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Advice/Info: Sound Card for gaming for Brainwavz HM5 and 5.1 speakers, Compatibility of APIs.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Hello, I am complete n00b with regards to these Dolby Digital, EAX, virtual surround sound APIs and sound cards in general. I tried reading the Mad Lust Envy and Nameless Guide to PC Audio, but I still am not clear and have many doubts in my mind.

 

I currently have a ASUS p7p55d motherboard which has this on-board soundcard which has these features (copy pasted)

VIA® VT1828S 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC.
- Absolute Pitch BD192/24
- DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC
- BD audio layer Content Protection
- Supports Jack-Detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-Retasking
- Optical S/PDIF out ports at back I/O.
 
So my requirements are these:
1. I am a FPS gamer, play primarily BF3 and will play BF4 so I am looking foward to get the most out of the HM5's soundstage/Positional Audio so I want to know what should I do for achieving that. (the HM5 is still in-transit, still haven't tried it)
2. Also equally important is the Music aspect of it..; should be able to drive the HM5 (impedance:ohms, sensitivity:105dB at 1mW), preferrably without altering or colouring the sound signature.
3. Would be buying a mid end 5.1 speaker setup for movies in the future (1-2 yrs).
 
So I have a lot of questions and doubts in my mind:
- So, would this DTS Surround Sensation UltraPC in my soundcard be able to expand the soundstage/enhance positional audio? I tried turning it ON with my 2.1 speaker, the sound was different, but not better was kinda strange and wide.
-Are these APIs only effective for speakers or for headphones too?
-So if I have a soundcard with a API support (say Dolby Digital) should the speaker/headphone should support it too ?
-So if I have a soundcard with a API support (say Dolby Digital) should the headphone should be true 5.1 ??
-Saw in website of Asus Xonar saying that it has a much cleaner audio due to high SNR. Is my soundcard bad? Anyone knows the SNR of my on-board audio? P.S: I have tried HM3 and Audio Technica ATH-M50 and I wasn't WOWed at all. Was having some  distortion and a dark, muddy sound with grain in the details like a cheap headphone. didn't sound natural at all. my cheap Philips headphones have sounded better in it. Is my on-board not able to drive these, is that the reason??
-Is my soundcard enough for my requirements ?? If not what should I buy? I would like to get a value/budget one. preferrably with a Dolby Digital/DTS or some API that can make movies a pleasure when I get a 5.1 speaker set in the future. Also don't want very high end ones. budget below: $100.
 
Thanks.
post #2 of 5

(What kind of budget did you have for the 5.1 speaker setup?)

If you buy a 5.1 surround sound speaker audio system, that comes with HDMI input, and your graphics card has HDMI output, then the speakers would not need to be used add-on sound card.

Good setup (HDMI) for getting the most out of a Blu-ray movie, using speaker audio.

 

Second best speaker audio is to run S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) from your computer to the 5.1 speaker system.

 

SBZ or SBZx (Sound blaster Z & Zx) sound card ($80-$135) comes with an analog 5.1 output, so just about any "computer audio" 5.1 speaker setup ($75-$300) could plug right in.

and the SBZ & SBZx come with a separate headphone output.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks, Yes my graphic card has HDMI. I would be buying a 5.1 along something those lines...something high end if worth it.

 

Also I see you have HM5 and other DT770s DT880s in your setup... I have bought a HM5 for music and gaming purposes, got it for $100. I have heard it has a good/decent soundstage. So, would it suffice for gaming/positional audio needs ? I am asking your opinion because you own high end cans with better/best soundstages. How does it compare?

post #4 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bloodmeister View Post

Thanks, Yes my graphic card has HDMI. I would be buying a 5.1 along something those lines...something high end if worth it.

 

Also I see you have HM5 and other DT770s DT880s in your setup... I have bought a HM5 for music and gaming purposes, got it for $100. I have heard it has a good/decent soundstage. So, would it suffice for gaming/positional audio needs ? I am asking your opinion because you own high end cans with better/best soundstages. How does it compare?

Did you have a budget for the 5.1 home audio setup?

 

I bought the HM5 because I wanted decent low costing closed headphones, they do provide a very clear sound, but they are too bass light compared to my other headphones.

so i really do not use the HM5s anymore.

I never gamed with the HM5s, but they seemed good for watching movies/TV

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

No. I do not have a budget for the 5.1. will decide it later :)

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