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Creative Sound Blaster new series Z, Zx & ZxR - Page 12

post #166 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

What annoyed you about Asus' STX?

The disgusting out of date drivers to be honest and lack of support from ASUS.  Alot of games had sound issues and such.  It seemed dolby headphone sometimes would cause artifacts in the game sounds.  I confirmed this by turning it off and on.  The sound panel is so clunky and rediculous and the drivers had really high DPC latency so sound would pop a lot.  

 

A lot of problems were alleviated by installing 3rd party "unified" drivers but not all of them were gone. 

 

Music was fantastic though and thats where it would shine.  Really prestine sound quality from the DAC and headamp.  But I game a lot too and couldnt justify the STX just for music.

 

In the end I bought the Z and all the problems were solved, in fact their HRTF seems much cleaner and higher quality than dolby headphone.  The ZXR was my goal but ill suck up slight loss in audio quality until it comes out.

post #167 of 2563
Hmm, that's pretty cool you like the HRTF of SBX Pro Studio better than Dolby headphone, DJinferno. I already like THX TruStudio Pro better than DH because it seems more refined and the HRTF seems to place imaging cues more accurately for my ears. I really hope to play Borderlands 2 sometime with OpenAL enabled. I only have the Recon3D USB though, because I wanted one thing to work between all my devices (Xbox, Windows, Mac). I'll probably end up getting an internal sound card once my PC game library starts to fill out biggrin.gif

Is it hard to enable 3D surround in games? Was the Xonar card able to simulate full 3D surround using DH (height as well as front/back)? How do you like the beamforming mic? Thanks for sharing your experience!
post #168 of 2563

I'm pretty sure you don't have to enable SBX in order to get HRTF in OpenAL games, based on quick Mirror's Edge test. Also it works fine in stereo mode.


Edited by Anarion - 1/30/13 at 2:43pm
post #169 of 2563
Enabling surround is easy enough in the control panel. Pretty similar to the thx trustudio panel.

Dolby headphone never had height positional cues. The Asus drivers never worked properly in openal anyways

The sound blaster z works pretty well with eax and openal. I haven't had any issues in older games at all.

Not sure if openal enables hrtf by default or not. I'm going to test it in penumbra and stalker in a bit.
post #170 of 2563

OpenAL by itself does not provide HRTF mixing, but it does provide the 3D positional coordinates to make a truly effective HRTF mix, if the OpenAL device used chooses to mix the sounds in that fashion.

 

That's why you have CMSS-3D Headphone, THX TruStudio Surround, and SBX Pro Surround (assuming SBX isn't rebranded THX, anyway) in the first place, along with various HRTF mixing settings in software OpenAL implementations like Rapture3D, OpenAL Soft, and AeonWave.

 

Still, there's a good possibility that even with such features off, Creative devices tend to fare better with OpenAL games because they have native OpenAL support, either in hardware (Audigy, X-Fi) or software (all Sound Core3D cards and USB devices).


Edited by NamelessPFG - 1/30/13 at 4:20pm
post #171 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post

Music was fantastic though and thats where it would shine. Really prestine sound quality from theBut I game a lot too and couldnt justify the STX just for music.

How's music quality of the Z compared to the STX?
post #172 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Ghu View Post

How's music quality of the Z compared to the STX?

Its definitely not as rich or "full" I guess you could say. A bit muddier even. It is still really good but a slight degrade from the STX.
I'm sure the difference in the burr brown dac and TI headamp made up for that.

I am by no means a hardcore audiophile so to me its still acceptable.


And yes the positional cues from openal games are tons better and clearer. Penumbra is now even scarier and Stalker is more immersive(mainly due to EAX as well)
Edited by DJINFERNO806 - 1/30/13 at 4:52pm
post #173 of 2563
I must admit, I played with the Recon3D settings once, found what settings I liked best with Starcraft II, and then... Only played StarCraft II and Xbox games with it (so far). I want to get a great game for PC to really give my system a run for it's money (So far I've been quite happy with a Sandy Bridge Core i3 and a NVIDIA GTS 250, runs the Crysis demo on high settings and looks amazing compared to Xbox). But I haven't much experience PC gaming overall (yet), and conversations with Roller & Nameless have led me to believe that enabling full surround capabilities is often an involved process that may even include editing .ini files... is that coding work? Bleh!

Here's a n00b question for ya, though it would be nice to know for sure: can headphone surround still be enabled when using RCA out? My fav headphone amp is RCA-in, I've been using a 3.5mm to RCA cable with my Recon3D USB but of course I would prefer to utilize a line-out connection with a possible future card. I may like to see 2nd hand Z or Zx soundcard prices once the ZxR comes out...
post #174 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post
I must admit, I played with the Recon3D settings once, found what settings I liked best with Starcraft II, and then... Only played StarCraft II and Xbox games with it (so far). I want to get a great game for PC to really give my system a run for it's money (So far I've been quite happy with a Sandy Bridge Core i3 and a NVIDIA GTS 250, runs the Crysis demo on high settings and looks amazing compared to Xbox). But I haven't much experience PC gaming overall (yet), and conversations with Roller & Nameless have led me to believe that enabling full surround capabilities is often an involved process that may even include editing .ini files... is that coding work? Bleh!

Here's a n00b question for ya, though it would be nice to know for sure: can headphone surround still be enabled when using RCA out? My fav headphone amp is RCA-in, I've been using a 3.5mm to RCA cable with my Recon3D USB but of course I would prefer to utilize a line-out connection with a possible future card. I may like to see 2nd hand Z or Zx soundcard prices once the ZxR comes out...

 

Editing .INI files is hardly coding. They're pretty much self-documented! It's just like flipping a switch.

 

Reading through source code in any programming language, though? Bleh...makes my brain hurt.

 

I don't know about the Z-series cards, but the X-Fi Titanium HD definitely does CMSS-3D Headphone through RCA-out, so I'd expect no less from the follow-up cards.

post #175 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJINFERNO806 View Post


Its definitely not as rich or "full" I guess you could say. A bit muddier even. It is still really good but a slight degrade from the STX.
I'm sure the difference in the burr brown dac and TI headamp made up for that.

I am by no means a hardcore audiophile so to me its still acceptable.


And yes the positional cues from openal games are tons better and clearer. Penumbra is now even scarier and Stalker is more immersive(mainly due to EAX as well)

If you have SBX on and windows audio control panel set to 5.1 everything will sound like crap. Headphones default to 5.1. I had to manually select stereo speaker setup. I'm currently using the line-out with all crap disabled in stereo mode and the sound is really sharp. Out of the box settings are really crap for music (or pretty much everyhting to be honest).

 

Zx does produce more detail than Forte but I think Forte had a bit wider stereo image. I'm not sure which is more true to the intended sound.


Edited by Anarion - 1/31/13 at 3:38am
post #176 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

I must admit, I played with the Recon3D settings once, found what settings I liked best with Starcraft II, and then... Only played StarCraft II and Xbox games with it (so far). I want to get a great game for PC to really give my system a run for it's money (So far I've been quite happy with a Sandy Bridge Core i3 and a NVIDIA GTS 250, runs the Crysis demo on high settings and looks amazing compared to Xbox). But I haven't much experience PC gaming overall (yet), and conversations with Roller & Nameless have led me to believe that enabling full surround capabilities is often an involved process that may even include editing .ini files... is that coding work? Bleh!

Here's a n00b question for ya, though it would be nice to know for sure: can headphone surround still be enabled when using RCA out? My fav headphone amp is RCA-in, I've been using a 3.5mm to RCA cable with my Recon3D USB but of course I would prefer to utilize a line-out connection with a possible future card. I may like to see 2nd hand Z or Zx soundcard prices once the ZxR comes out...

I've only ever had to edit 2 games' ini files ever in my life to enable surround and that's because openal and the stx didn't like each other. And these are older games. Every other game uses surround as long as the windows mixer setting is properly setup for 5.1/7.1


With my new Z openal works beautifully and enables surround no problem.

Anarion, I turn sbx off for music because surround makes it sound weird. Unfortunately I can't use line out with my pc350 since they are higher impedence and it doesn't power the cans fully. I need the amp. The solution will be to get the zxr.
post #177 of 2563

There's one thing that I don't quite like: sound stage. It sound rather in your head for some reason, almost monoish. Even Realtek ALC1200 has wider sound which is really weird and the difference to Forte is large. Hmm... Also the volume levels are insane.

 

EDIT:

I think I found the reason why. It seems to be that the speaker setup thingy was causing issues (speaker position setting to be precise). Reinstalled the driver without it. So if you use line-out for headphones, watch out... Now it sounds like it should. No wonder why my ears got tired, it was messed up. Cleaned registy too so that there shouldn't be any pre-reinstall settings left. It may have made difference to headphone out too.

 

Oh I'd love to get simple option to disable every freakking thing and jsut get 100% pure audio without any "fixes" or adjustments.


Edited by Anarion - 1/31/13 at 8:33am
post #178 of 2563

Pure audio would be pretty easy on an X-Fi card. Audio Creation Mode, bit-matched playback, ASIO plugins...

 

Unfortunately, it seems like the Sound Core3D cards dropped ASIO support entirely.

post #179 of 2563
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Pure audio would be pretty easy on an X-Fi card. Audio Creation Mode, bit-matched playback, ASIO plugins...

 

Unfortunately, it seems like the Sound Core3D cards dropped ASIO support entirely.

There's always WASAPI. Though I do miss the multi client ASIO support. Driver could use hifi mode. Who knows, maybe they improve drivers - ZxR would definitely benefit from something like that since I rather doubt that the target audience of that card keeps SBX on while listening music...

post #180 of 2563
Oh, in the Newegg video where they interviewed Creative about the first two Z-series cards, I specifically remember them mentioning ASIO support was important to them and either it was supported or they were adding support. The really encouraging part is that Creative is still active with these cards, they're still working on them and pushing them. Egads, they have some incomplete marketing efforts though.
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