Dolby Home Theater v4 and Dolby Advanced Audio v2 - how do they compare to Creative's SBX Pro? Gamer seeking best positional audio/sound here!
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MonarchX

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As a gamer, I am mostly interested in positional sound/audio features for headphones. I have experienced Dolby Headphone, CMSS-3D, and SBX Pro/Surround. Thus far, I find SBX Pro/Surround to have the best positional sound, but mostly because of a single advantage SBX Pro/Surround has over Dolby Headphone. The advantage is the lack of echo and reverberation that Dolby Headphone produces. Right now I use ASUS Xonar DGX with UNi drivers and improved 7.1 Shifter profile that does a great job of properly and accurately spreading positional cues and while it does help with reducing that annoying echo, it doesn't eliminate it or reduce it far enough. 
 
I can get Sound Blaster Z that supports SBX Pro/Surround, but its not optimal with its 22ohm rating for my 64ohm Sennheiser HD-280 Pro headphones. I've already inquired about it in a different thread and know that it wouldn't be a big problem, but it would not be optimal either.
 
I was wondering if anyone had any experience with Dolby Home Theater v4 (DHT v4) and Dolby Advanced Audio v2 (DAA v2) ? I have an onboard Realtek ALC892 soundcard that has 2ohm rating and would be perfect for my headphones. It supports those 2 technologies - DHT v4 and DAA v2. Both of these technologies seem to support surround sound 5.1/7.1 virtualization just like Dolby Headphone. I have some questions about them:
- What  is the difference between DHT v4 and DAA v2 headphone virtualization? Do they sound similar? 
- Is either of them accurate enough to produce positional cues like Dolby Headphone? With Dolby Headphone, I can easily spot where the sound is coming from and it does create a big advantage when you can hear where the enemy's footstep sounds are coming from! I need the same exact degree of accuracy to be coming from either of these 2 technologies for them to be of any use to me.
 
I believe I saw thread around here (can't find it now) discussing DHT v4, but for a different card. There was a mention that DHT v4 was like Dolby Headphone, but it was not producing artifacts. What artifacts does Dolby Headphone produce? Is it the echo I was talking about earlier? This leads me to the most important questions:
- Does either DHT v4 or DAA v2 produce surround sound without any echo or with only a tiny amount of echo?
- How does DHT v4 and DAA v2 compare to SBX Pro? I recall seeing somewhere that SBX Pro/Surround is just a re-branded THX TruStudio Pro!!! Is that true? Does anyone have any experience with THX TruStudio Pro/Surround? How does it compare to Dolby Headphone?
 
I would appreciate feedback from those who actually tested these technologies and know  about the Dolby Headphone's annoying echo and about SBX Pro's/Surrounds' superior positional audio/sound. 
 
Thanks a bunch for reading my post!
 
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PurpleAngel

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I would suggest you try asking questions like this on these threads, seems like a lot of gamers hang out there.
http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-4-17-2014-akg-k612-and-k712-pro-added-edits
http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound
 
Also this ROG forum might provide some answers for Dolby Home Theater V4.
http://rog.asus.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?136-Xonar-Phoebus-Sound-Cards
 
I tested the SB-Z for a month, it's 22-Ohm headphone output impedance did not really seem to have a noticeable effect on my low (40-50) Ohm headphones.
I heard second hand the Xonar DG/DGX headphone output impedance is around 23-Ohms, but it's hard to find reviews on this subject.
I though my Xonar DG did fine with lower impedance headphones too.
I do prefer Asus Xonar Essence STX with it's 10-Ohm impedance for driving headphones, but I thought the SB-Z was a really good value (sound quality wise) for what it costs..
 
I am trying to figure out how a motherboard's headphone audio jack would only have a 2-Ohm output impedance, when the best a $180 sound card can do is 10-Ohms?
(Guess i have to do a lot more reading about motherboards)
 
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MonarchX

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I've only seen 10ohms and seen it several times for ASUS Xonar DGX. Thanks for your help! Its crazy, but my speakers, which are rather good for a casual PC gamer, are rated only @ 8 ohms! That means there is a rather big mismatch between my soundcard @ 10ohms and speakers @ 8ohms, but I cannot hear any distortion or problems... Speakers are Logitech Z-680 505W Dolby Digital / DTS 5.1 THX-Certified. Does the 1:8 soundcard to headphone ratio apply to speakers also? 
 
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PurpleAngel

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  I've only seen 10ohms and seen it several times for ASUS Xonar DGX. Thanks for your help! Its crazy, but my speakers, which are rather good for a casual PC gamer, are rated only @ 8 ohms! That means there is a rather big mismatch between my sound card @ 10ohms and speakers @ 8ohms, but I cannot hear any distortion or problems... Speakers are Logitech Z-680 505W Dolby Digital / DTS 5.1 THX-Certified. Does the 1:8 sound card to headphone ratio apply to speakers also? 
 
Technically the Xonar DGX amplifier is not driving the Logitech speakers, the Logitech's own built in amplifier is driving the speakers.
So the Xonar DGX's impedance is not a really a factor in your current speaker setup.
 
On Head-Fi, the 1 to 8 impedance "guide line" is only really talked about for headphones.
So for speakers I have no idea on how impedance effects them.
 
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- What  is the difference between DHT v4 and DAA v2 headphone virtualization? Do they sound similar? 
- Is either of them accurate enough to produce positional cues like Dolby Headphone? With Dolby Headphone, I can easily spot where the sound is coming from and it does create a big advantage when you can hear where the enemy's footstep sounds are coming from! I need the same exact degree of accuracy to be coming from either of these 2 technologies for them to be of any use to me.
...
- Does either DHT v4 or DAA v2 produce surround sound without any echo or with only a tiny amount of echo?
 
(At this point, you have probably already made your decisions, but I will post this in case others come to read this thread)
I can't speak to comparisons between the DHT v4 and DAA v2, so I won't. However, my laptop (Lenovo E431) came with DAA v2 virtualizer & visual EQ on top of the Conexant 20671 SmartAudioHD (I assume that's the actual sound card), so I can give some feedback on that firmware/application. While it does help the sound of my tiny laptop speakers, I always turn it off when using headphones. For example, using my Sennheiser HD202 headphones, Daft Punk's Doin' It Right @2:36 has a note which I estimate to be between 30 and 40 hz. With DAA v2 on, it almost disappears, but when I turn it off, the note is a little quieter than the preceding base notes, but it is still definitely audible. This leads me to believe that DAA v2 has a high-pass filter set about 40 or 35 hz. While that undoubtedly cleans up the signal for tiny laptop speakers, it really ruins the experience when using anything which can produce notes lower than that.
 
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