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Titanium HD vs Xonar ST/STX

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
My usage is around 50/50 on music and gaming. I'm using a pair of Sennheiser 598's and I have no amp. I hate the control panel of my DG, and Dolby Headphone is terrible for gaming. In fact, I generally don't think the sound card improved my gaming audio. For music it sounds pretty cool, but I'm guessing it could be better? Would the Esscense fix my gaming problems? I'm on Windows 8, and the Titanium HD had recently been updated for it. I can get the Titanium HD for significantly less than the Xonar, but I don't mind if the difference is significance.

Also, I notice a lot of people seem to dislike Creative products due to driver issues. As far as I know, the card works fine now (I doubt it could be worse than my DG in the driver department) so drivers aren't an issue.


TL;DR Which has better sound quality in gaming and music? Price and drivers aren't an issue.
post #2 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by David164v8 View Post

My usage is around 50/50 on music and gaming. I'm using a pair of Sennheiser 598's and I have no amp. I hate the control panel of my DG, and Dolby Headphone is terrible for gaming. In fact, I generally don't think the sound card improved my gaming audio. For music it sounds pretty cool, but I'm guessing it could be better? Would the Esscense fix my gaming problems? I'm on Windows 8, and the Titanium HD had recently been updated for it. I can get the Titanium HD for significantly less than the Xonar, but I don't mind if the difference is significance.

Also, I notice a lot of people seem to dislike Creative products due to driver issues. As far as I know, the card works fine now (I doubt it could be worse than my DG in the driver department) so drivers aren't an issue.


TL;DR Which has better sound quality in gaming and music? Price and drivers aren't an issue.

Honestly, the schiit magni and modi came out not too long ago and it sounds far better than either of those two cards. The best part is that it is plug and play. No stupid drivers.

It is a dedicated dac and amp which is nothing more than a mega sound card.
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post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
I have already looked at those two, but they are unfortunately quite expensive in the UK.
post #4 of 34
I was facing the same decision, and I went with the HD. It's an absolutely awesome gaming card, specificallyif you are using headphones. The Sennheiser HD598 will work well with it, and the immersion you get from the combination of the sound card + open/dynamic headphones is incredible.
   
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post #5 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by David164v8 View Post

I have already looked at those two, but they are unfortunately quite expensive in the UK.

Ahhh UK huh. Ok well I think the audio engine D1 dac/amp combo is 140 for you guys which makes it the same as the STX. They sound about the same, but the nice thing is that you won't have to fight with drivers and nonsense like that. thumb.gif
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post #6 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Ahhh UK huh. Ok well I think the audio engine D1 dac/amp combo is 140 for you guys which makes it the same as the STX. They sound about the same, but the nice thing is that you won't have to fight with drivers and nonsense like that. thumb.gif

You also lose Dolby headphone which for a gamer is a big turn off imo.
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post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BababooeyHTJ View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Ahhh UK huh. Ok well I think the audio engine D1 dac/amp combo is 140 for you guys which makes it the same as the STX. They sound about the same, but the nice thing is that you won't have to fight with drivers and nonsense like that. thumb.gif

You also lose Dolby headphone which for a gamer is a big turn off imo.

Maybe if you're a clueless gamer.

I have zero issues with sound projection on my STX and DT880's with all dolby/cmss3d-like effects turned off.

What really matters is the quality of the game's sound engine and sounds. CS:S is a good example of GREAT sounds and localisation of sounds
post #8 of 34
rolleyes.gif

You might want to go do some research on what DH and CMSS3d actually do. Also CS:S from what I hear is one of those games that benefits quite a bit from open al if I'm not mistaken. A lot of people don't like those hard right to left pans on straight stereo in most games and thats where dolby headphone can make things much more immersive.

Just because not everyone agrees with you doesn't make them "clueless" right now you sound a bit ignorant tbh.
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post #9 of 34
http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/

You can get the DAC/amp combo or buy the separates.
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post #10 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BababooeyHTJ View Post

rolleyes.gif

You might want to go do some research on what DH and CMSS3d actually do. Also CS:S from what I hear is one of those games that benefits quite a bit from open al if I'm not mistaken. A lot of people don't like those hard right to left pans on straight stereo in most games and thats where dolby headphone can make things much more immersive.

Just because not everyone agrees with you doesn't make them "clueless" right now you sound a bit ignorant tbh.

Because head-fi is an extremely reliable source...

I was making a point that because most game engines aren't designed with this stuff in mind (excluding OpenAL), using third party effects can do more harm than good for games and music.

CMSS-3D attempts to create a three-dimensional soundscape, which it does okay. This works in games where you need to hear things above and below you as well as distance and direction (2D sounds) but does negatively affect the sound quality. It also has CPU overhead and is not entirely bug-free. But it's there to use nonetheless. However for music listening, you don't want any of these affects. You don't really need 3D sound for music.

CS:S in particular was released with XP and still had good hardware acceleration and built-in 3D sound: http://techreport.com/review/7243/counter-strike-source-audio-performance-explored

As you can see even with soundcard hardware acceleration there is still a performance decrease. CS:S has a fairly simple sound engine these days and modern games have more and more sounds that would cause a larger performance drop.

OpenAL does not create 3D sound, but it is a good baseline for most games to use for a sound engine. I'd be happy if more games used it.

Once again, IN MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, forcing 3D effects for games and especially music (which it was not really designed for, it's a "gamer" feature) destroys sound quality.

For me, sound quality and 2D sound separation is paramount. Especially in music, and in games which don't have native 3D sound.

Windows 8 presents opportunity for good 3D sound again due to another re-write of the windows audio stack, this time allowing for hardware acceleration/3D audio (unlike vista/win7)
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