Best Audio Solution "I found" to hear Footsteps on PC

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Eastcoasthandle, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    AE-7 + HD589se/SoundBar (Dolby Digital)
    VS
    HyperX Cloud Alpha S

    With the game Modern Warfare it has audio processing for Dolby Digital Atmos. With my AE-7 I'm only able to enable DD using spdf only. It won't work via 3.5mm cable.
    :(

    So with a separate soundbar capable of DD I actually get DD via SPDIF using the AE-7. There is a lot of emphasis in the firing of weapons which is a much fuller sound. Each has it's own unique sound that has a "punch" to it. Which drowns out the sound of all ambient, as well as other, sounds around you. Which reminds me of a firing range with all the booths full. Also, there is an emphasis, aka "punch" on impact of being shot (higher frequency bass). You will know when someone is taken out (lost full health) because of the fuller sound it makes on the final shot makes on a player. Another aspect of using DD is that ambient sounds are a tad more suppressed even when using Boost High. Which brings forward footstep sounds a bit more.

    Having prefaced the above this is what I was looking for out of my HD598se and AE-7. Although I do hear footsteps fine I miss the added DD effects which only work in the AE-7 through SPDIF out to my soundbar. There is no way I can tweak the EQ to do the above on my HD598se via 3.5mm jack. I would need a mixer/amp capable of surround sound/DD. I could use my receiver but that's bit of an awkward solution.

    This brings us to why I decided on the HyperX Cloud Alpha S. That comes with it's own usb cabled soundcard that's 7.1 capable. Having research this for several weeks I've compared the following headphones:

    -HyperX Cloud Orbit S is very, very expensive which is more abt for VR do to it's 3d audio (move your head left/right will let you hear more left/right)

    -SteelSeries Arctis Pro + which is expensive and dts only. And I prefer wired headsets.

    -Fnatic React Gaming Headset which is an Esport headset. But it's not tailored for FPS (per one of it's youtube videos) but for all Esport games. So priority for footsteps were a concern.


    -Razer BlackShark V2 Gaming Headset: THX 7.1 would have been my second option if the Alpha S didn't work.

    -Logitech G Pro X Gaming Headset which didn't get the best reviews. And the blue voice mic thing sounded horrible. Also, I'm not pressed for wireless headsets.

    I'm sure I'm missing a few more headphones I've come across but you get the idea. With the Alpha S (using the provided 7.1) I get a similar audio experience with my AE-7 (DD Encoder) + SPDIF out to my Soundbar. And the headphones only requires 65ohms. Which is 15 ohms more then the HD589se which is a bonus for me as I don't need an amp. Therefore, I can keep the volume around 40% or so and can hear everything I need to hear.

    Win10 had no problem recognizing it and added it. Although I do have to alternate between AE-7 and Alpha S when gaming (which I already accepted as an extra step). They are snug but comfortable. They are closed back so sound isolation is far better then an open back HD598se. The difference between hearing footsteps between Alpha S 7.1 Surround Sound vs AE-7 verses plugging them in via 3.5 splitter is minimal except for the DD sound effects. With usb 7.1 Surround Sound I can actually hear footsteps a bit further out around 5-10 feet more (MW2019). The type sound of the footsteps heard on ground, pipe, wood, concrete, etc. are a bit more crisp and pronounced with the provided soundcard.

    Now don't get me wrong I can hear the same on my AE-7 (w/Alpha s) I simply need to find a better way to fine tune SBX Profile and EQ when using the Alpha S. Fiddling with it has improved on this by the way. I just don't know the "perfect" setup for footsteps without it sounding like crap with watching videos, etc. And SoundBlaster dropped the ball in providing a profile for Modern Warfare. Which I would have hoped to find in these updates.

    Overall, I'm a bit surprised by the Alpha S. I hear footsteps a bit further and from more of a 360 degree radius. And find that they do, surprising, better in MW 2019 then I originally though. And they don't sound "weird" when listening to music or youtube videos. The 7.1 usb soundcard that comes with the headphones is optimal for gaming. Dare I say ahead of the AE-7 + HD589se/Alpha S. But I loose that pop I hear from the DD sound effects from shots fired and opponents being crit. hit by those shots.

    The only con I see so far is that the cord doesn't detach from the headset and the cord itself is short. But comes with a usb soundcard with a longer cable. With both I can attach the usb to the back of my PC and still have plenty of cabling to wear them comfortably. The other con is that at times, do to the increased distance of hearing footsteps, I found on occasion an opponent being a lot closer then I realized when there are multiple options in a indoor/outdoor environment.

    The boom mic is detachable and the sound quality is compressed with the 7.1 usb soundcard. Which is better on the AE7 with a 3.5 splitter.

    The only other headsets I would consider would be the Razer BlackShard V2 or Fnatic in that order. But that would be if Alpha S didn't perform as well as it did.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  2. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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  3. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    I have a more upscale headphone setup that covers all my bases:

    Virtualizer: I have licenses for Dolby Access and DTS Headphone:X (Windows Sonic plug-ins) for games that support DTS:X or Atmos, plus for movie watching. Otherwise I have a Creative G6 feeding SBX 7.1 HRTF vis toslink to my DAC. I also have a license for Waves NX.

    DAC: SMSL M300 MKII : direct competitor to the Topping D70, with AKM's flagship AK4497. Solid 2V RMS output, and very clean noise floor. Selectable DAC Filters, using "Super Slow" FL5.

    Preamp: FX Audio TUBE-01 tube buffer/preamp - this item allows me to optimally adjust line-out gain to maximize dynamics from my amp. Plus, has a pair of driver tubes. I have a selection of tubes ranging from thick and warm to clear and sparkly. Currently using GE JAN 5654W.

    Amplifier: Schiit Asgard 3 - A solid single-ended performer with 500mW Class A biased power, 600mW@300ohm. Very punchy, great dynamics. Class A delivers for quick attacks. Brings out the best in my headphones.

    Headphones: Beyerdynamic DT-1990 Pro. Just a beast. Very aggressive presentation, which is great for Rock, Metal, Classical Symphonic, and gaming/movies. Music just makes you want to dance, instead of chilling. Imaging in the soundstage is spot on, works great with HRTF embedded audio. Gaming is immersive, and robust, and yet you can still pick up on details, like gunfire and footsteps. So, no need to compromise using EQ to bring up the treble and lower bass. (Using Dekoni Elite Hybrid pads for improved comfort, and improved bass response)
     
  4. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    @Chastity

    I've found that "jack of all" simply didn't work for me when comes to listening to music and playing games. Which is why those Alpha S's are perfect for gaming with. In particular, hearing footsteps and getting those DD sound effects. Lets be honest; those sound effects are a complete opposite of what you want from a set of cans when listening to good music.
     

  5. Valken

    Valken Ancient Guru

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    @ eastchosthandle

    My headphones band just snapped so I must get some new headphone soon. Duct tape will only hold so long.

    I wanted to ask your current impressions on the HyperX headphones. I am looking at the Cloud Flight for wireless connectivity but would miss bluetooth for mobile listening.

    My current headset has a 3.5 mm 2.4 GHZ dongle. I love it. I just plug it into the audio out, and let the PC audio (XFI MB3) do the mixing.

    I also wanted to ask if you had tested any PLANER headset with sound card surround sound?

    I saw that Audeze has a new WIRELESS planer set coming out.

    Would that meet gaming and movie needs? I am NOT an audiophile by definition.

    I am a total movie nut and need surround sound clarity. I just thought Planer headphones plus a good surround sound mixer like the SB XFI or Sennheiser GSX1000 (so damn expensive) may output really good binaural surround sound may fit my bill.

    I thought about the Sennheiser GSP 370 wireless but the software stack for this and the GSX 1000 is terrible based on reviews even though it fits my bill but lacks mobile use.

    The Sennheiser GSP 670 has bluetooth but looks huge.

    Actually, I was WAITING for AMD to get TrueAudio out to the masses so maybe XBOX X and PS5 and 6xxx series would finally bring good HW audio virtualization to the masses and we only need a good 2.0 headset.

    Appreciate your and other users thoughts.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  6. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    If you are ever in town, I would be happy to pit your Alpha S against my DT-1990 Pro. The carnage will be glorious. With good cans, you can have immersion AND detail retrieval.
     
  7. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    No experience with them as I don't care for wireless headphones for my use case.

    The only Planner headsets I've had were for the office. Sorry

    Not aware of that headphone.

    However, I've found in my search that the only headphones that can cross the line between gaming and music was the Logitech G Pro X. However, ultimately I've found that my HD598SE works best for music/movies while my Alpha S works beest in games.


    I really cannot comment on those headphones.

    I avoided the GSX1000 because they are only 16bit. 24bit is the standard and I can immediately tell the difference when switching between the 2. Microsoft finally provided an update to increase the bitrate of their Dolby Atmos.
    https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4571744
    I stop using it because 16bit is horrible to me.

    I've not heard anything good at that price point from those cans.

    I do hope AMD supports it via it's GPUs. But we really have to experience that 1st to know for sure. Is it better then dobly digital?? That's the real question.

    For me, for gaming, the best headphones I've come across are Logitech G ProX and the Alpha S. There are more expensive ones that maybe better...
    Beyerdynamic MMX 300
    SteelSeries Arctis Pro +


    As for movies, etc
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2020

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