Windows Sonic vs Dolby Atmos & 7.1 virtualization in Creators Update

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by rpgwizard, Apr 25, 2017.
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  1. YJX94
    Yeah that would be good
    Atmos doesn't seem to be working in Modern Warfare 2, it works in every other game except MW2. When I use Sonic and set MW2 to 5.1 speakers then I can clearly hear the difference but when using Atmos and setting MW2 to 5.1 speakers it sounds the same as using no Spatial Sound and MW2 set to Stereo.
  2. Avean
    hmm thats not good especially considering you have to pay for Atmos for Headphones. Ive tested so many games now and very few actually work.
    There is so many placebos though. Heard someone so impressed with Atmos for R6: Siege but that game dont support forcing surround so its just stereo if you do Atmos for Headphones.

    Really thought it would work if you forced surround or maybe its an issue with MW2 dunno....
  3. YJX94
    I've been retesting this and have been listening a lot more critically in MW2 and have realised that Atmos definitely does work in MW2 in 5.1 mode, it's just that Windows Sonic makes it sound a lot more tinny but Atmos keeps the sound quality the same as Stereo but improves positional accuracy a lot more.

    And it's not really the paying for Atmos that's the issue, if the game just flat out doesn't support surround audio then even the free Windows Sonic is useless.
  4. Avean
    Actually had to install MW2 to try myself considering its such an old game and yeah, Atmos for Headphones does work when setting 5.1 there. But in Battlefront 2 which is brand new? Doesnt work..... damn strange. I guess Battlefront 2 implement it in another way even if you can select 5.1. They are calling it "5.1 and 7.1 Mix".
  5. YJX94
    Yeah for Battlefront they have 2 modes which are Enhanced Stereo and the 5.1/7.1 mix. Enhanced Stereo is basically it's own VSS in-game down mixed to Stereo whereas 5.1/7.1 mix has no software implementations in-game and just assumes you have 5.1/7.1 speakers or your own VSS software in Windows such as Sonic or Atmos.

    Basically if you use Enhanced Stereo then Sonic, Atmos and any other VSS must be turned off otherwise you get double VSS. If you use the 5.1/7.1 mix then you must use VSS when using headphones.

    That may be the cause of why you say it doesn't work, unlike most games the Stereo mode in Battlefront is already down mixing an in-game VSS to Stereo, I'd assume setting it to 5.1/7.1 mix and using your own VSS would give the same results.
  6. Avean
    But it was used with 5.1 and 7.1 Mix selected. Dolby Headphone and Razer Surround all work but not Dolby Atmos for Headphones. I think its not a normal VSS anymore, ive not seen it work in any games except the very old MW2 and Overwatch which have it implemented specificly.
  7. Avean
    Tested more with Battlefield 1 where you can select surround and to me Atmos and Sonic seemed like normal stereo where sounds from left only came in your left ear.
    But whats more interesting, when i forced stereo it sounded more like surround to me. Sounds played all around me instead of only left or right. So maybe BF1 have theyre own virtual surround built-in?
  8. RPGWiZaRD
    Very likely I'd say, these kind of solutions doesn't tend to work well with games who use their own kind of processings like Battlefield series.

    I keep thinking pure standard DirectSound output for games is what it typically tends to work best with.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  9. mindbomb
    Remember that binaural audio is meant for headphone users specifically, and would be broken for speaker users. So the game would probably have clearly labeled audio options if it's going to include binaural audio at all. With bf1, I would check to make sure that what is suspected to be a binaural option doesn't just sound exactly like the regular stereo option for speakers.
  10. YJX94
    Oh I thought you misunderstood how it worked. Well I don't use Sonic or Atmos for Battlefield or Battlefront because these games already down mix a surround signal to stereo with their in-game stereo mode. I'd take a properly configured and amazingly well working stereo mode over VSS any day.
  11. mindbomb
    are you sure that this is a downmix with hrtf specifically for headphone users? meaning it actually sounds different than the standard stereo settings meant for speaker users? Because normally the stereo format itself is not capable of good directional audio, and having better input to the mixer won't fix that. The hrtf part is key.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  12. YJX94
    Yes. On Battlefront specifically there is no Stereo mode, instead it is called Enhanced Stereo and there is a description for it which says that it folds down the surround mix to stereo.
  13. YJX94
    Also on Battlefront and Battlefield I advise against using the Headphone mode and use the Speakers mode, it sounds like it doesn't make sense because the Headphone mode is usually best with Headphones since it's a binaural mix but in Battlefield and Battlefront it works differently.

    As described by DICE's audio guys, the audio settings in Battlefront and Battlefield simply adjust the dynamic range and that's it. If you set Battlefield 1 to Large Speakers and Stereo and use headphones that doesn't mean you'll be getting non-binaural audio, with Large Speakers you'll simply be getting more dynamic range so basically the largest difference between the loudest and quietest sounds.

    In Battlefront when you select the Headphones option the description states that high quality headphones users may prefer the Wide setting, the description for the Wide setting states that it's for home theatre and home cinema systems but again all it does is give you better dynamic range.
  14. mindbomb
    you can downmix surround sound to stereo, that is not unusual, and it is needed in some cases to make sure sounds aren't missing. However, to have good directional audio on headphones, you have to do a downmix with hrtf. This is not compatible with speakers (only with headphones), so I'm sorta questioning how it could be the only stereo option. It seems to me more likely that they just completely omitted a binaural option.

    In contrast, overwatch's dolby atmos for headphones option is clearly labeled that it is for headphones, and even gives you a warning about incompatibility with concurrent DSPs.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  15. Glasofruix
    That's the big problem with battlefield series, the audio options are not clearly labelled and you have to basically guess which option enables what. I've managed to force BF4 to output in surround through .ini tinkering (that way every vss solution works as it should) but i've never managed to accomplish the same in battlefront or in more recent BF titles, so i've abandonned the idea. Dolby atmos (and windows sonic for that matter) are pretty useless right now as long as games only bother with the speaker setup to decide whether to output surround or not.
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