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[Expertreviews] Sound Blaster ZxR review - Page 10

post #91 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skylit View Post

My Z had nicheon fine gold caps, not exactly low quality.  Though I thought the card sounded much worse compared to my older elite pro.. Same Cirrus logic DAC...

Possible I got a faulty model, but its said and done with. Card was returned awhile ago. TIHD replaced elite pro. They for the most part trade blows.

Really disagree with subpar DAC. More to do with EE design and surrounding hardware.

The TiHD should have more bass compared to the older xfi lineup and should not sound as harsh, the older xfi cards were very harsh sounding and thin as well. A dac chip has very little to do with overall sound sig, there are converters out there with lower resolution which will outperform higher rated chips but that will be due to the overall circuit design.
post #92 of 150
I have the Titanium HD. But i fail to understand when people say that this new ZXR is "way better" than Titanium HD. I mean, the SQ from the Titanium is really great, and that, doesn't disappear. So, when you say is "way better" than Titanium HD, what are you refering to exactly ?
post #93 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedros View Post

I have the Titanium HD. But i fail to understand when people say that this new ZXR is "way better" than Titanium HD. I mean, the SQ from the Titanium is really great, and that, doesn't disappear. So, when you say is "way better" than Titanium HD, what are you refering to exactly ?

Nothing. They are towing the fanboy line... Some people are really that silly kookoo.gif
post #94 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

I fully agree that both CMSS-3D Headphone (when not used with DirectSound3D, OpenAL, or EAX) and Dolby Headphone only have the 5.1 or 7.1 mix that the game audio software provides.
The difference between the two is in what they are trying to emulate. For Dolby Headphone their stated intention with all media is to replicate a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup in a listening room. And Creative has never really said what they are trying to emulate other than surround sound.
All I know is that Dolby Headphone to me sounds like I am listening to 5 or 7 discrete speakers plus a sub. So bravo on Dolby for achieving their intention. Whereas CMSS-3D Headphone makes me feel as if I am in the game space. More of a 360 degree ring of sound rather than 5 or 7 discrete points.

CMSS-3D is based off Sensaura and Aureal tech. More of the story of the tech and how gaming audio was killed post 2003 due to it in THIS link (see top rated comment). CMSS-3D is much more realistic sounding as it's designed around Head Related Transfer Functions, in other words, how sound waves are influenced by objects in the environment and thus affects how you perceive the sound. Dolby Tech is based off a surround sound setup.

Anyway, Dolby Headphone (and Dolby Tech in general) is horrid and outdated tech with only Hollywood and wide adoption keeping it up. It really is like the mp3 codec. Heavily outdated but still widely used due to historic industry ties.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

Does it sound similar or identical to CMSS? Because I know there was some perceivable difference with the Recon3D cards.Obviously set Windows speakers to Stereo and disable CMSS or THX and use a normal pair of headphones for this.
And here is a CMSS vs Dolby Headphone:

Easily perceivable really. And for the reasons above that I've stated.
Why is positional audio in gaming going backwards and backwards...

yeah, Dolby Headphone is crap and outdated. The only time Dolby tech is good is for movies that have AC3 sound data on them, i.e. mixed with Dolby tech in mind.
Edited by chinesekiwi - 1/7/13 at 4:54am
post #95 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

I fully agree that both CMSS-3D Headphone (when not used with DirectSound3D, OpenAL, or EAX) and Dolby Headphone only have the 5.1 or 7.1 mix that the game audio software provides.
The difference between the two is in what they are trying to emulate. For Dolby Headphone their stated intention with all media is to replicate a 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup in a listening room. And Creative has never really said what they are trying to emulate other than surround sound.
All I know is that Dolby Headphone to me sounds like I am listening to 5 or 7 discrete speakers plus a sub. So bravo on Dolby for achieving their intention. Whereas CMSS-3D Headphone makes me feel as if I am in the game space. More of a 360 degree ring of sound rather than 5 or 7 discrete points.

CMSS-3D is based off Sensaura and Aureal tech. More of the story of the tech and how gaming audio was killed post 2003 due to it in THIS link. CMSS-3D is much more realistic sounding as it's designed around Head Related Transfer Functions, in other words, how sound waves are influenced by objects in the environment and thus affects how you perceive the sound. Dolby Tech is based off a surround sound setup.

Anyway, Dolby Headphone (and Dolby Tech in general) is horrid and outdated tech with only Hollywood and wide adoption keeping it up. It really is like the mp3 codec. Heavily outdated but still widely used due to historic industry ties.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinfinion View Post

Does it sound similar or identical to CMSS? Because I know there was some perceivable difference with the Recon3D cards.Obviously set Windows speakers to Stereo and disable CMSS or THX and use a normal pair of headphones for this.
And here is a CMSS vs Dolby Headphone:

Easily perceivable really. And for the reasons above that I've stated.
Why is positional audio in gaming going backwards and backwards...

So they can sell you a flashy sound card with red LED's that people will discard after 9-12 months when the new model with an extra capital letter and green LED's comes out...
post #96 of 150
Anyway, thinking of buying a second hand X-fi series card that isn't an XtremeAudio (doesn't really matter what one, the cheapest one I can get) and software workaround-ing it so it outputs CMSS-3D to my ODAC....muahahahahahahahaha. It really is essentially a virtualised optical cable as the ODAC doesn't have optical.

Anyway, external DACs and soundcards do not have 'sound signatures' as that's not their purpose nor is it ever engineered with this in mind. Other things affect how it sounds, like the output impedance of the headphone jack, not the actual DAC chip. Also of course, as with really any sort of engineering, the construction matters more than the parts used. In other words for soundcards, the DAC chip is not the be all and end all. It's like saying, as this is OCN, that the graphics card is the be all and end all for gaming and visual performance in a gaming rig.
Edited by chinesekiwi - 1/7/13 at 5:25am
post #97 of 150
Looks like I will be keeping my Xonar Essence ST and H6 Daughter board.
post #98 of 150
Quote:
Originally Posted by Systemlord View Post

I'm in the market for a new sound card for gaming, has Creative fixed the issues with the Titanium HD's dying an early death?

I'm not aware of that. But I guess so yes. It's been a while the card has been out.
post #99 of 150
crap
Edited by Kel Ghu - 1/7/13 at 12:03pm
post #100 of 150
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedros View Post

I have the Titanium HD. But i fail to understand when people say that this new ZXR is "way better" than Titanium HD. I mean, the SQ from the Titanium is really great, and that, doesn't disappear. So, when you say is "way better" than Titanium HD, what are you refering to exactly ?

IMO, the ZXR matches it hardware wise (and also adds a headphone amp) and has a lot of neat software features as well which is why i'm really enjoying the ZX. My favorite being echo cancellation - I can talk on mumble while playing world of warcraft and use speakers - if you're familiar with mumble/vent you know that most users have to use headphones because talking on a mic with speakers isn't possible. The Z series allows you to talk and it cancels out the echo from your speakers, so if you have a good 5.1 system you don't have to for-go it for a headset if you don't want to. The 3d is also pretty impressive IMO. The recon3d used THX trustudio which honestly was garbage, but with SBX surround it seems to be as good as CMSS3D with 5.1. I haven't tried headphone gaming yet - i'd have to throw my old titanium HD back in for a proper comparison - but so far SBX surround is very convincing for 360 degree sound, and way better than THX trustudio. Also very good in games.

I guess it's just a judgement call - they both have similar hardware but the ZX/ZXR has a few cool software features that I really like. The audio control module is very handy, as well. Hopefully some websites will do a review shootout between the titanium HD, ZXR and essence STX.
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