Idea for surround sound headphone solution, possible?
post-1392582
Thread Starter
Post #1 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
I am new here, this is my 2nd post, and thank all of those who quickly responded to my first question. I am desperately seeking a portable solution for surround like headphones, X-box in basement and Big screen home theater upstairs on main floor.

It sounds like nearly everyone here feels that most, if not all, surround sound headphone products are mostly gimmick (short of the Hearo line), which while diappointing to me is good info, as I dont want to spend my money foolishly.

Goals: Late night movies as realistic as possible through headphones, and take advantage of dolby digital sound on X-box (Halo, etc.)

I considered the Thrustmaster T-510's, but it sound like they automatically shut off during loads and cut-scenes, and no DTS decoding. Looked at the Philips HD1500 and cant seem to get them in the U.S., and I am farily sure HC Technology might be out business after 2 weeks of trying to contact them.

I didn't want to spend multiples hundreds of dollars, and cant really, but I did have an idea, and just dont know enough about headphone technology to deem if it makes sense.

Here goes: Creative labs makes a spearate decoder, for $150, the DDTS-100, which has dual headphone inputs and decodes basically every possible format to date. If I paired that with a decent set of stereo headphones, which also seems by most people's opinions here to be better for movies anyway, then I have a nice set up.

I know this wouldn't be a tiny portable decoder, but still a good investment perhaps. And if I start with just decent cans first maybe around $50.00, I have a $200 set up that might sound great. And then later when the wife's not looking, pick up some A900's or something. Also, I could still move the creative labs unti from the basement upstairs fairly easily, yes?

Will this give me a good surround experience for movies and games? Thoughts, changes, other suggestions?

Thanks, maybe others are looking for the same thing I am.

Here is the creative labs porduct link:


http://us.creative.com/products/prod...8&nav=features
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392650
Post #2 of 22

halcyon

Headphoneus Supremus
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Messages
1,828
Reaction score
186
Joined
Oct 21, 2002
Posts
1,828
Likes
186
One of the best best setups for true surround headphone is probably this:

http://www.consumer.philips.com/cons...CSHQFHKFSESI5P

You can also use it with different (wired) headphones. It's a true DD->Dolby Headphone decoder with a very decent set of headphones.

I'd flatly forget about all the matrix surrounds, self-made surrounds and multi-driver headphone silliness.

For headphone surround, proper HRTF emulation is a must and Dolby headphone is one of the (if not THE best) consumer products available for this.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392682
Post #3 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
1) Can I get these in the United States? I think these are the HD 1500's I sent an e-mail to Philips North America about, and they said at this point they have no knowledge of these being released in the U.S.

2) How much are these if I were to be able to get them? I am assuming in the $150 to $200 range?

Thanks for your help
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392693
Post #4 of 22

OceanEnthusiast

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
365
Reaction score
0
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Posts
365
Likes
0
i think your best bet would be quality headphones with a large soundstage. possibly some sennheisers? i think you would be suprised to see how 3 dimensional and transparent a pair of open can like sennheiser hd580 can be. look for open can headphones known for large soundstage. and spend the $150+ on the headphones, more on that later. another good headphone might be the DT770-80, which ive never heard but is famous for having incredible bass. for movies and gaming, this may be what you need.

why the creative labs DTS decoder? if you're going to be listening in stereo anyway, i dont see the point of using a surround sound decoder. your souces already provide a stereo signal. what would be the point in having a 5.1 decoder converting to stereo? not trying to be smart with you, i just don't understand. i'd just use the stereo signal already provided by the unit.

instead of using a DTS decoder, i'd find something else to put between your headphones and the xbox. do you have anything on your DVD system with a headphone out and volume control? if you do, use that, and blow the entire $200 on headphones and setup your system to use the amp you already have.

if you dont have an amp of some sort already, I think you'll get way better sound with $150+ headphones on a $50 amp, then you would with $50 headphones on a $150 amp! it's possible the $50 cMOY sounds better than the $150 creative labs decoder in stereo anyway.

then at least you have the more expensive headphones, you can upgrade the amp later if you want. but most of the sound improvement will come from higher quality headphones (going from a $50 headphone to a $150 one), upgrading amps is usually a less dramatic improvement in sound. furthermore, if you're only using a $50 pair of headphones to listen to the amp, you're not going to notice much difference anyway. differences in amps are more appharent when you're listening to more expensive headphones.

anyway, buy the more expensive headphones (you wont regret it) enjoy your gaming and run very far away from this horrid place. you'll be tempted to come back and read posts, but dont do it, stick to your movies and xbox. if you dont you'll go broke.

good luck!
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392710
Post #5 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
I wasn't sure if I need the separate decoder, it sounds like I dont, but here is my set-up.

Upstairs:
Denon AVR-3300 Receiver
Full 5.1 speaker set up (Energy)
DVD player
Blah blah blah

Downstairs: (Basement)
27 inch color TV
X-box

So I think that is where without something else I wont be able to take advantage of the Dolby Digital soundtracks. The upsatirs TV is a 50 inch rear projection and I dont want to risk burn in, that is why the X-box is downstairs.

I do have a realted question though:

I have a headphone jack on the Denon Receiver, can I just get a good set of headphones and get a decent movie experience, doing nothing else? Obviosuly it wont be like a 5.1 actual experience, but I have honestly never listened to a movie on headphones, and maybe I am trying to solve 2 issues with one solution. There are many night I want to blast a good action flick, but have a 2 year old directly above my home theater.

I also head the A900's are well liked for games and movies. That thrustmaster decoder seemed to solve my issue, but I heard it shuts off during scene cuts and loads during X-box games.

I really like that Philips option, but I dont think it is available in the States.

Thanks
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392724
Post #6 of 22

jonasb

New Head-Fier
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Messages
21
Reaction score
0
Joined
Feb 5, 2005
Posts
21
Likes
0
Just a note of clarification: The link halcyon sent is for the wireless version of the Philips dolby surround system (called SBCHD 1500/05).

I believe that the hp 1500 Hocenut1 referred to is the wired version (SBCHP 1500/05), which can be found here.

The wired version is preferable sound quality-wise, and it's also cheaper. It includes the hp 1000, which is a very decent headphone in its own right, with a good soundstage. I have the hp 1500 and I find it's a bargain at the price I paid (240 euros including shipping), considering it includes a good headphone and an amp. The surround processing on the amp can be bypassed, so you can use it for music listening too. I find that the combo sounds pretty good with music, but I don't have much to compare with so I guess my opinion isn't worth much.

A nice extra on the amp is the digital in (coaxial only) and built in dac. I use it with a cheap dvd-player for music listnening on my desk, taking the signal digitally to the amp.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392737
Post #7 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
Anyone in the United States have these corded headphones from Philips? If so, where did you get them, and how much to have shipped to the U.S.?

Thanks!
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392793
Post #8 of 22

OceanEnthusiast

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
365
Reaction score
0
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Posts
365
Likes
0
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hocenut1
I do have a realted question though:

I have a headphone jack on the Denon Receiver, can I just get a good set of headphones and get a decent movie experience, doing nothing else? Obviosuly it wont be like a 5.1 actual experience, but I have honestly never listened to a movie on headphones, and maybe I am trying to solve 2 issues with one solution. There are many night I want to blast a good action flick, but have a 2 year old directly above my home theater.



great, just plug it into your denon receiver. it's going to sound as good as a $50 or $150 headphone amp anyway.

unless your surround sound system is very expensive and fantastic, the headphones will probably sound better in terms of sound quality and detail. subwoofers are definately nice for those explosions and gunshots, but i think you'd be amazed on all the sounds and sound texture you'll discover on audiophile grade headphones that you haven't been hearing.

and in terms of xbox, the quick solution may be to just get a 1/4 headphone jack to RCA converter, plug the headphones directly into the RCA outputs on the front of the tv, and use the tv's volume control.

i think for the best sound for your money is going to put it all, if not most of the $200 into the headphones. the difference between a $50 and $200 pair of headphones is pretty substantial. $50 headphones might seem moderately expensive to 'normal' people, but here in audiophile land that's inexpensive. if i had the choice between a pair of $200 made-for-audiophiles headphones or $200 made-for-movie-consumers headphones i'd pick the former, simply because emphasis on sonic accuracy is what makes the experience more 'real' to me. if you think the latter is more appropriate for you, that's perfectly fine for sure. but be careful, because there's a lot of expensive junk being marketed to consumers that doesn't sound that great. sometimes people rave about junk because they simply haven't heard better.

lastly, i dont have the A900's, and im sure they are a good phone. but before you buy, i encourage you to try and listen to a pair first, demo some others, and definately give open-can headphones a try. do some research and look around.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392813
Post #9 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
I will definitely audition a few first, I am actually BRAND new to the the headphone world, and I am scared, LOL

I have a habit of once getting into something (home theater, car care, etc,) taking it to the limit. I know I wont be spending a $1,000 on headophones, but I could see a couple hundred.

I am excited, this is a whole new experience for me, and I am so into movies, this could be something I actually enjoy MORE than always going with the speaker set up.

Thanks for your insight
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392858
Post #10 of 22

apostate

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Messages
689
Reaction score
11
Joined
Apr 12, 2005
Posts
689
Likes
11
Quote:

Originally Posted by OceanEnthusiast
great, just plug it into your denon receiver. it's going to sound as good as a $50 or $150 headphone amp anyway.

unless your surround sound system is very expensive and fantastic, the headphones will probably sound better in terms of sound quality and detail.

and in terms of xbox, the quick solution may be to just get a 1/4 headphone jack to RCA converter, plug the headphones directly into the RCA outputs on the front of the tv, and use the tv's volume control.



I do effectively the same thing for listening to movies on my Senn 595s (rca out from receiver or DVD player to mini in on amp). While I definitely don't have a high end speaker system (Kenwood/JBL) my Total Airhead -> Sennheiser 595 portable headphone rig is far more enjoyable for listening to movies to me.

To top it off the speaker system was still a heck of a lot more than a set of cans and a portable amp. I'll probably upgrade the speaker system somewhat just so family movie watching is more enjoyable but the headphone system will be getting the majority of the funds since it is a fraction of the cost to get similar or better sound.

If the majority of use is going to be Xbox/movie related I would definitely recommend searching through the forums looking for headphones that have a large soundstage or headstage. To me that is probably one of the most important aspects for that type of listening. Then demo as many as you can and find the sound you like, ideally have them hook it up to a DVD player and let you listen to some movies through it so you get a sense of what it will be like.....

Ant
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392909
Post #11 of 22

eight08

100+ Head-Fier
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
115
Reaction score
10
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Posts
115
Likes
10
Quote:

Originally Posted by Hocenut1

I have a habit of once getting into something (home theater, car care, etc,) taking it to the limit. I know I wont be spending a $1,000 on headophones, but I could see a couple hundred.



you're so in trouble, leave now.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1392934
Post #12 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
Thanks, technically I could still leave now, yet to invest nickel #1. THat is funny, I am THAT guy that will buy something probably much better than I even need, but alas, my lot in life.

I will let you know what I do. If I were to pick now, based on a ton of research, but no real life lsitening, it sounds like the A900's would be a good choice for me.

Thanks
 
     Share This Post       
post-1393059
Post #13 of 22

Liver

500+ Head-Fier
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Messages
615
Reaction score
12
Joined
Apr 1, 2004
Posts
615
Likes
12
For what it is worth.


I am finally happy with the surround sound via headphones.

Headphones:
I have the Sony MDR-SA5000 headphones. I understand these are expensive, but they are also my music headphones. I do not want to get more than one pair (right now). They are quite nice (amazing) with surround sound.

Amplifier:
I use a Kenwood VRS 7100. It is a true digital amplifier with Dolby headphone. The Dolby headphone setting comes in three settings, and I personally use 1 or 2. It sounds convincing enough.

The effect does not sound like having a true home theater (more on that later), but for headphones . . . It is nice. Playing games with my headphones either on my PC or XBOX is really nice. THe headphones add an experience to the game. It sucks me in (and then wastes my time). It is not a portable system, but neither is my XBOX. Sounds great.

The added bonus is that you still have the option of speakers. The Kenwood is a true digital amplifier and you can add some inexpensive speakers and have a true 6.1 experience with speakers. You have the option to change it at your convenience.

I do. Sometimes I want the headphones, sometimes the speakers.

Besides the Sony MDR-SA5000, this setup is NOT expensive. You look at the prices and you can spend much much more on gear that is quite limited in application. I have owned them, and sold them.

Hope it helps,

Liver
 
     Share This Post       
post-1393103
Post #14 of 22

Hocenut1

New Head-Fier
Joined
May 16, 2005
Messages
14
Reaction score
0
Joined
May 16, 2005
Posts
14
Likes
0
Thanks for sharing your experience, it is nice to talk with people who actually have found soultions that worked. I will look into the things you listed.

Thanks again.
 
     Share This Post       
post-1393370
Post #15 of 22

Richard Martin

New Head-Fier
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
38
Reaction score
0
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Posts
38
Likes
0
Go with Dolby Headphone, and don't let anyone tell you that good headphones standing alone will suffice instead. I'm all about the Xbox and movies, and I went with the Pioneer SE-XB1, the Xbox version of their SE1000 Dolby Headphone wireless unit. BTW the headphones that folks like on this site are are swell for music, but usually not for gaming/movies. [I can hear the protests already, but I've tried every kind of high-dollar music phones there is--at the enthusiastic behest of this site's subscribers--and very few are OPTIMAL for the aforesaid purpose.]

The supplied cans are FAR more transparent and detailed for SFX purposes than most of the headphones you'll find, no matter how expensive. Tranparency is very important, I find, for Dolby Headphone purposes.

Nevertheless, being an endless tinkerer I have tried several headphones with the SE XB 1 and have found only the Ultrasone HFI 650 to have a slight edge over the supplied cans in terms of detail. Until then, none of the Beyerdynamics, Senns, or Grados I've tried were able to match it. The Utlrasone HFI 650 also has tremendous bass, quite cinematic, without covering up the other ranges. Anymore I use the HFI 650 with the SE XB-1, in lieu of the supplied cans.

If I had to do it over again, I might instead take the gentleman's suggestion above and get the Kenwood receiver with Dolby Headphone, and get the Ultrasone HFI 650 to use with it. [At my suggestion a friend bought the Kenwood, later I demo'd it at his house.] In the alternative, the SE XB-1 is sold at Audiocubes.com. You're retracing the path I was on a year ago; if you want to save yourself a lot of headache and disappointment, take this advice. Good luck!

BTW, you're doing the right thing by getting headphones for gaming. Speakers just don't give you the detail.

You know, after re-reading your first post I see that cost is a concern. If I weren't a crazy obsessive compulsive techno nut-job I would have been perfectly pleased with the SONY MDR-DS3000 I purchased awhile back. It was freaking fantastic for surround sound, with far more EXPLOSIVE, POWERFUL sound than the overwhelming majority of WIRED headphones [again, for gaming and movies]. And I picked it up from an Ebay shop for $160. Dollars to performance it paid off greatly. Nevertheless, I was curious about the Dolby Headphone technology [Sony uses their own proprietary HRTF surround technology], and especially curious as to why the price for those products was so much higher. Alas, the price difference is not justified, and afterwards I spent many dollars trying to find corded phones powerful enough to give me the sound I got from the Sonys. Sony now has the MDR-DS4000, which is supposed to be an improvement, but I haven't tried them. Stay away from the DS5100 and the DS8000, which despite the reverse numbering, are both earlier models than the DS3000 and use inferior technology. Again, I would give the Dolby Headphone technology a slight edge over Sony's proprietary decoding, but if you're being price conscious it's not really worth 2-3 times the price.

Sony's selling that DS4000 for MSRP $299, but I see it on Ebay for $185-200. They say they use a newer technology than the DS3000, and I think that might be worth a look. Dang! It says "for Games, for DVD" on the box! I would be quite surprised, based on my experience with the DS3000, if it disappointed. You know, that DS4000 is kinda lookin' good to me...

Which is why, when you get a setup that does the trick for you, you should RUN!! and never come back here.
 
     Share This Post       

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

Top