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Asus Xonar U7 DAC/AMP Appreciation & Impressions Thread - Page 11

post #151 of 341

What do you guys think of Creative Omni? Worth trying? I heard good things about SBX Pro.

post #152 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
 

I recently bought the Xonar X3 and absolutely loved Dolby Headphones.  I'd set the number of audio channels to 6 (5.1) Turn on Dolby Headphone (dh1) and set surround in BF4....sounded great.  I loved it so much I decided to upgrade to U7....It arrived today and here is what I found:

 

Dolby Home Theatre and the U7 in general seems to be crippled to 2 channel audio when in Headphone Mode. This renders Dolby Headphones into more of a stereo expander rather than a 5.1/7.1 virtualizer like it was in the U3 and the older sound cards.  The newer internal sound cards seems to have fallen into the same sad shape.   I have no idea why this was done but you can read these links and see for yourself that Asus is aware of it but hasn't made any indication that it will ever be changed. 

 

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?34437-Stumbled-upon-advanced-tunning-for-dolby-home-theatre&highlight=dolby+home+theatre

 

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?40778-Whql-win-8.1-driver&p=344867&viewfull=1#post344867

 

 

So as of right now it seems that my upgrade wasn't much of an upgrade if I want to continue using Dolby Headphones....as a matter of fact I think it was actually a downgrade.

 

I'll keep fiddling with things.....if any one has different info I'd love to hear it.

 

Thanks in advance!


Dolby Theater is exactly the same, it just does it behind of what u see, it activates Shifter 7.1 automatically and 5.1 surround, I tried to test 7.1 speakers but it doesn't work. in games u can feel the differences and don't use Surround in BF4. use Hi-Fi and Stereo. Surround is if you use real 5.1 or 7.1 not virtual. That's what I heard from people and it does sound better as I played more with Stereo.


Edited by x7007 - 2/17/14 at 9:04pm
post #153 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by x7007 View Post
 


Dolby Theater is exactly the same, it just does it behind of what u see, it activates Shifter 7.1 automatically and 5.1 surround, I tried to test 7.1 speakers but it doesn't work. in games u can feel the differences and don't use Surround in BF4. use Hi-Fi and Stereo. Surround is if you use real 5.1 or 7.1 not virtual. That's what I heard from people and it does sound better as I played more with Stereo.

Hi Thanks for the reply.

 

I just received the U7 so as I have time I'll try to get it setup so that Dolby Theater's Dolby Headphone sounds like it did on my U3.

 

I just can't get over the fact that Windows shows it as only being 2 channel audio when in Headphone mode.....are you sure it switches on 5.1 in the background somehow?  If you don't mind me asking, where did you get that info from?

 

I'll try using Stereo Mode instead of Surround in BF4....but that doesn't seem right.  How can Dolby Headphones know what to put in the right rear channel if it is only being fed 2 channel (left/right) audio?  I would think Dolby Headphones would need to be fed the discrete 6 audio channels (5.1) in order to downmix/virtualize that info into 2 channel stereo....but I'm not an expert....

 

I just can't get over the feeling that U7/Dolby Theater has castrated Dolby Headphones by feeding it only 2 channel audio.....hopefully I am wrong.

post #154 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harvester View Post
 

Hi Thanks for the reply.

 

I just received the U7 so as I have time I'll try to get it setup so that Dolby Theater's Dolby Headphone sounds like it did on my U3.

 

I just can't get over the fact that Windows shows it as only being 2 channel audio when in Headphone mode.....are you sure it switches on 5.1 in the background somehow?  If you don't mind me asking, where did you get that info from?

 

I'll try using Stereo Mode instead of Surround in BF4....but that doesn't seem right.  How can Dolby Headphones know what to put in the right rear channel if it is only being fed 2 channel (left/right) audio?  I would think Dolby Headphones would need to be fed the discrete 6 audio channels (5.1) in order to downmix/virtualize that info into 2 channel stereo....but I'm not an expert....

 

I just can't get over the feeling that U7/Dolby Theater has castrated Dolby Headphones by feeding it only 2 channel audio.....hopefully I am wrong.


It says on the Xonar Phoebus manual, that Dolby Theater is the new GUI for Dolby 7.1 Shifter and 5.1 Surround, what it does is Downmix and not upmix, so you can't have real Speakers on your headphones,, they are virtual, so what it makes is Surround to 2 headphones, not distercte speakers. I saw people say use Stereo cause you have already Dolby Surround doing the surround. U need surround only when you have Real Speakers, cause Hi-Fi is already 5.1 and maybe Home Cinema is 7.1 I'm not sure, but u use Hi-Fi so you need Stereo and Dolby surround does the virtual surround.

post #155 of 341

Hi all,

I had a little conversation with Dolby last year regarding this issue. Please check:

 

Me:

As a long time user of Dolby Headphone technology from Asus Xonar soundcards, I am concerned that the new Dolby® Home Theater v4 headphone implementation found on the Xonar U7 might be inferior to the classical Dolby Headphone. Please clarify that for me.

 

Thanks Peter

 

Hi Peter

I apologize for the delay in responding to your email, the team was attending E3 last week. The algorithms between Dolby Headphone and Dolby Home Theater v4 for headphone virtualization are the same, so there shouldn’t be any difference. You may be hearing a difference because DHT v4 features things like volume leveling, dialogue enhancement, etc.

I hope this helps. Best

 

The Dolby Game Team

 

Me:

 

Hi again,

here comes the next question. This is a big discussion on HeadFi.org. When DHT v4 is activated for headphone use, does Windows or the running application send real 5.1 or 7.1 to the sound processor ? Or does it only provide stereo information that is kind of processed to sound like surround. So is it real multi-channel information or only stereo the basis for what DHT v4 sends to the headphone? That is very important for a lot of FPS gamers out on HeadFi.org and elsewhere. And the new interface tells us nothing about what’s going on behind the curtain…

Please clarify

 

Peter

 

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the email. In Dolby Home Theater v4 the headphone virtualizer algorithm receives and processes discrete multichannel audio. Hope this helps. -

 

The Dolby Game Team

 

For me the the issue is solved, because it works audible. It works in games like COD, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Crysis 3, and in movies like The Matrix. Only that Windows shows 2 speakers only makes us all worry.... but as I said it works perfectly. I also have the Xonar U1 which uses the old interface with DH and all that stuff. Windows shows up to 8 speaker when I use it, but the effects are the same as on the U7, only that the U7 sounds better overall.

post #156 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by pietcux View Post

Hi all,
I had a little conversation with Dolby last year regarding this issue. Please check:

Me:
As a long time user of Dolby Headphone technology from Asus Xonar soundcards, I am concerned that the new Dolby® Home Theater v4 headphone implementation found on the Xonar U7 might be inferior to the classical Dolby Headphone. Please clarify that for me.

Thanks Peter

Hi Peter
I apologize for the delay in responding to your email, the team was attending E3 last week. The algorithms between Dolby Headphone and Dolby Home Theater v4 for headphone virtualization are the same, so there shouldn’t be any difference. You may be hearing a difference because DHT v4 features things like volume leveling, dialogue enhancement, etc.
I hope this helps. Best

The Dolby Game Team

Me:

Hi again,
here comes the next question. This is a big discussion on HeadFi.org. When DHT v4 is activated for headphone use, does Windows or the running application send real 5.1 or 7.1 to the sound processor ? Or does it only provide stereo information that is kind of processed to sound like surround. So is it real multi-channel information or only stereo the basis for what DHT v4 sends to the headphone? That is very important for a lot of FPS gamers out on HeadFi.org and elsewhere. And the new interface tells us nothing about what’s going on behind the curtain…
Please clarify

Peter

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the email. In Dolby Home Theater v4 the headphone virtualizer algorithm receives and processes discrete multichannel audio. Hope this helps. -

The Dolby Game Team

For me the the issue is solved, because it works audible. It works in games like COD, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Crysis 3, and in movies like The Matrix. Only that Windows shows 2 speakers only makes us all worry.... but as I said it works perfectly. I also have the Xonar U1 which uses the old interface with DH and all that stuff. Windows shows up to 8 speaker when I use it, but the effects are the same as on the U7, only that the U7 sounds better overall.


nice then. the problem is to choose in games 5.1 always yes ? Not stereo or headphones. and in battlefield 4 surround or stereo ?
post #157 of 341
If you need stereo, you can disable Dolby completely.
post #158 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by pietcux View Post

If you need stereo, you can disable Dolby completely.

but should I select with DD stereo or surround and why.
post #159 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by pietcux View Post
 

Hi all,

I had a little conversation with Dolby last year regarding this issue. Please check:

 

Me:

As a long time user of Dolby Headphone technology from Asus Xonar soundcards, I am concerned that the new Dolby® Home Theater v4 headphone implementation found on the Xonar U7 might be inferior to the classical Dolby Headphone. Please clarify that for me.

 

Thanks Peter

 

Hi Peter

I apologize for the delay in responding to your email, the team was attending E3 last week. The algorithms between Dolby Headphone and Dolby Home Theater v4 for headphone virtualization are the same, so there shouldn’t be any difference. You may be hearing a difference because DHT v4 features things like volume leveling, dialogue enhancement, etc.

I hope this helps. Best

 

The Dolby Game Team

 

Me:

 

Hi again,

here comes the next question. This is a big discussion on HeadFi.org. When DHT v4 is activated for headphone use, does Windows or the running application send real 5.1 or 7.1 to the sound processor ? Or does it only provide stereo information that is kind of processed to sound like surround. So is it real multi-channel information or only stereo the basis for what DHT v4 sends to the headphone? That is very important for a lot of FPS gamers out on HeadFi.org and elsewhere. And the new interface tells us nothing about what’s going on behind the curtain…

Please clarify

 

Peter

 

Hi Peter,

Thanks for the email. In Dolby Home Theater v4 the headphone virtualizer algorithm receives and processes discrete multichannel audio. Hope this helps. -

 

The Dolby Game Team

 

For me the the issue is solved, because it works audible. It works in games like COD, Battlefield Bad Company 2 and Crysis 3, and in movies like The Matrix. Only that Windows shows 2 speakers only makes us all worry.... but as I said it works perfectly. I also have the Xonar U1 which uses the old interface with DH and all that stuff. Windows shows up to 8 speaker when I use it, but the effects are the same as on the U7, only that the U7 sounds better overall.

 

 

Sounds great.  I also sent them a message basically asking the same things you did but I haven't received an answer yet.

 

BTW, Have you ever seen the DHTV4 manual the Xonar manual refers to?  Google search turned up nothing.

 

I also have both the U7 and the U7 Echelon Edition.  If anyone has any questions about the differences between the 2 models are I'd do my best to answer them.

 

Some obvious differences I've noticed:

 

a) The Echelon Edition definately has a quieter Headphone Amp.  I remember reading somewhere that the Echelon Edition was optimized for gaming headphones....maybe this is the reason it is not as powerful.

 

b) The Xear Panel has been replaced by the Sonic Studio panel.  The Sonic Studio panel has most setting all on one page at the expense of some custom setting.  For example, I do not think you can set the room size for the headphone virtualization on the new panel.  

 

c) The Echelon Edition also includes the Sonic Radar that is included with some of Asus motherboards.  It seems kind of gimmicky and I don't see much use for it really.

 

d)  The Echelon Edition also seems to missing the ASIO driver that I see on the regular U7.  I'm not familiar with this so I'm not sure if that makes a difference.

 

I'm sure there are other differences....let me know if you have any questions.....

 

Here is a review of the Echelon Edition where you can see the new control panels:

 

http://www.kitguru.net/components/soundcard/zardon/asus-xonar-u7-echelon-edition-review/

post #160 of 341

Hi Harvester, 

 

Honestly, I don't think there should be any sound quality differences (others than effects used for gaming) between the regular U7 and the Echelon version of U7, mostly because hardware is exactly the same and ASUS specs looks identical on paper. So, if your original U7 has some background noise on headphones, then this might be caused by your sound source or by ASUS software or defective drivers. I'm only using the U7 for music and while listening, I always make sure that Dolby and ASUS control panel software are closed and all sound options are OFF (there should be a Hi-Fi setting in ASUS control panel). For testing background noise I always use sensitive 32ohms like AKG 550 or IEMs and trust me: U7 has no background noise at all (at max. gain and max. volume!).

 

Besides the external aspect, I believe the only difference between the 2 cards would be the firmware; that's why when I was trying to install Echelon drivers & software on U7 didn't let me. :(

 

If you're able to take some inside screenshots and post'em here would be great. Also, if you can find some pictures with internal components of Echelon on Internet, please let us know. This way we can find out if there really should be any differences between U7 and Echelon, besides the ASUS software included in the package.

 

Regards!

post #161 of 341
Thread Starter 

So who will be the first to hack the echelon firmware on the classic one? :)

post #162 of 341

Hi Folks,

 

I'm planning to buy this (apparently) wonderful piece of hardware. However, I was wondering if the following is possible? I'd like to set the u7 up like this:

 

PC -> U7 -> 5.1 system (via optical/coax)

                -> Headphone via front (ill plug them in only when using)

 

Now, as far as i know, the u7 will automatically switch to the headphone setting when connecting a pair of headphones? Can I configurate the u7 so that, when I have no headphones attached, the u7 outputs dolby digital live over optical/coax to my sound system and then when I plug in my headphones, it switches to Dolby Headphone? And in reverse ofcourse, when I remove the headphones?

 

I hope my situation is clear, thanks in advance for any insights =)

post #163 of 341

Mine always switches to headphone when I plug them in. Only in some games and application the driver crashes on switching in the process. So you'd better decide before you start an app if you want speakers or headphones. This will probably be fixed by a new driver revision sooner or later.

post #164 of 341
Quote:
Originally Posted by raoultrifan View Post
 

Hi Harvester, 

 

Honestly, I don't think there should be any sound quality differences (others than effects used for gaming) between the regular U7 and the Echelon version of U7, mostly because hardware is exactly the same and ASUS specs looks identical on paper. So, if your original U7 has some background noise on headphones, then this might be caused by your sound source or by ASUS software or defective drivers. I'm only using the U7 for music and while listening, I always make sure that Dolby and ASUS control panel software are closed and all sound options are OFF (there should be a Hi-Fi setting in ASUS control panel). For testing background noise I always use sensitive 32ohms like AKG 550 or IEMs and trust me: U7 has no background noise at all (at max. gain and max. volume!).

 

Besides the external aspect, I believe the only difference between the 2 cards would be the firmware; that's why when I was trying to install Echelon drivers & software on U7 didn't let me. :(

 

If you're able to take some inside screenshots and post'em here would be great. Also, if you can find some pictures with internal components of Echelon on Internet, please let us know. This way we can find out if there really should be any differences between U7 and Echelon, besides the ASUS software included in the package.

 

Regards!

Bad choice of words on my part.  When I said that the amp was quieter on the Echelon version I meant that it was not as loud.  :-)   But you are correct.  I reinstalled the Echelon version and the two version do indeed have the same volume level on headphones.  If I see a review with pictures of the internal components I will link it here.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xepo View Post
 

Hi Folks,

 

I'm planning to buy this (apparently) wonderful piece of hardware. However, I was wondering if the following is possible? I'd like to set the u7 up like this:

 

PC -> U7 -> 5.1 system (via optical/coax)

                -> Headphone via front (ill plug them in only when using)

 

Now, as far as i know, the u7 will automatically switch to the headphone setting when connecting a pair of headphones? Can I configurate the u7 so that, when I have no headphones attached, the u7 outputs dolby digital live over optical/coax to my sound system and then when I plug in my headphones, it switches to Dolby Headphone? And in reverse ofcourse, when I remove the headphones?

 

I hope my situation is clear, thanks in advance for any insights =)

I do not use the optical connector but I can tell you that the manual says that the speaker/headphones are muted while you are using  DDL through the optical output.   I would think that you can indeed leave the headphones plugged in and just switch between between the two depending on which you wanted to use at the time....maybe someone that actually uses the optical output could tell you for sure.

 

Also, the dolby headphones option is in software so I you will have to manually turn that off and on....but it's not that difficult to do

post #165 of 341

Thank you for your answers, both of you =)

 

I can see that switching in the software is a breeze, but I'm trying to create a system that does almost everything automatic; so for my purpose I think I'd better go for DDL output on my realtek soundcard and then split the optical; one going to my receiver and one going to something like a mixamp.

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