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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 116

post #1726 of 3880
Originally Posted by xero404 View Post

Posted in MLE's thread and wondering if i could get some ideas....
Finally got my Asgard 2 in and it sounds pretty amazing with the modded 555's. can't wait to try the X1. Then when the time comes to upgrade again either get an HE-400 or the Mad Dogs :P.

Though i noticed if go past the 12 o'clock position i'm starting to hear a hiss and faint beeping from the x-fi no matter if the PC volume is at 0%, 70% or 100%..... When i turn off my computer theres isn't any hiss or beeps.gonna try to find some shielded RCA cables from Blue Jeans Cable.
From the gist of this thread (i may be totally wrong) the x-fi should be able to pass the CMSS 3D settings to a different DAC? Should i get a modi to match with my Asgard so i can have an external DAC to combat the internal EMI interference from my computer?

I'm worried i'll be getting even more interference since i have a second  gtx 670 to SLI and the sound card will be right next to the videocard.
Worst case i'll pick up a xonar essence stx since it has more EMI shielding. 

Which X-Fi card do you have?


You would need an external DAC with a S/PDIF optical output to be able to use use the X-Fi CMSS-3D headphone surround sound.

A external USB DAC would bypass a sound card.

post #1727 of 3880

You could use the method where you set the sound card "What u hear" or Stereo mix to output Thur the USB of the external dac amp. Which I have done a couple of times in the past. But some times "What U hear" or stereo mix stops working at random. Tho if the external dac amp has optical you can use that from the sound card optical outputs. That way you get the features of the sound card out of the external dac amp.

post #1728 of 3880

i have an xfi-titianium HD and the spdif\digital out is going to my z5500s (probably going to sell and get some powered bookshelfs soon). I'll have to start researching on some DACs with spdif inputs then. 

post #1729 of 3880

Just picked up

Phillips Fidelio X1

DSS Earforce $20 on ebay.


Love the headphones but can't get Dolby Digital live to output the optical link to the DSS earforce. So my DSS earforce is just stuck in prologic mode. Never gets to use dolby headphone from any game or movie sources.


I am using Integrated Realtek ALC 892 soundcard with an ITX motherboard. So no room to add a new soundcard.


What are my best options here to get really good positional audio effects for headphones?


I have attempted a realtek driver mod from Gamespirit. Which adds a ton of cool software enhances to play with. SRS, Sonic focus, DTS, Dolby A2, and Dolby home theater v4. Hiowever even with this driver i still cannot use Dolby headphone on my DSS earforce.


I read someone emailed Dolby and they said that Dolby home theater v4 is basically dolby headphone with more options. So i am wondering if i should just plug my headphones in directly to the soundcard and just try to use that instead. 


I have been looking at the USB soundcard likes the Asus Xonar U7. Maybe this would be the best option for me?


I appreciate any advice or opinions on the matter.


post #1730 of 3880
Buy the Xonar U3. It can send either. Dolby Digital or Dooby Headphone feed through the optical out, and send it to the DSS or other dac/amps. Its hella cheap and you're only using it digitally, so no worries about it's lackluster amp and dac.
post #1731 of 3880
Thread Starter 

Why are you even bothering with the Ear Force DSS on a PC? That's more of a console gaming device, and the only reason I see to try using such things on a PC is if you want to compare Dolby Headphone with a non-DH virtual surround mix from your sound card (usually Creative-based).


As Mad Lust Envy suggests, there's the Xonar U3, which can do Dolby Headphone mixes by itself, or send them along over S/PDIF to a better DAC/amp. There's also the fancier Xonar U7 to consider. Can't say I've had hands-on experience with either, though...anyone willing to help with that?

post #1732 of 3880
You have 3 options:
  • U3 do not have it, digital out DAC AMP X1
  • U1 X1 have it, works fine with easy to drive headphones
  • U7 X1 have it, works even better with something like the AKG K701/702
U3 will get you a supply chain of several devices, U1/U7 can be used as the complete cain. Not so many cables on your desk.

All three options will get you proper Dolby Headphone to your cans.

Hope this helps
Edited by pietcux - 8/25/13 at 1:51am
post #1733 of 3880
If you already have a legit dac and amp, the U3 will be the more logical choice. It's cheaper and more discrete.

If you just want one setup and have no real headphone amp/dac, then I can see the U7 being the better choice.
post #1734 of 3880

Just want to say thanks to all here for the great thread!


It helped me purchase a Titanium X-Fi Pro/Champion for speakers and an Audioengine D1 connected to the X-Fi with optical for headphones.


With CMSS 3D and 7.1 on the X-Fi going to the Audioengine D1 via optical I am hearing ambient noises in games I never even knew were there. Even with old Steel Series Siberia headphones it sounds great and even better with Sennheiser HD25-1 ii. Next I am looking at some at some open full size headphones to finish it all off.

post #1735 of 3880

Thanks I think i will order the U7.

Its pricey $116 but for being all one and better than the integrated sound cards i can take with me if i have to upgrade my motherboard again. My realtek is only 95 SNR. which is a lot worse than the 114SNR on the U7.

post #1736 of 3880

So... I've read Mad Lust Envy's guide, I've read this guide... but I still feel there's something missing. Part of it is due to my budget (being way lower than what you guys seem to spend on sound), but mostly it's about the combination of soundcard/headphones. There seems to be a void there that I can't fill in, being a total layman when it comes to sound.




Here I've had some advice on headphones (Thanks PurpleAngel!), but not so much on a soundcard/headphone combo.


What I'm curious about is this: with a budget of say €75-€100 (max!), should I spend part of it on a soundcard and the rest on headphones, or should I stick with my onboard sound and spend it on headphones? I would have to install something like a modmic if I stay away from gaming headphones, but that's ok. On the other hand, Mad Lust gives the Skullcandy Slyr quite decent ratings.


So all in all: I'm still a bit lost here. Help would be appreciated :).


You can find more info on my use and system in the aforementioned link.





post #1737 of 3880
Thread Starter 

I don't really believe in pairing headphones to sound cards in that sense.


Maybe if you're expecting to rely on a sound card's built-in amp, I can see looking at it that way, but I figure that demanding headphones should have an external dedicated amp anyway. (Especially when my headphones of choice CANNOT be powered directly by any sound card in existence...)


I'd suggest getting an affordable sound card (something Xonar DG(X) or X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) level, somewhere around the equivalent of US$30-45 and not too expensive, but enough to provide headphone virtual surround) and putting the rest toward some decent headphones.

post #1738 of 3880

I understand... a nice sportscar should come with a good engine as well.


You get what you pay for, and my budget won't allow me an external amp, a soundcard and good headphones. Looking at the models most people here seem to use, my new headphones probably won't even fall in the "demanding" category. That's why I was looking at using my onboard card at first. It has THX TruStudio that is supposed to deliver positional audio.


But, I'll look at the Xonar and X-Fi, thanks for the advice! And tonight I can borrow a more than decent AKG so I can try it out with my onboard sound as a start.


One thing I encountered though, is this: http://www.razerzone.com/surround


It's software that emulates positional audio. Does this change your advice, or is it more or less a gimmick when put up against a Xonar or X-Fi?

post #1739 of 3880
Thread Starter 

I suggest you try it yourself and find out if it's good enough for you.


If you find it adequate, then put the entire budget toward headphones and save up for a good sound card later.

post #1740 of 3880
Posted this in the intro thread:

I have purchased the Q701's and need a good way to drive them properly for gaming.

I play mainly newer games and mostly FPS's like Battlefield 3 and the upcoming BF4.

I currently am trying out the Soundblaster Z card which has a built in amp. It sounds pretty good with SBX Surround when playing BF3.

My question is, is there a better setup for the Q701's for positional accuracy.

I have read through several threads and have gotten confused as to what the best method would be.

1) Stick with the Soundblaster Z
2) Upgrade to the Soudblaster ZXR
3) Switch to the X-Fi Titanium HD
With this option would the built in amp be good enough, or would I benefit by spending up to $200 on an external amp.
4) Xonar U7 with built in amp. The reason I would consider this is because I plan on running my GTX 780 in SLI in the near future, and I am not sure if a soundcard would have issues with fitment or heat amoungst both graphics cards. I have an Asus Maximus VI Hero MB.

Also, I have been reading that external amps are better quality and work better with good headphones. And that certain amps work better than others with a particular headphone. I believe I read that the Q701's are picky with certain amps. I wonder which setup would be ideal.
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