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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 182

post #2716 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post

Would the SniperCzar method of routing your processed audio to a USB connected DAC be viable as well? From my own researching DAC/Amps that support optical are tough to find without putting down at least $300.
Not really. If you search around the FS forums, you can find some decent deals. Even new things like the Maverick Audio D1 is around 250 shipped and that takes optical in. Or you can buy a decent dac w/ a optical in and tack on an amp. SMSL Dac + magni/vali/o2/E09K/whatever would only set you back around 200.

E: btw, SniperCzar method does work, the con is the sound quality isn't as good.
Edited by MrEleventy - 2/24/14 at 9:10am
post #2717 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillipJFy View Post
 

Would the SniperCzar method of routing your processed audio to a USB connected DAC be viable as well? From my own researching DAC/Amps that support optical are tough to find without putting down at least $300.

 

Not that I'm aware of, but I could be wrong. There's a reason I labeled it as the high end. A DAC with optical in and a noticeably better chip (than what's on the soundcard) will probably cost around $100+. The amp will be another $100+. You could get something cheap like the D03K, but it's not going to be much better than what is already on the sound card. In that situation. Option two would be the right choice. 

post #2718 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidboy17 View Post
 

Hello everyone, I was told I should post in this thread as I might be able to get better help regarding about what sound card I should get if I were to get either the Philips Fidelio X1 or the Sennheiser HD 598 and which headphones out of the two would be better for my needs.

 

I would be using these headphones for listening to video game music, like what is played on GFTO Awesomeness, being immersed in games like Skyrim, playing emulators like N64 and playstation, watching Netflix and sometimes playing FPSs like Red Orchestra 2/ Rising Storm.

So I narrowed my sound card choice to either the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (Uses CMSS 3D) or the ASUS Xonar Essence STX (Uses Dolby) and I will be using it with the Philips Fidelio X1. Which sound card would you guys suggest? I will not be using an amp, just a sound card.

post #2719 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidboy17 View Post
 

So I narrowed my sound card choice to either the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (Uses CMSS 3D) or the ASUS Xonar Essence STX (Uses Dolby) and I will be using it with the Philips Fidelio X1. Which sound card would you guys suggest? I will not be using an amp, just a sound card.

I think it is the X-Fi that uses CMSS, the ZX-R uses SBX pro studio.

post #2720 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidboy17 View Post
 

So I narrowed my sound card choice to either the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR (Uses CMSS 3D) or the ASUS Xonar Essence STX (Uses Dolby) and I will be using it with the Philips Fidelio X1. Which sound card would you guys suggest? I will not be using an amp, just a sound card.

 

The ZXR uses SBX Pro Studio. Listen to some videos on youtube to see which one you like better. I think there are some links in MLE's thread.

post #2721 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

 

The ZXR uses SBX Pro Studio. Listen to some videos on youtube to see which one you like better. I think there are some links in MLE's thread.

I can't listen to anything. I don't have any headphones, speakers or cables that connect sound to my LCD monitor.

post #2722 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by kidboy17 View Post
 

I can't listen to anything. I don't have any headphones, speakers or cables that connect sound to my LCD monitor.

 

Well, that certainly is a new kind of hell. Buy the X1s and use your onboard sound to test them and then pick a card maybe? That's the best way to do it IMO.

post #2723 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

 

Well, that certainly is a new kind of hell. Buy the X1s and use your onboard sound to test them and then pick a card maybe? That's the best way to do it IMO.

I heard using the onboard sound with the X1s sounds pretty bad ( i could be wrong) so would that impede my judgement on picking a card by listening to the Youtube videos? I'm new to this stuff, sorry. 


Edited by kidboy17 - 2/24/14 at 10:50pm
post #2724 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post

High end - Get a sound card with your preferred surround processing and then use the optical out to feed the signal to a discrete DAC and then have that DAC being fed into an amp (or get a combo unit like the NFB 15.32 or 11.32). This allows you the most freedom and you have access to a wide range of DACs and amps. You can also run with the basic sound cards as all you will be using on it is the optical out to feed into the DAC. 

 

Ok so maybe this is what I am unclear about...

 

"Method for using sound card as DSP to output to any audio device (Click to hide)

Note that this only works in Windows 7. Vista and prior don't have the required feature.

 

1. Right click on your volume tray in Windows 7 and select "Recording devices"

2. Select "What U Hear" and click "Properties" (cringe inducing grammar there Creative)

[Note - you do NOT have to set this as the default recording device]

3. Select the "Listen" tab and check the box marked "Listen to this device"

4. Under the drop down marked "Playback through this device:" select your desired DAC

5. Make sure "Continue running when on battery power" is selected as a software passthrough should have no effect whatsoever on your battery life

6. Select the "Levels" tab and set it to something comfortable, as the volume control for the Creative card's standard output will have no effect on the volume of the software recording device.

7. Enjoy listening to CMSS-3D, freed from the noisy and inferior hardware confines of your internal soundcard!"

 

So why would I need optical out from the sound card if I can use this method? Isn't optical limited anyway? Wouldn't I have to use something like Dolby Live! to compress the data to get 3d audio with optical?

 

Also you mentioned a combo unit and listed 2. Is it better to get a combo dac/amp or just buy two devices? I didn't even think of adding an amp to any of this, forgot about that part. Kind of confused at this point because I am having to take in to consideration and do research on which:

Sound card

headphones

DAC

amp

 

And what will work best with what. I am reading the thread on gaming headphone recommendations and there are so many, probably will pick up a Fidelio X1 or the DT990 Pro. They look good for what I want to spend. Then I just need to figure out the rest.


Edited by Slayn - 2/24/14 at 11:57pm
post #2725 of 3748

I'm using the Asus Xonar xense and the Logitech G930 via USB (a 7.1 headset). So, if I wanted to use the ASUS DSP for my headset and done those steps... BUT... one question prevails... Do I need to switch on 7.1 Dolby Headphone at the Logitech Gaming Software (means the driver for the headset), or only in the Xonar Xense Audio Center?

 

btw... awesome guide!


Edited by Nominiel - 2/25/14 at 7:37am
post #2726 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayn View Post

Ok so maybe this is what I am unclear about...

So why would I need optical out from the sound card if I can use this method? Isn't optical limited anyway? Wouldn't I have to use something like Dolby Live! to compress the data to get 3d audio with optical?
Quote:
-Myth: Sound card DSP effects for gaming do not carry through S/PDIF.
-Fact: They do go through S/PDIF. I've tested it myself with RightMark 3DSound's positional audio test (uses DirectSound3D, so be sure to point ALchemy or other wrappers to the installation directory). This makes the combination of a sound card as a DSP and an external DAC with S/PDIF input a plausible upgrade option, as the sound card's lesser analog circuitry is still bypassed.

-Myth: S/PDIF (coaxial/optical digital audio) cannot do surround sound!
-Fact: I believe this misconception also made people believe in the above one about DSP effects not working. The problem is actually that PC games output all their surround channels in uncompressed PCM format (with few exceptions), and S/PDIF only has enough bandwidth for two channels of PCM. To fit more in, you need a codec like Dolby Digital or DTS.

The problem is, most games do not encode Dolby Digital or DTS on-the-fly, so the sound output device needs to support Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect for it to sound as intended. Once that's done, external A/V receivers and headphone DSPs like the Astro Mixamp, Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS, and JVC/Victor SU-DH1 will actually have some surround information to work with.
Optical out is the "cleaner" less processed option. Most of the time, unless you paid for a high end sound card, the external DAC will be better sound quality wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Slayn View Post

Also you mentioned a combo unit and listed 2. Is it better to get a combo dac/amp or just buy two devices? I didn't even think of adding an amp to any of this, forgot about that part. Kind of confused at this point because I am having to take in to consideration and do research on which:

Sound card
headphones
DAC
amp
Combo units are convenient but isn't as upgrade friendly. The modular approach allows for a better upgrade path. But if you don't plan on upgrading, then the combo units are better.
post #2727 of 3748

In a previous post in this thread, I asked for some external options. I was leaning towards getting the Asus Xonar U7, but wanted to see what other options I had.

 

The motherboard I'm getting has an optical out. It's the Asus Maximus VI GENE. It looks like I could use the optical out on the motherboard to an amp, but there aren't that many amps that have an optical in (that I know of, which is limited). I have a Fiio E17, so I'm wondering if I could pair this with the Fiio E09K and still retain the sound processing of my mobo, which is advertised to be geared for gaming. I'm presuming that the mobo processing would supersede the E17 processing, but I'm just guessing.

 

Any thoughts to the above setup?

 

Any recommendations for an amp that has an optical in that's reasonably priced (sub $200).

post #2728 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFGamescape View Post
 

In a previous post in this thread, I asked for some external options. I was leaning towards getting the Asus Xonar U7, but wanted to see what other options I had.

 

The motherboard I'm getting has an optical out. It's the Asus Maximus VI GENE. It looks like I could use the optical out on the motherboard to an amp, but there aren't that many amps that have an optical in (that I know of, which is limited). I have a Fiio E17, so I'm wondering if I could pair this with the Fiio E09K and still retain the sound processing of my mobo, which is advertised to be geared for gaming. I'm presuming that the mobo processing would supersede the E17 processing, but I'm just guessing.

 

Any thoughts to the above setup?

 

Any recommendations for an amp that has an optical in that's reasonably priced (sub $200).

 

First of all, no amp is going to have an optical input as optical is a digital signal and would need to be converted to analog before it could be amplified. Some DACs have optical inputs. You could AMP directly out of the motherboard. Better yet, since you have an E17, you can connect that via optical as long as your motherboard can output a 2 channel signal. You could easily add a E09K of whatever amp you want after that. 

post #2729 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murder Mike View Post
 

 

First of all, no amp is going to have an optical input as optical is a digital signal and would need to be converted to analog before it could be amplified. Some DACs have optical inputs. You could AMP directly out of the motherboard. Better yet, since you have an E17, you can connect that via optical as long as your motherboard can output a 2 channel signal. You could easily add a E09K of whatever amp you want after that. 

 

Ah, thanks for the correction. That makes sense to me (noob).

 

I believe the motherboard can output a 2-channel signal, but I'm not certain. The onboard audio features seem decent enough to give it a try.

 

Or, I can just stick with my original intention of getting the U7.

post #2730 of 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by CFGamescape View Post

 

Or, I can just stick with my original intention of getting the U7.

 

I'd give the on-board a try first. What's the point in getting a motherboard like that if you don't give it a fair shake? You can adapt from there. 

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