My Personal Gaming Experience: Zx vs AE-7 VS ALPHA S

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by Eastcoasthandle, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Sorry for late update.

    I've tested the Volume levels with and without the ACM using different Headphone Gains. And it's true that you have to turn the volume on the ACM almost to max to get it to equal the volume without the ACM using Headphone Gain between 16-31 ohm (low). Using Headphone Gain of "High" would require you to lower the volume of the ACM. Which isn't needed. Just leave the ACM at 90%+ and call it a day with Headphone Gain at Low as it's just as good IMO.
     
  2. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

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    The ACM is just a passive vol pot (and pretty poor one) with mic and seems to attenuate the volume even at max. I also had Zx before moving to AE-5 and the headphone out is way, way more powerful the one on Zx. Zx was really close to AE-5 low gain. Maybe tiny bit louder. I have absolutely no issues with the volume except it's too high even on low gain. For that reason I use my O2 amp (unity gain) hooked to line out. I keep my O2 around 10-11 o'clock position and windows volume around 32% (which is about -17dB). That's with HD 6XX and HD 600. With HD 58X and HD 660 S I have to lower the volume further to ~25% (~-21dB).
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2020
  3. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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    New driver is up :cool:

    Software is Fine v.3.4.83.0
    But Driver is bugged* i advise not to update (good for me is 6.0.105.52)

    Can't play BFV :eek: (sound is all over the place).

    UPD.
    Hmm, it is fine now.

    Just needed to adjust from 48kHz to 96kHz in Windows sound (not in AE panel).
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2020
  4. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Hmm, that's strange. When you change it within Command it changes in Windows. What happened??
     

  5. OnnA

    OnnA Ancient Guru

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    It's fine now.
     
  6. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Very interesting.
    I am now using a decent soundbar connected to the AE-7 through a digital toslink connection. In win10 I had to change my audio source to SPDIF-Out (Sound Blaster AE-7). And played a few rounds of Modern Warfare 2019 (Boost left at High). I wasn't expecting much. I wanted to see if I could still here the direction of footsteps.

    Boy was I surprised!!! Firing of weapons had a bit more punch to them. As well as you or someone being struck by a bullet. I never heard that on the headphones. Footstep direction is very audible. Overall ambient sounds are a bit tense for my liking but pleasantly surprised how much better the audio improved.

    I'm still not sure when I will go back to my sennheisers.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  7. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Seems like you have experienced some good dynamic range, with the soundbar having a good amp to deliver it. My DT-1990 Pro + Asgard 3 amp has that in spades.
     
  8. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    I see. And here I thought it was do to the toslink. :D
     
  9. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Ok I just realize something.
    Modern Warfare is a Dobly Digital game. It has DD audio signaling.
    However, AE-7 can only process DD in SPDIF-OUT and not Speakers (Sound Blaster).


    [​IMG]


    List of games that use Dobly Digital.
    https://www.dolby.com/gaming/
     
  10. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    DD via SPDIF-Out is Dolby Digital Live, where you are encoding a DD stream from multichannel output. If the game supports DD out, you can stream that to a decoder, either an external hardware decoder (SPDIF-Out or HDMI Out), or a plug-in for Windows, like Dolby Access. Then your multichannel will go out your analog Speakers (Sound Blaster).
     

  11. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    I am not sure how to get Dolby Digital through speakers unless you use Dolby access which doesn't work as well at all from my experience. I do not get the same Fidelity using Dolby access and speakers versus spdif out. As a matter of fact I don't notice any difference at all use i versus not using it when it comes to using speakers.

    And, Dolby access only use a 16-bit. Using spdif out guarantees me 24-bit. I'm not seeing a way to use speakers and still get Dolby Digital. Even though the game supports it. Unless there's some audio Hardware that specifically supports Dolby Digital. I'm trying to get it through soundblaster and the game only right now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2020
  12. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    I highly doubt your game audio is greater than 16bit, if that.
     
  13. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Dobly access + speaker and spdif out should have the exact same or close to each other when I alternate between them. But there is no contest spdif is better. It's like Dolby access isnt processing Dolby digital.

    The game is suppose to support atmos. Bit I dont have speakers for that.
     
  14. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Ok,
    -Set SB Command to use Encoder to Dolby Audio
    -Set SB back to Speakers in Win10 (no need to use SPDIF-out)
    -Use Toslink to receiver and set it to Auto Detect for Audio
    -Auto Detect: Dolby Digital
    -Plug in Headphones
    Enjoy DD in modern warfare using headphones
     
  15. Chastity

    Chastity Ancient Guru

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    Did you set Speakers to 7.1?
     

  16. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    No, it's 5.1 using auto detect for dobly digitial. Hmm, not sure how to get it to 7.1. I think this card is maxed at 5.1. I can force it on my receiver.


    Edit:

    [​IMG]

    So that explains why my receiver doesn't autodetect DD when I start the game.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
  17. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    Ok,
    -Set SB Command to use Encoder to Dolby Audio
    -Set SB back to Speakers in Win10 (no need to use SPDIF-out)
    -Set Playback Output: Speakers 5.1 Surround
    -Use Toslink to receiver and set it to Auto Detect for Audio
    -Auto Detect: Dolby Digital 7.1
    -Plug in Headphones
    Enjoy DD in modern warfare using headphones
     
  18. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    del
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2020
  19. olymind1

    olymind1 Active Member

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    I had a basic Z, but i didn't like its bright sound, before that i had a X-Fi Xtreme Music, it was much more to my liking, then i upgraded the Z to an Auzentech X-Fi Prelude 7.1, which was a huge upgrade over both of then and had very similiar sound signature as the Xtreme Music but with much more detail.

    But with newer versions of win10 the lack of driver support, and newer motherboards also lacks pci slots, it had to replaced so i went with a X-Fi Titanium HD, which also very nice sidestep from the Prelude 7.1, now i'm on ZxR because i could get one fairy cheaply but keeping the Titanium HD as backup. These are i think very good sounding cards, much better than the Z was.

    Sadly the AE-9 is way more overpriced then i'd like them to be.
     
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  20. Eastcoasthandle

    Eastcoasthandle Ancient Guru

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    [​IMG]
    AE-7


    [​IMG]
    Headphones with it's own USB soundcard. HyperX Alpha S

    And here is were the rubber meets the road!! This is all that I wanted from a sound stage. If it says 7.1 then win10 should show 7.1 not 5.1.
    At this point my journey is finally over, for now. These headphones do exactly what I want in games. Hear footsteps and provide a better sound stage.

    Now when I compare the Alpha S vs the AE-7 in MW2019 the sound stage is larger in the Alpha S! By a country mile! It's more of a "fuller" 360 degree on the Alpha S.
    Don't get me wrong the AE-7 are great for everything else but it's like a jack of trades master of none.

    Oh well, thought I would share my findings in the pursuit of sound whoring in games so you get the best audio position of enemies.
     

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