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Isone Pro - the best thing you could ever get for your headphones on your computer

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by lunatique, Feb 22, 2010.
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  1. Lunatique
    Are you worried that when you watch movies and TV shows, the lighting, the choice of camera lens, the color grading, the special effects, the editing, the acting, the directing, the sound effects, the score, etc. all will lure your brain into acclimating to super-stimuli and thus reality will lose its luster in comparison? Will you stop watching all movies and TV shows because it's all "created" as opposed to natural? 
     
    The purpose of Isone is actually to make headphones sound MORE natural, not less, in the context of how we are used to hearing audio played back by speakers in an acoustic setting. Headphone listening have always been criticized for sounding unnatural due to the complete disconnect between the two channels, which is nothing like how our auditory system works, and Isone was created to remedy that shortcoming. Isone is much more than just a simple crossfeed, because it also creates a believable acoustic environment (and a wide range of them for you to choose from, and customize), which is what our ears find more natural, since that's what we are hearing all the time when we're not wearing headphones. 
     
  2. Sonic Defender Contributor
    The TV analogy doesn't work, but I know what you were trying to get at. And no, headphones can never sound like speakers, they are two completely independent channels physically sealed from each other. All effects that attempt to simulate the interplay of channels as mixed into albums can only approximate, perhaps well, but it needs to adjust all the other relationships to do so. Whatever floats people's boat, there is no right or wrong, for me, the risk of getting used to such processing wasn't worth what it does to my brain's expectation of sound. When I want speaker effects, I use speakers, when I can't I simply accept what headphones are and enjoy them for their own special qualities, but that is my choice and I don't presume you or anybody else needs to feel the same way.
     
  3. Lunatique
    One thing to keep in mind, is that only an extremely tiny percentage of the population actually have good acoustic spaces to listen in. Only those who are deadly serious about getting accurate sound will spend the time and money on designing a room that's acoustically treated (or constructed to mastering studio specifications). Which means most people are listening to speakers in rooms that have severe room modes that completely skews the sound, often with deep nulls and spikes in critical frequency ranges that just ruins the sound of the speakers. What you hear in the showrooms that sell the speakers and home theater systems is NOT what you'll hear in your home, since they have experts designing their listening rooms. 
     
    And that is actually the main reason Isone was created. It's to allow people to experience ideal acoustic spaces with their headphones, and its target customer is audio professional who need to monitor their mixes and masters through headphones when they can't have access to ideal acoustic spaces to work in. It also allows them to hear what their mixes and masters would sound like in many typical environments and playback systems--from tiny laptop speakers, car stereos, living rooms, to a room in the next door. Also, audio professionals who need to work on location in different spaces can rely on the headphone they trust and use ideal simulated acoustic spaces so they can maintain consistency no matter where they are physically when working.
     
  4. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Fair enough points, although I'm not sure things are as dire with nulls and voids as sometimes the "room treatment" literature would have us believe, but I do agree it is a consideration. My speakers are essentially near-field listening which eliminates/mitigates much of the pitfalls of room acoustics. I also am not sure how large the impact is with these nulls and voids, I'm sure it is on a continuum with some pretty bad rooms, to some pretty good rooms without ay treatment.
     
    I'm a big fan of both headphone and speaker systems, but if I was absolutely forced to chose I would go speakers. As I said, I simply made the decision that I'm good with what headphones are and in fact I am now so used to the super-stereo effect they result in that I hardly even notice the effects. As well, after many years of speaker listening it is as though even when listening to headphones, my brain knows what speaker listening is like and it sees to "fill in the gaps" for me a little, particularly if I am listening to music I am very familiar with on speakers. Anyway, great conversation and I hope you continue to enjoy what Isone Pro brings to the hobby for you. Cheers.
     
  5. Lunatique
    If you are interested in getting the best sound out of your speakers in your chosen listening space, I highly recommend you take a look at IK Multimedia's ARC System 2:
    http://www.ikmultimedia.com/products/arc/
     
    I use it and can vouch for its effectiveness. But using it alone might not be enough, depending on what your listening space is like. After you do the measurement, you should take a close look at where the most drastic nulls and peaks are and think about whether you want to move your speakers/listening position, as that makes a profound difference in how flat your speakers will sound. Even just a few inches can mean the difference between acceptable accuracy and a deep null or sharp peak at critical frequency ranges. If you can add acoustic treatment that'll help a lot too. 
     
    I have posted detailed tips on how to achieve ideal accuracy with speakers with room/speaker correction system, acoustic treatment, and speaker/listening position placement in this thread:
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/796791/the-most-reliable-easiest-way-to-eq-headphones-properly-to-achieve-the-most-ideal-sound-for-non-professionals/30#post_12305079
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/796791/the-most-reliable-easiest-way-to-eq-headphones-properly-to-achieve-the-most-ideal-sound-for-non-professionals/105#post_12335849
     
    http://www.head-fi.org/t/796791/the-most-reliable-easiest-way-to-eq-headphones-properly-to-achieve-the-most-ideal-sound-for-non-professionals/75#post_12332855
     
  6. Sonic Defender Contributor
    Thanks mate, I am actually pretty interested in doing something like this in the spring once I actually have time. My room is actually fairly good for acoustics, but if I can learn something that would be fantastic as I do love speaker listening. Cheers.
     
  7. ReddFour
    I had a mess around with the latency options last night but the audio still way out. In fact, it didn't seem to make a lot of difference. It might just be my PC.
     
  8. jincuteguy
    So is this software still the best as of 2016?
     
  9. Lunatique
    As far as I know, there is no other alternative that does everything Isone does. Other similar products are either just very basic cross-feeds, or very basic HRTF, but don't have the extensive set of controls for various settings, listening environment presets, speaker type presets, etc.
     
  10. jincuteguy
    So I just downloaded the TB Isone, and they are just a bunches of DLL files? How do I use Isone for Gaming? 
    There is no Setup file?
     
  11. Lunatique
    You have to use a VST host and load the DLL file. The only decent working option I know of currently that could work with games, is if you use J River Media Center and use its audio driver so you can host the Isone plugin with its DSP studio. No other software the hijacks the Windows audio stream can host VST plugins that I know of. 
     
  12. jincuteguy
    So after I installed the J River Media Center, and add the plug in, and open up a game and it should work? or how do I make the J River work with games?
     
  13. Lunatique
    You're using J River Media Center for its audio driver, which you have to enable in your Windows audio setting. Then, make sure you have the plugin loaded up and activated in Media Center. Also make sure the latency is short enough so there's no audible lag--you do that in Media Center's audio settings. 
     
    After that, you should be able to play your game and hear the audio going through the Media Center audio driver and processed by its DSP Studio. 
     
    If you are having problem, you should post in J River's forum so they can help you: https://yabb.jriver.com/interact/
     
  14. jincuteguy
     
    Yea I made it work for Diablo 3 game.  But it has a 1sec audio delay, everytime i cast something in game, there's a 1sec delay, too much latency.
    how do I check how much latency for the plugin? 
     
  15. Lunatique
    What buffer/latency setting are you using in Media Center's audio options? Ideally, you want to use as low setting as your computer can handle without hearing distortion/crackling, so there's no audible latency.
     
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