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

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by namelesspfg, Jan 28, 2012.
  1. mindbomb
    Well, something like that. I think it would be headphone out of the gsx to a line in on some recording device. I don't see why there would be big differences between that and connecting directly to the gsx with headphones.
  2. Jralston89
    Hey friends,
    I consider myself a smart guy, but this audio stuff makes me feel like a moron. Ill summarize and pray you guys can help and maybe give a recommendation.
    -Have high end PC, NO SOUND CARD (MOBO Sabertooth Z170 S, REALTEK ALC1150 audio codec)
    -Have K712 and schitt magni 3 in mail (from reading thought I needed amp to power these)?
    Should I just be getting a Sound card?
    80%game 20%music. Really just want great positional audio for my FPS games (PUBG, BF1) and at the same time feel immersed

    There are SOOOO many oppinions and I understand why. Instead of getting less confusing the more you read, it seems to get more so due to those oppinions and more subjects that open up like 3D surround audio and what not, its hard to sort through what I actually need to
    1. push the k712
    2. get the best possible game audio and positional accuracy

    ANY help would be greatly appreciated
    Tohex likes this.
  3. Diji1
    Hi - I hear ya and unfortunately there is a lot of variables and confusion with surround sound that leads to misinformation (often not even wrong misinformation meaning HTRF's are not made for everyone's head shape so people can use the same thing and it only works for one of them.)

    I found this video helpful: - it's about how to use Equalizer APO to mix surround sound to stereo binaural but it explains how headphone surround sound works.

    I recently discovered Equalizer APO and it's great. The video shows how to use a whole bunch of HTRF's and find the one most suited to your head shape as well as how to mix multi-channel game surround sound to binaural audio. Note that the editor wouldn't open for me for unknown reasons but you can edit surround.txt with the name of the HTRF convolver that you want to use (see video and reddit thread).

    I haven't tried it on a lot of games yet but it's done wonders for Dirt 4 and PUBG.

    I highly recommend everyone check it out - it's the most complete EQ I've ever seen as well. Also, contrary to what was posted earlier, it works using a 5.1 device in Windows, 7.1 isn't mandatory. I'm changing from a 5.1 to 7.1 device but I'm not sure if it changes the effectiveness of Equalizer APO.

    I also have K712 Pros but I use an internal PC soundcard for an amp, currently Soundblaster ZxR but I'm moving to a SoundblasterX AE-5 which I'd recommend as a sound card.

    I think for gaming using an external amp won't work all of the time because optical won't carry audio (but I could be wrong!) - unless you have HDMI input on the amp presumably. Some people dislike the "color" that internal soundcard amps impart to the sound compared to external amps though - personally I haven't had this issue.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
  4. Glasofruix
    If anyone wonders how Destiny 2 sounds with the gsx, i've made a video:

    Sennheiser and mindbomb like this.
  5. mindbomb
    I've been trying dolby atmos headphone recently, and honestly, that gsx video was so refreshing. I was a longtime dolby headphone user, and I can go pretty seamlessly to windows sonic headphones and sennheiser gsx, but dolby atmos headphone has such a lack of out of the head sound for me. Maybe I'm not being fair and giving it enough time, but at this point, it's just not working well for me.
  6. Glasofruix
    Dolby atmos for headphones and windows sonic have the same problem, they simply don't work with modern games because games do not output a surround signal when they don't see surround speakers configured in windows.
  7. mindbomb
    yea, i'm doing the cheeky equalizerapo method to get around that. But even with that, and in overwatch which has it built in, I find the experience to be not spacious enough.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  8. Glasofruix
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
  9. nraymond
    I have a lot of games installed on my Win 10 gaming PC, from old 32-bit EAX titles to modern 64-bit titles (some OpenAL, some DirectX Audio, some XAudio2, some Blue Ripple Sound Rapture 3D, some Dolby Atmos...) I use Creative ALchemy when it's useful and edit .ini files and game registry settings when needed to enable the appropriate Creative OpenAL features.

    Anyway, I use 2.1 speakers handled by an SMSL amp that has a subwoofer out (so it takes 2-channel analog input) and headphones. My goals are the best sound quality on a range of headphones (I have a few, low to mid ohms) and ease of use switching from speakers to headphones and being able to use the best virtual surround on the stereo speakers and HRTF on the headphones.

    I have an Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) which I retired a few months ago and replaced with a Sound Blaster Zx. I like the cleaner software and relative ease of switching between speakers and headphones on the Zx, but I get annoyed having to still sometimes switch between stereo and 5.1 in the Windows control panel to be able to use the appropriate sound mode in games for headphones or speakers, since some modern games don't let me configure more speakers in the game settings than I have configured in the control panel. Also it would be good to have a headphone amp with lower output impedance to use with my 16 ohm headphones (from what I've gathered the the X-Fi Titanium is 35 ohm and the Zx is 22 ohm). So my choices would appear to be:

    1. Put a dedicated low-ohm headphone amp on the line out of the X-Fi Ti or Zx. I have one already that is 5 ohm and has passthrough line out. Question is, can I switch between virtual surround on stereo speakers and a good headphone HRTF on line out fairly easily, or is this going to be a pain?

    2. Buy a Sound BlasterX AE-5 since it has a 1ohm headphone out and better quality DACs, should be a bit of a step-up from the Zx but probably the same cumbersome speaker configuration switching I'm used to.

    3. Buy a Sound Blaster G5 since it has a 2.2ohm headphone out and presents itself as a 7.1 device. It seems like this would simplify getting a good HRTF set up for the majority of games old and new (except I imagine titles like Overwatch and it's integrated Dolby Atmos Headphone mode). What I don't know is how the line out works... is it affected by the soft volume knob on the G5? (I want just a fixed line out, since my SMSL amp has it's own volume control.) I see that in the software you can optionally tell the G5 to output virtualized headphone audio over the line out... obviously I don't want that. What I don't know is what happens if that is not checked? What kind of audio goes out over line out if the G5 is presenting itself as a 7.1 device and doing virtualized headphone? Is there a way to switch it to virtualized surround for speakers quickly and easily? And if the G5 is more convenient than the AE-5, is the quality drop not worth it? They're not that different in price...
  10. Tohex
    You'd be better off posting in the SBx G5 thread with that sort of question. Check it out here mate;
    pietcux likes this.
  11. mindbomb
    I've been doing optical output from a xonar with dolby headphone baked in, and I was thinking about what alternatives there are now if I wanted to avoid spdif. I could do get a soundblaster ae5 and do line out from it to my amp. I could get Darin Fong's Out of your Head software and get a usb dac. I could also get an Audeze Mobius, but it seems like a shame to not use the headphones and headphone amp I already have. What are the other good hardware and software solutions?
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2018
  12. VlLLA
  13. AppleheadMay
    You'll have to shout louder, we can't hear you, we're way too deaf from using all these phones.
  14. Avean
    This is quite interesting. But does HeSuVi take over EqualizerAPO. Not sure how it actually works. Cause Hesuvi have its own interface which you can close but the surround effect is still there. I am using EqualizerAPO to fix my headphones so wondering if it can handle both? Both equalizer APO and the effect you selected in Hesuvi. It seems it does both.

    Edit: Found out. Hesuvi install actually replaces your config file in EqualizerAPO so i had to add a new line including my previous config. So you can run both actually.
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  15. TranceDude
    Hello, can somebody using a Xonar soundcard's S/PDIF out to an external DAC test if HeSuVi carries over? Any theories on whether it should carry it or not?

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