The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound)
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motorwayne

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It sounds like both of you use the CMSS-3D for competitive gaming like FPS. Should I go with that if I was planning on being immersed in my games and had less focus on FPSs? And what card would you guys suggest if I was using the Philips Fidelio X1 with no dedicated amp?
I have tried the X1's with the X-Fi HD and it ran well, plenty rowdy! :)
 
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roguegeek

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It sounds like both of you use the CMSS-3D for competitive gaming like FPS. Should I go with that if I was planning on being immersed in my games and had less focus on FPSs? And what card would you guys suggest if I was using the Philips Fidelio X1 with no dedicated amp?
I honestly feel like you can't make a bad decision no matter what type of gaming you do as they are both plenty capable. Both the X-Fi Titanium HD and Xonar STX were made for headphones, but the STX has a headphone amp on board (granted, it's probably not very good). The good news is the X1 is efficient enough to run without an amp, so just get what's more cost effective for you.
 
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kidboy17

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  I honestly feel like you can't make a bad decision no matter what type of gaming you do as they are both plenty capable. Both the X-Fi Titanium HD and Xonar STX were made for headphones, but the STX has a headphone amp on board (granted, it's probably not very good). The good news is the X1 is efficient enough to run without an amp, so just get what's more cost effective for you.
I hear people talking about the X-Fi Titanium HD a lot. Is it better than the Sound Blaster ZxR? The price difference is big, about $70 bucks more for the ZxR. The price difference from the Titanium HD to the STX is only $30 bucks more for STX.
 
I'm sorry for bugging you guys and asking so many questions I just don't want to get a sound card and have buyers remorse. I really really appreciate all the feedback.
 
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motorwayne

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  I hear people talking about the X-Fi Titanium HD a lot. Is it better than the Sound Blaster ZxR? The price difference is big, about $70 bucks more for the ZxR. The price difference from the Titanium HD to the STX is only $30 bucks more for STX.
 
I'm sorry for bugging you guys and asking so many questions I just don't want to get a sound card and have buyers remorse. I really really appreciate all the feedback.
Really it depends on taste in terms of 3D positioning. I have owned both, they both are good, but I prefer the X-Fi HD. Both will drive the X1 very well, both have an amp built in. Both factory latest drivers work well.
 
I guess you could say "similar, but not the same" You'll love either one.
 
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Slayn

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You got it mixed up again. SBX Pro Surround is on the newer Z-series cards; the X-Fi Titanium HD uses CMSS-3D Headphone in Game Mode and THX TruStudio Surround in Entertainment Mode.
 
If headphone amplification is really that big of a deal to you, I'd suggest budgeting for an external amp.
 
 
It just sounds better in terms of positional audio cues to me, particularly in DirectSound3D/OpenAL-enabled games where you get a full 3D soundscape instead of just virtual 7.1.
 
This isn't to say Dolby Headphone is a bad technology by any means - I keep the SU-DH1 around for console gaming, after all - but having compared the two directly (using my X-Fi cards and the SU-DH1 itself as the DAC for both instances), I find that CMSS-3D gives me a positional edge.
I get it mixed up a lot. ; ) So a Titanium HD has cmss-3d, but only in game mode. And I am only concerned with an amp because I assume the one in my non-HD is pretty weak. If I am going for the Fidelios, apparently they don't amp up well, but I would assume that even a slight boost will do it good.
 
So is the receiver a good idea? Hooking up from the toslink on the sound card to my Onkyo TX-SR606?
 
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kidboy17

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  Really it depends on taste in terms of 3D positioning. I have owned both, they both are good, but I prefer the X-Fi HD. Both will drive the X1 very well, both have an amp built in. Both factory latest drivers work well.
 
I guess you could say "similar, but not the same" You'll love either one.
I understand 3D positioning is very important for FPSs but on my computer I would be listening to music and netflix, playing playstation, n64 and snes emulators and playing games like Skyrim more than playing FPSs. Does that change on what I should buy? 
 
Edit: I just listened to the videos that Mad Lust Envy has on his guide with my newly bought X1s, using onboard sound from a Nvidia 680i sli motherboard (7 years old) and the first thing that I noticed was the "bathroom" effect that DH has on games, specifically Skyrim and also in Bioshock Inifinite video. When CMSS-3D came on and then THX, I couldn't tell a difference to be honest. The video I am referring to is this one http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04yEtZJVpyY.
 
So would the Titanium HD be the best bet for my needs?
 
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PippoXD

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Hey,
 
I just got a Sound blaster x-fi 5.1 surround pro by mistake on the seller's part (i wanted non-pro), but i didnt care much, so oppened it and trying to install it.
 
It works, meaning i can use it with my headphones, but i cant install the drivers from creative's website :S
I get "setup is unable to detect a supported product on your system" error, i also tried to extract the files and installing manually but same thing happens "No supported device found".
 
Can i please get some help here? I tried to google it and tried some supposed fixes, but they dont work.
 
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PippoXD

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Did you try using different USB ports? Sometimes they can get finicky. 
I did, i tried 2 different at the back and 1 at the front, btw i forgot to mention that the device is recognized on device manager. I just cant install the drivers.
 
EDIT: Just tried to install on my laptop with windows 7 and same error
 
Edit : nevermind, im pretty sure they uploaded the wrong drivers on the website, i moved the drivers from the CD to usb pen and installed them on Desktop (no CD drive)
 
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AvroArrow

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So I'm itching to try out CMSS-3D Headphone and am trying to find a used X-Fi Titanium PCIe (70SB088000004) in/to Canada for less than $100 which is turning out much harder than I thought.  Are there any other PCIe bus Creative cards that do the same CMSS-3D Headphone downmix to stereo and digital passthrough to SPDIF?  In particular, do the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty PCIe cards (70SB088600007 and 70SB088600002) do the same thing?  I'm currently running Dolby Headphone via onboard SPDIF > Audioengine D1 > Schiit Asgard 2 > K702.65, so all I want is the soundcard for the CMSS-3D HP processing.
 
Did Creative ever make what is essentially a USB version of the X-Fi Titanium with the down-mixing and passthrough via SPDIF?  I think I read an earlier post from NamelessPFG that stated that the X-Fi Go! USB (SB1100) did NOT downmix and passthrough CMSS-3D HP via SPDIF.   
 
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GoldenboyJay

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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 SB1090 (non-pro) SPDIF out: TOSLINK
 
I'm not sure if this is still available online and this is a good option as well.
 
There is a post before about this and can't find it. 

 
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PippoXD

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Hey,
 
Im having trouble setting up my audio on CS GO with Creative Sound Blaster x-fi surround pro. First off, i dont know what playback device to choose :S, I get sound on headphones on Speaker (sound blaster x-fi surround 5.1 pro) and on SPDIF-Out (sound blaster blablabla), however the option to configure speakers on spdif is not available, so im using the speaker configured as 5.1.
 
Also i've tried to use ALchemy on CS GO, i follow procedure to the letter on installing and enabling snd_legacy_surround 1, however with snd_legacy_surround 1, i only hear sounds coming from straight in front of me, all other directions become mute. Should i enable sbx surround with alchemy on(it is automatically disabled when i lauch the game, so im thinking im not supposed to use it)? Is CSGO actuallly supported by alchemy(I see on forums people using it but no actual official threads mentioning it, like the game lists not including csgo)?
 
Also in cs go im thinking i should use the 5.1 speakers option instead of headphones because the game will only output 5.1 if its told this way. Am I correct in assuming this?
 
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EarwaxDAC

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Try these instructions?
http://www.head-fi.org/t/601971/the-official-counter-strike-go-thread/15#post_10155523
 
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PippoXD

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Those dont really work for me because I dont have cmss3d or game mode, my card doesnt offer that. It offers SBX but no game mode, or at least i dont have it. But if i try to follow those instructions, its like i said, i get no sound coming from anywhere but the front. Its like my headphones are only playing the center speaker of a 5.1 speaker setup.
 
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GoldenboyJay

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Hey Guys, I need a Headphone AMP suggestion with Optical In feature for less than $100. Basically, it will be connected through internal sound card Digital/Optical Out. I know mostly will suggest buying a new sound card with Headphone AMP and at the moment i only need a Headphone AMP. Thanks.
 
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