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gaming headset advice

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

    Hello gents i want to know what your opinions are about the purchases I'm about to make. I'm in the market for gaming audio and i got a few headphones in mind thanks to reading the awesome posts from Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide and nameless's guide to pc audio gaming. 2 phones come to mind 1 a denon D5000 for overall audio enjoyment since my friend is willing to sell them to me and 2 a pair of sennheiser pc 360s for competitive play even though i would of loved getting a pair of k701s but i would like a mic with my phones even though i could buy the modmic. i would like to pc game with these headsets and i would like to play them with my ps3. For my pc audio setup I'm unsure what sound card to get between the ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual with Dolby Headphone or the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD with CMSS-3D. People have their own preferences and are slit in the middle. so i wanna hear your opinions on the matter. for my console setup i was just thinking of getting an astro mix amp with dolby headphone im not quite sure if there's a cmss-3d mixamp though.

post #2 of 4

For consoles, just stick to the Astro Mixamp and Dolby Headphone. Even if CMSS-3D Headphone were available on such a device, it would have no real edge on consoles where the most you get is virtual 5.1 anyway.


The reason CMSS-3D Headphone shines in PC games (at least older ones that use proper audio APIs like DirectSound3D and OpenAL instead of being pre-mixed by something like FMOD Ex before it hits the sound card driver and thus being limited to two-dimensional 7.1 at most, just like a console) is that it's not limited to simulating an arbitrary speaker configuration, but uses the 3D sound coordinates in the game engine to provide something closer to true 3D binaural audio, complete with height cues and smooth panning. If Dolby Headphone did the same thing in leveraging that 3D positional information instead of downmixing to 7.1 first, it wouldn't be nearly as disadvantaged.


However, the two major technologies also skew the frequency response a bit. Dolby Headphone emphasizes bass and reduces treble a bit, while CMSS-3D is the exact opposite and tends to reduce bass a bit while emphasizing treble. Needless to say, this introduces even more subjectivity than what HRTFs each technology uses. (In a nutshell, they both use generic HRTFs that fit most of the human population, but everyone has a unique HRTF. The closer your HRTF is to the HRTF used by the headphone surround technology in question, the better the surround cues work.)


Also note that I tend to favor a lot of older PC games instead of sticking to stuff only released in the past five years or so, which means a lot of those games designed with Creative's EAX in mind are only going to sound right on an X-Fi card, because on other hardware that doesn't support EAX versions 3/4/5, the reverb/chorus/occlusion/etc. effects go completely missing and it's no longer as the game developer intended it to sound. Needless to say, it limits my sound card choices quite a bit, but at least the X-Fi Titanium HD works out very well for me, with practically no driver problems whatsoever.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Wow thank you for your detailed explanation about the cmss-3d and Dolby headphone ill consider the X-Fi Titanium HD

post #4 of 4

I agree with nameless, get a soundcard that supports eax and in this case any of the X-FI (except the X-FI Audio ones) cards a great, Also a thing to consider is getting a X-FI card with optical outputs so you can also enjoy the mixamp on the pc as well and not only on Ps3. You can for example disable 3d positioning on the pc and just let the mixamp do that. Im sure once you experienced your mixamp on the PS3 you'll also want to enjoy it on the pc as the surround quality is awesome :) . Note that however the mixamp has quite some different inputs, to benefit from the surround quality you can only use the TOSLINK input, anything else wont work for this 

Edited by Hoax - 5/18/12 at 5:37am
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