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Does an Astro Mixamp improve audio technica ad700 headphones for gaming?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

About a year ago, I bought the Astro a40 2013 bundle to get the mixamp, and an "OK" headset to see me through until I got more into competitive fps. I'm ordering a pair of the ad700's due to the overwhelming acclaim of it's positional audio for the price. However, I still have this mixamp, and was wondering if it would improve these headphones when also combined with my xonar dx sound card.

 

Also, while asking on the subject of stuff that would improve these headphones, would dolby headphone give more accurate positional audio/better audio quality?

 

I'm new to this forum, and have almost no higher quality audio experience, I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, or has already been adressed. I just need some advice on this issue.

post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralFox View Post
 

About a year ago, I bought the Astro a40 2013 bundle to get the mixamp, and an "OK" headset to see me through until I got more into competitive fps. I'm ordering a pair of the ad700's due to the overwhelming acclaim of it's positional audio for the price. However, I still have this mixamp, and was wondering if it would improve these headphones when also combined with my Xonar DX sound card.

 

Also, while asking on the subject of stuff that would improve these headphones, would Dolby Headphone give more accurate positional audio/better audio quality?

 

I'm new to this forum, and have almost no higher quality audio experience, I'm sorry if this is a dumb question, or has already been adressed. I just need some advice on this issue.

I'm guessing it's better to let the Xonar DX do the Headphone surround sound processing, then the Mix-amp.

So in the Xonar control panel.

Audio Channels to "8-channels"

Sample rate, I usually leave mine at 96Khz (not sure it makes a real difference for gaming).

Audio output "Headphone"

Enable S/PDIF, set to PCM (not DDL).

 

Assuming your plugging the Mix-amp into the Xonar DX's optical output.

And plug headphones into the mix-amp.

 

Personally I would sell off the Astro Mix-amp and buy a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier.

Plug the headphones into the Magni and the Magni into the Xonar DX.

 

I do prefer my Sennheiser HD558s over the ATH-AD700s, the AD700s light bass is a turn off for music and movies.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

How do DDL and PCM compare? 

post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralFox View Post
 

How do DDL and PCM compare? 


PCM is uncompressed audio, S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) can only pass 2-channels of digital PCM audio.

(I guess PCM is the standard audio channel signal)

DDL (Dolby Digital Live) can compress up to 6-channels of digital audio, that can pass thru a S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) cable.

I guess you need DDL at the other end of the cable to uncompress the digital signal back to PCM.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 

In that case, how does setting 8 audio channels work? I know with my mixamp it upscales to 7.1 virtual channels ddl by doing some processing.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by FeralFox View Post
 

In that case, how does setting 8 audio channels work? I know with my mix-amp it upscales to 7.1 virtual channels DDL by doing some processing.

I'm not an expert on DDL, but it could there is a version that allows 8-channel compression to be sent thru the S/PDIF optical cable. or Mix-amp has a feature that upscales the 6-channels to 8-channels.

Or I have no idea on what I'm talking about.

But I thinks it's better to let the Xonar DX do to processing before sending the signal thru the optical cable.

I would assume the Xonar DX's Dolby Headphone shares some of the processing with the main CPU, which the mix-amp does not have access to.

Just use the Mix-amps headphone amplifier feature.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

My astro headphones have virtual 5.1 when used through optical. Then upscaled and processed by the amp to 7.1. So in the soundcard it is set to the headsets audio of 5.1, then the mixamp does the rest. I was wondering if this would lower overall quality when used with stereo headphones like the ad700's. I think you may be right with what you are saying with letting the soundcard do the work, as the headset and mixamp are partially developed to do what they can with console optical audio and boost it.

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