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Noob Question about 2/8 Channel Stereo

post #1 of 2
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Recently purchased an Asus Xonar STX. I've been enjoying it. The manual recommended 8 channel audio for gaming. I've found this leads to issues with encoding frapsed gameplay, leading to no audio. So, I asked, what does setting the channels to 8 actually do for me since I'm using headphones? I actually have 2 pairs of headphones. I have HD555s I plug into the STX's DAC, and I have an A40 system that I run Coax from the STX's spdif port to and I enable DDL through the Asus utility for that.

With all that background, here's the noob question. What's the difference between 2 and 8 channel audio? Do I get any benefits from 8 channel audio when using headphone's, either with the HD555s or the A40s?
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My First Build
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i5-2500K@4.6 P8Z68-V(Gen3) EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked 2x4GB Corsiar Vengeance DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingOS
1tb WDC Caviar Black 2tb WDC Caviar Black Noctua NH-U12P SE2 W7 Ultimate 64-bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Eizo FS2333 Logitech G11 Corsair HX850 SilverStone FT02B-W 
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Logitech MX 518 RatPad Asus Xonar STX 
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post #2 of 2
Unless your headphones are actually surround sound headphones with little speakers angled in there to give you a sense of placement better than stereo, then your headphones are only 2 channel and 8.1 does nothing for you over stereo.

However,

Since you have a Xonar STX, you have the option of Dolby Headphone (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolby_Headphone) which will - by some accounts - improve the positioning of objects in game within your soundscape.
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