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Gaming with X-FI & Headphones.. what settings?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by hordsak, Mar 12, 2010.
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  1. Hordsak
    I've read and searched and read some more. There are ALOT of varying amounts of information in regards to the settings one uses while gaming with decent headphones or listening to music from a computer. I recently replaced my PC350's with AD700's and I really like the new Audio Technicas. Now, I've always used CMS3D with headphone mode in the Creative setup for gaming.

    I found a thread on another forum that said some headphones don't really like CMSS 3d, and to enable 2.0/2.1 speaker mode, with all 3d effects off etc. Well I tried this today with Call of Duty MW2, and man it sounds alot better.

    So, what FPS games do you guys play, and what are your Creative settings set to, while listening to music and gaming?

    Thanks.
     
  2. owenhan
    For all games including MW2 I play in Game Mode with CMSS3D on. For music I set it to Audio Creation Mod with bit-matched output but I don't think it makes a difference since I'm using WASAPI in foobar anyway.
     
  3. Hordsak
    Could you do me a favor and report back if you have time? I would like you to try these settings for a map or so, just to see what it's like. I find it sounds ALOT better for me, with my ATH-AD700's.

    Game Mode
    Speakers: 2.0/2.1
    EAX Effects Enabled
    CMSS-3D Disabled
    Crystalizer enabled or disabled, not a big deal.
    I find with setting the speakers from Headphones to 2.0/2.1 my soundstage increased about 10 fold, and everything just sounded alot nicer, and I could also pinpoint enemies MUCH better.
     
  4. Junliang
    for your eax effect, which envrionment did you set to ?

    for the crystalizer, did you move the slider ?
    because even if its 0.5db difference, there audible difference was quite obvious..
     
  5. BlackLabel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hordsak /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    I've read and searched and read some more. There are ALOT of varying amounts of information in regards to the settings one uses while gaming with decent headphones or listening to music from a computer. I recently replaced my PC350's with AD700's and I really like the new Audio Technicas. Now, I've always used CMS3D with headphone mode in the Creative setup for gaming.

    I found a thread on another forum that said some headphones don't really like CMSS 3d, and to enable 2.0/2.1 speaker mode, with all 3d effects off etc. Well I tried this today with Call of Duty MW2, and man it sounds alot better.

    So, what FPS games do you guys play, and what are your Creative settings set to, while listening to music and gaming?

    Thanks.




    I actually use the PC350s myself and love them. Took a little bit to break them in, but they're solid now and the mic is superb.

    I use the CMSS-3D and I have no complaints. Pinpointing sound is pretty accurate for me. To me, disabling the CMSS-3D is throwing away most of the good things about having an stand-alone sound card for games.

    I play BFBC2 mostly, but I don't do a whole lot of FPS gaming anyways.
     
  6. freestyler
    Zudeo likes this.
  7. owenhan
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Hordsak /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Could you do me a favor and report back if you have time? I would like you to try these settings for a map or so, just to see what it's like. I find it sounds ALOT better for me, with my ATH-AD700's.

    Game Mode
    Speakers: 2.0/2.1
    EAX Effects Enabled
    CMSS-3D Disabled
    Crystalizer enabled or disabled, not a big deal.
    I find with setting the speakers from Headphones to 2.0/2.1 my soundstage increased about 10 fold, and everything just sounded alot nicer, and I could also pinpoint enemies MUCH better.




    Basically never select the headphones profile for anything ever. 2.0/2.1 always works better. I'm not sure why you'd game with CMSS3D disabled but I haven't spent much time comparing enabled to disabled so maybe the difference isn't much, but I'm under the impression that CMSS3D enabled is a lot better. Also I don't think checking the enable EAX effects box actually does anything.
     
  8. Coupe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by freestyler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    There you are [​IMG]
    X-Fi CMSS-3D Headphone - Guru3D.com Forums




    He's asking if that's the right settings. I don't think its recommended

    Why would you select 2.0/1 over Headphones? Is it a case of it just sounds better or there is something to it?
     
  9. coredump
    Back when I used an X-Fi it was always set to 2.0 speakers. I tried the 3D once and it sounded holographic and inaccurate.
     
  10. freestyler
    Those are the best settings for use with headphones when you want to get the best directional / positional audio in FPS games.
    He asked about that as well, so i answered.
     
  11. Coupe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by freestyler /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Those are the best settings for use with headphones when you want to get the best directional / positional audio in FPS games.
    He asked about that as well, so i answered.




    Ahh cool good find. I didn't read it properly

    Kudos!

    Some of the guys are arguing in the thread. So maybe its just a fool around settings lol.
     
  12. BlackLabel
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by owenhan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    Basically never select the headphones profile for anything ever. 2.0/2.1 always works better. I'm not sure why you'd game with CMSS3D disabled but I haven't spent much time comparing enabled to disabled so maybe the difference isn't much, but I'm under the impression that CMSS3D enabled is a lot better. Also I don't think checking the enable EAX effects box actually does anything.



    Disagree. I spent 20 minutes today in Entertainment mode going back and forth between Headphone and Stereo 2.1 settings in the Creative Control Panel. I'm sticking with headphone. It sounds fuller, more dynamic, and not so crowded. When I use the stereo 2.0/2.1 setting, it feels like all the sound is brought to the front and is "in my face" so to speak instead of immersing me in it. CMSS-3D did not mitigate this enough for me to justify leaving it in Stereo 2.0/2.1, so I'll always use headphone for music.

    That being said, I haven't tested out the stereo 2.1 setting for game mode in an FPS game, so I'll have to try.

    I don't think there's a "never" that's applicable with audio settings. It depends on the person and the cans. I use a Sennheiser PC350 and I like the CMSS-3D setting for games. Guys with the AT AD700s usually do not. Just depends what sounds best to you, really. There is no scientific formula on what sounds "best".
     
  13. owenhan
    I'm pretty sure for music setting it to headphone distorts the signal whereas 2.0/2.1 is true to the source.
     
  14. BlackLabel
    Can't agree with that. I hear no distortion. Just a different method of presenting the sound. Stereo 2.0/2.1 sounds like the sound is right in front of you and facing you. The headphone setting sounds more like how I want it to sound where I'm immersed in the music.

    But again, those are my ears and my PC350s. Someone else with PC350s might disagree with this, and myself with different cans might disagree and choose stereo 2.0/2.1 as well.

    I can't agree on "signal distortion" though.
     
  15. _Spanky_
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by owenhan /img/forum/go_quote.gif
    For music I set it to Audio Creation Mod with bit-matched output but I don't think it makes a difference since I'm using WASAPI in foobar anyway.



    With WASAPI, you shouldn't have to switch modes. I get bit-matched with WASAPI in Game Mode just fine. I use SPDIF out from my X-Fi into an external DAC/amp that clicks whenever the sample rate changes and the music from Foobar2000 is unaltered as long as I'm using WASAPI, the mode doesn't matter since it's bypassed.

    I think it probably mattered with XP when people used Creative ASIO. I've used that a couple times and using Audio Creation Mode with Bit-Matched Playback selected does help.

    Anyway, to the OP, I use 2.0/2.1 settings in Game Mode with a slight bass boost and that's it. Like studio recordings, I like to hear the sounds for what they are (plus a little bass [​IMG]) and some game engines these days are pretty damn good at generating positional audio. Creative's little tweaks can be good at times but since there's so many games by so many different developers made on so many different engines, I think meddling with the tweaks can screw it up just as much as it can improve it.
     
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