TBH, the non Rapture 3D has just as good positioning. UT3 has very good positional audio already when you set speakermode to 5.1 from my experience even with onboard sound and openal isn't even required! I've played this game over 5000hrs and during this time lots of times I've used the sound cues to my advantage. :)
I remember I was defending a node in warfare game mode, heard an incoming manta vehicle incoming from our own base-side and shoot an AVRIL-missile before he appeared around the corner so it would instantly kill him when he showed up around the corner. Of course the other player was like "HAX!! Wallhack noob" haha
EDIT: Seems like the 5.1 vs stereo speaker config difference is also audible through that particular video. If you aren't a 5.1 speakermode user, at least give it a try for this video. The "generic software" will have good positional cues then too which can't be said when using stereo. The speaker config I usually use is (same options is obviously present through the control panel and speaker config when right clicking on the audio device):
Strange how our experiences differ so much...the "Generic Software" OpenAL device often yields less than desirable results for me, and it's not just me; just look at all these people jumping through a few hoops to get other OpenAL devices working with Amnesia: The Dark Descent, just because for some reason, Frictional Games doesn't officially support other OpenAL implementations this time! (Not sure what their problem is when they were more than happy to allow hardware OpenAL with the Penumbra series...)
Then there's our somewhat opposing opinions on CMSS-3D Headphone vs. Dolby Headphone, but I chalk that up to "CMSS-3D reduces bass and adds a bit of treble, DH does the opposite, and you're a self-admitted basshead" as one possibility. There's probably more to it, though, like the general...what's that word to describe whether or not something sounds like there's some sort of texture or veil in the way of the sound itself that I notice with certain headphones?
I can't be bothered to set up the Realtek ALC889A on my mobo again, though. Too much risk of potentially screwing something up with the X-Fi driver installation. I'll consider it whenever I have another hard drive to run a Windows test install on for experimental purposes like this, though.
Good videos. Sure enough, my opinion remains unchanged on THX TruStudio Surround...this one's from the Titanium HD in Entertainment Mode as opposed to a Recon3D device, right?
I recorded this with CMSS-3D Headphone in the interface. We have to find out what SBX really does. THX TSP really sucks in comparison with CMSS-3D Headphone, though we have to consider that this is an Open AL Game, something extremely rare today unfortunately that gives CMSS-3D a rendering advantage (and consider that it still lacks EAX etc.). It reminds everyone what a sorry f....sorry state gaming audio is.
If people want to I can record games that don't give an advantage to anyone (aka pure middleware) and just show which solution does the "simple" virtualization better. Until then we need someone doing "my" ME run with SBX on and the same INI settings. If SBX is a renamed THX then we can forget about getting these new cards. :D
Do you mean software-mixed audio, where everything has to perform on the same virtual 5.1/7.1 level that Dolby Headphone does?
In that case, a few games like Dead Island and PlanetSide 2 spring to mind as having decent positional audio cues. I'm also tempted to throw in Just Cause 2, but that's a game that seriously needs some vertical height cues whenever I'm in a helicopter and trying to find that other enemy helicopter to shoot down...
And I find that their positional audio mixing is just...terrible, even by XAudio2 and FMOD Ex standards. Can't get any precise positional audio cues no matter how I tweak the sound settings, both in-game and with the sound card settings. It's strange how they're polarizing like this, as Mad Lust Envy's also outspoken on their poor positional audio mixing (meaning it's not just the PC version), yet a lot of other people don't seem to have any problem with it.
I wouldn't mind seeing a mod that backports the sound effects to Battlefield 2, though. Now that's the series at its finest gameplay-wise (maybe except for BF1942), and with some of the best positional audio out there to boot, courtesy of OpenAL.