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Enabling Dolby Headphone for Sennheiser PC 363D

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by imrazor, Aug 21, 2018.
  1. imrazor
    I recently picked up a Sennheiser PC 363D. From what I can gather, it's essentially a PC 360 with a virtual surround sound DAC/amp made by Sennheiser. Based on my previous experience with an HD 558 (which supposedly uses the same drivers as the PC 363D), the amp does much to help the sound. However, the "Sennheiser 3D G4ME1" doesn't seem to have any options for Dolby Headphone, which it's supposed to support.

    I dug around on Sennheiser's website and found a driver for the DAC, which puts an icon in the system tray. It doesn't do much; it just enables a selection of 2 CH, 4 CH, 5.1 CH, and 7.1 CH. I've tried enabling each option, but can't really tell much difference. I also tried downloading some Dolby Headphone test videos, but am hard pressed to tell the difference in stereo, quadrophonic or surround modes.

    I also tried playing Skyrim with the 5.1 surround option set and couldn't tell a difference. However, there's nowhere in the game to set surround sound, though it supposedly supports surround sound.

    In the Windows Sound Control Panel, there is an option to enable "Virtual 7.1 Surround" but only with something called "Windows Sonic". Where's my Dolby Headphone option? Or have I already successfully enabled a gimmick?

    Don't get me wrong. They sound very nice. But surround sound would be icing on the cake...
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The PC363D "supports" Dolby Headphone, which means something else will create Dolby Headphone and the processed Dolby headphone (created by something) will pass that signal thru the PC363D's USB-device and on to the headphones.
    An Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card comes with Dolby Headphone, so install the DG/DGX card and plug the headphones into the DG/DGX (do not use or plug in the USB device that came with the PC363D).
    Getting a Sound Blaster Z sound card will give you SBX Headphone surround sound.
  3. imrazor
    I figured it out. There's actually a slider on the amp to enable virtual surround sound. I think it requires the Sennheiser driver be installed, because it doesn't work under Linux. It does sound more, um, 3D, but it sounds more like an echo chamber than a naturally open soundstage.
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I would say the term virtual surround sound is a nice way of say faked surround sound.
  5. AthenaZephyrian
    If you don't like the results of the Sennheiser surround software, Try the Dolby Heapdhone Wrapper for Foobar2000 (setup instructions here). I quite like it; you do have to crank the volume a bit to compensate for it, though. You can tweak the "LFE" channel toggle and "front in rear" sliders to adjust the vocal range's position and prominence to your liking.

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