Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/10/2020: Updates to Audeze LCD-1, Mobius, Fixed Missing Images)
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thefreed

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I would like to thank everyone that contributed to my new headphone setup. I bought the sound blaster x7, the ad700x and the k712. I love all of them. However, now I need a mic. Any suggestions?
after some research I ordered k712 and sound blaster g6... don't know if I should pay 140$ more to get the x7. I am using it for pc and ps4;
Can I ask you why you would need the ad700x along with the k712?
 
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pappy97

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I have my PS4 - > Optical -> Sound blaster G6.

I pretty much only play Warzone (i.e., competitive FPS) and my one number thing for headphones for gaming is positional accuracy (footsteps mainly) and imaging.

I've been rolling with the AD700x, and it fits the bill. But last night I tried my HD540 Ref I 600 ohms, and call me crazy, but they seemed to be better. I'm questioning if I should get rid of my AD700x, because I love my HD540's for music too.

Am I crazy to think my HD540s might be more accurate than AD700x for comp FPS?
 
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MEGALADON

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Not really sure what you mean. Use the X7 amp to drive your cans, then the modmic wireless dongle at the PC/PS4
I had to buy a dongle for use with the sound blaster x7.

after some research I ordered k712 and sound blaster g6... don't know if I should pay 140$ more to get the x7. I am using it for pc and ps4;
Can I ask you why you would need the ad700x along with the k712?
I use the x700 for shooters and the k712 for everything else. I also make beats.

The PS4 can accept USB mics directly, or you could use something like a ModMic and connect it to the input on the X7. Both are fine options. I used the X7 with my PS4 (and the accompanying bluetooth dongle) for a while. Fine setup.
Yeah, I was referring to use with the x7. I have headsets and headphones. I don't have any standalone mics.

I picked up a modmic wireless a couple of weeks ago and I really like it. Have tried the desktops mics and there is too much background noise picked up. I've also tried the Vmoda BoomPro and didn't care for it.

I have not tested the duration the modmic wirless battery. I've played for 4-5 hours with no issue, and I think it's advertised at 12 hours battery life. It pairs easily and the range seems good. I can get 30ft over in the next room without it dropping out. It's also advertised as being able to be used while charging, but I have not tried that function.

Minor gripes are I wish it was USB-C for charging instead of micro USB, and the USB dongle it comes with is obnoxiously large. But so far it's been flawless in operation.
I ordered the mod mic.
 
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Chastity

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I'll be ordering an SBX X3 today. Learned that the toslink support is a lot better than G6.

1) It's accessible as a separate digital output, unlike the G6. This will allow for passthru options.
2) It can do 24/192 stereo PCM. G6 is stuck at 24/48.

Plus it supports SBX and Super-XFi VSS technologies, and the option for Windows 7.1 setting for your gaming needs. If you want to use a high-end DAC, but want all the gaming support, this is the device to get. (I hope it's not limited to 48KHz when doing an HRTF mix. That would be so "Creative".)

If someone can confirm that the X3 can do HRTF out the SPDIF I'd appreciate it.

Based on this pic it suggests you cannot output VSS via SPDIF like you can on the G6:

 
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post-15632998
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I'm pretty sure the g6 does 32bit/384khz in usb (set the audio to direct mode in 2 channel). For surround, it does 32/96hz at its highest.


In the case of optical I think 24/96, or whatever the limit of optical is. Also, the source device limited how much it can output. Some can do as high as that, and others might only go to 16/44, etc.

As for limiting to 48khz when doing an htrf mix, it's because it's taking 5/7 channels and mixing it down. There's not enough bandwith in an optical stream to do more than 5, period. The extra two channels being done by the G6 would likely just be matrixed from the two rear channels. Everything using optical output is only limited to plain Dolby Digital or DTS.

EVERY SINGLE virtual surround that I have used through an optical signal has never been higher than 48khz while doing surround. The device MIGHT say 24/96, but it must change to 48khz when doing virtual surround. I'm not 100% on this, but I'm pretty sure.

There's too many channels to be hi res audio all at once.

To add, optical isn't hard limited to 24/96, but the format seems to he held there for the sake of reliability. I'm not keen on the science behind it all, but yeah.
 
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Chastity

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In the case of optical I think 24/96, or whatever the limit of optical is.
I already confirmed with Creative's Dev team on their Reddit channel. The SPDIF-Out is limited to 24/48 on the G6. The blurb in the Direct SPDIF Help is incorrect and they said it's a typo. Sigh.
 
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If you're trying to OUTPUT surround to another dac, then yes, like I said, surround sound CAN'T be more than 48khz. That's not limited to just Creative, that's everything via optical. The 5 channels fed to the G6 (to turn into virtual surround) were 48khz to begin with, so there's absolutely no reason to output anything higher.

If you're trying to send STEREO to another dac via optical, then it's a shame it sdoesn't do more than 48khz, but then why use the G6 in between in the first place? May as well just go from source to your other dac if you're just gonna use stereo and need hi res.

If optical passthrough is important to you, may as well get an optical switcher. That way your single source can send to all your optucal inputs without worrying about losing fidelity or capabilities. DACs and such don't tend to have passthroughs. I do like that the Mixamp 5.8 tx unit does though.
 
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HieroX

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I'll be ordering an SBX X3 today. Learned that the toslink support is a lot better than G6.

1) It's accessible as a separate digital output, unlike the G6. This will allow for passthru options.
2) It can do 24/192 stereo PCM. G6 is stuck at 24/48.

Plus it supports SBX and Super-XFi VSS technologies, and the option for Windows 7.1 setting for your gaming needs. If you want to use a high-end DAC, but want all the gaming support, this is the device to get. (I hope it's not limited to 48KHz when doing an HRTF mix. That would be so "Creative".)

If someone can confirm that the X3 can do HRTF out the SPDIF I'd appreciate it.

Based on this pic it suggests you cannot output VSS via SPDIF like you can on the G6:

I am a X3 user. It can output 24bit/196khz at 7.1 with no noticeable issues. I tried at higher bitrates, but I get distortions.
 
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Chastity

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I am a X3 user. It can output 24bit/196khz at 7.1 with no noticeable issues. I tried at higher bitrates, but I get distortions.
Thx for the confirmation. Just need to know if it will output the HRTF Mix to the toslink.
 
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Fegefeuer

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Why are you guys obsessed with outputting your games at 192/24?

I doubt those games have samples at those bitrates/bitdepth. Not even one game. This means your upsampling all your stuff.
What do you guys expect the SRC process to solve for you?

Creative's cards used to be good at it and sometimes even used up to 80% of the APU just for hardware accelerated sampling rate conversion. I doubt these USB cards do it in the same obsessive way. Would be nice though to further eliminate jitter etc..

It would be much much more important if these cards would render internally with 24bit and whatever and then output to a standard rate. That way SBX and whatever processing is done would have way more overhead. Maybe they do, I don't know.
 
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CT007

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You're NOT going to keep getting competitive improvements as you go up in price.

So if you're looking for the very best headphone for competitive gaming, just get an AD700.
Surely not true on the first statement :\ I don't see Sundara, or Elix, or HD800(it is mentioned, but not in the actual review list, strangely) here. HD660 probably beats AD700, with better imaging accuracy.

AD700? Why haven't you tried the updated X models? Talking about a long-gone product not for sale isn't helpful for buyers, and this list is really lacking without those X models included.

How come there's no simple Top 3/5/10 rank list..? Like, seriously. Put the top 3 or 5, in order, right at the top of your list, of headphones people can still buy from stores. This whole article is so messy, tedious, and riddled with obsolete products.
 
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Fegefeuer

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I've been rolling with the AD700x, and it fits the bill. But last night I tried my HD540 Ref I 600 ohms, and call me crazy, but they seemed to be better. I'm questioning if I should get rid of my AD700x, because I love my HD540's for music too.

Am I crazy to think my HD540s might be more accurate than AD700x for comp FPS?
Nein. The HD 540 are really great headphones "even" today. Would also take them over the AD700x.
 
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SierraMadre

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I'll be ordering an SBX X3 today. Learned that the toslink support is a lot better than G6.

1) It's accessible as a separate digital output, unlike the G6. This will allow for passthru options.


Plus it supports SBX and Super-XFi VSS technologies, and the option for Windows 7.1 setting for your gaming needs. If you want to use a high-end DAC, but want all the gaming support, this is the device to get. (I hope it's not limited to 48KHz when doing an HRTF mix. That would be so "Creative".)
I have both the X3 and G6. The X3 is better for the PC-only gamer but for gamers who use consoles supporting optical as well, if it was one unit or the other, then the G6 is better / more versatile because it has optical in and can therefor do proper Dolby 5.1 > VSS conversion for consoles. The X3 obviously cannot do that as it lacks optical in and existing consoles can’t send DD5.1 or indeed any multichannel signal over USB.

SXFI capability was bugged on X3 the last time I tried it - distorted rears in comparison to the SXFI AMP / dongle (which I also have), confirmed by other users including @HieroX who confirmed the issue physically in person with Creative months ago. Dunno whether it’s been fixed yet as I use the SXFI dongle for HRTF. Maybe he can provide an update.

accessible as a separate digital output.
not clear what you mean by that?

2) It can do 24/192 stereo PCM. G6 is stuck at 24/48.
Fegefeuer is right on this one. You will be unlikely to notice a difference with ultra high values unless perhaps if you are playing audio files with a correspondingly high *native* resolution and even that is subject to debate.

Gaming, movies and digital TV content is native 24/48 max (often less at 16/44 or 24/44) and there is little point in forcing your source PC to ‘upscale’ it. At best, nothing will happen and you won’t hear a difference other than that induced by cognitive placebo. At worst, you’ll cause rendering errors resulting in artefacting, I.e. some form of distortion. Best not to get too caught up in marketing numbers. I mean, if those are a priority for you then you should know that out of the X3, G6 and SXFI AMP/dongle, the X3 actually has the weakest dac/amp specs.

If someone can confirm that the X3 can do HRTF out the SPDIF I'd appreciate it.
For SXFI HRTF, no, it cannot be pushed out via optical. Ticking the “apply headphone virtualization” box applies *SBX* VSS to the optical out. So SXFI - no, SBX - yes.
 
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I have both the X3 and G6. The X3 is better for the PC-only gamer but for gamers who use consoles supporting optical as well, if it was one unit or the other, then the G6 is better / more versatile because it has optical in and can therefor do proper Dolby 5.1 > VSS conversion for consoles. The X3 obviously cannot do that as it lacks optical in and existing consoles can’t send DD5.1 or indeed any multichannel signal over USB.

SXFI capability was bugged on X3 the last time I tried it - distorted rears in comparison to the SXFI AMP / dongle (which I also have), confirmed by other users including @HieroX who confirmed the issue physically in person with Creative months ago. Dunno whether it’s been fixed yet as I use the SXFI dongle for HRTF. Maybe he can provide an update.



not clear what you mean by that?



Fegefeuer is right on this one. You will be unlikely to notice a difference with ultra high values unless perhaps if you are playing audio files with a correspondingly high *native* resolution and even that is subject to debate.

Gaming, movies and digital TV content is native 24/48 max (often less at 16/44 or 24/44) and there is little point in forcing your source PC to ‘upscale’ it. At best, nothing will happen and you won’t hear a difference other than that induced by cognitive placebo. At worst, you’ll cause rendering errors resulting in artefacting, I.e. some form of distortion. Best not to get too caught up in marketing numbers. I mean, if those are a priority for you then you should know that out of the X3, G6 and SXFI AMP/dongle, the X3 actually has the weakest dac/amp specs.



For SXFI HRTF, no, it cannot be pushed out via optical. Ticking the “apply headphone virtualization” box applies *SBX* VSS to the optical out. So SXFI - no, SBX - yes.
The reason I ask about the higher bit/sample rate on the optical is because I have a decent amount of DVD-A audio, which is in 24/96 6ch FLAC format. I can configure SBX to do the surround mix at a low setting (about 9%) that does a really good job of it. I've also upgraded to a SMSL M300 MKII DAC, and I enjoy the quality of the AK4497 DAC. If it was for gaming only, yeah, then 48KHz would be fine.

Currently I am using Asus' Sonic Studio III for the HRTF mix. The nice feature of the software is that you can configure non-Realtek sound devices to be processed by the application, and configure them as Headphones. The software will then automatically mix multichannel sources to HRTF stereo, and for music, does a great mix job. (Tho checking the SS Virtual Mixer, it may be locked at 16/48, but I am not going to quibble over that) The one feature it lacks is faking a 7.1 setting in Windows Audio for games that cannot configure the audio channels itself. On the upside, it's not limited to 48KHz, and mixes my 24/96 sources, and will output it as such, as long as you also set Windows Audio to 24/96 for DirectSound output.

Too bad about SXFI output. Would have been fun to try. So as it stands now, I am using the G6 for 7.1 VSS for games only that require it, which then outputs the HRTF via toslink to my DAC. I have to change Windows Audio default output and change the input setting on the DAC. I would use a soft solution like Dolby Access/DTS:X for the games, but some of my old stuff isn't Windows Sonic aware, and will only output stereo.
 
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Surely not true on the first statement :\ I don't see Sundara, or Elix, or HD800(it is mentioned, but not in the actual review list, strangely) here. HD660 probably beats AD700, with better imaging accuracy.

AD700? Why haven't you tried the updated X models? Talking about a long-gone product not for sale isn't helpful for buyers, and this list is really lacking without those X models included.

How come there's no simple Top 3/5/10 rank list..? Like, seriously. Put the top 3 or 5, in order, right at the top of your list, of headphones people can still buy from stores. This whole article is so messy, tedious, and riddled with obsolete products.
Would you like to buy those headphones and send them to me for review? Like, seriously.

I can only review what I buy and/or through the process of some companies sending gear to me.

I make NO money of this, and my real life job is a joke and... not at a level where I can just buy things on whims to review all the time. I'm not even allowed to mention avenues of some compensation on here. So yeah, all of this is essentially for FREE. If I wanted to stop today, I could. Not that it's make a difference in my life, other than stopping the constant "why not this, or you need to review that".

Why is there no simple top rank list? Because people would then absolutely avoid EVERYTHING but the top ranks. I had a scoring system before, and all that garnered was tons of people asking me why a headphone was a 9.75 while once they think was better was a 9.5, and avoiding all the reading and just paying attention to scores. In my opinion, even headphones with 7s are worth looking into. In fact the headphone I'm using would've been rated 7s, and I can't think of anything I'd use on the daily more than this.

So no, no ranks or scoring. If people cant bother reading reviews and extrapolating what would work best for them instead of just looking at scores and picking out the highest number one, that's on them. Me, as I said, I don't get paid for this. I had a couple of freelance reviews for a company that I got paid little for, but that wasn't enough for me to pump out reviews just because people wanted to know what I thought of headphone X and headphone Z.

You know what, after my next review (whenever I'm allowed to post it), who knows when I'll have anything to look at? I'm certainly not buying anything else.

Sorry that I can't MAGICALLY pop out throw away money to keep up with audiophile trends for reviews that give me nothing in return.
 
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