Dolby Headphone vs crossfeed
Jan 16, 2008 at 12:52 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 43


New Head-Fier
Jan 14, 2008
I LOVE Dolby Headphone when listening to music from the computer. It is pure bliss for acoustical instruments and natural sound. And I would like to have a similar experience when listening to opera DVDs and music CDs directly from the DVD player via a headphone amp.

I suspect that crossfeed (as implemented by Meier Audio, HeadRoom etc.) provides a similar effect to Dolby Headphone using analogue circuits.

Have you heard both? Can anyone enlighten me about the difference/similarities in sound?

Thanks in advance,
Jan 16, 2008 at 2:41 AM Post #2 of 43
Though I haven't heard hardware based crossfeed, I can tell you this; crossfeed and DH are quite different by nature. DH provides room reverb along with making the audio signal slightly less stereo (more importantly, DH needs a 5.1 source to downconvert back into stereo). Crossfeed's function is only to lessen the hard stereo effect.

You can try software crossfeed to see for yourself.
Jan 16, 2008 at 6:13 AM Post #3 of 43
I also enjoy the effect that Dolby Headphone generates, and prefer it in combination with a 2ch>5.1ch plugin to crossfeed. This is the only hardware solution for Dolby Headpone that I know of, besides an amp or receiver with the technology built-in.
Jan 16, 2008 at 6:25 AM Post #4 of 43
Well Dolby and Crossfeed are two different animals. I enjoy both of them. They do two different things so you really can't say who is better than who IMO.
Jan 16, 2008 at 12:38 PM Post #5 of 43
Excuse my ignorance, but how can I listen to music with dolby headphone? Do I need a sound card which implements this algorithm or are there plug-ins for winamp that do the same thing via software ? I looking for an external sound card for listening to music, what models do implement dolby headphone?
Jan 16, 2008 at 1:50 PM Post #6 of 43
dolby headphones is just one among many ways to process sound that was mastered for speakers but is being played back via headhones.

Whereas it makes sense for movie watching where it intelligently transforms 5.1. into stereo i fail to see any benefits whatsoever for listening to music. Crossfeed is all you need.
Jan 16, 2008 at 11:23 PM Post #7 of 43
Dolby Headphone on the computer can be obtained in a number of ways, i.e. through the audio drivers (I had Intel High Definition Sound drivers for my D975XBX motherboard with XP - no such luck with Vista) or in individual applications such as PowerDVD.

It has a tremendous effect on music that is recorded live with a natural soundstage. The orchestra moves 10-20 rows away from you, "totally outside your head".
Jan 16, 2008 at 11:43 PM Post #8 of 43
Thanks for letting me know that crossfeed is also available on the computer in form of plug-ins for various media players.

I have now tried a crossfeed plug-in for foobar2000:
Naive Software
and find that it alliveates the "in-the-head-experience" a bit, but it doesn't provide better sound stage depth than the recording has, whereas Dolby Headphone can "rectify" poor recordings. The good part is that the plugin doesn't change the tonal balance of the recording.

An interesting alternative is the 4Front Headphones plug-in:' :: 4Front Headphones
This is an effect very similar to Dolby Headphone, but just like Dolby Headphone, it changes the tonal balance of the recording.
Jan 17, 2008 at 11:12 AM Post #10 of 43
Thanks - I agree; the Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP sounds great.

How does crossfeed on Meier amps (Opera, Arietta, etc) sound in comparison, anyone?
Jan 17, 2008 at 1:31 PM Post #11 of 43

Originally Posted by SteenWinther /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Thanks - I agree; the Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP sounds great.

How does crossfeed on Meier amps (Opera, Arietta, etc) sound in comparison, anyone?

I find the hardware crossfeed on my Porta Corda very nice. The only problem I have encountered is that there is (slightly) less bass with the crossfeed on than without it. I do find it better than any software crossfeed I have encountered so far.

The crossfeed in the Opera is supposed to do this better by compensating for the lack of bass. I haven't heard the Opera for long enough to be able to give a good opinion about it though.

I am still planning on either building or buying a dedicated crossfeed unit. (see Meier audio for more info on that)
Jan 18, 2008 at 2:16 AM Post #12 of 43
Why doesn't Dolby Headphone work well with stereo? And why aren't there standalone crossfeed units on the market? I want one to use with my recievers headphone out...not to mention with vinyl. There's currently no way to get crossfeed while listening to vinyl. Does anyone know of any plans for a DIY standalone crossfeed circuit?
Jan 18, 2008 at 6:57 AM Post #15 of 43

Originally Posted by trains are bad /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Why doesn't Dolby Headphone work well with stereo?

It does and he is wrong. There are two plugins you need for foobar to do this well. Channel Mixer and dolbyhp plugin. Load channel mixer first set to six channels then load dolbyhp plugin, at the end of the chain have the advanced limiter to avoid clipping. You will need to play around with the settings to get it how you like it the most but is quite effective and pleasant to listen to. It makes bad recordings that I can't stand on headphones actually tolerable. It is far more effective than a crossfeed plugin. I guess it's not for the purists though but then neither is crossfeed.

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