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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 74

post #1096 of 3032
Thread Starter 

You still shouldn't be hearing any hiss from the Titanium HD. Strange.

 

Note that I only use the RCA output on mine, fed into an old Onkyo receiver that then amps it to speaker levels and feeds that to a Stax SRD-7/SB. And given the reputation that Stax and electrostatics in general have for being ruthlessly revealing, if there is any hiss coming from the sound card, I'd know.

 

Also, audio doesn't outright stop working with the Titanium HD in my experience. Fares better than most other X-Fi cards I've used in that regard; perhaps Creative wasn't kidding when they said they rebuilt the Titanium HD's drivers for Vista/Win7, at XP's expense.

post #1097 of 3032

Just realized I asked about the wrong file. chewy4, what is the file version of the wrap_oal.dll found on your system32 folder? If needed, I can upload an updated version of the file, which increases compatibility further.

 

Also, the Titanium HD paired with a Schiit Asgard doesn't display hissing, and you reporting that the hissing only occurs when adding the amp might actually indicate the issue lying on the amp side rather than the card's side.

post #1098 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

You still shouldn't be hearing any hiss from the Titanium HD. Strange.

 

Note that I only use the RCA output on mine, fed into an old Onkyo receiver that then amps it to speaker levels and feeds that to a Stax SRD-7/SB. And given the reputation that Stax and electrostatics in general have for being ruthlessly revealing, if there is any hiss coming from the sound card, I'd know.

 

Also, audio doesn't outright stop working with the Titanium HD in my experience. Fares better than most other X-Fi cards I've used in that regard; perhaps Creative wasn't kidding when they said they rebuilt the Titanium HD's drivers for Vista/Win7, at XP's expense.

 

How high does the volume go on your Onkyo/HD setup? The hissing only starts at ear damaging volumes and it is pretty quiet. It might not make a difference with normal listening but it really shouldn't be there at all. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Just realized I asked about the wrong file. chewy4, what is the file version of the wrap_oal.dll found on your system32 folder? If needed, I can upload an updated version of the file, which increases compatibility further.

 

Also, the Titanium HD paired with a Schiit Asgard doesn't display hissing, and you reporting that the hissing only occurs when adding the amp might actually indicate the issue lying on the amp side rather than the card's side.

That file is version 2.2.07.

 

The amp causes no hissing when paired with an STX, and no hissing when Window's volume is lowered. So the hissing noise is within the input signal of the amp.

post #1099 of 3032
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post
How high does the volume go on your Onkyo/HD setup? The hissing only starts at ear damaging volumes and it is pretty quiet. It might not make a difference with normal listening but it really shouldn't be there at all.

 

I usually keep the Titanium HD volume at 30% and the Onkyo receiver volume at roughly 9 o'clock. That's plenty loud for me, and I sometimes still worry about ear damage. (My ears are unusually deficient at 22 as is, from not being able to hear above 15-16 KHz to imbalances at certain frequencies that I initially blamed headphones for 'til I noticed the same imbalances among all of them...)

 

I did max out the Titanium HD volume and started cranking up the Onkyo receiver to check for hiss, and it did start cropping up past 3 o'clock on the volume knob, but any sound that would have played at such volume settings would likely damage my ears AND made my precious Lambda's drivers arc (which is a very, very bad thing when it means zapping holes in the diaphragm), provided that the receiver didn't go into protect mode first.

 

The important thing for me is that it's not audible at all at sane, non-ear-damaging volumes, or even louder-than-my-comfort-zone volumes. There's no need for me to be complaining about audio flaws that I can't even hear in my usage.

post #1100 of 3032

True that it should be a non-issue, but it does make me question their specs given that I don't get noise with the lower SNR headphone out of the STX. Sound quality seems to be good though.

 

Software is still really wonky for me. When switching modes I sometimes have to change settings back and forth in order to get any audio. For example I had to change from headphones to speakers to get any audio. But then when I switched back to headphones it was working.

post #1101 of 3032

Hello, all. I've seen the opening post a dozen times already, but never made an inquiry. So I've been linked here yet again, this time by Roller, who seems to be above me.

 

Anyways, I wanted to get opinions on Dolby Headset vs. CMSS-3D Headset.

 

Which do you guys prefer? Why? And for anyone who has tried both technologies with the AKG Q701's, I'll be getting those soon, so your opinions hold a bit more weight.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Edit 1:

Reading some of these posts, NamelessPFG is using an Onkyo receiver as an amplifier? I have this Onkyo reciever hooked up to my PC (serves as a home theater PC when needed). Is this a viable replacement to a specialized amplifier like the Objective 2?


Edited by XTCrispy - 12/16/12 at 4:36pm
post #1102 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by XTCrispy View Post

Hello, all. I've seen the opening post a dozen times already, but never made an inquiry. So I've been linked here yet again, this time by Roller, who seems to be above me.

 

Anyways, I wanted to get opinions on Dolby Headset vs. CMSS-3D Headset.

 

Which do you guys prefer? Why? And for anyone who has tried both technologies with the AKG Q701's, I'll be getting those soon, so your opinions hold a bit more weight.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Edit 1:

Reading some of these posts, NamelessPFG is using an Onkyo receiver as an amplifier? I have this Onkyo reciever hooked up to my PC (serves as a home theater PC when needed). Is this a viable replacement to a specialized amplifier like the Objective 2?

 

Well, first you have to keep in mind DH (Dolby Headphone) and CMSS-3D and surround virtualization techs, created for the same purpose of providing surround to an audio stream. They work in slightly different ways, with DH emphasizing bass while CMSS-3D emphasizes treble. For competitive gaming, it's more logical to use CMSS-3D than DH, however different people have different ear sizes and shapes which then changes how one perceives the virtual surround effect.

 

Keep in mind that a soundcard geared for gaming should at least have proper support for features like EAX, OpenAL and surround virtualization. All Asus soundcards have EAX up to version 2, software OpenAL and DH. Creative X-Fi cards have EAX up to version 5, hardware OpenAL, CMSS-3D and positional cue improvement algorithms that are exclusive to X-Fi cards and work on all games, from games with hardware accelerated audio renderers all the way down to basic software audio renderers.

 

Considering you're looking for optimal gaming audio performance, as well as overall high quality audio playback (be it games, music or movies), then the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD is the best card for that purpose. There are newer Creative cards with similar output quality to the Titanium HD, but they lose some gaming audio support, while the Asus Xonar Essence STX has comparable output quality to Titanium HD but has lower gaming audio support than any X-Fi powered card, as well as the newer Creative Z series cards.

 

About your headphones, the Q701 are regarded as one of the few valid alternatives to the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 in terms of competitive gaming prowess, while at the same time being more capable of immersive gaming than the bass anemic AD700.

 

I might not have read the specs properly, but it seems your receiver doesn't have a headphone out. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But that receiver looks quite good, and would be more than capable of driving the Q701.


Edited by Roller - 12/16/12 at 4:55pm
post #1103 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Well, first you have to keep in mind DH (Dolby Headphone) and CMSS-3D and surround virtualization techs, created for the same purpose of providing surround to an audio stream. They work in slightly different ways, with DH emphasizing bass while CMSS-3D emphasizes treble. For competitive gaming, it's more logical to use CMSS-3D than DH, however different people have different ear sizes and shapes which then changes how one perceives the virtual surround effect.

 

Keep in mind that a soundcard geared for gaming should at least have proper support for features like EAX, OpenAL and surround virtualization. All Asus soundcards have EAX up to version 2, software OpenAL and DH. Creative X-Fi cards have EAX up to version 5, hardware OpenAL, CMSS-3D and positional cue improvement algorithms that are exclusive to X-Fi cards and work on all games, from games with hardware accelerated audio renderers all the way down to basic software audio renderers.

 

Considering you're looking for optimal gaming audio performance, as well as overall high quality audio playback (be it games, music or movies), then the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD is the best card for that purpose. There are newer Creative cards with similar output quality to the Titanium HD, but they lose some gaming audio support, while the Asus Xonar Essence STX has comparable output quality to Titanium HD but has lower gaming audio support than any X-Fi powered card, as well as the newer Creative Z series cards.

 

About your headphones, the Q701 are regarded as one of the few valid alternatives to the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 in terms of competitive gaming prowess, while at the same time being more capable of immersive gaming than the bass anemic AD700.

 

I might not have read the specs properly, but it seems your receiver doesn't have a headphone out. Please correct me if I'm wrong. But that receiver looks quite good, and would be more than capable of driving the Q701.

 

Alright. That's it. You've got me sold. You run an aggressive marketing campaign, almost like you'll profit. Thanks for all the effort you've put up the entire day. I'll be getting the Titanium HD.

 

As for the Onkyo receiver, I took a pic of the front, and I'm pretty sure that's a 1/4" jack to the left. I'd have to get up off my chair to change the volume, though, as my PC setup is to the side. I'll probably still get the O2, though.

 

Well, that's it. We've come full circle. I'm getting your exact recommendations from your first reply. Forgive my skepticism, but you understand. Thanks again, Roller. 

 

I'm still open to others' opinions on the subject, please share them!

post #1104 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by XTCrispy View Post

 

Alright. That's it. You've got me sold. You run an aggressive marketing campaign, almost like you'll profit. Thanks for all the effort you've put up the entire day. I'll be getting the Titanium HD.

 

As for the Onkyo receiver, I took a pic of the front, and I'm pretty sure that's a 1/4" jack to the left. I'd have to get up off my chair to change the volume, though, as my PC setup is to the side. I'll probably still get the O2, though.

 

Well, that's it. We've come full circle. I'm getting your exact recommendations from your first reply. Forgive my skepticism, but you understand. Thanks again, Roller. 

 

I'm still open to others' opinions on the subject, please share them!

 

Glad to see you've made up your mind :)

 

I've actually heard that before, and it couldn't be further from the truth. The reason I recommended you that card is because it doesn't compromise a shred of gaming audio capabilities, while at the same time providing excellent sound quality, given that it's a flagship consumer soundcard.

 

I kept going around the specs and the rear side (quite busy, I might add) and didn't find it, while it was on the front all this time rolleyes.gif

 

You do good to be skeptic, especially with more expensive purchases, it's consumer conscious of you. Curiously, most Head-Fiers tend to be that way biggrin.gif

post #1105 of 3032

After spending some time with my new card I've got to say that CMSS-3D blows away Dolby Headphone in terms of positional sound. I've been playing Biohock 2 and I have had absolutely no problem telling where voices and such are coming from, I snap right to them. It somehow exceeds real life positional audio for me biggrin.gif

 

DH on the other hand the positioning is always a bit blurred. It makes for a more smooth and in some cases more immersive experience but it undoubtedly would hurt your performance in any competetive game.

 

I think the card is a keeper for me. The software and drivers were initially very frustrating but now it's not as big of a deal since I know what to do to fix it when it breaks. But thanks for trying to fix my problems with it guys.

post #1106 of 3032

It really up to the person, i wouldn't say one is better then the other, more like what sound good to a person ears while their gaming.  I tend to like Dolby headphone over Cmss3D headphone, but i do like both as long I have it config correctly in the windows control panel for audio settings.  Just like how I like Tru Studio 3D headphone settings as long i using the same setting I mention.

post #1107 of 3032
Quote:
Originally Posted by genclaymore View Post

It really up to the person, i wouldn't say one is better then the other, more like what sound good to a person ears while their gaming.  I tend to like Dolby headphone over Cmss3D headphone, but i do like both as long I have it config correctly in the windows control panel for audio settings.  Just like how I like Tru Studio 3D headphone settings as long i using the same setting I mention.

I'd say they each have their uses. It's a shame we can't have both on one card....

 

For me Dolby Headphone sounded more realistic, with positional audio that bleeds around a bit. Especially noticable with stereo audio, where stuff played on right channel only will bleed into the left channel. CMSS-3D on the otherhand is really precise. Maybe if I would have been using DH more on reference mode it would have been different though, but my experience so far is that I can locate stuff by sound a hundred times easier with CMSS-3D.


Edited by chewy4 - 12/17/12 at 10:58am
post #1108 of 3032

Yea I pretty much used DH Mode 1 which was Reference when I used it since it doesn't add any echo.

post #1109 of 3032
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by XTCrispy View Post

Hello, all. I've seen the opening post a dozen times already, but never made an inquiry. So I've been linked here yet again, this time by Roller, who seems to be above me.

 

Anyways, I wanted to get opinions on Dolby Headset vs. CMSS-3D Headset.

 

Which do you guys prefer? Why? And for anyone who has tried both technologies with the AKG Q701's, I'll be getting those soon, so your opinions hold a bit more weight.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Edit 1:

Reading some of these posts, NamelessPFG is using an Onkyo receiver as an amplifier? I have this Onkyo reciever hooked up to my PC (serves as a home theater PC when needed). Is this a viable replacement to a specialized amplifier like the Objective 2?

 

For me, CMSS-3D Headphone and Dolby Headphone perform generally equally in software-mixed games when it comes to positioning. The former skews toward treble a bit, the latter toward bass. Nothing an EQ can't handle.

 

But in games with proper 3D audio support (DS3D/OAL), then it's no contest. Good as Dolby Headphone's virtual 5.1/7.1 may be, it cannot compete against a proper binaural HRTF 3D mix of the sort that CMSS-3D Headphone provides with those games, or even what Aureal Vortex cards did with A3D and DS3D games in the late 1990s.

 

As for receivers serving as headphone amps, it likely depends on the receiver in question, but it wouldn't hurt to try using one for that purpose. The reason I use a receiver as an amp just has to do with the unusual amp requirements of electrostatic headphones, along with the lack of funds to purchase a proper direct-drive Stax amp. (Even older models like the SRM-1/Mk2 Pro will still cost you $300-450 used!)

post #1110 of 3032

So I was wondering...

 

Should 7.1 be showing up in my Window's speaker settings with the Titanium HD? I noticed on creative's site it has a lot more options and I can only choose between Stereo and 5.1.

 

When my STX was in I had all the other options I believe, or at least 7.1.

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