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Dolby Headphone: External Processor vs AVR

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

I game on a PS3 and have always used external devices with DH like the TB DSS and Astro A50's. The thing is, most (if not all) of these common DH external processors can only accept DD 5.1 through optical as the max resolution.

 

I recently found out some AVRs include Dolby Headphone. This means I could now run HDMI and not be limited to the PS3 DD5.1 optical limit. Does this mean Dolby Headphone would perform better with a 7.1 HDMI source?

post #2 of 21
Pretty sure DH takes the hidden compressed signal off the HD audio, so there is no benefit. Unless Dolby Headphone has been updated to convert lossless audio (haven't heard of that), it's just taking in standard Dolby Digital off those master files. I use my receiver with DH, and it sounds like my old Mixamp, just with better quality due to better internals.
post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hmmm...makes sense, I wasnt aware that DD5.1 was transmitted along with the HD audio files at the same time.

 

I did read on Dolbys website "Delivers 7.1-channel surround experience from content preprocessed with Dolby Pro Logic IIz"

 

I guess PLIIz is the only way to get DH to simulate 7.1?

 

So what this is saying is the source(PS3) has to output in PLIIz to the receiver, which will then convert it to DH? I think I just confused myself...


Edited by rc10mike - 4/22/13 at 7:50pm
post #4 of 21

I believe that's only necessary with S/PDIF interfaces, due to bandwidth limitations.

 

Basically, Pro Logic IIz matrixes the extra 7.1 channels into some of the existing discrete channels of a 5.1 Dolby Digital/AC-3 signal, much like how basic Dolby Pro Logic II matrixes an entire 5.1 signal into only two channels for transmission over "stereo" sources (which is how PS2, GameCube, and Wii games generally handled surround sound; the PS2 could generally only handle discrete Dolby Digital in cutscenes).

 

Needless to say, S/PDIF bandwidth limits that gave Dolby Digital and DTS a reason to exist aren't a problem for HDMI. (Or computer sound cards.)

 

The Dolby Headphone implementation should just be able to apply the processing directly to the 7.1 source once decoded into its component parts, regardless of what it was originally encoded in.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

I guess Ill have to try it for myself...I have a Marantz SR6005 on the way, which the manual states it can decode ANY and ALL formats to DH..I guess Ill see how that goes.

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc10mike View Post

I guess Ill have to try it for myself...I have a Marantz SR6005 on the way, which the manual states it can decode ANY and ALL formats to DH..I guess Ill see how that goes.

Did you receive your Marantz yet and give the Dolby Headphone a try? 

 

Could you do a comparison of Blu-ray audio with Dolby Headphone active using the compressed Dolby Digital 5.1 signal vs TrueHD signal - do you notice any difference?  

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

No, I wont be able to try it out fr another month or so:(
 

post #8 of 21

OK, let's hear an update!  Last post 5/2013.  :)

 

I'd really like to see a thread on cheap AVRs to check out that work great with output from a PS3/PS4 for positional queues in COD via dolby headphones.

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 
post #10 of 21
Do you experience any sound delay? I cannot stand any lag of sorts, sound, image, mouse, perhaps due to my old school fps quakeworld/quake3/cs cpl background. While I wasn't that good in grand scheme of things, I still have zero tolerance. I finally moved from a CRT monitor lol.

I'd love the opportunity to compare to my mixamp 2011 and dss1 setups with my modded ad700 cans. My money is still thinking no viable difference. I want to pick up a schiit magni to try my hd580 cans.
post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Nope, I never have any audio lag when using my AVR.
post #12 of 21

OK, I picked up one of those Yamaha RX-V673 7.2-Channel Network AV Receivers for a crackhead deal on amazon!  I can't wait to see how it compares.....

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prodeje79 View Post
 

OK, let's hear an update!  Last post 5/2013.  :)

 

I'd really like to see a thread on cheap AVRs to check out that work great with output from a PS3/PS4 for positional queues in COD via dolby headphones.

Marantz AVR's, even used ones, aren't cheap.  You might try looking for an older Harmon Kardon one (I read somewhere that all the ones with 3 numbers in the model have DH).  I have a HK AVR340 and it does DH over optical.  It's old enough that it doesn't have HDMI.

 

That said, if you're spending money on a new AVR with DH to replace an existing one, you're probably better off just getting a Mixamp and using your existing AVR to amp the output of the Mixamp.

 

BTW, there's no perceptible audio lag as far as I can tell. With my setup, I have the optical out from the XBone going right to the AVR and the HDMI going to the TV. If anything, the TV's processing should cause more video lag/delay than the sound (meaning that if there is any video lag in the system, the sound should come FIRST!).

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 

Marantz AVR's, even used ones, aren't cheap.  You might try looking for an older Harmon Kardon one (I read somewhere that all the ones with 3 numbers in the model have DH).  I have a HK AVR340 and it does DH over optical.  It's old enough that it doesn't have HDMI.

 

That said, if you're spending money on a new AVR with DH to replace an existing one, you're probably better off just getting a Mixamp and using your existing AVR to amp the output of the Mixamp.

 

BTW, there's no perceptible audio lag as far as I can tell. With my setup, I have the optical out from the XBone going right to the AVR and the HDMI going to the TV. If anything, the TV's processing should cause more video lag/delay than the sound (meaning that if there is any video lag in the system, the sound should come FIRST!).

Even some of the old lower-end Marantz come with Dolby Headphone. The problem is, its not an advertized feature. Most online retailers never even list Dolby Headphone or anything to do with the headphone output. The only way to find out for sure is to go the the actual manufacturers website to verify.

post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by rc10mike View Post
 

Even some of the old lower-end Marantz come with Dolby Headphone. The problem is, its not an advertized feature. Most online retailers never even list Dolby Headphone or anything to do with the headphone output. The only way to find out for sure is to go the the actual manufacturers website to verify.

I have found, here on Head-fi, a list of all the Marantz AVR's with DH.  Someone put it together because he was doing the research anyways and posted it for posterity.  I'm sure you can find it with a little Google-fu.

 

But again, even a "low end" Marantz used is in the $3-400+ range.  For that price range, I'd sooner get a newer Yamaha or something with Silent Cinema and get the benefit of HDMI 1.4, wifi, DLNA, etc.  YMMV, obviously... this isn't the best website for convincing someone that a $1000 piece of audio equipment is a poor value.  :-D

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