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Beyerdynamic MMX300 / Xonar Essence STX positional gaming sound and other questions (or problems)

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I just bought a Xonar Essence STX sound card along with Beyerdynamic MMX300 based on good feedback and recommendations.

First, when I installed my STX, I got it working in a weird way.. I saw that the computer recognized my STX in the Device manager, but when I went to install the drivers.. at the end it told me to connect the device allowing me to Retry or Cancel the operation.. I clicked retry and it asked me a similar question. I cancelled it, restarted PC and saw that the Xonar audio center was in the quick bar so it was ok.

When using the Unified Xonar Drivers.. it gave me the please connect device again, selected retry , it asked me to attach device again, I selected cancel. I restarted PC , saw no icon, and tried to install driver again and it told me that installation of driver is complete.

To note I had to install my card in the PCI express x 4 slot because of my Gigabyte mobo config (This big blue thing makes it not possible to connect my card to the PCI-Exp x 1 slot.

I get sound and stuff from the card, but I've noticed when playing Black ops 2, I sometimes got game pausing and few seconds of no sound. I have an error with DataRam RamDisk Device -> RamDiskVE saying that drivers can't be installed. Does that affect my sound card?

Also, I am not really impressed with the surround sound I get from the setup of the STX / MMX 300. It's hard to tell where the sound is coming from when playing FPS shooters compared to my old Logitech z5500 5.1 system which my brother wanted to use, which causes me to ask if virtual or headphone true 5.1 is good as actual 5.1 speakers? The sound from the headphones sound like it's coming from everywhere still.

I used the Dolby headphone (DH-2), xear 3d, 7.1 speaker shifter when gaming, 8-channel

Should I return my card and headphones.. and just buy Steel series Siberia v2 headphones or Razer gaming headphones or am I expecting too much from headphones to produce good sound channel separation as actual 5.1 speaker setups?

Music is great from the setup though. Haven't tried movies yet, but I'm thinking the sound separation is pretty much the same as the games.

Anyone please help or have input? Sorry for long post.
Edited by clamchowder01 - 11/18/12 at 1:09pm
post #2 of 4

The first thing I'd try is replacing the Beyerdynamic MMX300 with something open and spacious-sounding, like the Sennheiser PC360, if its sound signature isn't to your taste. (Ideally, you'd just get a proper audiophile headphone and the ModMic, but the latter still hasn't entered its next production run.)

 

But if even that doesn't work, there's a small chance that your HRTF differs too much from the generic one used by Dolby Headphone to the point where nothing short of the Smyth Realiser is going to work for you.

 

Maybe if you asked in this thread, someone could help you better. I'm not a Xonar/C-Media user, so I don't know the driver settings all that well.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Yea, I sent a request for return to Amazon for the Beyerdynamic MMX300 (I might get them again cuz of the attached mic function).. to try out different headsets and see if I can get better surround sound ( I hope it's not my sound card and my headset is fine)

post #4 of 4

Honestly, I think it's the Xonar. I currently use a MMX300 with a Turtle Beach DSS and Creative X-Fi USB external sound card attached to my laptop, and surround sound works just great - positional accuracy is spot on in shooters. So what it looks like is Laptop -> X-Fi -> DSS -> MMX300.

 

The thing is, your headphones by themselves will never give you good simulated surround sound, they're just headphones. The best they can do is be very detailed and accurate in key frequencies so that they work very well with virtual surround processors.

 

In order to get good simulated surround sound you need to make sure that whatever card you're using supports Dolby Digital Live, which will encode the sound on games to output to multiple channels. Without DDL, typically only movies that have their sound pre-encoded into multiple channels will output as surround sound by default. I'm not very familiar with the capabilities of that particular card, but judging from some of the other problems you've had I'm guessing it's the main cause of your problems.

 

A personal note about the MMX300 after owning it for over a year: it is a very detailed, closed-back analytical headphone, which makes it ideal for positional accuracy. Open-back headphones are better for games that are more focused on ambiance/atmosphere (Skyrim) rather than positional accuracy (any shooter). While it does make a great audiophile headphone due to its balance and accuracy, it really is tuned to excel specifically for this purpose. For general music listening or appreciating game background music, an open back headphone would likely be better.

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