or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › I need Help upgrading....too much information to comb through!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I need Help upgrading....too much information to comb through!!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

EDIT:  i think i need help tweaking my current setup....i feel that i have massive amounts of potential sound improvements across my systems various areas to adjust settings....

 

i dont feel i'm getting the best 'surround' experience for games, and i do not think i'm getting the best sound quality while listening to music. 

 

any help?? didnt see any guides. 

 

 

 

 

 

i need help upgrading my desktop setup. this will not be a portable upgrade. 

 

reason for asking: information overload. there are so many options that i didnt know where to start. i know the basics of what headphones are good...its more a question of amp/dac or sound card etc.

 

 

current setup:

 

z68XP-UD3 (not sure what realtek/otherbrand sound specs are)

EVGA GTX-460 (disabled all 5trillion of the nvidia sound devices in device manager)

x-fi titanium pro(fatal1ty?) pci-e

ATH-AD700s

 

 

 

 

used for: 

lots of gaming

simulations

shooters

strategy

mobas

 

Spotify (with high quality streaming enabled)

minimal amount of locally stored music. VERY minimal. 

 

 

 

what i don't like:

i tried on a pair of headphones in the pc gaming section of best buy last night and the quality of the faux-dolby-surround literally blew my mind. i've always wondered whether or not my x-fi was actually giving me surround in games....it really doesnt sound any different than if i plug my ad700s into my motherboards jack except that its maybe 1/4 as loud at max volume due to the x-fi amp. 

 

this is not to be confused with me saying the sound quality was better. if i had listened to music i know my cans would've sounded far better...the sound is more detailed than a pair of frackin' turtle bays any day i imagine. but that gaming headset REALLY threw me for a loop...it was like i had forgotten what my old pair of logitech g930s had been like. 

 

 

What i want to accomplish:

more immersive experience with gaming? be it better headphones or a much better surround experience...or diagnosing whether or not dolby surround is working in games and/or some other setting isnt correct and causing me to never use virtual surround. 

 

I don't want to spend money unless the difference is going to be noticable to any person, not just a person who knows what to listen for. In short, i feel like i just need to be Wow'd. the difference between the AD700s and the cheap pair of headphones i previously used was a big wow for me..how much louder i could get the cans to be on the x-fi card was a wow....the quality of sound in the x-fi and dedicated realtek stuff was unnoticable to me. i just plugged in my headphones to the onboard audio and enabled all the stuff in device manager and i literally notice zero difference other than i now have the volume all the way up. 

 

Budget:

 

not sure. as i said above, its all about making sure its going to actually impress me. 

 

 

sorry for the novel, and thanks for the help!! 


Edited by bronco862 - 5/5/14 at 8:44am
post #2 of 11

You should check out this thread for different headphone choices. 

Questions about your source for gaming? post here

 

Soundstage-wise, it's not going to get that much better than the ad700. But those cans has a serious bass deficiency. I think your best option is to get an open headphone that at least has a neutral amount of bass, which would add to immersion a lot. (dt880, k702 anniversary, k712)

 

What's your budget?

post #3 of 11

One other option: use a red motherboard, like from MSI or Asus. MSI's have a high-power op-amp for 600ohm dynamic driver headphones, and Dolby Headphone is already built into the driver. Don't think too much on the quality of the DAC chip - for this application as long as the signal is generally flat, and in this case the analog signal won't have to travel to another component, it just stays on the same motherboard until it goes to the headphone, that's good enough. No need to stress over how another DAC might have a discrete analog output you probably won't be able to send out the Dolby Headphone signal to such a DAC anyway.

 

These high-powered op-amps will likely do a much better job of running gaming headsets. Even my blue MSI motherboard does better than the USB soundcard that came with mine, so the red motherboard will give you the driving power of an affordable, high-power Class A/B amp for hi-fi headphones. You just need to work a mic into that set-up.

 

Still, if your motherboard's fairly new, I suggest holding off for a while and just enjoy what you have for now. I made the mistake of relying on the DAC-Amp I had at the time and bought a similar Z87 motherboard from MSI (what sold me on it was the guaranteed USB power) but fro my next build I'm definitely getting one those red motherboards. Plus I'm planning to go mITX next from my current mATX.


Edited by ProtegeManiac - 5/1/14 at 7:45pm
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

bump. read the edit in my op thread.....i think its my settings that i need to adjust...not neccessarily an upgrade. 

post #5 of 11

Well, x-fi you say? If you could post some pictures or the exact model please?

 

Maybe you can find some demo videos of cmss-3d which the x-fi cards utilize.

 

Generally, cmss-3d isn't as immersive as dolby, but it makes for better positioning (for me at least).

post #6 of 11

The only headphone which provides the 700's sound-stage but with somewhat better bass, will be the AKG Q701

post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 

yeah...i think i'm starting to understand that, davidsh.....is using 'dolby headphone' seperate from my sound-card or is having an x-fi card mean that i can use dolby headphone? is dolby headphone something i download and turn on or is it an x-fi setting? 

 

here is a link to my card.

 

x-fi titanium fatality pro.

 

http://support.creative.com/Products/ProductDetails.aspx?catID=1&CatName=Sound+Blaster&prodID=17791&prodName=PCI+Express+X-Fi+Titanium+Fatal1ty+Pro+Series

 

 

 

i think i just don't get how to use dolby headphone. i found what looks to be a good guide on getting the best music quality out of an x-fi card though so i am going to read through that for music quality. so all that's left is figuring out how to use dolby headphone instead of cmss3d. 

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

and now i feel dumb. i assumed that it could do both because i remembered dolby being all over the packaging the card came in when i purchased it. 

 

it looks like my card can do cmss3d...and if watching a dvd can use dolby live encoding as well as DTS. guess all of that is useless for me :(

 

 

so it looks like a new sound card or figure out why i am getting ZERO surround experience. i really don't think cmss3d is working properly. 

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bronco862 View Post

so it looks like a new sound card or figure out why i am getting ZERO surround experience. i really don't think cmss3d is working properly. 

Your best bet is probably to google some of the tech forums that discuss sound card configuration like Tom's Hardware and [H]ard|Forum. Surely they have talked in the past about how to configure your card.
post #10 of 11

Well, first step is trying to make cmss-3d work, I suppose. Try comparing with some demos from games etc. Anyway, cmss-3d and dolby are different approaches to the same issue. They both emulate surround through headphones. There are also other technologies that do this. It is completely individual which one works best for you. I like cmss-3d the best (personally), though dolby is more immersive.

 

Generally (in games) you should enable surround/5.1 whatever it is called and not stereo, nor headphones. You should probably also choose hardware (not software) in sound settings if possible.

 

Of course you should also enable cmss-3d on your sound card and 5/7.1 if possible.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Your best bet is probably to google some of the tech forums that discuss sound card configuration like Tom's Hardware and [H]ard|Forum. Surely they have talked in the past about how to configure your card.

Alternatively, you can post on namelesspfg's thread. Which I linked earlier
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › I need Help upgrading....too much information to comb through!!