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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 102

post #1516 of 3216
Don't get the wrong idea... The Q701 is a great and exciting headphone. Maybe not as much overemphasized bass as others, but better than a $120 is a "barely better" kind of thing. I love the soundstage on mine, and it seemed to be the most logical step to fill in the weaknesses of the AD700 I had before (and NamelessPFG had too, but he found a lucky deal and jumped way up the food chain in one step). The Q701 is a little more of a gaming competitive headphone than the Annies, mostly because the Annies have a touch more bass to vie for your attention to alongside the other frequencies that are useful for "soundwhoring" and focusing on little tactical details. The regular K701 (and perhaps K702, though some say there was a point where the K702 started sounding like the Q's) is apparently a little more on the side of ease of focusing on tiny details. However, all are subtle and refined headphones with unusually wide soundstage.

To be fair, this thread is more of a "how to and recommendations guide" on soundcards than focusing on headphone recommendations.
post #1517 of 3216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssg1 View Post

Hi,

 

I just bought my first good headphones, Sennheiser HD 598. I have read like 100 posts and I have come to this conclusion.

 

For music I want to get DAC. Like FiiO E10 or something portable like E17 etc. Am I correct?

 

For gaming I want get soundcard with CMSS-3D Headphone support. I currently have ASUS Crosshair IV Formula MB, which has SupremeFX X-Fi Built-in. It is comparable to X-Fi XtremeAudio. It has CMSS-3D. So, to get everything out of my new headphones in gaming I have to set Windows 7 sounds to 5.1/7.1 and X-Fi control to headphones and enable CMSS-3D? Am I correct?

 

I noted that Creative guide advices changing X-Fi control panel to gaming, but it seems that I only have entertainment mode. I suppose it does not matter as I checked this mode has same and even more features than gaming.

 

If you're getting a sound card on the level of the Titanium HD, then I wouldn't bother with cheap DACs. Let me put it this way: once I volume-matched a JDS Labs-built ODAC and A/B'd against my Titanium HD, I was struggling to find any differences in the sound quality whatsoever.

 

Also of note is that your so-called "X-Fi" implementation is just the X-Fi MB software suite. That's why you only have Entertainment Mode; it lacks a real EMU20k1/20k2 DSP that marks a true X-Fi card to do things in hardware. The ONLY motherboards I know of with an actual EMU20k2 integrated are some of the older Gigabyte G1-series motherboards.

 

You still have the software variant of CMSS-3D Headphone with X-Fi MB, and while it's obviously not as good as the hardware-processed variant in Game Mode, I still prefer it to THX TruStudio Surround.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
To be fair, this thread is more of a "how to and recommendations guide" on soundcards than focusing on headphone recommendations.

 

I can't emphasize this enough. Headphone recommendations are why Mad Lust Envy's guide exists. I'd provide my own, but when the only headphones I've had substantial gaming experience with are the AD700, SR-Lambda, SR-202, and HE-400, that doesn't give me much of an overall big picture, especially in the $100-250 price range that's easier to swallow.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 5/10/13 at 7:23pm
post #1518 of 3216
Quote:

I can't emphasize this enough. Headphone recommendations are why Mad Lust Envy's guide exists. I'd provide my own, but when the only headphones I've had substantial gaming experience with are the AD700, SR-Lambda, SR-202, and HE-400, that doesn't give me much of an overall big picture, especially in the $100-250 price range that's easier to swallow.

 

Still considering those reviews in that thread are made considering Console's and mixamp.

I think maybe on a PC with a highend soundcard other Headphones might be better (or worse) when compared to a Console +mixamp.

 

Ive read that the Xonar DX is not really the best soundcard for gaming, so I'm considering replacing it with a new one.

 

Ive read that Creative makes now the best gaming soundcards?

Is the Sound Blaster Z a good soundcard?

Or is the Titanium HD a better choice for gaming?

post #1519 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

You still have the software variant of CMSS-3D Headphone with X-Fi MB, and while it's obviously not as good as the hardware-processed variant in Game Mode, I still prefer it to THX TruStudio Surround.

 

 

I play a lot. I don't play much FPS games which benefit most CMSS-3D, but I do play ArmA-series a lot. Recently I have been playing RTS games. Generally my taste for games is really broad. From Dwarf Fortress to BF3 and everything between. As for music, I haven't listened music for years. I have now been introduction myself to wonderful world of music again. 

 

I was thinking of getting FiiO E17 as compromise. I would still be able to use CMSS-3D Entertainment via SPDIF and it would be fine enough DAC/AMP for music also. 

How big is the difference of CMSS-3D Entertainment and CMSS-3D Headphone? How does Titanium HD compare to E17 on music playback? I was wondering could it be worth getting Titanium HD over E17. I do have some mobile devices(phone, 3DS) that could benefit from portable amp, but HD 598 isn't exactly portable headphones. 

 

I am not in hurry to get either right now. I will wait and see how my music listening and gaming habits evolve. I probably will be listening more music than now but how much is to be seeing. I probably won't be playing more FPS games only because of sounds, but who knows. Maybe I get addicted to Skyrim and spent rest of my year playing it.

 

Edit: On side note Titanium HD would go between 2 graphics cards since I have crossfire. It would be taking lot of heat in that position.


Edited by ssg1 - 5/11/13 at 4:03am
post #1520 of 3216
Has anyone taken a look at the Realtek X-Fi mod?

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183809
post #1521 of 3216

I have the Annies headphones (AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition) and an Asgard 2 amp. (Astro mixamp for console use)

 

Just looking for some quick advice on which sound card I should be looking at for a primarily gaming focus. There are a lot of debates as to what sound card is best suited to which hobby.

 

I've looked at these 3

 

Asus Xonar Phoebus

Asus Xonar Essence STX

Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

 

now from what I have read around various forums/threads seems to be this

 

Phoebus - gaming focus with a speaker system

Essence STX - more music oriented with headphones, but also good for gaming

X-Fi Titanium HD - pretty much focused on gaming first with headphones, with music/movies/whatever else secondary

 

I don't really know which one of those, if any, I should pick up, the cheapest is the X-Fi at around 129.99 when price matched (in Canada anyways)

 

So, any of those? something else? my motherboard is a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H

 

 

Audio
  1. Realtek ALC898 codec
  2. Support for X-Fi Xtreme Fidelity® and EAX® Advanced HD™ 5.0 technologies
  3. High Definition Audio
  4. 2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
  5. Support for S/PDIF Out

 

I'm sure that onboard audio is really not good in this case, so I'd like to grab a proper soundcard for my setup, unless of course this motherboards chipset is fine.

post #1522 of 3216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ssg1 View Post
I play a lot. I don't play much FPS games which benefit most CMSS-3D, but I do play ArmA-series a lot. Recently I have been playing RTS games. Generally my taste for games is really broad. From Dwarf Fortress to BF3 and everything between. As for music, I haven't listened music for years. I have now been introduction myself to wonderful world of music again. 

 

I was thinking of getting FiiO E17 as compromise. I would still be able to use CMSS-3D Entertainment via SPDIF and it would be fine enough DAC/AMP for music also. 

How big is the difference of CMSS-3D Entertainment and CMSS-3D Headphone? How does Titanium HD compare to E17 on music playback? I was wondering could it be worth getting Titanium HD over E17. I do have some mobile devices(phone, 3DS) that could benefit from portable amp, but HD 598 isn't exactly portable headphones. 

 

I am not in hurry to get either right now. I will wait and see how my music listening and gaming habits evolve. I probably will be listening more music than now but how much is to be seeing. I probably won't be playing more FPS games only because of sounds, but who knows. Maybe I get addicted to Skyrim and spent rest of my year playing it.

 

Edit: On side note Titanium HD would go between 2 graphics cards since I have crossfire. It would be taking lot of heat in that position.

 

First off, there is no such thing as "CMSS-3D Entertainment". Creative uses the CMSS-3D name to describe three different features, much to everyone's confusion:

 

-CMSS-3D Headphone. Surround mixing for stereo headphones.

-CMSS-3D Virtual. Surround mixing for stereo speakers (and quadraphonic speakers, for whatever reason.)

-CMSS-3D Surround. Speaker fill for stereo sources so it'll play through the rear speakers as well as the front ones for quadraphonic, 5.1, and 7.1 speaker configurations.

 

Which ones you get obviously depend on which headphone/speaker configuration you have set in the X-Fi control panel.

 

Second, software CMSS-3D Headphone on a software "X-Fi" device (be it USB or X-Fi MB) doesn't allow MacroFX or Elevation Filter adjustment, though it does seem to do the job regardless. I'd advise leaving the slider right in the middle, where it defaults.

 

I haven't heard an E17 personally, but I can confirm that the Titanium HD holds its own against the JDS Labs-built ODAC.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by HalidePisces View Post
Has anyone taken a look at the Realtek X-Fi mod?

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=183809

 

Yeah, I've fiddled with those before. They're just X-Fi MB(2) and a bunch of other features applied to stock Realtek drivers, and being a software solution, isn't a replacement for an X-Fi card with the actual EMU20k1/20k2. (Still better than stock Realtek, at any rate!)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chubtoad View Post

I have the Annies headphones (AKG K702 65th Anniversary Edition) and an Asgard 2 amp. (Astro mixamp for console use)

 

Just looking for some quick advice on which sound card I should be looking at for a primarily gaming focus. There are a lot of debates as to what sound card is best suited to which hobby.

 

I've looked at these 3

 

Asus Xonar Phoebus

Asus Xonar Essence STX

Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

 

now from what I have read around various forums/threads seems to be this

 

Phoebus - gaming focus with a speaker system

Essence STX - more music oriented with headphones, but also good for gaming

X-Fi Titanium HD - pretty much focused on gaming first with headphones, with music/movies/whatever else secondary

 

I don't really know which one of those, if any, I should pick up, the cheapest is the X-Fi at around 129.99 when price matched (in Canada anyways)

 

You already have a headphone amp, which kills a lot of the Xonar cards' relative value proposition, and on top of that, the X-Fi Titanium HD just happens to be cheapest for you.

 

I'd opt for the Titanium HD. It may be a card known for gaming prowess like all true X-Fi cards, but this is one that's also a very capable music card, too. Nice, clean DAC output.

post #1523 of 3216
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

You already have a headphone amp, which kills a lot of the Xonar cards' relative value proposition, and on top of that, the X-Fi Titanium HD just happens to be cheapest for you.

 

I'd opt for the Titanium HD. It may be a card known for gaming prowess like all true X-Fi cards, but this is one that's also a very capable music card, too. Nice, clean DAC output.

 

I own a Xonar DX soundcard, how do you think the ODAC compares to it?

I'm guessing I'm loosing 8 channels + Dolby Surround with the ODAC?

 

BTW is this how Xonar DX is correctly setup for competitive gaming:

 


Edited by grandpatzer - 5/13/13 at 5:35am
post #1524 of 3216

I will buy the following kit

 

x-fi titaniun HD > amp? >dt990 Pro 250

 

Nº1 - I need a amp?

 

Nº2 - I never had good headphones and sound card.. so i need help maybe a tutorial?

 

Nº3 - i am not a MLG a just want a gear to hear all my music (rock, metal ,new metal, indie, samba, country,classic,jazz etc.) and have a "imersive" game experience and movie too

 

sorry for bad english...

post #1525 of 3216
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by grandpatzer View Post

I own a Xonar DX soundcard, how do you think the ODAC compares to it?

I'm guessing I'm loosing 8 channels + Dolby Surround with the ODAC?

 

BTW is this how Xonar DX is correctly setup for competitive gaming:

 

 

It's hard to say when I've never owned a Xonar DX (or any other card with a C-Media chipset), but I'd still expect them to be comparable.

 

The ODAC does not provide any form of virtualized surround sound or EAX for older games; it's strictly a DAC pitched at audiophiles, not computer gamers.

 

The settings seem right from what I can tell, provided that Asus was sensible enough to switch Windows to 7.1 speaker mode automatically upon enabling Dolby Headphone. Again, I haven't owned a Xonar card of any sort, so I haven't been able to experiment with the settings and find out what works best.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadMag View Post

I will buy the following kit

 

x-fi titaniun HD > amp? >dt990 Pro 250

 

Nº1 - I need a amp?

 

Nº2 - I never had good headphones and sound card.. so i need help maybe a tutorial?

 

Nº3 - i am not a MLG a just want a gear to hear all my music (rock, metal ,new metal, indie, samba, country,classic,jazz etc.) and have a "imersive" game experience and movie too

 

sorry for bad english...

 

1 - I wouldn't say you NEED an amp, as the DT990 will actually function plugged straight into the sound card. We're not talking electrostatics here, which literally need a specialized amp (or a powerful speaker amp and a transformer box) due to how they function.

 

But the DT990 might sound a bit better with a dedicated dynamic/ortho headphone amp, for all I know...plus you get the convenient perk of an amp's volume knob, instead of fiddling with the sound card's own volume.

 

2 - Is this tutorial for setting up surround sound properly straightforward enough? That aside, just ask whatever questions you have here in the thread, and I'll answer. Naturally, you're going to want Game Mode for gaming, and for serious music listening, possibly Audio Creation Mode with bit-matched playback turned on and a media player with an ASIO plugin.

 

3 - The X-Fi Titanium HD will deliver on all fronts, rest assured. This isn't a card that sacrifices music fidelity for gaming DSP support; as I said before, this one stands toe to toe with the ODAC. And if you're looking for that "cinematic" experience, the bass has punch, and you can exaggerate it further using the EQ and/or bass boost.

post #1526 of 3216
Thanks again...beyersmile.png
 
recommendation? I heard about Fiio e9 is good pick?
post #1527 of 3216

I have a mini-itx build, with ONE pcie 3.0 x16 slot, occupied by my 7870, and I have a pair of HE-400's, which i'm running off onboard audio.

 

can anyone recocmend me a USB dac and amp?

post #1528 of 3216

You might wanna mention a budget, if you don't your gonna get barraged with usb dac amp's in wide ranges of prices including in the thousands.

post #1529 of 3216

ok, about $200, and preferably small, i don't have much space on my table.

 

also, is there a way to integrate CMSS-3D/SBX? 

post #1530 of 3216

Yes by using optical output of the sound card and plugging it into the optical input of the dac amp. Then using Play stereo mix to Digital out, or what ever the setting is called on the X-FI. Also you might get lucky and find some good deals in the F/S Source section of the forum.

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