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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. br3wsk1
    Taking another shot at this.

    Recently picked up Sound BlasterX G6, still in return window. If my budget were ~$600 for a headphone dac & amp, would the SBX G6 still be ideal or beat out by something else in terms of quality/perf for gaming?
  2. royster
    Thank you, I figured the echo is part of what makes it sound spacious. I will spend more time with it as I only had about an hour to try it out yesterday.

    So how would you pass the SXFI signal to an external amp? Is it not possible? I guess I could do from the headphone out in the front but then that would be double amping.
  3. illram
    Yeah you have to double-amp. It's a head scratching omission for a desktop device. Perhaps given SXFi is still a relatively new product, they want to try and control the entire audio chain to ensure the sound is delivered as intended, or something. Who knows.

    I remember in the early days of the X7 you could not pass the SBX out via the optical out, which they added later in the product's life cycle via a firmware update. Maybe they will do the same with this product?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  4. royster
    I see, that is unfortunate. I guess I will play around with the SXFI Air for awhile to see how I like it. I still have to try Waves NX. Maybe the G6 is the one to get since I can use any amp/dac with it and still get SBX, but Ive been hearing that Super X-Fi has much better rear cues. This is difficult.

    Im wondering if I am limited by the 6xx soundstage for VSS. And if I will get more performance with another pair of headphones and something like a G6 or X3, but of course thats a much higher cost. Does VSS add enough processing that the inherent traits of the headphones make less of a difference?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  5. illram
    The SXFi rear (and front) cues are better than SBX, definitely. (I say front, because when I finally heard a real front cue, like the sound is really coming from a distance directly in front of me, it was as cool as the first time I heard a real rear cue.) I did not find Waves NX to be that great honestly. (Not better than SBX.) I think you need head tracking to really take advantage of Waves.

    If you want to try another really good PC VSS solution try Out of Your Head, specifically the "gamer" preset (which is the only cheap one). You can try it free for 7 days. It's the only VSS I have heard on part with SXFi in terms of accurate rear cues. The UI is clunky and old looking but if you get it working it is really good. It uses in ear recordings from the Smyth A8, the god-tier of virtual surround sound. (Now only bested by the $4k A16...)

    I have a 6xx but honestly have not touched it in years, so I can't really say how it handles VSS.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  6. royster
    Thank you, ill try the OOYH trial when I get home. Are you using sxfi air, sxfi amp or x3? What's your gaming headphone of choice nowadays?
  7. illram
    I use SXFi (via the SXFi dongle) on PC, SBX (X7) on console, and Atmos on games that natively support it (e.g. Modern Warfare, Borderlands 3.) I rotate headphones but predominantly use the HD800S.

    Of all my headphones though for the price vs. what you get I have a soft spot for the HE-560. Just a fantastic headphone for VSS and there are occasionally sales on it. The 400i is also in that category for me.

    In the other direction, maybe the best price to performance ratio of all time? Koss Porta Pros. (Seriously.)
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
    SierraMadre likes this.
  8. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    I should hopefully be finishing up the LCD-1 review by Tuesday. I'm probably gonna buy Origin Access for $15 this month to play through Jedi Fallen Order and the new Need for Speed.

    I really haven't gotten a lot of time to play games lately and been playing Valkyria Chronicles 4 sparingly throughout the past few weeks.

    Between the LCD-1, and next the Schiit Fulla 3 and Hel, I don't have all that much free time, especially now that I work an extra day a week. It's really messed me up.
  9. sanj
    have anyone tried Boom 3D surround software?
  10. AudioManNewb
    Testing different 3D audio solutions SXFI, Nahimic, Waves NX, Windows Sonic, all on COD MW. Nahimic surprisingly had the best positional audio that also brought out the footsteps. SXFI is the most cinematic but muddy's up the sound. Waves NX is not that bad but not that great I like it for music more than gaming.
  11. SierraMadre
    Yes. I was very impressed with its projection of depth.
  12. royster
    Did you download Nahimic for gamers? Is it compatible on a custom pc because it has a list of compatible laptops. Are you using SXFI with the air headphones or with the x3/amp?
    halcyon likes this.
  13. AudioManNewb
    SXFI with the amp and many different headphones. Nahimic I used with the ROG armoury software bundled with the ROG Delta headset you can also get nahimic with EVGA Nu Audio. Nahimic really seemed to highlight direction and footsteps in the new CODMW. SXFI sounds wide and big and has good direction of gun shots and such but seemingly hard to hear footsteps sometimes.
    halcyon likes this.
  14. Darthpool
    @Mad Lust Envy I've been playing with this combo since Hel released...pretty stoked on the combo. I also use ZMF Verite opens/closeds and the Aeolus with the Schiit Hel... pretty impressed by this lil bit of kit! Fits a niche that was missing from my gaming desktop =) plus like in my quote it has my favorite current DAC chip!
  15. br3wsk1
    Any thoughts on the new JDS Labs Element II? Would it be a worth while upgrade over the SBX G6 for gaming?

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