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X-Fi Support Syndicate & Owner's Clubhouse

Discussion in 'techPowerUp! Club Forum' started by imperialreign, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Any surround headset, I'd tend to agree. But in terms of pure audio quality, regardless of number of channels, even my RE2's are superior, let alone my RE1's.

    Killer surround phones tho. I was gonna buy them, but saw the Razer 5.1's on sale for cheap, and took the chance on them. Yeah, I regret that move. lol.
  2. random

    random

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    ooo I have some spare zalman gpu ramsinks, might try those, thanks for the help :D.
  3. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Heheh, yeah, the Razors, I saw the reviews on them... Checked all the reviews on gaming headsets probably for like 3 weeks straight before I bought. Saw many on these hpa2s, all good, then saw I think Kursah's review, and said what the hell. So glad I got them, nothing for this price will compare I'm sure of it. Even the mic works perfect, important to me for ts and vent. Dam mic is metal! Most of the headset is metal, very sturdy, but comfortable. Best 111can after taxes and shipping I ever spent!
  4. Jaffakeik

    Jaffakeik

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    are sound cards much better than integrated scards?OR they need better sound system to work fully?
  5. random

    random

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    Well for me I've been using logitech x530 5.1 surround system (Very old btw) and monitor headphones ... when I switched from realtek HD onboard to X-Fi Forte 7.1 I never expected such a change in quality. I was blown away tbh.

    Its because of features like X-Fi 24bit Crystalizer, EAX Advanced HD, ASIO, DTS Interactive, CMSS 3D.. and the ability to manipulate the bass coming out of your headphones/speakers just affects quality so much.

    My favourite infact are the headphone features, you get elevation and surround sound with whatever headphones you got. Elevation is when you see a helicopter in-game for example, it'll actually sound like its up there in the sky flying.


    EDIT: Take note though, you have to buy a decent soundcard to get any improvements from onboard, else you could just be buying it purely for the extra features.

    EDIT #2: Also take in consideration X-Ram with apparently improves FPS and smoothness with some games, http://xfi.blogspot.com/2006/01/x-ram.html
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009
    Jaffakeik says thanks.
  6. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    X-RAM still pisses me off . . . not because it's practically useless . . . but because software developers are too lazy to support it. The freekin support code is available in OpenAL, as are the debugging features - it's not like you need to pay for EAX 5.0HD licensing!! :banghead:

    CMSS-3D is great at times, though. It's probably one of the best "virtual" speaker soultions I've heard . . . years of development based off of Aureal's technology, though . . . go figure :p


    Tons better. Check this thread out: http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=64921

    The first post, I compare an expansion audio card to a high-quality onboard setup.

    As to the subjectivity of the difference - I'll say this, even with very low end speakers or headphones . . . the average user will immediately hear a difference (not everyone does, though). But, you won't be getting the full output quality of a soundcard with low-end speakers/headphones, though.

    Now, I wish that I could promise you that you'd defi hear a difference, but I simply can't do that. Everyone's ears are different. Some of us can easily pick up something like slight differences in sampling rate between two versions of the same track, some can't . . . some of us can hear tones and sounds that are either too high or too low of pitch for others to hear . . . I can show the differences in the hardware, and show visual representation of the output, but the percieved quality is subjective.




    My thoughts - the HPAs are good, but a bit overpriced, IMHO.

    Compared to Razer's HP-1, though, they blow the HP-1 out of the water.

    Now, that's not to say the HP-1s are a bad setup . . . quite the contrary, I use a pair - but only for gaming. It's not so much that their frequency response is sub-par, each individual channel is quite decent . . . but, the impedance of the individual channels really gives away the construction . . . I mean, compared to the more "average" values of the HPAs, the HP-1 has some inherent design flaws.

    1st, the sub channel has a much lower impedance than any of the other channels (8O compared to the next lowest 32O). For average listening, it equates to a sub channel that's simply too strong, requiring one to spend a lot of time adjusting the sub channel (both in the audio drivers and with the in-line amplifier) to a more comfortable range. As well, the sub performs rather poorly with steady low frequency tones. It sounds good with quick, short bursts, though . . . which is more common in gaming.

    The front channel has an insanely high impedance (64O compared to the lower 32O). Again, this means you'll need to spend quite some time adjusting the channel to sound properly. What really comes across as, well, dumb with the center channel is that 90% of games only support 2-channel stereo. It's not like modern sound cards can't handle the upmixing, though, but upmixing to 5.1 has it's issues. The center channel is usually either derived by inversing the L and R channels, then mixing them together is such a way that the extreme L/R portions are canceled (which leaves the predominant center between the two channels) - or by panning the L and R channel inward and mixing (both methods are more technical than I've described here, though). Problem with this upmizing is that typically the center channel is lower in volume than the L or R . . . which means that for proper listening, you need to increase the volume going to this channel. Back to gaming, it's alright as 90% of current game engines (especially FPS) it's not as major of a concern due to the numerous layers of effects that are applied to the output (occlusion, attenuation, reverb, echo, etc.).

    Then there's the layout. The HPA is similar, but more "audiophile" in the actual layout of the channels, and their angle. On the HP-1, they all share the same plane, which can equate to certain frequencies and volume levels becoming muddied . . . and there's also the issue of the LEDs built into the ear pieces and the amplifier, as well as the amplifier (which I've had apart before . . . really cheesy), and the abundant possibility of introducing EMI into the output . . . there's literally nothing in the construction for EMI shielding (hell, even a couple of capacitors in the ear pieces would help), nor for noise reduction, etc.

    Y'know . . . my set are out of warranty. I should be helpful and just disect the buggars so I can give everyone a good idea what I'm talking about.

    Again, the HP-1s are good for gaming . . . and that's it. I wouldn't recommend them for high-quality audio listening, or watching DVDs or HD movies.
    random says thanks.
  7. johnspack

    johnspack

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    I would kill myself if I had to use onboard sound! Most games use thx 5.1 sound, only x-fis really support that. Nice expensive digital amps, can't decode thx! Digital out doesn't work unless you have higher end x-fi or auzentech expensive cards... glad my analogue outs do it on my cheap xtremegamer!
  8. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    no games use THX.

    THX is quality assurance, and has nothing to do with software at all.


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/THX
  9. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Ouch, semantics! Must be fun to have nothing to do all day.... and I thought I was retired heheh!
  10. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Hmm, not thx, eax. I'm still boning up on this, but I'm not using dolby digital over my analogue outputs. Only dvd movies ect can. But EAX advanced HD can! Sorry, confused thx with eax. First time I've had surround sound, give me a break heheh!
  11. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    EAX, for entertainment purposes, is really just a reverb filter that is applied to give the impression of a much larger space than you're really in. It's kinda cool, but I've never really liked it for general audio/movie purposes.

    Now, if there was a way to adjust the EAX tables by hand, that'd be great . . . but, alas . . . 'tis not so.
  12. FreedomEclipse

    FreedomEclipse ~Technological Technocrat~

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    Ive just come off my Xonar D2x & back onto my part fried X-Fi Titanium Pro.

    really baaaad experience with the Xonar....It was working this morning but when i came home & tried to boot up, the pc's power started tripping in the middle of boot/startup for no aparent reason at all....

    so I unplugged the card & checked it over then plugged it back in again & only the front speakers would play any audio & it was so very very quiet when it did play audio, so after more messing around to make sure the card was really fubar'd unplugged it & threw it back in the box - this card is no good.

    CTD in games, refused to have a constant signal for DDL/DTS, drivers that are still in the 'beta' stage for Windows 7 coupled with the fact that it would play music from all speakers just like Creatives CMSS3D.

    - I had to cut part of the cooler off my Toxic. to fit this soundcard it because it was covering up the fan/hole & started to cook my 4870 till it was hitting 85'c when its usually 60-65'c under load.

    So enough of this crap....If they offer to swap with another one, I might consider since It could have just been my luck that I picked up a duff one. Or I could get a refund & look for another X-Fi Titanium which served me well until i part fried the card when i made a mistake of trying to hook it up to my front panel
  13. johnspack

    johnspack

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    If your not going to spend the money on an m-audio card, just get a titanium and call it a day....
  14. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Freedom - sorry to hear about getting a borked card, man . . . rather unusual for ASUS . . .

    No matter what you go with next, another Xonar or back to the X-Fi, you're welcome around these parts :toast:

    Have you given any thought to some of Auzen's newest releases?
  15. EarlZ New Member

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    I have a question about the CMSS-3D and Im wondering for example Im gaming and the game supports 5.1 audio or when Im watching movies with 5.1 sound does the CMSS-3D still take over ?

    Also do you guys enable the SVM feature on your X-Fi ?
  16. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    I don't enable the SVM feature. It ruins the dynamic of the music, loud parts are supposed to be loud and quite parts quiet.

    It might be okay in gaming if you need to keep the volume even. For example, if you still wanted to hear footsteps in an FPS but didn't want to wake up someone living with you when you fired your gun.
  17. Wile E

    Wile E Power User

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    Or movies late at night. The only processing I use on music at all while listening is sometimes a little EQ. Nothing else, ever.
  18. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    That's a good use of it too.
  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yes, i believe it does take over. Its why i don't use it (my media PC has realtek X-fi)
  20. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    join in with my new Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional
  21. imperialreign

    imperialreign New Member

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    Technically - if you have CMSS enabled, then yes, it's used. But, you can always disable the feature, no matter what hardware mode you're in.

    Personally, I don't use SVM at all, and if I'm in Entertainment mode, I use no other hardware filters . . . no EAX, Crystallizer, etc. Although, I do use my preferred EQ curve, and CMSS. It can make nearly any kind of speaker setup sound like they have more spacial depth, but, to get the most out of it, you'll have to spend a lot of time properly adjusting your EQ settings, and the individual channel volumes, etc. - it can be quite a chore.

    It also really depends on your listening environment as well - if you have your speakers in a relatively close environment, then there's actually not much need for CMSS, as the output from the speakers is properly overlapping each individual channel . . . but, if you have a much larger listening space, it can help to "fill in" some of the areas between each speaker enclosure.

    Now, for gaming it's a different story, I leave EAX enabled (most of the time), EQ, Crystallizer, CMSS, etc. Only due to the fact that most games have such horrible inherent audio . . . but, I'll save that soap box for another thread.



    Sure thing! :toast:
  22. EarlZ New Member

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    Thanks for the responses, For the CMSS-3D ive been trying to experiment with it with games and movies that have 5.1 audio and i really cant tell the difference if they are enabled or disabled but for movies and games w/o 5.1 audio support the difference is extremely noticable... ( Im led to believe that its an auto bypass feature )

    Do you guys use something else to rapidly switch between audio modes/features because i find the creative UI clunky and slow.. Wish there was a way to bind all of this on my G15v2 keys :D

    As for the EQ i use the flat settings but i have the Crystalizer at 95%, it just makes my MP3's / FLAC's sound much better and more cleaner!
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2010
  23. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    thanx bro, your advices was one my reasons to got an X-FI
  24. johnspack

    johnspack

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    Yes, for true 5.1 in games ect, you have to turn off cmss. And no, I have to keep up my control panel, thx panel ect, and manually switch modes for what I want to do. Kind of wish creative would set up profiles, as I've got dozens of setups...
  25. EarlZ New Member

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    After several testing, like setting the CMSS to full surround ( it almost nulls the front speakers ) for content with 5.1 it does automatically disable.
    Mussels says thanks.

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