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Best Sound Card For Virtual Surround With DT770?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a set of DT770 80 Ohm headphones. I have them plugged into a MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard (Realtek ALC1150). I have no external DAC or AMP. The one thing I felt could be improved is the positional audio while gaming. I know they are a closed cup headphone so I am not expecting miracles but I noticed after watching this youtube video that CMSS-3D sounded a lot better. To be ears the order was

 

1. CMSS-3D

2. SBX Pro

3. Onboard/Razer

4. Dolby headphone (sounded like I was in a cave to me)

 

The positional audio from 1 and 2 sounded better than my ALC1150 to me so I was considering getting a sound card. My concern is that CMSS-3D would mean getting a second hand card and here in the UK, for example, the Titanium HD is still fetching around £90 second hand. I am not sure I like the idea of buying an old second hand card.

 

My MSI comes with Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 which supposedly uses SBX Pro technology. The SBX Pro in the video still sounds better to me. I see you can also buy X-Fi MB3 software from Creative. This seems to have a lot more options than Cinema 2. Does anyone have any experience of both software? Does X-Fi MB3 sound better?

 

Is a SBX Pro sound card going to sound much better than ALC1150 with X-Fi MB3?

 

Is there a recommended sound card or would I be better sticking with ALC1150 and getting X-Fi MB3?

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddFour View Post
 

I have a set of DT770 80 Ohm headphones. I have them plugged into a MSI Z97 Gaming 5 motherboard (Realtek ALC1150). I have no external DAC or AMP. The one thing I felt could be improved is the positional audio while gaming. I know they are a closed cup headphone so I am not expecting miracles but I noticed after watching this youtube video that CMSS-3D sounded a lot better. To be ears the order was

1. CMSS-3D

2. SBX Pro

3. Onboard/Razer

4. Dolby headphone (sounded like I was in a cave to me)

The positional audio from 1 and 2 sounded better than my ALC1150 to me so I was considering getting a sound card. My concern is that CMSS-3D would mean getting a second hand card and here in the UK, for example, the Titanium HD is still fetching around £90 second hand. I am not sure I like the idea of buying an old second hand card.

My MSI comes with Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 2 which supposedly uses SBX Pro technology. The SBX Pro in the video still sounds better to me. I see you can also buy X-Fi MB3 software from Creative. This seems to have a lot more options than Cinema 2. Does anyone have any experience of both software? Does X-Fi MB3 sound better?

Is a SBX Pro sound card going to sound much better than ALC1150 with X-Fi MB3?

Is there a recommended sound card or would I be better sticking with ALC1150 and getting X-Fi MB3?

 

The Titanium-HD is a good sound card, used is fine as long as it's still functional.

It can decently drive the DT770 Pro 80-ohm headphones,

A Titanium-HD with an external headphone amplifier is a great combo, FiiO E11k is a good low cost headphone amplifier ($60 USA price).

You could just go for the Sound Blaster Z ($80 USA), I would guess(?) it's SBX headphone surround sound (with it's Sound Core3D audio processor) is at least a little better then SBX/X-Fi Headphone running off the ALC1150 audio processor.

And the SB-Z's built in headphone amplifier can drive 80-Ohm headphones.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. I am concerned though from your comments that I would be spending money for something only a little bit better. Has anyone used X-Fi MB3 with ALC1150?

 

Would I be right in saying that with the ALC1150 all DSP is done in software (CPU) but on the Soundblaster Z it is all done on its own processor so freeing up the CPU. How much CPU do the software solutions really use?

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by ReddFour View Post
 

Thanks for the info. I am concerned though from your comments that I would be spending money for something only a little bit better. Has anyone used X-Fi MB3 with ALC1150?

 

Would I be right in saying that with the ALC1150 all DSP is done in software (CPU) but on the Sound Blaster Z it is all done on its own processor so freeing up the CPU. How much CPU do the software solutions really use?

 

I think when computers came with a one core CPU that ran at 200mhz, the DSP audio processor that came on a sound card did a lot of the audio processing.

Now that computers are coming with a CPU that has 4 or more cores, running at over 3000mhz, the audio processing has been shifted over more to the main CPU, assuming this is true for all modern audio processors (on-board audio or add-on sound card).

For Realtek to keep motherboard makers from using the SoudCore3D audio processor (mounted on the motherboard), Realtek has to offer an audio processor at a cheaper price,

which means Realtek has to limit the features on their audio processor, to keep the size of the audio processor core smaller, then Creative's SoundCore3D audio processor

 

If Creative Labs made their SBX software run just as well on a Realtek ALC1150 audio processor, people would have no more reason for buying Creative's sound cards.

 

The SB-Z comes with a CS4398 DAC chip, which you will not even find on a motherboard, unless the motherboard sells for well over $200.

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