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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (9/10/2019: Grado WH1 'The White Headphone' Added)

Discussion in 'Video Games Discussion' started by mad lust envy, Jan 17, 2011.
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  1. genclaymore
    The Titanium HD is not gonna drive the AKG Q701 that well either, Mad Lust Envy mentions it that the Q701 is just as power needy as the AKG K702's that I used to have my self. So he gonna need to get a external amp if he wish to get the most outta the Q701.  Tho he could try it to see how it he likes it on the card thru the card's weak Headphone buffer. I personally wouldn't run it off a weak buffer and thur a amp instead. 
  2. HalidePisces

    Maybe the ATH-AD900? It's supposedly like the famous ATH-AD700, but with better bass.
  3. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    The Creative Recon 3D and SU-DH1 have arrived! Well they arrived like 7 hours ago, but they got here as I was literally about to zonk out by a sleeping pill. Didn't exactly sleep well, so its time for testing!
  4. Eric_C
  5. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    So, I'm ABOUT to start testing the amps. :rolleyes:

    I got pulled away from gaming today... lol, I've been eager to try these out since forever.
  6. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    Very quick impression on the Mixamp 5.8 vs the Victor SU-DH1 with Mass Effect 3.

    The Victor SU-DH1 is fairly weak at driving my HE-400 alone. It's slightly below moderate volume. With the E17 hooked up, I need the E17 at 48 volume (+12 gain), where with the Mixamp 5.8, I need it at 38 (+12 gain). I'm able to use the Mixamp 5.8's optical out (bypass), so I can just hook up an optical cable there, and feed it to the Vistor SU-DH1 (or Creative Recond 3D which I haven't tested yet). No difference with just feeding the optical straight from the PS3 to the SU-DH1. I couldn't detect any hiss off the SU-DH1, though the HE-400 has a very quiet noise floor even with the 5.8. I wish I had my KSC35 to test hiss out. I believe the Victor is quieter, but slightly thinner sounding than the Mixamp 5.8 (probably a weaker amp).

    So quick A/B comparisons...

    The Victor SU-DH1 in DH2 mode (Dolby Headphone 2, which is the same processing as the Mixamp/DSS/AX720 use), sounds pretty identical to the Mixamp 5.8. However, the Mixamp 5.8's soundstage projects a LITTLE farther out. Very minute difference. I'd say it's probably the internal amp differences.

    Impressions on DH1 and DH3.

    DH1: Definitely smaller virtual room size. The positioning was identical to DH2, but the smaller room size I felt hurt the rear positioning a bit. DH1 actually sounds VERY good, and less processed than the typical DH2 that I'm used to listening to. It wasn't a major difference from DH2 other than soundstage size. Those coming from straight stereo would probably enjoy DH1, as it doesn't alter sound fidelity as much. I actually rather like this mode, though overall, DH2 is the best of both worlds, which is why it's the popular choice for gaming amp makers.

    DH3: Okay... yeah. The soundstage opened up a bit, and really allowed rear positioning to come up better. HOWEVER, it has a very processed and artificial sound. I wouldn't trade off the more natural sound of DH2 for added soundstage with a echo-y, tunnel sound. I'd say that for very hardcore/analytical gaming where pinpointing is more important than raw SQ, DH3 is actually better than DH1 or DH2. This is a mode that I feel would be for the AD700 owners. I know some people care about DISTANCE of sounds relative to you, but TBH, I don't think headphones do distance all THAT well. I focus more on directionality than distance.

    Okay, While I still have the game hooked up in Dolby, I may as well attach the Creative Recond3D and compare the processing to the Mixamp 5.8.

    Afterwards, I'm changing the game to output in DTS, to see how the Victor SU-DH1 fares (though I can't do a quick A/B with DH or THX Surround, as those work with Dolby only, and you can't change from DTS to Dolby on the fly).

    Quick minute update:

    The Recon 3D is TOO weak for the HE-400. It's even weaker than the Victor and the Mixamp. So quick positional cues test without the E17: Both THX and Scout mode were... lacking. I hope it gets better with the E17 attached

    Update 2: Scout Mode is considerably louder than THX mode. However, I felt scout mode had WORSE front/back depth, and sounded more like stereo. THX mode is KIND of like Dolby Headphone 2, with very good front depth, and side width. Rear placement was slightly weaker and lower in volume than Dolby Headphone.

    Update 3: I really like the sound quality of the Recond 3D USB. It has a fuller sound, and sounds less processed than DH2. However, the front to side positional cues pan a bit harder and faster than Dolby Headphone which sounds more natural in progression. Rear placement is definitely not as easily discerned as it is with DH.

    These are VERY early impressions, so they are subject to change.
  7. crzycuyler
    Thanks for your input. I have been curious about how the Q701's handle completely uncompetitive gameplay. The only competing I'll be doing is StarCraft which doesn't really benefit from directional queues. Also, how do you like the Etymotic HF3s? I'm considering getting a pair. Can IEM game?
    I currently have the ATH-A900X and feel that these would probably suit me better than the AD900 or AD700. I also have the AKG K550, but I don't have a gaming rig right now. Just music.
  8. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    Update 4: To clarify on the Creative Recon 3D's THX positioning woes:

    In example, a recorded audio track in Mass Effect 3 can be replayed infinitely, and has obvious sound placement dependent on where you are at, and how you're facing the source of the recorded message (like a radio).

    The Creative Recond 3D has problems with panning. For example if I'm about 10 feet (in game) away from the recorded device and play the recording, if I pan slowly, the sound shifts too quickly from 1 o clock to 3 o clock, even if the sound should be coming from 2 o clock. Dolby headphone does not have this issue whatsoever. To paint a picture, DH has a more circular range of positioning, while the Recon sounds more like a flattened oval, if that makes any sense.

    Despite the Creative Recond having some pretty full sounding SQ, the positioning isn't as good as DH. That much is clear to me.

    Rear depth is slightly less distinct than DH, which I thought has it's own weakness with rear placement. DH simply does it better by a little bit. The Creative does a good job though.

    For RIGHT now, the Creative Recond 3D is decent alternative to Dolby Headphone devices, but still doesn't quite get there overall. I will of course, be putting the Creative 3D through it's paces, and with more gaming.

    Still, I'm already pretty sure my opinion won't change. It's quite noticeable how different they are, despite the Recon having a likeness to DH.

    Early impression scores overall (from SQ to positioning):

    Headzone: 9.5
    Mixamp: 9
    SU-DH1: DH1: 8, DH2: 9, DH3: 8 DTS: ?
    Recond 3D: THX: 7.5 Scout: 4

    Now, for the quick DTS testing of the Victor amp.
  9. Sabin0786
    I bought an amplifier to drive either choice. Still have a really tough time making that choice though. Juggling the added oomph of the the bass in the DT990 vs. the better detail/positional accuracy of the Q701's. I'm not really in a position where I can go demo these things, so I'm pretty much stuck basing it off information I read on the internet. I've googled "DT990 vs. Q701", and read pretty much every thread that compares them, but I've just run into a ton of confusing/dissenting opinions. Some people saying the bass of the Q701 is only slightly less than the DT990, others say it's a huge difference. Same for the detail/accuracy/soundstage-- some people say it's only a small difference, some say the Q701's have much better precision for picking out details. I'm just hoping to get more feedback from people in this thread who have used both.
    Mad Lust Envy-- you speak very favorably about both, and compare them both to the DT880, but never to each other. If you had time do you think you'd be able to give me a direct comparison of these two? Thanks
  10. Phos
    I imagine the THX choice awards whatever implementation was designed to have the full set of 3D audio data rather than just 5 channels.  It does however make me interested in that new sound blaster Z series, assuming it actually does hardware sound.  
  11. Mad Lust Envy Contributor

    The DT990 has considerably more bass presence than the Q701. That's one thing I will fully disagree on with Chicolom who says they somewhat comparable.

    If I had to rate quantity:

    DT990 (Premium): 8.5
    Q701: 7

    The Q701 has more forward mids, but the DT990's mids are crystal clear, though distant in comparison. The Q701 has natual treble, while the 990's treble is extra sparkly. I felt the 32 ohm DT990's treble to be less sparkly than the 600ohm.

    Overall, I'd choose the DT990 over the Q701.

    The DT990's soundstage isn't as big, whereas the Q701 has a pretty large soundstage and an airier sound. The Q701 is very well balanced, with just a slight lack of bass to make it even what I'd consider natural bass. I feel the DT880 is the starting point for where bass SHOULD be, which the Q701 doesn't quite hit.

    Positioning is the Q70's win for sure, but the DT990's positioning is great.

    I just find the DT990 more enjoyable with everything I throw at it, while the Q701 is strictly business in comparison.
  12. AxelCloris Administrator
    I love the sound of my HF3s. Admittedly, I do also carry around a ZO 2.3 in their carrying case for when I'm in a bit of a "boomier" mood. However, for gaming, the soundstage on them is small to start, and trying to add in surround DSP just doesn't work well on them. But when it comes to their combination of sound and isolation, I have yet to find an IEM I like more. I did give a listen to both the A900X and the K550 together at a nearby Best Buy, albeit a short one. I really enjoyed the sound on the K550, but the fit didn't work for me. It was too loose, and I couldn't get a great seal. I had to press in on the sides in order to seal around my ears. I've heard that this could be due to facial hair but I think it was due to the shape of my head. I also liked what I heard from A900X but it didn't have a large enough soundstage for me. I also can't stand AT wings, as they don't fit for me.
    And as for the Q701s in non-competitive gaming, I still feel they're excellent. Most of the gaming I do is non-competitive. I do play some shooters now and then, but it's mainly single or multi-player co-op games. While I enjoy being competitive at times, I find more reward in working with others to overcome the challenges. So for non-competitive gaming, I still feel you can't go wrong with the Q701s unless you're wanting skull rattling explosions and such. These won't rumble your chest like some phones will, but that sound signature just doesn't suit me well for gaming. I mentioned if before but that's half the reason I sold off my FA-011's; too much bass.
  13. AxelCloris Administrator
    Kinda makes me happy that your early rating of the scout mode is so low. I thought that mode was downright horrible when I was using the Recon 3D. It seems like your views on the device as a whole line up with how I remember it sounding. It was enjoyable, but not as much as the Mixamp was, which is why it won out for me in the end.
  14. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    I was doing a quick run through of the Citadel in Mass Effect 3 which has MANY areas where directional cues are abundant.

    I still feel the Recond 3D is lacking. They do 'cheat' however. The rear cues are considerably lower in volume than front cues, so even if the actual positioning isn't THERE, the volume change makes it obvious that a sound is behind you.

    The rear depth being too closed, followed by the sandwiched soundfield you get doesn't exactly compete with Dolby Headphone IMHO.

    THAT being said, the Recond 3D still sounds pretty good, and people may live with it happily, having not heard Dolby Headphone. It has a low noise floor, and a full and natural tonal balance (I believe the sound signature isn't exactly ruler flat, but still natural).

    Overall, I'm pleased with the Recond 3D, but it would never replace a Dolby headphone device.

    Scout mode is horrible. JUST horrible. I dunno why anyone would use it. I'm gonna test it out later, and I fully expect that score to go down to a 3. The soundstage is collapsed, and everything is pushed up next to you, to make things more audible, with the trade off being actual positioning and depth. I hate it.
  15. Mad Lust Envy Contributor
    OMG! I'm so happy to see the DTS icon light up on the SU-DH1! :D

    Very quick impression of DTS:

    Looks like I was right. DTS signals seem to be converted into Dolby Digital, and then converted to Dolby Headphone. The SU-DH1 converting DTS in DH2 mode sounds exactly the same as Dolby Digital -> DH2.

    What this means, is that THIS is the device I NEED to have. It will convert all DTS into Dolby Headphone virtual surround. Blu-Rays are finally watchable with headphones in virtual surround!

    Why, oh why can't another company make something comparable to the SU-DH1 with DTS decoding?

    Why has this been consistently scrapped? Is the DTS decoding function that expensive?

    Nameless, I'd trade you my Mixamp 5.8 and some cash if you would PLEASE swap with me. :D


    Of course, I'm certain you wouldn't, but still, had to try. :D
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