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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 76

post #1126 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFGamescape View Post

Awesome, thank you!  So, does this mean the amplification provided by the X-Fi HD is not sufficient (e.g. for cans like the Q701)? 

 

I'm currently running a Xonar STX + PC360 (w/ UNi drivers).  Would adding this O2 benefit me?

 

Regardless, the X-Fi HD + O2 + Q701 will be part of my next PC build.

Hello, if you already have the Essence STX, why are you not just using it with the Q701?

If you plugged the O2 into the Essence STX's RCA outputs, you would only be 2-channel stereo audio (zero surround sound).

Maybe try adding some AD797BR op-amps to the STX.

post #1127 of 3042
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFGamescape View Post

Awesome, thank you!  So, does this mean the amplification provided by the X-Fi HD is not sufficient (e.g. for cans like the Q701)? 

 

I'm currently running a Xonar STX + PC360 (w/ UNi drivers).  Would adding this O2 benefit me?

 

Regardless, the X-Fi HD + O2 + Q701 will be part of my next PC build.

 

The X-Fi Titanium HD doesn't have a headphone amp IC like the Essence STX does (which, IIRC, is the same IC used in the FiiO E9), that much is certain.

 

It's not much of a hindrance to a Stax/electrostatic user like myself where a specialized amp is required anyway, but demanding dynamics and orthos might want the insurance of a decent amp like the Objective2. Some might even say it's better than the Essence STX's amp.

 

Then again, amplifiers aren't something I really like to dabble into. I just see them as a means to the end of making headphones work.

post #1128 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Hello, if you already have the Essence STX, why are you not just using it with the Q701?
If you plugged the O2 into the Essence STX's RCA outputs, you would only be 2-channel stereo audio (zero surround sound).
Maybe try adding some AD797BR op-amps to the STX.

I am considering adding the Q701 to my current setup. I was just curious why the X-Fi HD + O2 was recommended as I never saw the STX + O2 recommended.
post #1129 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

The X-Fi Titanium HD doesn't have a headphone amp IC like the Essence STX does (which, IIRC, is the same IC used in the FiiO E9), that much is certain.

It's not much of a hindrance to a Stax/electrostatic user like myself where a specialized amp is required anyway, but demanding dynamics and orthos might want the insurance of a decent amp like the Objective2. Some might even say it's better than the Essence STX's amp.

Then again, amplifiers aren't something I really like to dabble into. I just see them as a means to the end of making headphones work.

Great, succinct answer. Thanks for the education!
post #1130 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFGamescape View Post

I am considering adding the Q701 to my current setup. I was just curious why the X-Fi HD + O2 was recommended as I never saw the STX + O2 recommended.

The Essence STX comes with a true headphone amplifier and can drive headphones up to 600-Ohms.

also the STX's headphone output jack has a 10-Ohm impedance.

 

The Titanium HD does not come with a true headphone amplifier, but I know people that have used 250-Ohm headphone's plugged straight into the Titanium HD,

also the Titanium HD's headphone output jack has a 35-Ohm impedance.

 

It's recommended to use headphones have an impedance (Ohms) that is at least 8 times (or more) the impedance (Ohms) of whatever headphone jack the headphones are plugged into.

The O2 (Objective 2) portable headphone amplifier (new, $155) has an impedance of around .5-Ohms, so works fine with headphones from 8-Ohms to 600-Ohms.

The O2 functions like a normal desktop amplifier (24 X 7), just as long as you leave the AC adapter plugged in,

without the AC adapter plugged in, it has about 10 hours of use before the 2 batteries are drained.

post #1131 of 3042

hi, i need a recommendation of sound card with an optical input and dolby headphone technology, because i want to run the xbox 360 audio through my computer, retaining the audio effects (dolby headphones). is it possible?

post #1132 of 3042

Can I ask again..... Why exactly is it that the Z Series codec approach to simulated surround sound is inferior to the hardware supported option of say the Titanium HD?

I mean a bit more specific than Harware = good, Software = bad. I mean I don't know much about how it's done in particular but I could see how having all of the processing done on a single die could be better if implemented correctly and with high enough clock speed, bandwidth, blah blah blah.

 

Just wondering why everyone has shot the Z series in the face on day one when all the user reviews say "blows my old X-Fi Titanium out of the water...". Though I have not seen that statement made about the Titanium HD in particular.

 

Anybody have two cents on this? Anyone at all?


Edited by Heretic817 - 12/27/12 at 9:25pm
post #1133 of 3042

Howdy - so... been messing around with my new xfi titanium hd trying to get the mic to work with the mic input and I must have missed my short yellow pci-e bus to work this morning... but is it really this difficult?? After getting the mic off of mute, it just plays back through the speaker inputs full time.  I tried googling and see posts from years ago but no real resolutions - luckily for me the motherboard mic input works ok still.  Did I miss something?

post #1134 of 3042
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luizp View Post

hi, i need a recommendation of sound card with an optical input and dolby headphone technology, because i want to run the xbox 360 audio through my computer, retaining the audio effects (dolby headphones). is it possible?

 

People have tried to use computers as console surround processors before, and nobody's found a good, low-latency solution yet.

 

Honestly, you're better off just plunking down the cash for a Mixamp.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Heretic817 View Post

Can I ask again..... Why exactly is it that the Z Series codec approach to simulated surround sound is inferior to the hardware supported option of say the Titanium HD?

I mean a bit more specific than Harware = good, Software = bad. I mean I don't know much about how it's done in particular but I could see how having all of the processing done on a single die could be better if implemented correctly and with high enough clock speed, bandwidth, blah blah blah.

 

Just wondering why everyone has shot the Z series in the face on day one when all the user reviews say "blows my old X-Fi Titanium out of the water...". Though I have not seen that statement made about the Titanium HD in particular.

 

Anybody have two cents on this? Anyone at all?

 

It's because Creative's software OpenAL renderer that they use for "fake" X-Fi devices (basically all the USB ones and the XtremeAudio cards), along with all SoundCore3D devices (Z-series cards included), has flaws compared to the hardware OpenAL renderer used in the true X-Fi cards.

 

It was flawed enough to utterly refuse to let Thief 1/2 enable DirectSound3D hardware acceleration even with ALchemy set up properly, though they thankfully have native OpenAL support now. Battlefield 2 also sounds noticeably off if you try to max out the audio quality, X-Fi mode and everything, on an audio device that isn't a true X-Fi card with the EMU20k1/20k2. It lets you enable it without throwing out errors, but you notice that there's reverb on the menu sound effects that shouldn't be there, among other things.

 

This isn't something you'd notice with more recent games that do all their mixing in software, of course.

 

Also, there's a second matter with the Sound Core3D devices that I don't like as much, and it's THX TruStudio Surround. I think it just doesn't sound nearly as good for positional audio as CMSS-3D Headphone does, be it from the Titanium HD in Entertainment Mode or the Recon3D USB, even for games with software-mixed audio. Of course, that's just me and my ears speaking, and your experience may be different.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkcdn View Post

Howdy - so... been messing around with my new xfi titanium hd trying to get the mic to work with the mic input and I must have missed my short yellow pci-e bus to work this morning... but is it really this difficult?? After getting the mic off of mute, it just plays back through the speaker inputs full time.  I tried googling and see posts from years ago but no real resolutions - luckily for me the motherboard mic input works ok still.  Did I miss something?

 

The first thing I'd check is the mixer. You have to mute the microphone under the "Playback" section of the mixer, while leaving it unmuted for the "Recording" section.

 

The mic input on my Titanium HD works without issue, other than that it lacks a mic boost and thus should be used with more sensitive microphones.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 12/27/12 at 11:58pm
post #1135 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

People have tried to use computers as console surround processors before, and nobody's found a good, low-latency solution yet.

 

Honestly, you're better off just plunking down the cash for a Mixamp.

 

 

It's because Creative's software OpenAL renderer that they use for "fake" X-Fi devices (basically all the USB ones and the XtremeAudio cards), along with all SoundCore3D devices (Z-series cards included), has flaws compared to the hardware OpenAL renderer used in the true X-Fi cards.

 

It was flawed enough to utterly refuse to let Thief 1/2 enable DirectSound3D hardware acceleration even with ALchemy set up properly, though they thankfully have native OpenAL support now. Battlefield 2 also sounds noticeably off if you try to max out the audio quality, X-Fi mode and everything, on an audio device that isn't a true X-Fi card with the EMU20k1/20k2. It lets you enable it without throwing out errors, but you notice that there's reverb on the menu sound effects that shouldn't be there, among other things.

 

This isn't something you'd notice with more recent games that do all their mixing in software, of course.

 

Also, there's a second matter with the Sound Core3D devices that I don't like as much, and it's THX TruStudio Surround. I think it just doesn't sound nearly as good for positional audio as CMSS-3D Headphone does, be it from the Titanium HD in Entertainment Mode or the Recon3D USB, even for games with software-mixed audio. Of course, that's just me and my ears speaking, and your experience may be different.

 

 

The first thing I'd check is the mixer. You have to mute the microphone under the "Playback" section of the mixer, while leaving it unmuted for the "Recording" section.

 

The mic input on my Titanium HD works without issue, other than that it lacks a mic boost and thus should be used with more sensitive microphones.

Thank you! Very helpful. Aww man.

OK. So, here is my dilemma. Today I have:

 

X-Fi Extreme Gamer > Q701

 

I am currently thinking:

 

X-Fi Extreme Gamer > Schiit Magni > Q701

 

After that:

 

?Sound Card? > Schiit Magni > Q701

 

Keep in mind I am a gamer on a budget here. Are there any good Sound Card options for upgrade in the sub $150 range over my X-Fi Extreme Gamer? I am so kicking myself for not picking up the Titanium HD while Amazon had it for $105. I am not prepared to shell out for a ASUS Xonar STX. Most important to me is some virtual surround sound technology for gaming be it CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone or whatever. I may pick up a Schiit Modi later for music listening but as I don't have high quality FLAC's this is not currently a priority for me.  


Edited by Heretic817 - 12/28/12 at 7:14am
post #1136 of 3042
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic817 View Post

Thank you! Very helpful. Aww man.

OK. So, here is my dilemma. Today I have:

 

X-Fi Extreme Gamer > Q701

 

I am currently thinking:

 

X-Fi Extreme Gamer > Schiit Magni > Q701

 

After that:

 

?Sound Card? > Schiit Magni > Q701

 

Keep in mind I am a gamer on a budget here. Are there any good Sound Card options for upgrade in the sub $150 range over my X-Fi Extreme Gamer? I am so kicking myself for not picking up the Titanium HD while Amazon had it for $105. I am not prepared to shell out for a ASUS Xonar STX. Most important to me is some virtual surround sound technology for gaming be it CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone or whatever. I may pick up a Schiit Modi later for music listening but as I don't have high quality FLAC's this is not currently a priority for me.  

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Creative-Sound-Blaster-X-Fi-Titanium-Fatal1ty-Professional-70SB088600002-/140899688527?pt=US_Sound_Cards_Internal_&hash=item20ce46a04f

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Creative-Sound-Blaster-X-Fi-Titanium-7-1-PCIe-x1-Sound-Card-70SB088000004-/300828551895?pt=US_Sound_Cards_Internal_&hash=item460ac76ad7

 

Lots more used Creative Titanium (non-HD) sound cards for sale on eBay.

post #1137 of 3042

So about the noise issues I was having before with the Titanium HD...

 

The noise wasn't coming from the line out, it was coming from the microphone. No microphone was in, but when both microphone 1 and 2 are not muted in the mixer in creative console, some noise can be generated. I get no noise with 100% volume on the Asgard after they're muted.

post #1138 of 3042
Hey folks - you've all been so helpful... Is there a hidden guide to setup the xfi titanium HD? They seem none to quick on updating drivers and apps... So wanted to make sure I'm setting it up properly with win7. I saw the dd post with YouTube sample, so wasn't sure if I shouldset it up as headphones or 7.1The sample seemed to have better 3d imaging with 7.1 instead of headphones but I might be reading it wrong
post #1139 of 3042
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkcdn View Post
Hey folks - you've all been so helpful... Is there a hidden guide to setup the xfi titanium HD? They seem none to quick on updating drivers and apps... So wanted to make sure I'm setting it up properly with win7. I saw the dd post with YouTube sample, so wasn't sure if I shouldset it up as headphones or 7.1The sample seemed to have better 3d imaging with 7.1 instead of headphones but I might be reading it wrong

 

After reading up on the quirks that take people by surprise and I just correct instinctively without really thinking about them (most notably the "mic plays back through output by default" issue), I probably should write a guide on how to set up X-Fi cards, starting with driver installation.

 

For the Titanium HD, I put together a nice little driver pack. It has an updated ALchemy version from the stock Creative drivers, among a few other components. There's a text file with instructions to install the various components in the proper order. So far, it's serving me well.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

So about the noise issues I was having before with the Titanium HD...

 

The noise wasn't coming from the line out, it was coming from the microphone. No microphone was in, but when both microphone 1 and 2 are not muted in the mixer in creative console, some noise can be generated. I get no noise with 100% volume on the Asgard after they're muted.

 

I'm glad to hear that. I knew something was off when I could only hear noise when cranking everything to unsafe listening levels, but had forgotten about the whole "mic defaults to unmuted in the playback mixer" issue that I instinctively correct with every X-Fi driver install.

post #1140 of 3042

Aww. Screw it. I am going to buy the Creative Z SBX today. I need to replace my X-Fi Extreme Gamer. Reviews are overwhelmingly positive and my Q701's need amping. The on board amp says it will do 80mW into 600 ohms which is on par with FiiO E9. Is that even possible?? Anyone see any reason that won't do a good enough job of driving my Q701's????

 

I know a lot of people got burned by the Recon 3D but that seems to be a reoccurring theme in the reviews about the Z series that Creative finally got it right and the implementation of the Core3D is a marked improvement over the Recon. Including improvements over previous executions of CMSS-3D. I will give it a day in court and share my results.

 

Previously stated:

"This isn't something you'd notice with more recent games that do all their mixing in software, of course.

 

Also, there's a second matter with the Sound Core3D devices that I don't like as much, and it's THX TruStudio Surround. I think it just doesn't sound nearly as good for positional audio as CMSS-3D Headphone does, be it from the Titanium HD in Entertainment Mode or the Recon3D USB, even for games with software-mixed audio. Of course, that's just me and my ears speaking, and your experience may be different."

 


Edited by Heretic817 - 12/28/12 at 1:52pm
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