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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 30

post #436 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I own both the ATH-AD700 and the HD558s, I way prefer the HD558 (decent bass).

Yeah I've heard that the ad700's have very poor bass, so I'll more than likely sell me hm5's and move up to the 558's and a modmic
post #437 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by JdmKicks94 View Post
Yeah I've heard that the ad700's have very poor bass, so I'll more than likely sell me hm5's and move up to the 558's and a modmic

My Brainwavz HM5 arrived yesterday (Monday), used them to watch Immortals on Blu-ray, nice movie headphones.

Got a used one off eBay for $99.

post #438 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

My Brainwavz HM5 arrived yesterday (Monday), used them to watch Immortals on Blu-ray, nice movie headphones.
Got a used one off eBay for $99.

I hope you enjoy them man! I'll probably sell mine for around that price.
post #439 of 3067
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JdmKicks94 View Post
Skyrim, diablo 3, minecraft mostly, and some battlefield 3. Also what would you reccoment between the ad700's and the hd 558's?
Edit: and I can stretch my budget, I just want to know what the best choice is, as I'm pretty new to this lol.

 

I've never tried the HD 558, so I'm in no place to compare it with the AD700 (which I have tried). The least I can say is that much of what is said about the AD700s is true: they really bring out positional cues, but are lacking in the bass department.

 

Maybe I should make it more prominent in my guide that the only headphone I can recommend without hesitation is any Stax Lambda series model (especially the Normal bias ones), but those tend to cost quite a lot not just for the headphones, but for the amplifiers they require.

 

All of those games generally have software-rendered audio...except for Minecraft, which uses OpenAL, but it's not quite as imperative to have an X-Fi for that game like it would be for Unreal Tournament or Battlefield 2. The Xonar DG shouldn't let you down, but do note that I haven't actually used one.

post #440 of 3067

Hello, I'm looking for some advice on my setup.

 

Currently I have a DIY bantam dac and a Millet Max amp to my AKG Q701.

I know that the dac isnt capable of dolby headphone or any other binaural effects. I have an x-fi xtrememusic (which im not sure has a good 3D or not).

 

Currently, I'm using the "What U Hear" trick from the xtrememusic card to my dac and amp.

Are there better options?

Can I run rca from the card to my amp?

Is there a better card or hardware that I can use for dolby headphone/creative 3D?

 

thanks for helping a confused newbie to computer gaming audio.

post #441 of 3067
Thread Starter 

The X-Fi XtremeMusic is a proper card with the hardware DSP, so you have all the relevant gaming DSP effect support, but analog sound output quality may be behind the times...not that I noticed anything wrong with the similar X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro I put into a client's build recently (which is a very similar card hardware-wise, just with more onboard RAM). And besides, if you're using an external DAC, you don't have that problem...but I don't have a good enough USB device to test how well the SniperCzar "What U Hear" Windows 7 trick actually works.

 

Normally, I'd recommend a DAC with S/PDIF input (and if you're working with a DIY design, adding such an input shouldn't be too difficult), but getting S/PDIF out of an XtremeMusic requires either a proprietary Flexijack S/PDIF adapter that takes up your input jack and isn't very common, or the 5.25" front panel bay that came with the X-Fi Platinum and better cards from that time. Whether it's more practical to buy those discontinued devices or a newer card with built-in S/PDIF output like the X-Fi Titanium line is another matter.

 

You can run RCA from any device with a 3.5mm jack; you just need an adapter. There's plenty on Monoprice, both simple plug adapters and adapter cables with both plug types on each end.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 6/9/12 at 9:04pm
post #442 of 3067

Thanks for this guide, helped me a lot. I was completely oblivious as to how good surround emulation was on headphones until recently. I tried some Doom 3 with X-fi MB2 and it's unreal.

 

If anyone's interested in the Stereo Mix lag, I crudely measured it at about 90ms, recording a beep from 2 sets of headphones simultaneously with a mic and measured in Audacity.  My setup is X-fi MB2 with ALC888 and a uDac1.


Does anyone know if you can pass the DSP effects over SPDIF with the X-Fi MB2 software? Either way I'm looking for a DAC/AMP with TOSLINK input to avoid the lag, <5 ohm input impedance for my HD598s, and analog volume control.  Does anyone have any suggestions?

 

So far I've found the iBasso D12, Leckerton UHA-6S, Audio-GD NFB12.1, and Audiotrak DR.DAC2. Leaning towards the latter because I don't need portability.  Another option is the X-fi Titanium HD with a headphone amp, but I'm not sure how this compares to a $250+ desktop combo.

post #443 of 3067
Thread Starter 

I don't see why you couldn't pass X-Fi MB2 processing over S/PDIF, though I haven't tried it myself (little experience with X-Fi MB on other people's systems, no experience with X-Fi MB2). If it relies on the Creative control panel, you could set it to "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output", which is exactly what it sounds like. (Whether you'd have the latency or not, I have no idea.)

 

There isn't a noticeable hit to sound quality using the SniperCzar trick for USB DACs, is there? That's the one thing I'm wondering about, but without a proper USB 2.0 audio device or the desire to spend so much money on one...

 

Meanwhile, the notion of combined DAC/amps does unnerve me a little, but only because I think it's a better idea to have a separate DAC and headphone amp. Match the amp to the headphones than the other way around, if you will. As to what gear I'd suggest instead, I frankly have no idea since that stuff's on the expensive side of things and I can't afford to purchase it all just for reviewing's sake. I like my Titanium HD, but I'm in no place to say whether it's that much better or worse than getting an external DAC. (On the other hand, I'm far more trusting of the actual X-Fi DSP for gaming effects than the CPU-based code in the X-Fi MB software suites.)

post #444 of 3067

I couldn't tell a difference between stereo mix and just my uDac alone in games, but I don't have golden ears either.  The difference between my motherboard's headphone jack and the uDac however, is very apparent.  The latency is a dealbreaker for me, though. 90ms is very noticeable to me.

If I go the DAC/AMP route, I'll probably get a cheap X-fi with proper hardware DSP and maybe a Xonar DG down the line to compare.
Audio quality is #1 priority for me, gaming second.. I originally stumbled across this and some other threads looking for an upgrade to my uDac for music only. Might as well pay a little extra for TOSLINK to have optimal gaming sound too.

 

Edit: I'm going to borrow a Mixamp to test the SPDIF pass-through. Btw.. I tried the Mixamp before. It's Dolby Headphone effect was awful compared to the Powerdvd codec. The surround was there but the soundstage was much smaller.  Makes me wonder how much better true hardware X-fi sounds compared to X-fi MB2.

 

Edit: Got the Mixamp. I can send all the DSP effects through SPDIF, but  CMSS3D headphone doesn't work because I can't set SPDIF to 5.1/7.1 in windows(even though it's really only 2.0 being sent). It's behaving exactly how the headphone jack did before I set it to surround sound.  How were people able to get this to work on Xonar/X-fi cards?


Edited by ultron - 6/13/12 at 3:29pm
post #445 of 3067

Modern Warfare 3 has msseax.flt in the miles folder next to mssds3d, mssdsp, milesEq.

 

Why does the miles package list EAX filters or why does MW3 bring them along? Any reason for this or is the filter just part of the miles SDK/package?

 

EDIT: Does the X-Fi THD send CMSS-3D HP over Cinch?


Edited by Fegefeuer - 6/15/12 at 9:04am
post #446 of 3067
Thread Starter 

CoD:MW3 uses the Miles Sound System? That's a surprise, since I could've sworn the CoD4 demo used FMOD Ex...then again, just because it's using MSS these days doesn't mean that it'll actually use DirectSound3D for mixing. (Source engine games require a console command before it's enabled, for instance.)

 

I'm guessing it's just a holdover from older MSS versions, a lot of which even continued to support Aureal A3D long after they were dead and buried. I still very frankly doubt that it uses EAX extensions at all, but it would be fascinating to know if it's possible to enable DirectSound3D mixing for proper binaural sound. (Of course, you'd need to use ALchemy or a similar wrapper along with it.)

 

...And what do you mean by sending audio "over Cinch"? That's no audio interface I've ever heard of.

post #447 of 3067
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

...And what do you mean by sending audio "over Cinch"? That's no audio interface I've ever heard of.

I think he means RCA.


Any idea if windows allows you to set SPDIF to 5.1 with a Dolby Digital Live or DTS connect audio device? That's the only way I'm seeing CMSS3DH or Dolby headphone working over SPDIF. My motherboard has neither.

post #448 of 3067

Yeah, I mean RCA.

 

Will try Alchemy on MW3 later but doubt it's going to change anything.
 

post #449 of 3067
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ultron View Post

I think he means RCA.


Any idea if windows allows you to set SPDIF to 5.1 with a Dolby Digital Live or DTS connect audio device? That's the only way I'm seeing CMSS3DH or Dolby headphone working over SPDIF. My motherboard has neither.

 

I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever heard RCA jacks referred to by any other name.

 

Yes, the X-Fi Titanium HD outputs CMSS-3D Headphone-processed audio over the RCA jacks. It wouldn't be as useful to me to have those jacks otherwise (I use them as line-out to an external receiver that drives my Stax setup, and the receiver is old enough that it lacks S/PDIF input, only RCA), even if 3.5mm-to-RCA adapter cables exist.

 

The way S/PDIF output on X-Fi cards work is kind of weird. It's largely independent of the Windows speaker setting; instead, what you do is check "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" in the control panel, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Works perfectly with CMSS-3D Headphone. If that isn't checked, however, you aren't going to hear anything out of S/PDIF. (Also, do NOT set "SPDIF Out" as the primary audio output device, because it won't work for anything other than DVD or Blu-ray movies. It needs to be on the "Speakers" device at all times.)

 

However, once you enable Dolby Digital Live or DTS Connect, the drivers automatically switch to 5.1 speaker mode instead of Headphones, and the same thing is done to the Windows speaker setting (albeit the channels aside from front left/right are not treated as full-range by default). Turning it back off, though, leaves the Windows speaker setting at 5.1 while the X-Fi setting reverts to whatever it was set to beforehand (Headphones in my case).

post #450 of 3067

I see. Does "Play Stereo Mix using Digital Output" add any latency like the stereo mix in windows?


Edit: That's odd.. sure firefox remembers the info for my old lurker account now.  ridill=ultron.


Edited by ridill - 6/16/12 at 5:17am
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