), and Auzen should be right up there with them. I'd give them both a look; I remember Auzen having a lot of $40-$80 options that were very good and HT Omega having at least one model in that price range (Auzen subscribes to the "32 flavors" model; HT Omega only has a few options). 

 

 

post #115 of 3161

I'm starting to get the impression that Battlefield 2142 actually uses EFX, primarily based on how Blue Ripple Sound lists it as one of their compatible games even though Rapture 3D doesn't support EAX (was already legacy when Rapture3D was made).  

 

And in case no one else mentioned it, I suspect that PCIe made X-ram pointless when the sound card has what amounts to its its own high speed bus to run on.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotriv View Post

hmmm maybe I am asking this in the wrong thread but does anybody know: What I should be looking for when shopping for a soundcard?
You see, I heard that built-in motherboard jacks won't be enough to power a headset like the PC360s and in shopping for a new soundcard I am confused as to
what to look for in the first place. Some questions I have are:  

 

Exactly what am I looking for spec wise?


How cheap of a card can I buy? (that will still be enough to power the headset)   

Should I get a optical out? (probably for a DAC later or something?)

Are Creative and Asus the top brands for soundcards?

...I pretty much have no idea how any of this works, In fact I'm still in shock that you would need a separate soundcard to power a headset : /
 

The card I have in mind right now is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102041 it seems good, but I'd like to spend less than $90 if possible


The PC360 can run off integrated, the primary reason in this thread that we have these sound cards is for their surround effects.  If you're going to get a DAC later creative's cards seem to be better at sending everything over optical.  The Recon3D seems like a good place to start but they jury's still out on whether it's actually an upgrade or downgrade over the previous generation X-fi.  The Recon3D is really still a bit mysterious in terms of what it actually does vs. what's just done in software vs. hardware.  No one here seems to have one yet, so we don't really know how well they work.  

 

It's kinda bothersome that this sort of thing is becoming so esoteric with no true mainstream replacement considering that proper HRTF binaural audio has so many benefits.


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by SniperCzar View Post

 

Apparently most cards have a recording option called "Stereo Mix" instead of "What U Hear" so I think you could pull off porting DH from a Xonar, assuming it does all the processing in software like CMSS does. From a few Google searches it looks like the Xonar cards have Stereo Mix but it's disabled in the Windows recording menu by default, so just show disabled devices and flip it on. If DH is your flavor of choice go for it and be sure to report back if it works. I don't have a DH-supporting card though so I can't do the testing myself :(


I'm pretty sure that the X-fi does hardware processing and it's just able to send the resulting sound back to the rest of the system.  

post #116 of 3161

Yea I wouldnt suggest the prelude from auzentech as a pure gamer card.  While it works fine, the drivers are a bit glitchy outside of pro-audio and bit streamed playback.  In Battlefield 3 it was perfect but the helicopter demo was totally glitched.

 

The Auzentech meridian looks like a sick dolby unit though.

 

To report music straight out of the digital of my Julia, with default sound to my auzentech in game mode is perfect.


Edited by ninjikiran - 2/13/12 at 7:34am
post #117 of 3161
Quote:
Originally Posted by Isotriv View Post

hmmm maybe I am asking this in the wrong thread but does anybody know: What I should be looking for when shopping for a soundcard?
You see, I heard that built-in motherboard jacks won't be enough to power a headset like the PC360s and in shopping for a new soundcard I am confused as to
what to look for in the first place. Some questions I have are:  

 

Exactly what am I looking for spec wise?


How cheap of a card can I buy? (that will still be enough to power the headset)   

Should I get a optical out? (probably for a DAC later or something?)

Are Creative and Asus the top brands for soundcards?

...I pretty much have no idea how any of this works, In fact I'm still in shock that you would need a separate soundcard to power a headset : /
 

The card I have in mind right now is: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102041 it seems good, but I'd like to spend less than $90 if possible




Just buy a card that has the features you want and offers S/Pdif output both coaxial and optical.  This way you can connect up to whatever DAC/amp you want.

Depending on what you want go for EAX/OpenAL based cards to cover all your bases.  CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone will help for surround imaging over headphones (if you like such things).  You don't need a high priced card if you are just using it as a digital source for a DAC.

 

On your headphone question, some headphones require more power to drive then normal line level outputs available on a soundcard.

Your card doesn't need an amp though if you are going to connect to a DAC/Amp down the chain.

 

You can always just go with a card that has a built in headphone amp also, such as the STX for example, there are a few different ones that you can check into.


Edited by ROBSCIX - 2/13/12 at 8:05am
post #118 of 3161

Another note of caution the prelude doesnt do dsp effects over spdif far as I know.

 

Thinking of keeping thel yr once my taboo comes in and get created a secondary rig around it.

post #119 of 3161

My Prelude does just fine via S/PDIF. Drivers are stable too. Never had problems; all three modes.

 

 

PCIe shouldn't eliminate the benefit of X-RAM; would be interesting to see actual numbers though (it's a neat thought!). 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjikiran View Post

Another note of caution the prelude doesnt do dsp effects over spdif far as I know.

 

Thinking of keeping thel yr once my taboo comes in and get created a secondary rig around it.



 


Edited by obobskivich - 2/13/12 at 8:57am
post #120 of 3161


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

My Prelude does just fine via S/PDIF. Drivers are stable too. Never had problems; all three modes.

 

 

PCIe shouldn't eliminate the benefit of X-RAM; would be interesting to see actual numbers though (it's a neat thought!). 
 



 


It'd be kinda tricky to actually benchmark the difference, though, considering that every PCIe X-fi has at least 16 MB so it'd be tough to isolate.  The benefit to frame rate is likely thanks to the system not having to wait for audio data to be transferred to the card for processing, so having more bandwidth should eliminate the bottleneck.  

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