Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 142

post #2116 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by OverlordMittenz View Post
 

 

Sadly, I never was able to use the Creative Exitgy through usb thanks to them not even releasing Vista drivers. I will uninstall the realtek audio drivers for the mobo, though.  

 

I probably am not going to swap the OP amps considering I plan on using the RCA out for the Schiit Magni, so really no need to swap them if they aren't going to help with the sound. 

 

I am going to be using the AKG Q701s which I heard are very picky with how they like to be amplified and are 68Ohms.  I also plan on buying the Schiit Modi in the future for listening to music and videos, so the Schiit Magni would be somewhat of a necessity.  I'll try to dig up some reviews of people who had the Essence STX and switched to a separate amplifier and see what their findings were.  I may never need a separate amplifier, but I am just keeping my options open!

 

EDIT:  After reading a little further into the card on the ASUS Essence STX forum here, one of the OP amps is a "buffer" for the RCA outs, so I will most likely change all of them anyway.  the RCA out one will be a very analytical and detailed OP amp for gaming because details and such are the most important thing and then warm "nicer" sound OP amps for the headphone out so I can easily switch between the two for what kind of sound I am looking for.


For the kind of cash you would spend on an external amplifier and good op-amps for the STX, you better off selling off the STX and getting an Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp, $255+shipping.

post #2117 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I think the cheapest external DAC with optical input is FiiO's E07k portable amp/DAC? .

The E07k is USB and analog in only.

The cheapest external dac with digital input is the Fiio D03k. Runs for about $30. You'd need an amp though. I'd just acquire a used E17 for the cheapest all in one solution.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 11/28/13 at 9:04pm
post #2118 of 3095

I'm looking at getting the Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones. I play a lot of different kinds of PC games. As of late I've been playing Terraria which will doesn't need spectacular sound, but I do off and on play CS 1.6 and GO, Left 4 Dead 2, Bioshocks, Borderlands 2. Not all, but most of these games have some kind of audio cues or need for immersion.

 

So the question is how do I get it? I have an onboard sound card thats probably not going to do it:

 

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?cat=Specifications&Model=H61M-VS

 

Even if it was good it doesn't have optical, which based one what I have read is the only way to get 5.1 to headphones.

 

I currently have this:

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829180006


Don't ask why I bought it, it will only make you mad, but at least it was a while ago. The thing I need to know is, is this thing worth my time. I can't find anywhere that says it will output 5.1 through the optical, I just figured it would. It does say that it is capable of Dolby Digital through the optical.

 

The other thing I have is this:

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003O0KICS/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

 

The Dolby Digital light goes on when I test that encoding type in the settings, and when I play a movie through VLC, although for some strange reason the PLIIX light was also on. When I try to play games though the light does not go on. I have the sound coming from the device I mentioned before this via optical and from the DSS to the headphones.

 

I'm kinda confused as to where to go next after getting the headphones I wont have much left budget wise so I can't afford to spend much more.

post #2119 of 3095

If you need a Dolby Digital Live feed to the DSS you might want to check out this thread Unlocked Realtek HD Audio Drivers (With Dolby Digital Live and DTS Interactive). It worked for someone earlier this morning on a different forum. He was looking for a DDL feed for his Astro Mixamp. 

post #2120 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakuryu View Post
 

I'm looking at getting the Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones. I play a lot of different kinds of PC games. As of late I've been playing Terraria which will doesn't need spectacular sound, but I do off and on play CS 1.6 and GO, Left 4 Dead 2, Bioshocks, Borderlands 2. Not all, but most of these games have some kind of audio cues or need for immersion.

So the question is how do I get it? I have an on-board sound card thats probably not going to do it:

http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?cat=Specifications&Model=H61M-VS

Even if it was good it doesn't have optical, which based one what I have read is the only way to get 5.1 to headphones.

I currently have this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829180006

Don't ask why I bought it, it will only make you mad, but at least it was a while ago. The thing I need to know is, is this thing worth my time. I can't find anywhere that says it will output 5.1 through the optical, I just figured it would. It does say that it is capable of Dolby Digital through the optical.

The other thing I have is this:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003O0KICS/ref=olp_product_details?ie=UTF8&me=&seller=

The Dolby Digital light goes on when I test that encoding type in the settings, and when I play a movie through VLC, although for some strange reason the PLIIX light was also on. When I try to play games though the light does not go on. I have the sound coming from the device I mentioned before this via optical and from the DSS to the headphones.

I'm kinda confused as to where to go next after getting the headphones I wont have much left budget wise so I can't afford to spend much more.

Get the Asus Xonar DGX Sound card, $39.99 and get a $10 mail in rebate this month (Amazon)

Plug the DGX into the motherboard's PCI-E 1X slot. Plug the HD558s directly into the DGX.

The DGX comes with Dolby Headphone Surround Sound and a basic headphone amplifier.

So you will have no need for the Encore or DSS.

post #2121 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Get the Asus Xonar DGX Sound card, $39.99 and get a $10 mail in rebate this month (Amazon)

Plug the DGX into the motherboard's PCI-E 1X slot. Plug the HD558s directly into the DGX.

The DGX comes with Dolby Headphone Surround Sound and a basic headphone amplifier.

So you will have no need for the Encore or DSS.

 

+1

 

This the most straightfoward route.  You'll skip the hacks and get a new soundcard that comes with Dolby Headphone and an amp (killing two birds with one stone as you could use the amp anyways). 

 

Should sound as good if not better than using the DSS (although I love dat bass boost on the DSS).

 

 

Edit: Does he need PCI-E or could he get the cheaper DG?


Edited by chicolom - 12/5/13 at 2:03pm
post #2122 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Get the Asus Xonar DGX Sound card, $39.99 and get a $10 mail in rebate this month (Amazon)
Plug the DGX into the motherboard's PCI-E 1X slot. Plug the HD558s directly into the DGX.
The DGX comes with Dolby Headphone Surround Sound and a basic headphone amplifier.
So you will have no need for the Encore or DSS.

I love this simple answer. I just have this question. Can 3.5mm produce Dolby surround sound (which is 5.1?) I thought only optical and Hdmi could do 5.1.
Quote:
Originally Posted by chicolom View Post

+1

This the most straightfoward route.  You'll skip the hacks and get a new soundcard that comes with Dolby Headphone and an amp (killing two birds with one stone as you could use the amp anyways). 

Should sound as good if not better than using the DSS (although I love dat bass boost on the DSS).


Edit: Does he need PCI-E or could he get the cheaper DG?

I second your last question. Although $30 with free shipping ain't bad when paired with the $100 I'm spending on headphones any money I can save is appreciated.
post #2123 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakuryu View Post


I love this simple answer. I just have this question. Can 3.5mm produce Dolby surround sound (which is 5.1?) I thought only optical and Hdmi could do 5.1.

 

You're still a bit confused about how the surround sound works.

 

Dolby Digital surround and Dolby Headphone surround are NOT the same thing.

 

Dolby Digital is a 5.1 channel signal and can ONLY be passed through optical or HDMI.  Dolby Digital is actual surround sound (5.1 channel), NOT virtual surround sound for headphones (2 channel).  You can't listen to Dolby Digital with headphones, unless your headphones have multiple drivers.  To get virtual surround for your headphones you need to process that 5.1 channel into a 2 channel (stereo) signal that your stereo headphones can actually use.  That's where Dolby Headphone comes in.  Dolby Headphone takes that Dolby Digital 5.1 channel signal and downmixes and processes into a special 2 channel stereo signal that any headphone can use.  Since it's just a 2 channel stereo signal, any 3.5mm jack will output it and it will work with any regular stereo headphone (although some work better than others).  Even though it's only a stereo signal, it still sounds like surround sound when used with headphones because the Dolby Headphone DSP adds head related transfer function cues to the signal, which fool the brain into the hearing the same surround sound that was in the original 5.1 signal.


Edited by chicolom - 12/5/13 at 3:43pm
post #2124 of 3095
Can 3.5mm produce Dolby surround sound (which is 5.1?) I thought only optical and Hdmi could do 5.1.

No. The 3.5mm connection to your headphones is analog. All the surround stuff will be done inside the soundcard then sent out in an analog signal via the 3.5mm jack to your analog headphones - the '5.1' isn't relevant in this case. Only those gaming headsets with loads of itty bitty speakers in them require a 5.1 (or even 7.1) as if it were a surround sound speaker system. When using stereo headsets, surround information is transmitted via stereo and it fools our brains into effectively believing where sounds are coming from - and it's highly effective given the right headphones. Watch this clip in stereo (if you've got any headphones): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NirHR5l9AU

 

What Purple has proposed for you is the simplest, cheapest and most effective solution. If you're using a PC then honestly don't bother with Mixamaps etc.


Edited by SaLX - 12/5/13 at 7:22pm
post #2125 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bakuryu View Post


I love this simple answer. I just have this question. Can 3.5mm produce Dolby surround sound (which is 5.1?) I thought only optical and Hdmi could do 5.1.
I second your last question. Although $30 with free shipping ain't bad when paired with the $100 I'm spending on headphones any money I can save is appreciated.


The multiable audio tracks that are used as the source for surround sound are carried by S/PDIF (optical & coaxial up to 6 channels) and HDMI (up to 8-channels), 3.5mm (1/8" mini-jack) can only carry up to 2-channels.

post #2126 of 3095
Guys, I apologize in advance for the long and annoying post, but now it's my turn to be a newb.  Bear with me :o
 
 
I'm trying to build myself a computer as my laptop is 6 years old and it's having trouble keeping up with work these days. So I figured I try and build a desktop.  I decided to do this sometime during thanksgiving week as I new there would be a bunch of Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.  However, I have NEVER built a computer before.  I'm a complete newb when it comes to building a desktop computer.  I'm like MLE (no offense!).  I had to do a $#*& ton of frantic research to try and learn how to go about picking and choosing your components and what the hardware is out there these days - before sales were gone.
 
Anyways, I have a couple PC audio questions:
 

As far as my PC audio options go, obviously I've already got plenty of Amp and stereo DAC already, but I do need some surround DSPs.  I'm seeing that some motherboards come with optical outs.  While optical out is good, that will only help me if the onboard audio also has some surround DSP/Dolby Digital encoding capabilites to go with it.  I looked and I'm seeing that some motherboards (mostly ASrock) have THX onboard and some Gigabyte/Asus boards have Dolby Home Theater onboard (such as the Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3).  Does anyone know if these types of boards are even CAPABLE of outputting their encoded DSP of choice (like Dolby Headphone) over their optical outputs -> e.g. the same way the the Xonar devices can?  Or is it strictly analog out on them?  If they CAN output the Dolby Headphone encoded signal undisturbed, then it would make a card like the Xonar DG redudnant, no?  If they can't, then there's zero use in going for it as I'm NOT going to use the onboard audio's analog outs as my source to feed my amp.  So, should I bother investing a bit more for a motherboard with onboard Dolby Surround + optical, or is it a lost cause?

 

Assuming that the motherboards with Dolby Home Theater CAN output DH over optical, would it better to spring for one of those slightly pricier boards (getting whatever overclocking/etc. benefits they bring simultaneously) or instead just take that ~30-40 dollars and put it straight into a soundcard like a Xonar DG(x)?  Does the soundcard have additional benefits like offloading some audio work from the motherboard?  So should I get a motherboard with onboard Dolby, or a simply a soundcard with Dolby?  Again, I already have PLENTY of amp, so either way I'll ideally be just sucking a digital signal out of the computer and letting my external amp and DAC do all the heavy amp lifiting.

 

Speaking of DACs, how good are the DACs in these budget sound cards (the smaller amp cards like Xonar DG, Creative X-fi non titanium, etc.)?  I guess they don't really have true line outs and your double-amping the HP jacks, but are they still almost par with something like a FiiO D3?  I was thinking I would pick up a D3 optical DAC to do my PC gaming DAC work, grabbing the digital signals out of the soundcards and feeding it to my desktop amp [Soundcard optical out > FiiO D3 > M-stage].  If the soundcard DACs are on par with the D3, this setup would probably be redundant though. 

 

Is a Xonar DGX with PCI-E better/faster/newer than a regular DG?  I'm not familiar with the differences between PCI vs PCI-E except that the latter is newer.  The DGX costs a bit more than the DG.

 

 

 

So, TL;DR questions:

 

1)  Motherboard w/onboard surround Vs. discrete soundcard?

2)  Soundcard PCI Vs.  PCI-E?   Solved!

3)  FiiO D3 Vs. amping the analog outs from sound card?

3)  Bonus Build question:  Which CPU platform should I go with, and what's a decent motherboard for it?  see below...

 

 

I already ordered parts while the deals were hot.  I can still change things around though.  I'm not going to open any part boxes until I've read a bit more.

 
Can the PC gurus inspect my newbie build ?    ->   http://pcpartpicker.com/user/Chicolom/saved/347t   <-
Those are all the actual prices I paid (after 1 or 2 mail in rebates).  I scored some good deals I think.
 
I think most of the parts are solid, but I'm still unsure about which CPU platform to go with.  I'm still debating whether to keep the AMD FX8320 CPU or return it and spring for an Intel Chip (what's the best option orice/performance there?  3570k?).  I live near a microcenter so I can combo CPUs and motherboards together for nice prices.  I scored the 8320 for $99 though, and now prices have gone back up some.  A 3570k build would  cost me roughly $100 more I think.  FWIR the intels perform a bit better in non-heavily threaded gaming, but I'm not sure if it's worth price premium.
 
Once the CPU is decided, then I can look for a matching it to a motherboard.  I don't want to invest too much in a motherboard, since sockets changes all the time and it seems like a waste to invest much in extra motherboard features.  I would just need the cheapest stable one that supports a bit of overclocking. For AMD, that's either a 970 or 990fx board.  For intel, I think it's a Z77 maybe?  Not sure.

 

 

I have a couple more questions but I'll save them for later as this post is already way too long and annoying.  I'm just a dirty console gaming peasant and I need to be schooled by local members of PC Gaming Master Race.


Edited by chicolom - 12/7/13 at 5:32am
post #2127 of 3095
It sucks, and you suck.

frown.gif


This is why i went the pricey way and just bought an overpriced Alienware. I couldn't be arsed into building something myself. Though of course, laptops are much more limited in building...(can you evenb build them past basic configurations and options).

Like, I would love to open my M17x up and upgrade it's graphics card, etc down the line, though I'm sure that's probably impossible, considering the new gfx cards probably won't work with whatever motherboard is in my laptop, and probably because everything is all soldered in, etc.

Next time, I'm just gonna stick to a desktop.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 12/7/13 at 3:15am
post #2128 of 3095

To be clear, I'm NOT abandoning consoles.  Hell no. 

 

I'm not a fanboy of any platform.  In fact, I despise it when I go to read the comments on a gaming site, hoping to see some intelligent discussion, but always see it dissolve into fanboy flame wars between sony and microsoft with the PC master race coming into to whip out their e-peen and piss on them both.  I'm really tired of it.  Why can't it be about the freaking games.  If anything I'm an anti-fanboy, fanboy.   

 

My situation is: I needed a more powerful computer either way.  My 6 year old laptop can't crunch hard enough for things like photo/video editing anymore.  So I might as well kill two birds with one stone and build one that can handle work and play.  But being able to play games on it simply a bonus.

 

Besides, we're still in the slow transition between console generations with just some launch titles available.  It will take a while for the next gen library to roll out. 

Once PS4 has a decent library out, I'll be there picking one up.  In the meantime, I've got a healthy backlog of games to get through and I might as well play them on PC.


Edited by chicolom - 12/7/13 at 8:04pm
post #2129 of 3095
If I were you, I'd wait for the Steam consoles. They'll be computers too....I think.

Steam is the future.... for my wallet.
post #2130 of 3095
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

This is why i went the pricey way and just bought an overpriced Alienware. I couldn't be arsed into building something myself. Though of course, laptops are much more limited in building...(can you evenb build them past basic configurations and options).

Like, I would love to open my M17x up and upgrade it's graphics card, etc down the line, though I'm sure that's probably impossible, considering the new gfx cards probably won't work with whatever motherboard is in my laptop, and probably because everything is all soldered in, etc.

Next time, I'm just gonna stick to a desktop.

 

Yeah. 

 

At first I almost went with a medium range black friday laptop.  Then I though "might as well get a prebuilt desktop".  Then it was "might as well build a desktop myself."  Yes, the latter option is a bit of a headache at first as there is a learning curve to get past, but after that it actually becomes fun customizing the parts together (picking out which case you like the most, etc.).  It's not as bad you think.  And it definitely gets you the most computer for you dollar.  In hindsight, I can see now that the prebuilt machines are both more expensive and slower and less powerful!  No thanks.


Edited by chicolom - 12/7/13 at 3:47am
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound)