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Query on how to set up stereo headphones for gaming

Soumik

Padawan
Hi All,

I recently got new Bayerdynamic DT 990 Pro 250 ohm headphones for my laptop, and may be later for smartphone usage also (with portable amp).

I didn put up my first impressions here.. so you can take a look if yo want
http://www.thinkdigit.com/forum/reviews/174829-bayerdynamic-dt-990-pro-impressions.html

My question is, how do i set up my system.. software and may be some cheap hardware, so that i get virtual surround though these headphones. They are only working in stereo mode. Also, how do i enable dolby mode equivalent here? I had Gamecom 780 before this with virtual 7.1 surround and dedicated dolby digital mode. When i turn them on, they sound better than the Bayerdynamics, in the gaming performance division. Sound quality is a different thing altogather, which i dont need any more tweeking i guess. Its already blowing my mind. :p

I have a Creative Recon 3Di card inside the laptop, probably equivalent to the pcie card available for desktops. Was hoping that i can enable all these with some software tweaks.

Thanks.
 
OP
Soumik

Soumik

Padawan
^ Thanks for the reply, but can you tell me why a higher quality headphones will not be able to create better virtual surround, given proper hardware addons? If you gaming reviews of these open headphones, they are unanimously much better in positional audio than even the highest end gaming headsets. But they do have proper audio setups to help them.

Btw.. Corsair 1300? :O they are just stereo gaming headsets... How is that even comparable to these headphones. IMO stereo gaming headsets are just a gimmick to sell overprices stuff. In built virtual surround is the only place and strength, that gaming headphones have over audiophile ones.
 

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
Gaming headphones will always have a forward overbearing sound signature. They will have frequency bumps which will make them attractive to gamers and not to a Audiophile looking for neutrality.So even after using virtual soundfields the audiophile headphones will sound restrained and not overdoing anything or keep calm and composed which wont be the case with gaming cans as to bring out the explosions and shots they need to sound exciting and forward. Its almost same when you compare HT speaker with stereo speakers.
 

Hakimtai

In the zone
I have a asus xonar dg sound card it has a front panel headphone amp & dolby digital 7.1 channel surround sound for gaming headphones. Should not some thing simpler is required to drive surround sound gaming headphones or just changing the stereo setting to 5.1 or 7.1 in your audio manager tab should go it.
 
OP
Soumik

Soumik

Padawan
@The incinerator - Yes you are right. But i am not looking for any kind of special effects in the sound. I am more than happy with what i get from this headphone in games. What i want is simply a more accurate positional cue. I want to know which sound is coming from which direction. I was getting that in the virtual 7.1 headsets, and not getting, as accurately, in this one. Being an open headset, the positional accuracy should ideally be much better in this one. Yes one thing i miss is.. i dont know how to explain it. It happens when i turn on DD on the headset. There is a song 'Rock show' from Halestorm. In the first verse when the music stops near the chorus, her voice has a chilling echoish effect in it. Its more of a live show feel. And its just example, its a general thing. No matter what i try, i cant get that same effect from this one. Its more balanced as you said.

@Hakimtai - Is your card an external one? How much is it for, and how accurate is the positional accuracy? I have the internal creative SB recon 3D sound card. It supports till 5.1 system. When i force enable it and test the 5 channels, the rear left/right and the front left/right sounds almost same. Very little difference. front and the .1 thing sounds different. Which is why rear sounds are not accurate at all for me. I can hear them, but nt able to determine the exact location. Top and down weren't distinguishable in the prev ones either, so not expecting that. Any idea?
 

Hakimtai

In the zone
No my sound card is internal one. It cost around 1700 Rs now. i use logitech x-540 speaker set it truly shines in games & movies with the audio setting set to 6 speakers & Analog out to 5.1 speakers with GX mode on i can hear opponents from my hiding place. to verify there position I shift my own & the sound do change speakers accordingly. I have Philips SHP1900 Headphone they are stereo headphones so i can not comment on the headphones your are having but i do have a snap shot of the setting i use in asus dg control panel hope it helps.

1.JPG
 

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
The Beyer will perform far better with a good source or an AMP/DAC. Its a great Headphone.

For gaming buy one of those Corsairs and the likes.
 
OP
Soumik

Soumik

Padawan
@ The Incinerator - Thanks. What kind of AMP/DAC would you suggest? About gaming, i would suggest you to check out the gaming reviews of some of the audiophile headphone. They perform much better than gaming headphones in games. And i picked this headphone after going through Mad Lust Envy's headphone gaming guide at Head-fi.org. So, am pretty sure this should perform better than my Gamecom in gaming. It should be dependent on my audio source, ie. the Recon 3D card which it plugs into now.

@Hakimtai - Thanks. Unfortunately Asus Xonar external AMP is more than $500 :(. But is that picture with your headphone? And if you run ur headphone in this setting, do you get proper surround?
 

Hakimtai

In the zone
You took it wrong what i have read about your card is it already have an amp that can drive headphones up to 600 ohm impedance but what it lacks is something like the Dolby headphone. Also it fail's in the Scout Mode which creative say is able to give you tactical advantage over your enemy by abling you to hear them before you can actually see them.

There a tech radar review about the PCI-E version of the same card.
Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe review | Sound cards Reviews | TechRadar
 
OP
Soumik

Soumik

Padawan
@ The Incenerator - Thanks for the suggestions. What do you think of the E07K? If the amp's portable, i would like that, so that i can use this headphone with my phone. For desktop amps, as hakimtai mentioned, i think my onboard card can easily power 250ohms, so for just amping the sound, i dont think i need anything. Is there any huge sound quality advantage that the amps will bring over my current inbuilt card?

@HakimTai - Thanks for the links. So, i guess its pretty much my card thats not giving me the correct positional output. I went through some more links, and they seem to say that its possible to get a good sound card and get that same output. The thing is, most people say creative SB isnt good in positional audio. And the Asus Xonar EOne is too damn costly. As per some if i can get Astro A40's mix amp separately, that should do the trick. I saw some available on eBay for less than $100, but they dont include any wires. Hopefully, it wont be a trouble getting an UBS to sound card wire else where rite? :)
Btw, i mentioned that when i had nt figured out how to set the software to 5.1 channel output :p. So, now i do get 5.1 channel, but as i mentioned here, its nt ver good, or remotely near my gamecom 780's accuracy.


Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Updated: 5/23/2013. MrSpeakers Mad Dog v.3.2 Reviewed)
I started following this famous post on gaming headphones, and this guy also mentions some good surround sound devices. Among them, only one with 7.1 channel, amp and remotely affordable, is the 2013 astro mixamp pro. I am feeling thats the only way i can go.. :(
 

Hakimtai

In the zone
A good Headphone Amp. is one which can increase the volume with introducing minimum distortion.

What do you think of the E07K Correct me if am wrong.
Correct me if am wrong.FiiO Andes (E07K) Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier has an headphone impedance recommended in b/w 16-150 ohms. How would you drive a 250 ohms impedance headphone efficiently on them.As your signature show you own a Galaxy s2 which uses a Yamaha d.a.c. the audio output of this dac is simply not up to the mark.in comparison to S1 & now other galaxy flagships of samsung. It's also the reason that samsung kicked yahama & went crying back to wolfsten which is currently power the galaxy series as it did in s1 time. here take a look at the gsm anerna review of the galaxy s2 audio output

Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II review: Brightest star - GSMArena.com

The source must be good to deliver good audio quality out of the headphones. i would suggest either you upgrade to HTC one which has build in amp for headphones. or down grade to s1 to get the best audio quality Along with an amp.

For now you can try voodoo loud from (play store). It a software based solution to exhale yamaha chip to output for volume with minimum distortion. test with youe headphone to see if this pleases you.

Asus Xonar Essential One is an audiophile amp not meant for gaming attics investing into that would mean loss to you.

I can not comment on Astro A40's mix amp right now .... will post later
 
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The Incinerator

Human Spambot
You can drive the Beyer with the E07K but as the Ohms will stress the amp it will result in battery drain or heat for the amp/dac.
 

Hakimtai

In the zone
In search of obtaining a surround experience on headphones finally i have come to a link which should solve your problem.

Meet Asus xonar U3


this is a USB based sound card that support's dobly digital headphones & also comes with a headphone amp. biggest plus is the GX2.5 emulator that have emulate EAX 5.0 & lover that was used in older games


https://www.asus.com/Sound_Cards_and_DigitaltoAnalog_Converters/Xonar_U3/
Here is a guide to setup the Dolby digital headphone & If this is ture then these should even work on my low end once.


Asus Xonar DG setup (i.e. Battlefield 3) w/Dolby Headphone? - [H]ard|Forum
 
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OP
Soumik

Soumik

Padawan
Thank you for the suggestions. I apologize for the late reply. Been really tied up with work last few days.

The E07K, in amazon says that it can handle up to 300ohms headphones. So, no sure why there would be a strain that you are talking about.

About my phone, yes... even though its not I9100, its a T989 which is quite different from the Indian SII, it still is an SII, and has the same audio chip. About my plans to upgrade the handset, i am waiting to see Moto X and Note III. If they are really very good, i might go for them. Else will settle to wait and buy S4 in some thanksgiving deal. Not really a fan of HTC's metal clad heavy bodies. And many times, i recovered from my phone from apparent death by, well.. keeping the battery out for a few hours and putting it back in. So, removable batteries is a must for me.
So, i guess i should wait till then to buy the amplifier.

Xonar U3 looks to be a nice little gadget. But how good will the surround sound be, and will it be possible to get 7.1/5.1 from all games?

Any chance that you found anything on the Astro Mixamp 2013 edition? Its more than double the price of an U3, but is it worth it?

I found a software that emulates 7.1 surround. And to my surprise it works really well. Its called Razer Surround.
It basically forces the sound blaster control to default to stereo headphones mode. And then uses a separate control panel to let you configure the 7 speakers around you. Not only i could distinguish the 7 different locations, i could move the speaker position and feel it move perfectly. I loved it initially. I haven't tested on any surround sound games yet, but i guess they would sound correct. It has other sound enhancements also like Bass Boost and stuff, which really effect the sound.
The down side which i felt, was that the sound lost in quality. It pretty much bypasses the creative card i guess. Cause not only the sound was low in volume and slightly muffled, outside of game the songs were not as good as when i listen without the razer software. But you can give it a try. I feel its not able to drive my headphones properly, as its bypassing the amplifier on my creative card.
 

The Incinerator

Human Spambot
Why dont you try the Sony phones like the Z or ZL or ZR if you are looking in that range. Of all Sony has always got the best sound after a few Nokia models,though.Samsung has a upfront presentation and HTC never really got a clue when its camera and sound.

I use in ear monitors like Klipsch Custom 3 and Sleek Audio SA-6 and trust me they dont lie,Sony and Iphone 5 topped in the music presentation thing. Even with a studio monitor like Dynaudio 52SE powered by a Denon and Brinkmann stereo amplifier {solid State} in either cases they sounded great. So.

I always had a thing for Motorolas ,they sound very analog ...warm..!
 
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