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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 178

post #2656 of 3716
Yeah, it's definitely EQ-able. Keep in mind also that It's easier to EQ down to remove something than it is to EQ up to add. If it's not supposed to be bright and detailed, EQing up will sound unnatural. Plus, you'll need a strong amp for more headroom if you EQ properly. (Notching everything else down while leaving the desired area the same.)
post #2657 of 3716

I am rather new to all this as Pandora's box was opened not long ago by a friend lending me his DAC for a few days...I can't go back to just onboard sound from my 6 year old laptop.

 

That said I am going to be building a new desktop and am not sure what is the best route to go, Sound card or DAC+AMP.

 

I use a Logitech Z-5300 5.1 set for general listening and light gaming but use Sennheiser HD558s+Ant Lion Mod Mic for more serious listening of music/movies/recordings and gaming. I guess that makes me a "rounded" listener.

 

So, I would like to be able to easily switch back and forth between both setups and have great sound for at least the HD558s. However, I don't want to lose positional audio when gaming.

 

Price limit is $100-ish for sound card or $150-ish for DAC+AMP.

 

I guess that makes Option 1: run Logitechs through sound card and HD558s+Mod Mic through front panel and Option 2: run Logitechs through onboard sound of the new rig's mobo and run a DAC+AMP from the S/PDIF out (to get good sound on HD558s and retain positional audio)

 

 

I am so very lost, please help.

post #2658 of 3716

Hello,

 

let me start by saying im new to PC audio but im very interested in getting the best available option i can when it comes to buying something new.

 

I'm playing atm with PC363d through its own soundcard in 5.1, but my needs have changed and now i need some kind of setup which involves closed headphones, unlike mine but still in 5.1.

 

I'm playing counter strike global offensive and as i understood it uses MSS, i honestly do not know what this means as a restriction for my options.

 

From what i can gather, which is little, im inclined to buy a sound card like a titanium HD/asus rog phoebus/creative zxr + akg 550/seinnheiser g4me zero (little info out on these headphones) + a mod mic. However i would like to know if these will suit my needs or if there is something better. I would prefer my setup to be portable, to be able to play in a diferent PC if necessary, but if portable=less quality i dont really need it.

 

 

I also own Logitech 5.1 z5500 if it would help with something.

 

I dont really have a budget but im willing to go to 300-400 euros, i think it should be enough.

 

EDIT: AudioTecnica ATH-A900X Headphones are also in the run


Edited by PippoXD - 2/19/14 at 4:32am
post #2659 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

Price limit is $100-ish for sound card or $150-ish for DAC+AMP.

 

I guess that makes Option 1: run Logitechs through sound card and HD558s+Mod Mic through front panel and Option 2: run Logitechs through onboard sound of the new rig's mobo and run a DAC+AMP from the S/PDIF out (to get good sound on HD558s and retain positional audio)

 

Sound Blaster Z OEM and a Magni/O2/E09K.

 

The Logitech speakers aren't refined enough to benefit from anything other than your onboard, so just run them through that (all IMO obviously). 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by PippoXD View Post
 

I dont really have a budget but im willing to go to 300-400 euros, i think it should be enough.

 

 

For closed, a popular option seems to be the SoundMagic HP100. So look into that and pair it with the appropriate sound card and amp. If you're buying one of those higher end sound cards, you probably won't even need a separate amp. 

post #2660 of 3716
Quote:
 

Sound Blaster Z OEM and a Magni/O2/E09K.

 

The Logitech speakers aren't refined enough to benefit from anything other than your onboard, so just run them through that (all IMO obviously). 

 

I agree that the Logitechs don't need more than onboard sound. As for the Sennheiser HD558s, I was thinking I could use my motherboards S/PDIF out in order to retain DSP/positional audio. Are there any DACs that have S/PDIF inputs around the $150 range? Also, because the HD558s are only 50ohm impedance I know they aren't terribly difficult to drive, so, would an amp or dac be better?

post #2661 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

 

I agree that the Logitechs don't need more than onboard sound. As for the Sennheiser HD558s, I was thinking I could use my motherboards S/PDIF out in order to retain DSP/positional audio. Are there any DACs that have S/PDIF inputs around the $150 range? Also, because the HD558s are only 50ohm impedance I know they aren't terribly difficult to drive, so, would an amp or dac be better?

 

What surround processing does your motherboard use? If I was you, I would just buy something like the Sound Blaster Z and see how you like it. That will work as your DAC, amp, and providing SBX Pro Studio. You can add an amp later if you'd like. 

post #2662 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

 

What surround processing does your motherboard use? If I was you, I would just buy something like the Sound Blaster Z and see how you like it. That will work as your DAC, amp, and providing SBX Pro Studio. You can add an amp later if you'd like. 

The board is an ASRock Z87 Extreme4 which runs an ALC1150 with a TI NE5532 amplifier (claimed to drive up to 600ohm cans), 115dB SNR, and has built on shielding. It also supports DTS Connect and has S/PDIF out. Read more here if you want>>http://www.asrock.com/mb/Intel/Z87%20Extreme4/

 

I think all of that means that I can run the Logitech system with no issue. My Mod Mic will just go into front panel as that isn't a huge concern of mine.

 

My only issue with using a discrete card is that I either have to give my case a reach-around to switch from back panel or suffer noise/loss using front panel. Which makes me attracted to running the HD558s off a DAC, Amp, or DACAMP combo running on S/PDIF out.

post #2663 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

 

What surround processing does your motherboard use? If I was you, I would just buy something like the Sound Blaster Z and see how you like it. That will work as your DAC, amp, and providing SBX Pro Studio. You can add an amp later if you'd like. 

It's an ASRock Z87 Extreme4 that uses some pretty nice equipment (ALC1195 and 2 onboard amps), supports DTS, and has S/PDIF out.

 

The Logitechs will be fine off onboard and I feel a discrete card will cause me to either to always have to reach behind the case to switch or suffer noise/loss on front panel. However, running an external DAC/AMP/DAC+AMP off of the S/PDIF output will let me keep positional audio while maintaining better audio.

 

Thoughts?

post #2664 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

It's an ASRock Z87 Extreme4 that uses some pretty nice equipment (ALC1195 and 2 onboard amps), supports DTS, and has S/PDIF out.

 

The Logitechs will be fine off onboard and I feel a discrete card will cause me to either to always have to reach behind the case to switch or suffer noise/loss on front panel. However, running an external DAC/AMP/DAC+AMP off of the S/PDIF output will let me keep positional audio while maintaining better audio.

 

Thoughts?

 

You can have an internal and still never reach being your case. You change what device is being used in Windows. You don't have positional audio from what it looks like right now, so you'd have to add a sound card either way if you wanted that. 

post #2665 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

 

You can have an internal and still never reach being your case. You change what device is being used in Windows. You don't have positional audio from what it looks like right now, so you'd have to add a sound card either way if you wanted that. 

I thought DTS Connect was their onboard Surround Sound equivalent to Dolby Headphone and the like. Is this incorrect?

post #2666 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

I thought DTS Connect was their onboard Surround Sound equivalent to Dolby Headphone and the like. Is this incorrect?

From what I understand DTS Connect is only there to transfer the 5.1 signal, much like Dolby Digital Live. 

post #2667 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

From what I understand DTS Connect is only there to transfer the 5.1 signal, much like Dolby Digital Live. 

Regardless of which mobo I choose for my new build as long as it has positional audio of some sort, I can pipe that through S/PDIF to an external unit.

 

So that spawns two questions. The first is do I need an Amp for my Sennheiser HD558s or is a DAC+onboard alone enough to drive them properly? Second, does anyone know any DACs, Amps, or DAC+AMP combo units that have S/PDIF inputs?

post #2668 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post
 

Can't listen to this at work so you guys go first:

 

http://www.newaudiotechnology.de/produkte/sage-spatial-audio-game-engine/

 

 

SAGE – Spatial Audio Game Engine with Doom 3 Demo. 

 

They also have an application like Razer's Surround, just for 169€ more.

 

http://www.newaudiotechnology.de/produkte/spatial-sound-card/

Interesting indeed, wonder how is compares in terms of surround verses CMSS etc

post #2669 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

Regardless of which mobo I choose for my new build as long as it has positional audio of some sort, I can pipe that through S/PDIF to an external unit.

 

So that spawns two questions. The first is do I need an Amp for my Sennheiser HD558s or is a DAC+onboard alone enough to drive them properly? Second, does anyone know any DACs, Amps, or DAC+AMP combo units that have S/PDIF inputs?

 

Audioengine D1 (USB powered) and Fiio E17 (battery powered) both have SPDIF input and should cost less than $150 USD.  There are probably others but these are the ones I own.  I feed the Dolby Headphone output via SPDIF from my soundcard to the D1 to Fiio E09K (amp) to AKG K702.65 for my setup.  And I use the WASAPI drivers for MediaMonkey and foobar2000 for my music so they bypass all the DH/mixer/etc without me messing with the Windows audio output device settings.  Works quite well but I'm looking for another more powerful amp like an Asgard 2 for future use.  I have a pair of Sennheiser HD598 that I ran directly out from the D1 before I got the E09k and they sounded decent.  After I got the E09k and plugged the HD598 into that, they did sound a bit better, but there was a much bigger difference/improvement to my AKG K702.65 than the HD598s going through the E09k amp.  

post #2670 of 3716
Quote:
Originally Posted by AvroArrow View Post
 

 

Audioengine D1 (USB powered) and Fiio E17 (battery powered) both have SPDIF input and should cost less than $150 USD.  There are probably others but these are the ones I own.  I feed the Dolby Headphone output via SPDIF from my soundcard to the D1 to Fiio E09K (amp) to AKG K702.65 for my setup.  And I use the WASAPI drivers for MediaMonkey and foobar2000 for my music so they bypass all the DH/mixer/etc without me messing with the Windows audio output device settings.  Works quite well but I'm looking for another more powerful amp like an Asgard 2 for future use.  I have a pair of Sennheiser HD598 that I ran directly out from the D1 before I got the E09k and they sounded decent.  After I got the E09k and plugged the HD598 into that, they did sound a bit better, but there was a much bigger difference/improvement to my AKG K702.65 than the HD598s going through the E09k amp.  

AvroArrow,

 

Do you feel the D1 or E17 is powerful enough to adequately drive HD558s? Which of the two, D1 and E17, was your favorite?

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