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[Creative] Creative Introduces the Sound Blaster Z-Series - Page 19  

post #181 of 300
Sorry for the noob question but what would be the best route for plugging in high-Fi headphones into for the top 2 z cards? (The ones that have the external ACM module) In the ACM for ease or directly to the sound card? I finally chucked my "gamer" headphones with the 3.5mm plug and got some real headphones with the thicker plug. I know these new Z cards have a dedicated headphone amp. Is this something that will work just plugging into the external ACM or does it have to be plugged directly into the sound card? I have speakers too so I would like to use the ACM when I go headphone mode but not if I'm going to miss out on quality/features. Thanks.
post #182 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by reaper12 View Post

And wouldn't the optical out on your motherboard sound exactly the same?

This. Optical bypasses the soundcard's DAC chip.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sticks435 View Post

Isn't that what CMSS3D does? Takes a stereo source and makes it surround?

In laymans, Yes. Technically, a bit more than that wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Swiftes View Post

Virtual surround is the biggest joke going, all it does is attempt to create stereo space through panning the mix and splitting the signal. You can't get a truly "wide" sound out of Stereo speakers unless they are placed accordingly, I have always felt that a true pair of decent stereo speakers running an unmolested source (CMS3D off) will sound much better. Just my 2c.

Do realise that soundstage and imaging are two different concepts. The width is the not only thing to consider and to be honest, imaging is much more important for realism.
Edited by chinesekiwi - 11/11/12 at 3:16am
post #183 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seyumi View Post

Sorry for the noob question but what would be the best route for plugging in high-Fi headphones into for the top 2 z cards? (The ones that have the external ACM module) In the ACM for ease or directly to the sound card? I finally chucked my "gamer" headphones with the 3.5mm plug and got some real headphones with the thicker plug. I know these new Z cards have a dedicated headphone amp. Is this something that will work just plugging into the external ACM or does it have to be plugged directly into the sound card? I have speakers too so I would like to use the ACM when I go headphone mode but not if I'm going to miss out on quality/features. Thanks.

YEs, you can plug the quarter inch headphones into the ACM, and you will get all the same features as you would if you plugged it directly into the card. The module just connects to the card.
post #184 of 300
What would be the best way of connecting this up to a true 5.1 gaming headset, using the analog connections direct into the card or using the optical output into the provided DAC box that came with the headset? The headset is the Tritton AX Pro 5.1.

The DAC box that came with headset uses Dolby Digital, so with this card having Dolby Digital Live would 5.1 work with games using the optical output?
post #185 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belz View Post

What would be the best way of connecting this up to a true 5.1 gaming headset, using the analog connections direct into the card or using the optical output into the provided DAC box that came with the headset? The headset is the Tritton AX Pro 5.1.
The DAC box that came with headset uses Dolby Digital, so with this card having Dolby Digital Live would 5.1 work with games using the optical output?

Unless you plan to get a good pair of headphones or a speaker system later on then I would just stick what you got. There isn't going to be any difference in sound if you output to the Dac using the optical out on the card compared to outputting it using the optical out on your motherboard.

If you do want to use the abilities of the card, then use the analog connections direct to the headphones. I don't don't know much difference this will make to using optical and go through the DAC. I would like to think that the analog would sound better.
post #186 of 300
Have X-Fi Fatality I bought for like $35. No complaints and no need to upgrade. Crystalizer is kind of neat I guess?

Honestly if I was building a brand new from scratch system I don't know if I would even bother. The onboard audio chips have improved 1000% in quality and driver stability in my tenure as a system builder (20 years).

I have a Audigy 2 and a SB live 5.1 collecting dust in my closet, and those set me back over $100 each back in the day. Can't sell them for 99 cents on Ebay now...
    
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post #187 of 300
I'm sort of confused being an audio noob, If I buy one of these sound cards would I want to do RCA or TOSLINK out to my Amp/Dac?
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post #188 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by reaper12 View Post

And wouldn't the optical out on your motherboard sound exactly the same?
Originally Posted by bojinglebells View Post

if you're going to listen to music in stereo, yes it would sound the same, however X-Fi provides CMSS-3D which can be amazing for many games and is something optical out from the motherboard (something not always available with on-board motherboard audio) would not provide

Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

This. Optical bypasses the soundcard's DAC chip.

 

Originally, I heard a drastic difference between the two. But I have since made some changes and started using foobar2000 which is better than Winamp for FLAC. I took a second listen with a number of songs and the two sound very similar. I swear sometimes the Titanium HD sounded better with bass and treble but it could be my head. But with the Creative, you have Audio Creation Mode and Bit-Matched playback which is nice. As of now, I am sticking to the Titan HD. The only negative about using the Titan's Opt out though is it takes away the ability to have 5.1 on your speakers and you've gotta RCA stereo it to your 5.1 amp. But I prefer headphones and like playing around with CMSS-3D so it's cool.

 

Originally Posted by iARDAs View Post

which headphone is that?

 

I didn't know headphones have optical. I might buy one.

 

Audeze LCD-2 Rev. 2, but I was referring to my Rega DAC with optical. I'm not aware of any headphone that has optical.

post #189 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by jumpdownlow View Post

I'm sort of confused being an audio noob, If I buy one of these sound cards would I want to do RCA or TOSLINK out to my Amp/Dac?

 

If you have high-quality cables, both should sound similar. TOSLINK/Optical is a must for 5.1 but if you're using headphones it won't matter. I personally went for the best Optical out there. Pick the best you can afford. Blue Jeans RCAs are what you'd want from there but if you're gonna connect it to your 5.1 amp go Optical. Also, make sure you know whether you need Toslink to Toslink or Toslink to Mini-Toslink/Miniplug.

 

These is also Coaxial which is similar to TOSLINK and some soundcards use. It is up for debate whether Coaxial is better than Optical. I've read a lot that Coaxial sounds more digital and Optical sounds more real.


Edited by Deverica Wolf - 11/14/12 at 7:14am
post #190 of 300
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deverica Wolf View Post

If you have high-quality cables, both should sound similar. TOSLINK/Optical is a must for 5.1 but if you're using headphones it won't matter.
I think only some sound cards support 5.1 via optical out. X-Fi doesn't but one of the ASUS models do.

This guy says optical can only carry stereo:
Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerPowered View Post

Optical can only carry 2 Channels of uncompressed PCM audio. HDMI can carry 8. Optical is great for 2.1 book shelf speakers, but you are diminishing your audio quality if you use it with 5.1/7.1 Also your receiver would take over any audio processing from your card.
A sound card is meant for 2.1 Bookshelf speakers or headphones or a Logitech type setup. A 5.1 HTIAB doesn't need or require a sound card, HDMI out from your GPU will work much better.
What's the right answer?
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