Is stereo best for headsets while gaming?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Avean, Dec 13, 2017.
  1. Avean
    I have a pair of Sennheiser HD650 coupled with a soundcard with amplifier for headphones. I have always used some sort of virtual surround while playing and yesterday by accident i played in stereo and felt maybe its better? Spatial Sound in Windows 10 with Dolby Atmos for example creates a more immmersive sound without a doubt, but i dunno if its for the better?

    Sennheiser have theyre own "gaming" headsets with surround built-in but thats more or less the same right? Its still a stereo headset and a software built-in to emulate surround.
    I dont know, what do you guys feel is the best option when u have a proper headset? Run 100% stereo or you guys fine with emulated surround?
  2. BrightCandle
    Not all surround sound implementations sound the same, and a lot of people are reporting issues with spartial awareness with the Dolby app. Here are a few comparison videos which need to be listend to in stereo mode to be able to listen to the differences:

    (Dolby Atmos headphone v stereo v GSX 1000)

    SBX v CMSS v Dolby headphone v Razer

    What you are listening for is positional awareness, how well can you tell what direction a sound is. Determining the difference between front and rear is a big one as is the subtle differences in areas of the front arc and directly to the sides.

    To my ears Virtual surround gives me a lot more positional awareness than Stereo. The Sennheiser GSX 1000 gives me the best positioning and general sense of quality of sound and I have tried almost everything (and certainly everything in these two videos). I haven't bothered with Stereo for a long long time, was a big fan of Aureal 3D and the Vortex cards when they came out and been looking for the best binaural sound in gaming ever since.
  3. Avean
    Then the question is.... does the GSX 1000 do a better job than todays new virtual surround? Like Dolby Atmos for Headphones and Windows Sonic? With GSX1000 you have to throw out your soundcard. I have a pretty expensive one with a headphone amp geared for my HD650 set. GSX1000 seems to only support up to 32ohm? But is it any better than what u get through spatial sound in Windows 10?

    EDIT! Seems there is a
    Sennheiser GSX 1000 / 1200 Impressions

    thread already on this forum. Where Sonic and everything got tested vs this, and GSX won it seems. But the problem is to drive my HD650 through this...... maybe have an AMP between
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  4. BrightCandle
    I run my GSX 1000 into a Magni 2. The DAC in it isn't fantastic either honestly (The Modi 2 is a little better) but the positional sound is second to none at the moment.
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Sennheiser HD650 are not considered the best headphone for surround sound gaming.
    What sound card and amplifier are you using?
  6. Avean
    Asus Essence STX with built-in amplifier for up to 300 ohm so im only using that. Any recommendations?
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, when you installed the Essence STX?
    Have you tried the Unified Xonar Drivers?

    I would say to buy used (eBay) Sennheiser HD558 headphones, remove the black rubber tape from inside the cups and use them for gaming.
    Use the HD650 for music and movies.
    Maybe upgrade the op-amps (operational amplifiers) in the STX, I use the AD797BR op-amps in my STX, about $55-$60 for three.
    Maybe get a Darkvoice 336SE OTL tube headphone amplifier, $214-$250
    You would want to plug the 336SE into the STX's RCA (Line-output) jacks, to improve audio quality for music and movies, or gaming in stereo audio.
  8. Avean
    Yeah on-board is disabled and using the Unified drivers :) Yeah heard HD558 have bigger soundstage for more detail and precise surround. But i will loose the powerfoul sound of the HD650's....i will see :) I dont feel i have a problem right now playing with them, i can pin point anyone pretty exact and using the Windows 10 Dolby Atmos for Headphones. But yeah, probably not perfect, but not sure its worth a new set of phones and AMP.
  9. mindbomb
    Hi, you can get gsx's surround virtualization for headphones in software. Check out this reddit post

    When using a xonar souncard, you don't need to do the optional voicemeeter step since the xonar can be set to 7.1

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