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

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by namelesspfg, Jan 28, 2012.
  1. BrightCandle
    We all seem to respond a little differently to the different implementations. Some people seem to get good positional cues from the microsoft headphone implementation in DirectX but I don't find it to work at all beyond anything but stereo for me. I did get some positional cues from Dolby Headphone but I found it wasn't very accurate and front to rear was a real problem, I couldn't tell them apart. CMSS and SBX Pro both gave me reasonable positional awareness and I can tell front from rear but the sound was hollow. The GSX 1000 is as better for positional cues and it doesn't sound hollow but its also not like real life yet either.
  2. FlavioWolff
    Thank you for your answer.
  3. TranceDude
    I've just gotten back into CS:GO with my Q701 and X-Fi Titanium HD. What settings give the best sound positioning atm?

    5.1 in options, CMSS-3D, snd_legacy_surround 1 and using ALchemy to restore DirectSound3D
    Stereo headphones in options and CMSS-3D
    Stereo headphones (HRTF) in options and no CMSS-3D

    I intend to try it out anyway, it'll just take a while, what do others run?
  4. mindbomb
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2017
  5. dmbr
    Wow, this looks great. I'm a little weary of messing up my OS though...has anyone here tried it?
  6. mindbomb
    I've tried it, and it works. The short version is that you set windows to 7.1, install equalizer apo, and then place a folder in the equalizer apo directory. If you can't set windows to 7.1, you have to do a workaround to do that. And lastly you edit a config file in the equalizer apo directory to select the virtual surround you want.

    You can uninstall equalizer apo to undo the changes.
  7. NamelessPFG
    Guess who's back after a very long hiatus. This place wasn't exactly good for my bank account, I had nothing new to write about (let alone rewritten the existing guide outright), Ossic still hasn't delivered what they promised us Kickstarter backers...

    ...but I wound up being in the very fortunate position to review the Sennheiser GSX 1000 and GAME ZERO at no cost, so I'm back. I haven't finished writing up about 'em, but let me tell you all this much: it'll be pretty key for when I do totally overhaul the ol' guide.

    I still need more time to write up the review proper, but if you want to get an idea of what the GSX 1000's virtual 7.1 sounds like, I'm gonna stream with it on while playing Destiny 2 all night. Come on in, and bring your favorite headphones!
    Evshrug and motorwayne like this.
  8. motorwayne

    Story: I'm changing from some Philips X2's (Tried to keep them for 3 months, like them, but too heavy and I get a sore neck after a couple of hours) to a set of AKG 712 Pro's (Ordered and have had the 612's in the past) and
    from what I understand the AKG's will need more amping than the X2's.

    I have a quick question.
    Which option will work best, I own both the SB Titanium HD and the Sennheiser GSX 1000 and I have an JDS Labs 02 amp. I like both in terms of surround sounds abilities.

    1) A Creative SB Titanium HD soundcard outputing to a JDS Labs Objective 02 to drive the 712's - or
    2) The Sennheiser GSX 1000 outputing to the JDS Labs Objective 02 to drive the 712's

  9. Evshrug
    Since you are going to use the O2 + K712 combo regardless, it really just comes down to your preference between the GSX 1000 and Ti HD.

    By point of comparison, the GSX is external and uses USB-A, Windows/Mac compatible (works with PS4 in stereo too), has a software switch to output to speakers without having to go unplug physically, different Binaural processing, separate virtual devices for game audio (“speakers”) and chat Audio (“communication headset”) and a physical wheel for game/chat volume balance to make teamspeak easy, and more. Personally, I have a few headphones that are powered effectively straight from the GSX’s headphone output, but I did enjoy hooking up my desktop amp and HD 800 to the GSX for giggles.

    The Ti HD has its own benefits and features which (considering its age), I’m sure you’re aware of, but that just means you’ll have to choose for yourself.
  10. NamelessPFG
    From a gaming standpoint, it depends on which surround implementation you like better and what games you're playing. I've spent enough time with both that, for me, the GSX 1000 sounds better with software 7.1 mixed games in terms of sheer positional accuracy (something I've never said for any other virtual surround tech I've tried to date), but the X-Fi Titanium HD still rules the roost if you're playing anything old enough to use DS3D or OpenAL (which, at this point, is almost certainly over a decade old since most of those games were released in 2007 or earlier).

    From an audio quality standpoint, the Titanium HD has a much lower noise floor and generally superior audio quality. I don't claim to have audiophile ears, but the difference is pretty obvious between the two there. Because of that, it makes a far cleaner source to amplify with something like an Objective2 right off the bat, so I'd have my music listening done that way.

    This isn't to say that the GSX 1000 sounds bad for general listening by any means, but there's still room for improvement in any future models Sennheiser wishes to produce down the line. I wouldn't mind seeing them produce a cleaner-output version that would provide a good source for even the high-end HD 800 or Orpheus systems, just for kicks. (Gaming on an Orpheus, you say? Only on Head-Fi!)
  11. Evshrug
    Not impossible. Stranger Things have happened...
  12. DevilofLife
    Deleted post wrong thread
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  13. Jiv_au
    I've tried it and... this is amazing!

    I tried the GSX++.wav file and to me it's definitely clearer than any of the other virtual surround sound software I've experienced (Win Sonic, Dolby Atmos for HP, Razer, Spatial Sound Card).
    Unfortunately I don't have any hardware solution to compare to (e.g. Sennheiser GSX 1000) so I'm unable tell how close they are to the real thing.

    Would anyone be willing to do a comparison between their hardware surround sound and this Equalizer APO setup?
  14. mindbomb
    I compared my hardware dolby headphone dh1 to the equalizer apo version, and I thought it sounded the same. I didn't do a very thorough analysis though. You can also check the gsx one against namelesspfg's twitch stream, , since his stream has hardware gsx baked in. I did do that and recall it being similar.

    hmm, he has no videos available outside of the live stream, so that comparison might be harder to do than I thought. Other videos on youtube also have the hardware version baked in.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
  15. Jiv_au
    Is that where they connect the GSX line out to their computer mic in?
    Because I remember the video author explaining in the comments that the recording did not accurately reflect what one would hear through the headphone that is directly connected to the GSX.

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