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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 77

post #1141 of 3063
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic817 View Post

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????

You might try asking on this thread about general questions about amping the Q701 and using the Creative Z SBX for use with the Q701s.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/582276/q701-appreciation-thread


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/28/12 at 3:37pm
post #1142 of 3063
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic817 View Post

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.

 

If you're willing to take the plunge, I'm looking forward to any reviews. Just note that I do place higher priority on classic games, so do test with stuff like Thief 1/2 (patched with TFix and Tafferpatcher, respectively, so you're not pulling your hair out when you can't get hardware sound acceleration to turn on without native OpenAL support), Unreal Tournament (with the Old Unreal multimedia patch that adds OpenAL support), Battlefield 1942 (it's freeware on Origin!), and other titles from that timeframe up to 2005 or so.

 

Also, I'm not surprised by the headphone amp specs. The FiiO E9 and Xonar Essence ST(X) use the same headphone amp chip, and I won't be surprised if Creative also adopted it for this new card.

post #1143 of 3063

Hello guys. I have been reading the forum for a couple of days now and now i need your help buying new headphones/set for gaming (sometimes compatitive) and movies from time to time.beyersmile.png

I currently have the Auzentech Prelude(with no extra amps) and the Razer Mako speakers(Connected in front out with CMSS 3-D Virtual enabled in game mode)

I am thinking of buying the Q-701 or the PC360.

Will i need an amp with either of those? If yes, i'm considering the O2 amp.

Connection will look something like: Headphones>Amp>Soundcard ? In that case will i be able to have both the speakers and the headphones connected at the same time and choosing each time from where i want to reproduce sound?

Is it a plus getting a mixamp over a simple amp like O2 in terms of sound quality and positioning?

Thats a lot of questions i know, but i need to be sure before buying anything.

Thanks in advance guys. I hope u wont tell me to also change soundcard.redface.gif

post #1144 of 3063
Mixamp for console sound card better option for pc. Q701 amp definitely PC360 no need. Sorry typed from cell but that's about the size of it. PC360 is widely considered best headset all around. Get the the Q701 or something like it if you are prepared to lay down some scratch. Better sound card amp etc. Or if you have a good soundcard and dont need console support just get PC 360 skip the mixamp and rest assured you have a very nice headset
Edited by Heretic817 - 12/28/12 at 4:33pm
post #1145 of 3063

Quoted this from the other thread to make sure the conversation continued here...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

I see you didn't ask this in my own PC gaming audio thread, which ruuku has conveniently linked above. Still, I'll answer here.

 

The Xonar cards and other C-Media chipset offerings like from HT Omega are good choices, so long as you've made sure the card in question has Dolby Headphone.

 

I just place higher priority on X-Fi-based cards since I still play a fair share of older games that relied on hardware sound acceleration from specific sound card DSPs to sound their best, for which X-Fi cards have the best compatibility. That's why I usually recommend the X-Fi Titanium HD by default.

 

Thanks for the response. So it sounds like Dolby Headphone is the most important thing to make sure it has. Is a headphone amp just as important?


Edited by roguegeek - 12/28/12 at 5:04pm
post #1146 of 3063
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

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.

 

 

Hi!

 

A Guide about installation and settings of x-fi HD would be great. Sometimes small details make a huge difference, and at least me, i'm pretty new to this soundcard stuff.

 

Waiting for that guide :)

post #1147 of 3063
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Th3Beh0ldeR View Post

Hello guys. I have been reading the forum for a couple of days now and now i need your help buying new headphones/set for gaming (sometimes compatitive) and movies from time to time.beyersmile.png

I currently have the Auzentech Prelude(with no extra amps) and the Razer Mako speakers(Connected in front out with CMSS 3-D Virtual enabled in game mode)

I am thinking of buying the Q-701 or the PC360.

Will i need an amp with either of those? If yes, i'm considering the O2 amp.

Connection will look something like: Headphones>Amp>Soundcard ? In that case will i be able to have both the speakers and the headphones connected at the same time and choosing each time from where i want to reproduce sound?

Is it a plus getting a mixamp over a simple amp like O2 in terms of sound quality and positioning?

Thats a lot of questions i know, but i need to be sure before buying anything.

Thanks in advance guys. I hope u wont tell me to also change soundcard.redface.gif

 

The X-Fi Prelude's still one of the better sound cards around, actually. The only reason I replaced my Prelude in my primary gaming PC with the Forte (which was then traded for a Titanium HD) was specifically to move the Prelude to a retrogaming build.

 

The Prelude doesn't forcibly mute the rear output if something's plugged into the front-panel audio jacks like the Titanium HD, but since there isn't a dedicated headphone jack on the rear and most computer cases have ground loop problems with the front-panel audio output, I'd suggest getting a 3.5mm TRS splitter for the rear output, or a switch if you don't need them to output simultaneously for any reason.

 

Then, all you have to do is switch the speaker setting in the X-Fi control panel according to what you're using at the moment so that you're getting the right form of CMSS-3D.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by roguegeek View Post

Thanks for the response. So it sounds like Dolby Headphone is the most important thing to make sure it has. Is a headphone amp just as important?

 

Pretty much, with the exception of X-Fi cards that have CMSS-3D Headphone in its place, which I find to work equally well at virtual 5.1/7.1 (for software-mixed games) or even better (for DS3D and OAL games with hardware sound acceleration, which are mostly older titles with the occasional new one).

 

I don't place much priority on built-in headphone amps because as someone who's gone Stax/electrostatic, they're all useless to me anyway. Besides, I'd rather match the amp to the headphones than the other way around.

 

That said, some people do find value in built-in headphone amps, most of which use the same IC as the FiiO E9. That'll give you an idea of what to expect regarding amp performance and how much you might save if you were planning to buy an amp on the level of the E9 with your sound card.

post #1148 of 3063
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.
[To others:
Recon3D USB may also be an option, if your main goal is double-duty. It may not be perfect, but it's darn good: it's cheaper than the mixamp, surround sound output is basically echo & background hiss free, you can plug the USB into your computer and Optical into your console (if your computer provides USB power even when turned off like mine or if you connect through a powered USB hub, you won't have to plug/unplug cables), it comes with all the cables you need, and responds very well to double-amping. THX TruStudio Pro works very well for me, but it varies per person if cmss3D or Dolby Headphone (Et al) performs better. If you didn't need console surround processing, a sound card may ultimately have better SQ.]


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.

NamelessPFG,
This description makes so much more sense. Thank you! I'll have to give Battlefield 1942 a try, honestly I cut my teeth in FPS gaming on WWII guns. Another thing, the depth and evenly "circular" soundstage improved and became realistic once I double amped my Q701 with a more powerful tube amp (with a Sylvania tube, which is a bit bass light but in every other way makes for an AD700 on steroids experience!), but I assume you used your recon with the receiver and STAX anyway, right?

I am also curious about the new Z-series cards, they look like Creative took what Asus was doing right (hardware spec-wise) and added Creative's tech. Though native X-Fi support would've been good. Has the ZxR even been released yet? Creative's website really has a lot of gaps.

It has begun to bother me how noticeably "flat" the 2D surround from the Xbox is... And I haven't really even experienced "true" binaural 3D spacial surround in gaming yet!

Where is Roller? Though, it is kinda good to have you as the main voice of the thread again. Hope you had a merry Christmas!
Edited by Evshrug - 12/28/12 at 11:55pm
post #1149 of 3063

Let me thank everyone for your help.

So i can keep my prelude if i use pc360 or q701. If i choose the Q-701's(most likely) that need an external Amp, wont be a problem connecting it on my Front output? Generally is there a problem having an amp(prelude) leading to an amp(external)?

post #1150 of 3063

I asked already in MLE's thread, but gonna ask here again to get another opinion:

 

 

 

Me and some mates just started to play CS:GO a little bit more competitive (training/matches each day). I own a pair of Creative Fatal1ty Headphones and they surved their purpose well over the last 3 years. 

 

 

Now I'm looking on buying a new pair of heaphones. I listened to Beyerdynamics DT 880 and 990, but in my opinion, they have too much treble to create an illusion of clearity...

 

 

So my final candidates are the 

 

 

- HD 598

- HD 650

 

With an Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard (for DH and as an amp for the HD 650).

 

I would say 50% of my time goes into gaming, and 50% into critical listening.

 

I'm currently leaning more towards the HD 650, because I think I like the warm and darker sound of the HD 650 more. 

 

Anyone could help me out in my decision?

post #1151 of 3063
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
This description makes so much more sense. Thank you! I'll have to give Battlefield 1942 a try, honestly I cut my teeth in FPS gaming on WWII guns. Another thing, the depth and evenly "circular" soundstage improved and became realistic once I double amped my Q701 with a more powerful tube amp (with a Sylvania tube, which is a bit bass light but in every other way makes for an AD700 on steroids experience!), but I assume you used your recon with the receiver and STAX anyway, right?
I am also curious about the new Z-series cards, they look like Creative took what Asus was doing right (hardware spec-wise) and added Creative's tech. Though native X-Fi support would've been good. Has the ZxR even been released yet? Creative's website really has a lot of gaps.
It has begun to bother me how noticeably "flat" the 2D surround from the Xbox is... And I haven't really even experienced "true" binaural 3D spacial surround in gaming yet!
Where is Roller? Though, it is kinda good to have you as the main voice of the thread again. Hope you had a merry Christmas!

 

I tested the Recon3D USB on my desktop running through my Stax system. There are noticeable differences in the presentation between THX TruStudio Surround and CMSS-3D Headphone in OpenAL-native games (did the bulk of my testing with Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 2) which I find to be a regression overall, but having the former's still better than just plain stereo.

 

If you don't mind setting up an EA/Origin account, by all means, get BF1942. I still consider it one of the best entries in the series overall, along with BF2, and it's old enough that even computers with integrated graphics could run it decently (assuming we're talking GMA 4500MHD or better). Just make sure you set up ALchemy with it, as it uses DS3D.

 

I had a pretty good Christmas, thanks. Not a whole lot under the tree compared to past years, but I still got some nice stuff and some time with the family.

post #1152 of 3063

Quoted this from the other thread to make sure the conversation continued here...

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

I just place higher priority on X-Fi-based cards since I still play a fair share of older games that relied on hardware sound acceleration from specific sound card DSPs to sound their best, for which X-Fi cards have the best compatibility. That's why I usually recommend the X-Fi Titanium HD by default.

 

Alright, I'm slowly getting this. I'm not too concerned with older games at all. Knowing that it's going to be paired with either the Audio Technica ATH-AD700 or Sennheiser PC360 for competitive play, what Xonar equivalent would you recommend? Also, could you recommend more cost effective solutions (<$100) from Creative and Asus?

post #1153 of 3063
Roguegeek,
I wouldn't count out X-Fi just because it's main differentiation is a little dated, it's entirely possible you would subjectively prefer CMSS-3D over DH or TruStudio, and the main objective difference FWIR with cheaper sound cards is cost, amping, S:R ratio, and... maybe some things I haven't thought of, lmao. Among Asus, PurpleAngel suggested the Xonar DS (or was it DX? [Edit: NEITHER! If you just use headphones, especially the easy-to-amp AD700, the most logical value choice of the Xonar sound cards is the DG]), but if you can find a cheaper refurbished Creative Titanium (the model without the HD moniker), then that would also be a great choice that would also as a bonus allow full compatibility with games featuring some of the greatest sound design ever. If you're in the US (I forget), Newegg frequently puts them on sale (they just had a sale and sold out, but they'll get more). If they're about the same price, the Titanium probably gets the edge over the DG.

I loved/love my AD700, IMO still is that you don't actually get more competitive than that (I also give it props for comfort), I only upgraded to improve the musical dynamics.
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

I tested the Recon3D USB on my desktop running through my Stax system. There are noticeable differences in the presentation between THX TruStudio Surround and CMSS-3D Headphone in OpenAL-native games (did the bulk of my testing with Unreal Tournament and Battlefield 2) which I find to be a regression overall, but having the former's still better than just plain stereo.

If you don't mind setting up an EA/Origin account, by all means, get BF1942. I still consider it one of the best entries in the series overall, along with BF2, and it's old enough that even computers with integrated graphics could run it decently (assuming we're talking GMA 4500MHD or better). Just make sure you set up ALchemy with it, as it uses DS3D.

I had a pretty good Christmas, thanks. Not a whole lot under the tree compared to past years, but I still got some nice stuff and some time with the family.

As much as I mind EA, I already have an origin account set up from Star Wars: the Old Republic. Which was actually a fun game, ran well enough on my GTS 250 GPU, but I think MMO's in general are too much of a time commitment if you want to play with the same friends. I noticed the GTX 460 (SE?) was on sale at Newegg for like $63... But I'm still holding out to upgrade till I can afford a GTX 660 which I'll kit out with aftermarket cooling wink.gif Meanwhile BF1942 sounds like loads of fun, I'll let you know when I set it up if you feel like joining sometime smily_headphones1.gif It will be a good test to figure out how to set up ALchemy. I expect to pick up Thief and Baulder's Gate Enhanced Edition soon smily_headphones1.gif

Glad you still enjoyed your holiday! Mine seemed... shorter lived than childhood Christmases, but I still had a ton of fun and surprised my mom by giving a bunch of small but cheerful gifts when she thought she wasn't getting anything. A different kind of magic now that I'm older, but still "magic."
Edited by Evshrug - 12/29/12 at 6:46pm
post #1154 of 3063
I still use an xfi extreme gamer and though I can't complain I still want to get a newer card. This one has been with me from windows xp xp64 vista and now 7 without issue. So I find all the creative hate a bit curious. Maybe they screwed the pooch with recon but so did MS with vista. Anyways cmss and dolby headphone do sound noticeably different so there is that to consider. As for me I need amping for my Q701 both on PC and PS3 and less so for mp3 player so I am in a bind. I cant decide what to do first. FiiO E10,E9, Titanium HD or Z series, get an O2 or wait for the ODA or get a Magni now. My head wants to split open. I should just give up gaming. Nawww.
Edited by Heretic817 - 12/29/12 at 1:55pm
post #1155 of 3063
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Roguegeek,
I wouldn't count out X-Fi just because it's main differentiation is a little dated, it's entirely possible you would subjectively prefer CMSS-3D over DH or TruStudio, and the main objective difference FWIR with cheaper sound cards is cost, amping, S:R ratio, and... maybe some things I haven't thought of, lmao. Among Asus, PurpleAngel suggested the Xonar DS (or was it DX?), but if you can find a cheaper refurbished Creative Titanium (the model without the HD moniker), then that would also be a great choice that would also as a bonus allow full compatibility with games featuring some of the greatest sound design ever. If you're in the US (I forget), Newegg frequently puts them on sale (they just had a sale and sold out, but they'll get more).
I loved/love my AD700, IMO still is that you don't actually get more competitive than that (I also give it props for comfort), I only upgraded to improve the musical dynamics.

 

I'm not so much counting them out as much as I'm just trying to understand differences I think. My goal is to get the best directional sound for competitive I can at a reasonable cost. I'm really happy to see how everyone is loving the AD700 for that purpose. Now I just want to get a card that will fulfill the other part of the equation. If you guys are saying the (what I consider to be) premium for the X-Fi Titanium HD is worth it, then that's that. I'd just like to see what the other options out there are and what I compromise using them.

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