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The Xonar "Xense" and Bad Company 2. Are they compatible?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi. After a long debate with myself and the two fellow demons that live in my head I've been looking at the Xense & PC350 pair.. I am getting this for both headphones and my 5.1 receiver.

I was looking at getting a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD...but then I read these two reviews...

Quote:
Wavey Davey says:
You know it amazes me that none of you have tried to use the Soundblaster with its many, in fact myriad control panels of various sorts, all those fancy EAX and other effects et al, with a digital audio Toslink connector. Crazy as it sounds, none of the features work at all with the Toslink cable inserted into the Soundblaster card! I could not believe it!

Now if that is your idea of a premium card working to its best ability all I can say is this: how would you know unless you, too tried what I did, and that is try hooking up your card via Toslink optical cable to either a HiFi system or a driven optical Toslink optical setup speaker system, like my Logitech Z-5500's with the dedicated control module....and NO WAY JOSE, it doesn't work with any control panels whatsoever.

The only way to control the sound using the optical/Toslink connector is at the Logitech Control Module for the Z-5500's, and there, and ONLY there can you utilize any sort of sound modulation, be it bass up, treble up, Panorama, center speakers, whatever...the ONLY controls that work with this card optically hooked up with the Toslink cable is external means, NO SOUND BLASTER CP's WORK, NONE AT ALLLLL!!!

Take your card and disconnect the analog ports, use the optical Toslink connector and prove me wrong, I dare any of you! You will find that nothing on the Creative software controls works to modulate the sound, nothing, nada, ZILCH!

That is why I returned my card, and why I am writing a review later in the week when I have time to spend at it and explain to the nice people this interesting phenomenon about the Creative CP's NOT WORKING with optical Toslink hook up, they only work with analog hook ups, period, end of discussion!

I ended up with the Xonar Essence ST PCI Audio Card and could NOT BE HAPPIER, and exclusively use the optical Toslink connector for my setup for my PC with the Logitech Z-5500 speakers, and with the Asus card all is well. Both "Speakers" and "Optical" choices are available in the Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit Sound Control Panel to choose from, and the Asus software CP called "Xonar Audio Center" works 100% to be able to modulate sound and have sound effects of your choosing or preference shall I write, no issues whatsoever!

Plus the Xonar Essence ST PCI Audio Card is still in production...maybe not yours above is listed at Asus site, but the Xonar Essence ST PCI Sound Card (not "for audiophiles") is still in production by Asus today, by the way. I don't know about the headphone amp because I use a dedicated headphone amp for my Audio Technica ADH A700 Headphones and my Ultimate Ears IEMs, which are Triple-Fi 10's, although I suppose the headphone amp is functioning to work with my amp....I just keep the sound control on low and use my amp for loudness control.

And the Asus Xonar Audio Center works fine to control headphones also, no issues there, and that is analog, not digital as I recall...with a 1/4-inch port out.

Anyway, I'll write more about the Creative CP phenomenon when I have a chance, but it's too late tonight to get it together to write a review about the Creative HD card, but because I could not control any of the special features of the Creative CP's I returned it for a refund and ended up with the Xonar Essence ST PCI Sound Card, and am 100% happy about that purchase, it works purrrrfectly in my system with Toslink and Mini Toslink connectors to the Logitech Z-5500 speaker system in full command.

Wavey Davey - April 25, 2011
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and...

Quote:
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't believe the hype., May 27, 2011
By
Henry Kleinschmidt "redsyrup" (SF, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This review is from: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD Internal Sound Card with THX SB1270 (Electronics)
Worst Feature: This audio card can't send DTS Connect or Dolby Digital Live streams over SPDIF. You have to reconfigure its audio properties so that it outputs to `Speakers' Mode. When you do this it prevents programs like Windows Media Center and VLC from playing native DD or DTS tracks over SPDIF. Instead you'll hear 90's analog Dolby Surround up-sampled to DTS Connect or DD Live and this doesn't sound as good as the native digital audio stream.

You can however change back to `SPDIF' Mode at anytime but this requires rebooting your computer. I frequently watch TV and Blu-rays on my computer and this is unacceptable.

Not so good: Contrary to what Creative says EAX isn't available on most PC Game titles. And when it's not you'll also be hearing that up-sampled 90's quality Dolby Surround I mentioned earlier. This means you'll be missing true speaker separation and for me that defeats the purpose of even having a multi-channel setup. What you expect to hear from your left rear channel speaker will also be coming out of your left front channel. Note this card is awesome if you only intend to use headphones or stereo speakers. Digital 5.1 over optical is poorly implemented.

Other Thoughts: I bought this card expecting to marriage the superior audio capabilities of an Xbox 360 with the graphic fidelity of a PC and this card disappointed. It's unfair that Creative has monopolized the PC Audio market for decades and all we have to show for it is hap hazard digital audio implementation, a small selection EAX titles and expensive sound cards.

If Microsoft was paying attention they could easily revitalize the PC Audio market by standardizing their implementation of DD Live and Native Digital audio content such as they've done on the 360. For now consumers are left with lack luster products from all hardware vendors. ASUS and Turtle Beach are no better since they're forced to follow in Creative's dismal wake. Is anyone in Redmond paying attention?

For Movies consumers are looking for an Audio Card that can seamlessly switch between DTS Connect (or DD Live) and native DTS and DD streams over SPDIF. For Games we'd like to see Microsoft step up and port their powerful Xbox 360 audio codecs to the PC. Those audio codecs seem to work great with how they've implemented DD Live on the 360. Plus all 360 Game Developers are experienced implementing them with XNA so 360 ports should sound just as good. Where are you Microsoft?


So for most of you it won't matter 'cause you just use headphones but for me, especially when I listen to music the on-board is just horrible. I don't use my headphones during the day so it's a big deal.

The second choice is the Essence ST/STX but the Bad Company 2 problem is there and I LOVE Bad Company 2!

I looked at the OMEGA Claro Halo/XT but it has the same problem with BC2. Also there are a few complaints about the volume not getting loud enough.

So that leaves me with the Xense. Here are some quotes on it...
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwareCanucks
This controller is a rebranded (and supposedly tweaked) C-Media Oxygen HD audio processor which has proven itself to be an excellent controller and basically only one of a few out there suitable for high end soundcards.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HardwareCanucks
After over 20 hours of gaming with the Xonar Xense duo, we can honestly say the included headphones provide an overall excellent gaming experience and a fairly decent introduction into serious gaming audio glory. The soundstage is wide enough and provides you with nearly perfect situational awareness which is one of the highest peices of praise we can give to any supposed “gaming†solution. Gun shots and bullets whining past your head in Battlefield Bad Company 2 were fairly easy to pinpoint in order to return fire.
Anyway, I don't know. What do you guys think? Should I give it a shot. Can you suggest something better for my needs?

The PC350 isn't a big deal for me. I only listen to headphones at night and not too long. I listen to a lot of FLAC rock music (Classic, Modern) and video game music. . I only watch Blu-Ray movies on my PS3 which is incompatible with the headphones without the Astro Mixamp. I also play a lot of old games (SNES, Genesis, PS1) which are probably unsuitable for those really good headphones out there.

I am aware that I can mod these. Maybe after warranty is void. I am also thinking about selling them for around $100. They have been tweaked for the Xense so they sound better than the original 350. I bet modders would be interested for that price.

Anway, please let me know what you think.

Edited by Deverica Wolf - 6/13/11 at 7:30pm
post #2 of 4
Play bc2 & interested xense too, bump
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post #3 of 4
Whats the budget?
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ehhhh...I bought a Titanium HD. I found out that my GPU is using a Lossless codec, sending a LPCM signal to my receiver through HDMI. Thus the audio is true Lossless. The on-board was never being used. I guess it doesn't sound as bad as I thought...gotta listen to better produced music I guess. Listening to the Beatles again, it does sound nice and real.

For the same amount of money for the Xense I can get a better pair of headphones and be sure that I am future-proofed in all upcoming games in regards to the Bad Company 2 problem.

There is some good info. above so I'll leave this thread. Still, though, if someone could answer the original question that would be sweet.
Edited by Deverica Wolf - 6/14/11 at 4:15pm
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