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Sound Card & Headphone Setup Help

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all,
 

I was hoping someone could lend some advice on my sound card / headphone setup on my PC.

I bought in to the whole "gaming headphone" hype and bought a pair of Turtle Beach PX5s, along with an Asus Xonar DX.  Not only were the PX5s a bear to use, they sounded like crap and I kept getting wireless interference. Oh, and the battery drains pretty quickly.


So now I have a pair of older Sennheiser PC350s (a couple of years old) and I am unsure how to make the best use of them.  I have a few questions regarding my setup, keeping in mind I'm typically using these for PC gaming.

1) The 350s only come with a 3.5mm jack.  So in order to take advantage of any software surround or Dolby Headphone encoding, I need something to decode the signal.  Basically, is it correct in saying that I can't take advantage of these features without an optical connection?  

Right now I am just plugging them into the 3.5mm analog receptacle.   When I change any of the settings (5.1 / 7.1 /Dolby Headphone options) in the Asus Audio Center (except the Analog Out box) I basically don't hear any difference.  The built in effects and whatnot do not work either (see screenshot).
 

 

2) Many users have said that the 350s should be used with a MixAmp to get the most out of them.  Any recommendations?  Can the MixAmp take a optical connection as input?  If so, I would think this would solve my software "surround sound" problem....

3) There are speaker configuration options for my sound card built in to windows.  Typically I have it set to Stereo.  If I do use the 5.1 / 7.1 emulation in the Xonar settings, should I change this at all or just leave it at Stereo?
 

 


Thanks for the advice.


Edited by Cuitarded - 11/9/13 at 1:43pm
post #2 of 4

Heya,

 

Change your windows settings to not be stereo. Go to 5.1 or 7.1. Whatever you choose. Keep it as a system default. Most games are referring to the system default for "what's there" when it comes to this.

 

You cannot send a signal that will result in audio to a headphone with an optical cable. You don't need a digital connection at all here. You're not going to use if you're using the soundcard's built in dolby headphone. You have it plugged right, right now. Plug directly into the analog headphone out port on the soundcard. You don't need the optical output at all. That means you don't need SPDIF at all here.

 

Keep dolby headphone checked and on. The rest doesn't matter.

 

Then test in a game for positional cues.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mal,

Perhaps it is my sound card, but clicking Dolby Headphone (or any other Dolby setting) does not seem to do anything when I have my headphones plugged into the analog output. I typically test by playing something in the background and listening for the changes in the output.

The only time I noticed a difference was when I was using my PX5s which used the S/PDIF output.

 

You'll notice there is a volume knob and all kinds of effects / mixer options on that Asus Audio Center screen.  They don't do anything unless I am connected via S/PDIF.

EDIT:

Dolby Headphone is listed as DSP mode effects, which are under the S/PDIF options.  It seems I cannot do anything to affect the Analog Output.


Edited by Cuitarded - 11/9/13 at 1:54pm
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuitarded View Post
 

I was hoping someone could lend some advice on my sound card / headphone setup on my PC.
I bought in to the whole "gaming headphone" hype and bought a pair of Turtle Beach PX5s, along with an Asus Xonar DX.  Not only were the PX5s a bear to use, they sounded like crap and I kept getting wireless interference. Oh, and the battery drains pretty quickly.

So now I have a pair of older Sennheiser PC350s (a couple of years old) and I am unsure how to make the best use of them.  I have a few questions regarding my setup, keeping in mind I'm typically using these for PC gaming.
1) The 350s only come with a 3.5mm jack.  So in order to take advantage of any software surround or Dolby Headphone encoding, I need something to decode the signal.  Basically, is it correct in saying that I can't take advantage of these features without an optical connection?  
Right now I am just plugging them into the 3.5mm analog receptacle.   When I change any of the settings (5.1 / 7.1 /Dolby Headphone options) in the Asus Audio Center (except the Analog Out box) I basically don't hear any difference.  The built in effects and whatnot do not work either (see screenshot).
2) Many users have said that the 350s should be used with a MixAmp to get the most out of them.  Any recommendations?  Can the MixAmp take a optical connection as input?  If so, I would think this would solve my software "surround sound" problem....
3) There are speaker configuration options for my sound card built in to windows.  Typically I have it set to Stereo.  If I do use the 5.1 / 7.1 emulation in the Xonar settings, should I change this at all or just leave it at Stereo?

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio (built in sound card)? in the BIOS.

I noticed in the screenshot of the Xonar DX's control panel the "Audio channel" setting is missing, it is normally right above the "Sample rate".

So I'm guess the Xonar software might not be correctly installed.

Might try installing third party drivers "Unified Xonar Drivers".

http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

 

So first make sure the on-board audio is disabled, in the BIOS.

(deleting the on-board audio's software is optional, disabling in BIOS is the most important).

Delete the Asus Xonar software and install the Unified Xonar Drivers software.

(installing the Unified Xonar Drivers over the Asus drivers usually works too).

 

Having the on-board audio enabled, while installing the Xonar software,

might have been the cause of the bad Xonar driver installation, in the first place

 

The Asus Xonar DX is just as good, if not better, then the mix-amp, for Dolby Headphone Surround Sound.

Technically you could plug the Astro mix-amp into the Xonar DX (using optical) and the Xonar DX, using DDL (Dolby digital Live), can feed 6-channels of audio to the Mix-amp, and the Mix-amp could make Dolby Headphone from the audio feed.

But getting the Astro mix-amp in the first place, while you already have the Xonar DX, is a waste of cash in the first place.

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