My setup is as follows:
Windows 8 (24-bit 96 kHz option)
I understand that the best option for music is to select Audio-Creation mode and bit-matched playback.
I understood as well the whole aspect of setting the windows source as 7.1, activating CMSS-3D in Gaming mode with the Headphones option activated, for the best positional sound possible.
The thing is, I really think games don't sound correctly this way. It might give a good positional audio, but I think the sound quality is suffering.
Don't most games nowadays, provide through their own software, positional audio if Headphones or 2.1 sources are activated in the settings?
Isn't it better in this case, to activate audio-creation mode and select Bit-Matched playback, and let the game do the positional audio for us (Preserving the quality of the sources?)
Sorry if I'm being an idiot, but genuine question. I'm pulling my hairs trying to do the best configuration for my games and music.
The games I play daily are Source games.
The other games are occasional. So I'm interested in maximizing my SQ for Source games
Bit-matched playback in Audio Creation Mode only really works with ASIO.
No game outputs through ASIO. (Unless you paid the whopping 500 GBP for Rapture3D Advanced Edition and set it up with an OpenAL game, that is.) Thus, there's no point. Might as well just run in Game Mode with CMSS-3D Headphone off if you wanna do it that way.
However, the whole point is that the vast majority of games with software-mixed audio do NOT mix with headphones in mind. They'll probably mix with stereo speakers in mind, thus expecting the sounds to be localized more in front of you than beside you, and in especially bad cases, will only have one-dimensional left/right panning for positioning. That's why headphone surround features on sound cards are in demand.
Battlefield 3 with Enhanced Stereo Mode is probably the only exception to the rule I can find. The DiRT titles with Rapture3D Game Edition bundled don't really count since they're just running OpenAL and feeding it to a software OpenAL renderer in that case.
I had some 15 minutes to test the Razer with BF3+HD 800 through my DAC. From what I could gather in those few minutes the SQ is changed worse than CMSS-3D in a few parts and the imagery is not consistent throughout in terms of accurate positioning. It feels kinda weird.
Yes, BF3 itself is not the most accurate in rendering but this software just does worse than DHP, SBX and CMSS-3D so far. I'll need to test more though (tonight).
Whoa, an HD800? I'd like to audition one of those some day, just to find out if all the hype for gaming is justified.
As for BF3 specifically, where do you think Enhanced Stereo Mode stands compared to the usual sound card-based solutions?