Originally Posted by zerocraft
I did end up going with the E9 amp! I don't really have much use for a portable amp right now so figured dealing with battery based stuff was not worth it. Have my USB X-fi all set up on windows so just waiting on the UPS to deliver today/tmrw. Cant wait for my first real gaming/music sound setup haha. I think I might upgrade to an internal card eventually to reduce the clutter of having the USB X-fi on my desk. Before that I want to give THX Trustudio a try though, since I dont really play many old games (which seems to be the main drawback with this over X-Fi/CMSS stuff?), I'll decide on titanium/recon3d/Z after I've given both technologies an ear.
I hope you enjoy your bang-for-buck setup!
THX TruStudio is pretty good, wish I knew how to record some live gameplay for you and others to hear. Otherwise, it's difficult to give the different technologies "an ear," as you say. I'm not going to claim I know what you're going to like best, but it does seem like different people prefer different headphone surround tech. Not only does that explain why there isn't a consensus on "the best sounding" processing/encoding tech, but it also reflects my personal experience not consistently matching up with the descriptions from other head-fi'ers I respect. Getting used to a particular tech probably also plays a role in how your brain interprets other techs. Compared to several YouTube tests on different games of different techs, my personal preference between Dolby Headphone, CMSS-3D, Silent Cinema, and TruStudio, is for THX TruStudio, but I think it's true that positional imaging may vary per person.
I see only 3 remaining distinctions:
#1.) Does the surround processing calculate height and depth calculations? (It would seem only X-Fi does this, but many games such as Halo have their own in-game depth processing and between-channel-mixing filters for increased imaging subtlety, anyway)
#2.) Does the hardware have high-quality components and signal quality? (Amps and DACs don't necessarily have built-in digital effects/surround processing, so this is a separate point to #1. For example, while Asus cards use "just" Dolby Headphone and EAX 2.0 effects, several of them have higher-quality components and/or signal-to-noise ratios than X-Fi cards of the same price-class)
#3.) Are a card's features supported and taken advantage of by in-demand games? (While it may be sad that developers are dropping support for full X-Fi utilization, it is a fact that newer games have been developing just for Dolby 5.1 support, giving CMSS-3D the same data to work with as Dolby Headphone, Silent Cinema, TruStudio, etc. Also, a surround processing algorithm like CMSS-3D or SBX ProStudio is software, whether run on the main PC resources or offloaded onto discreet audio hardware like a soundcard)
Assuming that games haven't taken full advantage of the X-Fi platform since the time of Battlefield 2145 and the first Bioshock, how different people prefer different sound signatures & games, and that there are examples of equal or superior specification hardware quality to the X-Fi Ti series soundcards, I think that it's a bit of an exaggeration to call everything else besides the X-Fi Ti cards "garbage." My best suggestion is to look for multiple video demos and come to your own conclusions, and I think it's great that you want to find out for yourself.
Originally Posted by pox67
Thanks, the headphones I am looking at are:
Sennheiser HD 598
Sennheiser RS 180 (wireless would be very convenient)
I guess my real question is would the lag in the RS 180's be noticeable while gaming?
My best of both worlds would be AKG Q701 with wireless adaptors for when I want wireless. Wired for gaming.
I have had a search around but there doesn't seem to be a KLEER transmitter and receiver plugin for speakers.
A little KLEER Bluetooth bridge would be nice, and you could at least address custom amping and headphone preferences. Market opportunity! I think you have enough wireless-audio experience to answer your question about lag, but I've never read about wireless sound lag being an issue with wireless gaming headsets. I saw your list of headphones you're looking at; I only commented on the option that I own.Edited by Evshrug - 11/29/12 at 12:15pm