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Drowning in information

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

G'day Head-Fi users,

 

Well I've just spent the past 3 weeks reading the novel over in "the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound" and currently have made it to page 151.

I'm now at a point where I'm beginning to only see a blur of text and nothing new is sinking in...  This is a cry for help and advise relating to my particular requirements which I had hoped to discover solo by reading this forum inside and out.

 

Hmm where to begin - well first I'm a long time "media promoted rubbish", gaming headset user... microphones that would sound better using 2 cups and a piece of string; 5.1 (tiny) speakers from zalman and medusa as the 'true' surround sounds (and yes it's extremely accurate but the sound quality was very metallic and scratchy).  I scoffed at the idea of stereo headsets being surround and refused to listen to anyone who said otherwise... until 2 months ago when I had to pleasure of listening to a m-100.  This was heaven and with a raised eyebrow I took their advise to read the forums here

 

Now after reading so much on here I've discovered that isn't even the tip of the iceberg about what's good, what's great, and what's sex for the ears.

 

What next?  Might as well list my current rig then what I hope to achieve after that.  In no particular order:

 

Corsair SP-2500 2.1 Speaker (impulse buy... I have no idea why...)

Benq XL2420TE

OCZ 128G Vector Series SSD * 2 (raid 1)

Seagate Expansion 3TB USB3 external HDD

Zalman 1250W 80+ Platinum PSU

TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 - 450Mbps Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter

Thermaltake Water 2.0 Extreme All In One Liquid Cooling

Seagate SATA3 1TB 7200RPM 64mb Cache

NZXT Switch 810 Full Tower case
Windows 8 64bit

Logitech G710+ Mechanical Gaming Keyboard

LGE CH12NS30 Black Blue ray HD Combo

i7 3970X (OC to 4.7 when I'm bored - nothing I do really requires this)

G Skill 16G(4X4G) DDR3 2133MHZ PC3-17000 CL9(L9Q-16GBZH)

Asus RAMPAGE IV EXTREME X79

Asus GTX 690 PCI-E

Viewsonic VX2025wm (older, DVI died - using VGA)

ROG gaming mouse GX850 (was from an ASUS G73JH laptop that I bricked - no drivers available for any other PC as far as I can tell)

 

I was using a wireless World of Warcraft headset (terrible quality sound) until 2 weeks ago when I was broken into... and the thieves took a lot of my house mates items but from my room they took only the 2 PC items - 2 USB's in the front of the tower, one of which was the soundcard for the headset...  considering myself very lucky but nevertheless the headset is now a paper weight...

 

Now - what I would like to achieve:

 

  • Part time gamer *edit* guess I should clarify if it wasn't obvious - currently a PC only gamer.  When I have a chance to put my feet up.  I want that competitive edge over the typical player so I can hear the faintest footsteps and pinpoint through walls as I used to with my zalmans.
  • Newbie to audiophile but as I'm massively motivated by music I wish to listen to the most pure and nature audio my ears can handle (slight issue with my right ear - a muscle doesn't function to control the volume of sounds.  Left side is fine though).  Just a quick side note - I do still enjoy a bit of 'club' music but not the teenage techno.  More something to move to and get the blood flowing.  Bit of a bass hit is nice at times.
  • Curiously interested in other forms of music that go beyond stereo.  Totally an virgin in this area and haven't a clue what I'm talking about but I was told you can get hold of studio music that makes you feel like you're surrounded my the instruments in all directions?  Have I been fed foolish stories?

 

How I currently think I will achieve above goal:

 

  1. Disable realtek HD onboard
  2. Remove TP-LINK card from the only PCI-E slot and get a USB wireless card instead
  3. Install a creative Z,Zx,ZxR (really not sold yet on which one I should be using - not going to factor in $ value for the final decision)
  4. <insert DAC and/or AMP here if required> - all I know is they can help with a few PC related issues with audio such as interference (which i used to get with my older creative titanium), but how they work and what is the optimal one for me is ... yeah...
  5. Place orgasmic headphones on head - I've seen the AKG brand mentioned some 200 times more than anything else so far... is this a sign?

 

So with all that in mind where do I go from here?


Edited by Wibble Wobble - 2/5/14 at 3:44am
post #2 of 17

Your on the right track :evil:

 

What's the budget? Then we can surely figure something out.

 

Quote:
  • Curiously interested in other forms of music that go beyond stereo.  Totally an virgin in this area and haven't a clue what I'm talking about but I was told you can get hold of studio music that makes you feel like you're surrounded my the instruments in all directions?  Have I been fed foolish stories?

You are referring to binaural music. It is no magic or anything, but it is music mixed specifically for headphones. Pretty much all music is made with speakers in mind. Listen to Ottmar Libert - Up Close to get an idea (with headphones :p)

 

Anyhow you have been browsing the wrong thread to some degree. Mad lust envy's gaming thread will help you much more.

 

You need a good headphone and a sound card to match. You named the creative line of sound cards.. There are also the asus ones like the xonar stx.

With a sound card you will get the benefit of virtual surround, which is very good for positioning. Which technology ppl prefer is rather individual and depends highly on the ear and etc.. not something we need to discuss.

Personally I really like the old cmss-3d. Else, dolby headphones is rather nice because it is very immersive as well..

 

Give me a budget and we take it from there.. You mind open headphones?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

Let's say $1000 aussie dollars.  Yesss I'm in the land that technology forgot about unless you have the $$

post #4 of 17

With such a high budget you could also consider getting something like the xonar u3 and use the optical out to a dedicated dac or dac/amp. The u3 also runs from usb so you won't have to change your wireless card and the u3 is quite portable as well.

 

I do so as a matter of fact. My DAC has no usb input so the u3 is quite convenient, and it gives me virtual surround along with not taking up space inside my computer. The only downside is that the headphone out of the u3 ain't that good but I don't care as I don't use the headphone out anyway..

 

But I suppose it is best to decide on a headphone as the first step.. Look at MLE's guide.

 

What do you listen to (music)? And how high do you prioritize music?

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

The Xonar U3 is quite possibly an option with a DAC + AMP combo I believe.  I don't really require the portability at this point as my laptop is currently serving as a foot rest (dropping it down the stairs wasn't covered under warranty).  Having never used an optical connection before I really don't have any knowledge on how good it will be for surround sound.

 

Day off today so I'm going to go to the limited local suppliers with their 500% mark ups and see if I can sample some of the headphones that I'm seeing time and time again commented on, and compare the various surround sound options available such as Dolby, THX, etc.  In the event they actually have any decent equipment I'll report the costs and see if it will be cheaper to ship internationally (usually is) or buy locally.

 

Hopefully I will soon have a headphone selected and then work from there as to what else I should get.

 

Ohhh forgot to mention that when I was robbed my gym bag was taken (guess they used it to carry everything) and inside was my IEM's for gym.  They were sweat and water resistant so you could just wash them under the tap after use.  I can't for the life of me remember the brand but they weren't great.  Thin cable, poor sound quality and mistakenly open so it let in a lot of background noise that was distracting.  This was alright for running beside the road for traffic however it's monsoon season now where I live - running might as well be swimming.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote from MLE's guide:
 The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming: For PC Gaming Audio advice, I highly recommend you guys read this guide, which is written by NamelessPFG, and specializes in the PC related side of gaming audio, which I am 100% not knowledgeable of. I'd consider it a great extension to my own guide for those who aren't console gamers.

 

I thought there was a reason that I wasn't reading his guide and this is it.  As I don't use consoles and he doesn't use PC won't this guide be of little benefit to me?  I have however paid attention to his headphone reviews even though it's based only on DH

post #7 of 17

Ok... I'll add one small thing

 

I like the DT 990 Pro for gaming, Mad Lust recommends it to, and there is a guy on uTube who uses the DT 990 to :D

 

and best of all the DT 990 likes expensive amps and dacs 

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

Well that was a complete waste of time.  I called 4 different stores and each one said they were unable to help as they didn't have equipment.  The 5th store I called said they could help but when I arrived he said he didn't realise it was for headphones which I had stated on the phone.  It is the 'largest' of the local companies and he told me that unless I was to go to Sydney or Melbourne (+2000km away from me) I wasn't going to find anywhere with demo equipment for gear I'm after.  Knew this was most likely the case before but still a bit of a downer.

 

As I'm not 100% sold on the above idea using the Xonar U3 I will be spending my afternoon attempting to understand the difference between a Z, Zx and ZxR ... really don't know why I'm so interested in the new creative Z series?

post #9 of 17

Well, you can find clips on youtube to test out dolby, THX and what else.

 

Just remember that the u3 will be very good if you want to upgrade for better sound quality later on, as it is proven to have all its features working through the optical output. There's also the added benefit of portability and not needing to get a new wireless card.

 

Yes, MLE's guide is made with the use of dolby headphones, as most asus cards have. Creative uses a different technology. I'd still say his reviews are viable.

 

Pick your poison.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 

Firstly a bit of amazement in relation to the theft - the police called and stated they have recovered some of the goods and when I went in to inspect them one of the items was the USB to the world of warcraft headset.  It's still a rubbish headset but at least I'll have something to use in the mean time - once they return it to me in approximately 1 week...

 

So - if it comes down to the Xonar U3 and I go for the AKG K702 (if I can get a hold of it?) what in betweens should I purchase?  I won't be listening to the music loud enough for the neighbours to hear so I would assume if I required an AMP it wouldn't need to be too outrageous?

 

Xonar U3 > DAC > AMP > AKG K702 (one of the best all rounders if comments are to be believed?)?

post #11 of 17

Akg is said to be very good for gaming, yeah.. It has it's own signature as so many other headphones.. As you haven't stated what music you like the akg is as good as any other headphone, or at least it is said to be some of the best you can get for gaming.

 

Not too sure about what amp/dac to get, but I'd advice getting something a little beefier than the common portable amps. Maybe something with tubes. 

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 

Ah sorry - I'm a fan of music in general minus opera.  I seem to be preferring some of the older 70's-80's music as the years pass.  Less electronic and more natural.

 

That said I really don't have a set genre.  Just wish to feel immersed and carried away by it.

post #13 of 17
Natural and immersive aren't traits of the k701. At least with music.
post #14 of 17

Hi, I can't offer any audio advice but I must say I hope your place is more secure now. The thieves saw that you have the means to buy a lot of electronics and who knows, may even return a few months from now to see what you have replaced. I don't mean to scare you (and I hope I'm wrong) but I hope you all take good care with your safety and invest in some new security/locking features.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

Natural and immersive aren't traits of the k701. At least with music.

 

Could you perhaps make a better recommendation for an all-rounder with a slight edge to gaming.  MLE's thread has these as a 9.5/10 for gaming and 8/10 for fun which by my understanding is how enjoyable the audio is in general?  Maybe he is referring to a warmer slightly bass output?  I couldn't find an exactly explanation in his guide.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tera Girl View Post
 

Hi, I can't offer any audio advice but I must say I hope your place is more secure now. The thieves saw that you have the means to buy a lot of electronics and who knows, may even return a few months from now to see what you have replaced. I don't mean to scare you (and I hope I'm wrong) but I hope you all take good care with your safety and invest in some new security/locking features.

 

More secure...  No sadly not really as they had simply forced entry of the security door at the back of the house.  Not a lot can be done to prevent brute force entry - however I have installed a wireless PIR and magnetic door sensors.  The alarm is bloody loud and should be sufficient in deterring any future entries.  Certainly scared the crap out of me when I forgot to switched the PIR off after getting out of bed in the morning

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