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Is it possible? Dolby Headphone through SPDIF/Toslink?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by timestretch, Mar 5, 2012.
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  1. Timestretch
    I use an optical cable from my PC to my DAC. If I got a sound card that supported cool things like Dolby Headphone, would those features work on the SPDIF/Toslink output, or are those features only used for the analog output? Or is there a difference at all?   
      
    In short, I'd like a setup like this:  
      
    Foobar (wasapi) -> soundcard (applies Dolby Headphone DSP to digital stream) -> optical cable -> DAC -> amp/ headphones
     
    but I'm afraid that the only way to get dolby headphone with a sound card is:
     
    Foobar (wasapi) -> sound card (applies dolby headphone DSP to analog out) -> amp/headphones  
      
    Has anyone had experience with this? Dolby seems like it could be at least mildly entertaining to experience sometime with a good set of headphones.
      
     
     
  2. ROBSCIX
    Generally YES.
    All features on the card such as Dolby Headphone, EQ, reverb etc will all be available on S/Pdif aswell.  There are a couple cards I can think of that don't supply DSP routines to S/Pdif but all the ones I can think of with DH should be able to do it.
     
    I have done this many times and it is actually a common thing.
     
    bowei006 likes this.
  3. bowei006 Contributor
    exactly what Rob said. basically most cards on default remove all DSP from the S/PDIF PCM stream. however, you will usually be able to enable DSP's on output
     
  4. Timestretch
    Looks like I am getting a sound card, then!  
      
    Does anyone have any advice for an internal soundcard with a strong DSP selection, reasonably stable drivers, an optical output and/or coaxial spdif outputs, and a price tag of under $200? I know HT Omega was popular a few years ago, what's good today?
     
     
  5. bowei006 Contributor
    http://www.head-fi.org/products/category/sound-cards
     
    the top two says it all. ASUS STX and XIFI Titanium. i see them everywhere, but you would need to ask people to actually know if good or not. im just throwing out "popular" cards and not really a recommendation. just to get you started on threads that might lead you somewhere.
     
  6. Timestretch
    Thanks, a good start is all I need.
     
  7. ROBSCIX
    You don't need some killer analog cards such as an STX just to pass DSP effects through S/Pdif.
    Look at the cheaper Xonar cards such as the Xonar DX and under.  Make sure they support DH and find the one that has the price you want. 
    To note, Creative cards have effect to for headphones such as CMSS-3D and you also have hardware support for gaming effects if you want them.
     
  8. bowei006 Contributor


    Quote:


    forgot abioout something like this too. >_< but maybe he also needs/wants on board
     
  9. ROBSCIX


    Quote:

    Not sure I am following you but I guess If his onboard has the effects he is looking for such as Dolby Headphone, which is basically what the conversation
    is about.  I would still suggest the card though...
     
     
  10. bowei006 Contributor


    Quote:


    I meant that I forgot he was going to bypass teh STX's or whatever's internal DAC and basically just use it to add DSP..making it largely uselss. Another card with the same DSP effects would yield the same things(if the DSP was teh same) and yes i know what you mean by onboard, ...onboard dolby and DSP's differ from the quality of sound cards
     
  11. PurpleAngel Contributor
    What headphone(s) will you be using?
     
    Turtle Beach DSS2, plug the digital optical cable into the motherboards S/PDIF output, other end to the DSS2
     
    Asus Xonar DG (PCI) $30, should solve your problem, plug your headphones into the Xonar DG
    No need to use the S/PDIF
     
    you can send the Dolby signal thru the S/PDIF, but i believe you have to have something at the end of the S/PDIF to process (decode?) the Dolby signal (like the DSS2).
     
  12. ROBSCIX


    Quote:
    Yes, a $30 entry level Xonar would yield no difference for his application then the flagship Essence cards.
    Any 8788 and some variants offer Dolby Headphone and other effects.  Many offer a full suite of effects from Dolby and DTS.
     
  13. bowei006 Contributor


    Quote:


    I don't particularily like the effects and DSP's they give off so I never use them or thought of doing the idea he is doing even though i'm able to
     
  14. ROBSCIX
    The use of these types of effects is a preference like many things in the audio world.
    This is a common idea, it is done all the time with these cards and with CL cards to make higher end gaming audio systems.
     
     
  15. bowei006 Contributor


    Quote:


    haha of course. I find most dolby DSP's to be very fake... however ihave heard things about the Astro amp or something that has a good dolby ting for games
     
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