SBZ or X-FI Titanium for POSITIONAL audio?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by sniperbr0, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. sniperbr0

    sniperbr0 Maha Guru

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    Hi guys

    Sorry for "yet another soundcard vs" thread, but I will be as objective as possible here.

    All I am looking for is the best and most accurate positional audio, and I will use it only for gaming. I have researched quite a bit and discarded Dolby, Razer and THX stuff.

    I am torn between a X-FI Titanium (regular) for CMSS-3D, SBZ for SBX Surround and no soundcard at all.

    I have found this thread: http://forums.creative.com/showthread.php?t=699933, and from what I understand, no soundcard is needed for OpenAL games, and that any additional effect should be disabled. Also, I am not sure if the mentioned bug is common among many games, since I do not have any affected soundcard.

    I would like to hear the opinion from you guys who own SBZ, if you guys face many bugs, how accurate the positional audio is or if you end up just disabling it

    Also, I feel quite ignorant on even considering buying an old card today, do you think it would be stupid?

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Carfax

    Carfax Ancient Guru

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    I just bought a Sound Blaster Zx after coming from an X-Fi Platinum (uses PCI bus), and man, the difference in sound quality is huge! I'm hearing sounds in games on my new SBZx that I never even knew existed :)

    If you want positional audio, definitely go for the SBZ. It's far superior to the X-Fi in that category in particular in my opinion..

    Then again, I'm not really an audio guy so I'm sure there are more knowledgeable dudes on this forum that can give you a more educated opinion..
     
  3. goat1

    goat1 Ancient Guru

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    SB-Z is better. You will get a few guys on here trying to hang on to old tech,CMSS. SBX is just as good,if not better.. I've had all those cards. PS. the Recon3D cards get a bad rap also. For gaming they are very good.
     
  4. -Tj-

    -Tj- Ancient Guru

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    I don't mind CMMS3D on my XFIHD, to get extra spacious effect I set windows to 5.1 while in headphones mode and it sounds great and more HQ due to better analog DACs..
     

  5. sniperbr0

    sniperbr0 Maha Guru

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    THanks for the feedback guys :)

    I will go for the SBZ
     
  6. TheDeeGee

    TheDeeGee Ancient Guru

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    I went from a X-Fi Titanium to the ZxR and the difference was very noticable.

    I most likely would have gotten just a Z tho, but i got the ZxR for only 160 Euros which was a steal.
     
  7. MonarchX

    MonarchX Banned

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    A buddy of mine tells me that SBX is both superior and inferior to Dolby Headphone technology. There is no annoying echo that is present in Dolby Headphone, but it is that same lack of echo that makes SBX sound less positional/surround.

    Does anyone else feel that way?
     
  8. qu3x

    qu3x Member

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    I am using an STX Xonar now. And positional Audio is so hard. Stereo or music wise the card rocks. But it sounds so sparated in games. Sometimes it feels like that my character as such a channeld feel of left and right that I am unable to hear stuff what is rigt next to my left ear. I might get an SBZ for testing.
     
  9. SpecChum

    SpecChum Master Guru

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    I'll add my 2 cents to this.

    I've got a Xonar DX with Dolby Headphone and my motherboard comes with ALC1150 on-board sound that comes with a Sound Blaster Pro Cinema 2 solution with SBX surround.

    In games I much prefer the on-board solution when using my Ultimate Ears 6000 headphones as the sound is so much clearer, the Dolby solutions sounds like it's in a reverberation chamber. Sure, the Dolby has slightly better positioning but the clearer sound of the ALC1150 solution more than makes up for this.

    Music wise, you'd be hard pushed to tell the difference apart from the DX has a lower volume, presumably as it's got no headphone amp unlike my motherboard.

    For Movies, the dialogue is clearer but with slightly less separation on the on-board. I'll try to describe it. On the Xonar (DH2 setting) )the vocals sound like they're coming from just in front your forehead whilst the ambient sounds are coming from inside your head but on the on-board the voices, whilst clearer, sound like they higher up but on your forehead instead of in front of it. Hard to describe, my apologies. The overall clearer sound wins this for me tho. Positional separation is still good enough on either.

    I'm going to go against tradition and say, all in all, I prefer the ALC1150 with SBX surround to my Xonar DX with it's Dolby Headphone.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  10. sykozis

    sykozis Ancient Guru

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    What do onboard and Xonar cards have to do with X-Fi Titanium vs SBZ???
     

  11. SpecChum

    SpecChum Master Guru

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    Cos the SBZ has SBX surround, so I was comparing SBX's positional qualities against Dolby headphone for the OP. Plus he did say "no soundcard at all", which presumably means on-board?

    I did put a little info in regards to general sound quality but mainly I was inputting on the positional side, which is relevant to this thread.

    Point was SBX with an "inferior" chip beats (IMOH) Dolby Headphone with a "superior" chip (again, IMHO)
     
  12. Valken

    Valken Ancient Guru

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    +1 Using ACL1150 onboard with X-Fi MB3 (software) and it is better than my Creative WOW Surround Sound Wireless USB Headset (X-Fi) for gaming. That was already better than my old Denons plugged into an Audigy 2.
     
  13. RealtekDDL

    RealtekDDL New Member

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    Dolby Headphone is not made for games, it mind's to emulate the speakersounds of the movie theater into a head/home theater.

    They add all these room reverberations DH1:studio, DH2:home theater and DH3:movie theater.
    It can sound good with true DD coded movies as the soundmix (dry sounds) is meant for the movie theater.

    It's crap for gaming, all sound echo-ish/hollow-ish, good for games with environment inside caves/garages/tunnels/bathrooms etc., not for outside/city/openfields or sounds that are meant as is without room reverb emulation.

    Renamed SBX Studio Pro from former THX truStudio Pro sound more true as is intended.

    You can compare these surrounds on youtube, btw SBX is the new renamed THX for Creative:
    THX vs. Dolby vs. CMSS-3D headphone sound in Battlefield 3 :
    youtube.com/watch?v=0NirHR5l9AU
    SBX vs. CMSS-3D vs. Razer vs. Dolby vs. Realtek - headphone game sound test
    youtube.com/watch?v=2BxO9cd-sYA
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  14. umeng2002

    umeng2002 Maha Guru

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    Coming from an X-Fi, I always prefered CMSS 3D Headphone to Dolby Headphone.

    It didn't add an echo to simulate a room. Plus the CMSS Headphone positioning was better. Also, IF you wanted to simulate the room with the Headphone positioning, just add an echo effect to the normal CMSS Headphone.

    I'm glad to hear that the SBX continues being great at just positional effects with headphones without adding room simulation.

    As I mentioned in the other thread, since I use an external DAC and AMP, I don't think spending twice the amount of money on a SBz card would be worth it to save a few % load from my CPU if I get the X-Fi MB3.
     
  15. Noisiv

    Noisiv Ancient Guru

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    all these 3D techniques sound like crap in games anyway
    the last game with REALLY great 3d audio was old IL-2 with A3D
    I'd personally go with X-FI Titanium HD because of better crosstalk measurement, which is pretty much all that should matter with positioning...
    but I won't, because I can find input specs on any of these cards #$@&*^, and this pretty much leaves me with Essence STX -OR ZxR
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2015

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