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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (12/10/2019: Schiit Gaming Dac/Amps 'Hel' and 'Fulla 3' added)

Discussion in 'Video Games Discussion' started by mad lust envy, Jan 17, 2011.
  1. PurpleAngel Contributor
    One can assume Creative's Super X-Fi is a version of SBX, designed to run off a motherboard's CPU and built in sound card.
  2. SierraMadre
    It does offer SBX. I have it.

    As for an upgrade, yes. SXFI is a big improvement in VSS holography for some at least. Also, automatic headphone-specific compensation (of a selection of models) is only available in SXFI mode. IMO SXFI definitely does depth and centre channel better than SBX although there is a significantly more of an artificial timbre in comparison. Voices, water/rain effects can sound a bit metallic. Generally though, overall audio quality is excellent for a processed VSS solution, if not quite upto the standards of SBX.

    The X3 is also much more versatile in feature set and tweak-ability over the Omni.
    Basically, if you want SXFI in addition to SBX, get the X3. If you just wasn't better audio quality and are happy with SBX as your go to VSS, then get the G6.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  3. SierraMadre
    SXFI and SBX are distinct VSS solutions (although SXFI is more than likely built upon SBX's foundations). They are both offered *separately* by the X3. You can choose to apply SBX or SXFI, and both have their own separate tabs and features in the SoundBlaster Command control panel.

    (In fact, VSS on/off aside, I think that you may not even be able to have *any* SBX features turned on while you are using SXFI, e.g. it may not be possible to use SXFI for VSS while using the SBX suite's bass boost or Crystaliser features, it may be a case of a choice between using one mode/feature set or the other, although I could be wrong about this. - I only tested briefly on receipt and currently don't have it on hand to check as I lent it to a friend who currently has more time to game and watch movies than I do.)

    Creative are claiming (at least) that SXFI is dependent on a particular processing chip they have put inside the SXFI line, hence why they supposedly cannot bring SXFI to the G6 or X7 via firmware updates.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  4. Xspearo
    Does anyone have any input on this? "Schiit Audio Hel" for gaming on pc vs others? looking for the best sound-whoring competitive audio setup. Also does anyone have or know where to get a good EQ settings for footsteps?

  5. SierraMadre
    Creative's SBX products have a "scout mode" toggle button that tries to do that. Haven't tested that feature much though so can't say beyond that.

    No experience with the Hel but I think MLE mentioned a review incoming for that. What I will say about how it looks on paper is that while I'm sure it sounds great and can drive anything, as something that's marketed primarily as a gaming dac/amp, it lacks almost every feature one would normally associate with that kind of device. No optical input for dolby digital 5.1 decoding, no multichannel PCM support for PC, no control panel software etc.
    It will likely sound fine, great even, if you are just happy pumping vanilla stereo or pre-binauralised surround content into it. But if you are interested in VSS (and assuming you don't intend on feeding the Hel pre-rendered VSS from a dedicated device using the line-in), you would be limited to using a game's inbuilt headphone virtual surround mix if it has one (some do, some don't), using the DTS headphone X or Dolby Atmos Headphone apps for windows or else something like Hesuvi because by itself the Hel appears to lack the capacity to process and interpret a discrete multichannel source feed.
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  6. Snikibiki
    Is it work in way that if I cut bass in EQ k712 can be same or better than k702 for comp gaming?
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2019
  7. Xspearo
    Thank you for your input. I guess ill hold off on the Schiit Audio Hel and stick with the Sound Blaster G5.
  8. SierraMadre
    You already have a G5 or you are thinking of getting one? If it's the latter case then it's the G6 you want, not the G5.
  9. Xspearo
    I currently have the G5 but I was looking to upgrade. Is the G6 worth getting if I have G5 already? Or mayb another recommendation for upgrade? I only will use it for competitive fps gaming. I have a pair of akg k7xx.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2019
  10. PurpleAngel Contributor
    What headphones do you currently use or planning on getting in the near future?
    I'm guessing for now, you really do not have a good enough reason for replacing the G5, with the G6.
    The G6 does have a better DAC chip and i'm assuming a better headphone amplifier, but it might not make any real difference for FPS gaming.
  11. Yethal
    Scout Mode cannot be enabled together with SBX (at least on X7) so it's rather useless.

    As for Hel, sadly it's going to require VSS to be premixed in software so it's useless for console gamers. Will be a hit with office workers who don't want to switch between headphones for Skype calls.
  12. SierraMadre
    I could have sworn it worked with SBX but no, you're right, I just tried it.
    I suppose you could still apply it to pre-mixed VSS (DTS Headphone X, Dolby Atmos 4 Headphone etc.) fed to the G6 / X7 etc.

    I have a distinct memory of encountering an EQ profile on one of my gaming dac/amps or software based VSS solutions recently called "footsteps" but I didn't try it or pay any attention to it because I never bother with features that so distort the EQ to that extent.
  13. stavros.m
    Has anyone tried Dolby Atmos for Headphones and DTS Sound Unbound. What do you prefer

  14. Zachik
    Can anyone share impressions of the G6 used specifically for watching movies on a PC? Streaming from Netflix, Hulu and/or Amazon Prime.
    Obviously, I am interest in the 5.1 or 7.1 virtual surround...

  15. SierraMadre
    Works well. I prefer to use Dolby Atmos for headphone over SBX though so I just set the G6 as my default audio device in the Windows audio manager (and activate the Dolby Atmos for headphone processing) and keep the virtual surround portion of SBX turned off. It’s a one off payment for a supposedly lifetime licence that is good for 10 windows devices.
    If you have a Netflix 4k subscription and have bought the Atmos for headphone licence from the Dolby access app then any title with an Atmos soundtrack will give you height effects and a greater sense of “3D” depth. Non-Atmos surround content will just be Dolby Digital plus 5.1 so in that instance, Dolby Atmos for headphone will just act in a similar fashion to Dolby headphone virtual surround, I.e. surround but mainly confined to a flat plane (it’s supposed to upmixing to add height and depth but the effect is limited) and without out as much much depth to the center channel (and to a lesser extent the rears). There are also a few titles on Netflix that are Dolby digital 2.0 stereo only so in that instance the Atmos for headphone effect would more resemble stereo speakers in front of you.
    If you don’t have a 4k Netflix subscription then 5.1 is the max available in terms of surround and the title page in the app won’t even list Atmos. It also won’t list Atmos unless you have a Dolby Atmos for headphone licence or alternatively, a true Atmos surround AV receiver set as your audio device.

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