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[Gaming Audio] Astro MixAmp presets + Best Audio Gear Guide + Headphone Reviews  (Read 205457 times)

Offline alanmcgregor

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Hi MisterWicked1:)

If I understand, your setup is to get the best Audio on your Headphones (Arc MK2 Optical In) and a better Mic quality (Quadcast USB)

GoXLR/GoXLR Mini are not compatible with PS4/PS5. In order to use it, you need and Audio Interface compatible with Playstation as an intermediate that have a Audio In and Audio Out so you can communicate your PS with the GoXLR. A USB Sound card can do the trick.

Is going to be a cable mess, so embrace.

This is a rough diagram on how to make it work. On the lined square


Explained:
PS5 Only sees the USB Soundcard. The USB soundcard should be set as your Audio Device Out and Audio Mic on PS5 menu. The Headphone signal from the USB Soundcard will take the Audio into the GoXLR via Audio In so you can use it on your Streaming PC.

The USB Soundcard Mic will receive the Line Out signal from the GoXLR, where your XLR mic voice comes. Mic input is not like a Audio In input, you need to lower this signal that's why I suggest to use an inline volume controller, for better results.

Then at your Streaming PC on the GoXLR options you can route/select how to manage audio on your stream.
My Routing:

Broadcast Stream Mix is "What my Stream can hear".
OUTPUTS this are the Slider that you can change levels or mute on your GoXLR.
read INPUTS as "What I can put in the devices"

As you can see I want the MIC (XLR mic on GoXLR) to be present (tick icon) on:
+ My Headphones, to monitor my voice.
+ Broadcast Stream Mix, so my stream viewers can hear it.
+ Line Out, my voice goes to the Line Out so the USB sound card can hear it and use it on PS Chat.
+ Chat Mic, mute your mic for the Stream or your Console (so you can talk with your audience and not bother your friends on PS Chat party) or both.

As you can see, I don't have Music as Slider or Chat (Discord) and Console(SPDIF In).
I personally prefer to put the music on my Streaming PC, and manage its level on OBS. Also I have a special filter that allows me to "duck" audio, meaning the music sound clear and strong but... when I speak and my Mic Signal pops up, the Music level lowers down subtle fading so you can listen my voice while the music is nice in the background, once I stop talking music level goes up subtly, this is fancy sh1t I learned when I worked on a radio station.

I don't use Discord, I chat with PS Chat party.

Console Game doesn't have its Slider either because I'm not using the SPDIF, my game audio is going directly to HDMI to my Integrated Capture Card, same with music on OBS I manage the levels and add that fancy filter I told eariler (ducking). So my voice is present and clear and Music and Game Audio are ducking.

Ufff, that was a lot information, I hope I have not confused you.

GoXLR / GoXLR, requires a Streaming PC. Is pretty cool to have the sliders to manage your mic level, music, discord chat, and game audio, but in my case because I do music on my PC and chat on my PS, I only use the slider for Mic and the Voice Chat of PS.

If you don't have a Streaming PC or a good CPU for streaming or a nice GPU for encoding your streaming, if you want to do everything with your Playstation built-in Streaming Feature, you don't need GoXLR Mini, a USB Mixer compatible with PS will do the job to connect any XLR mic to your PS5, and manage your chat audio.

Phenyx Pro USB audio Mixer ($70 usd).


Microphone I recommend even though you have make your mid is sE Electronics V7, is a dynamic mic supercardiod that completely blocks keyboard strokes and don't need a sound treated room, it has very nice low end, sound similar than MV7 for $99, if you connected to GoXLR Mini or with Equalization via Software you can make it sound indistinguishable like the $500 shure SM7b.

Offline MisterWicked1

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Makes sense to me, I had already ordered a goxlr mini out of the UK only place that has them in stock. And actually converted to us saved about 75.00 So that's on its way. I'll take your word you've never done me wrong in advice before and pick up that mic. Also do you any updates or changes to the arc mini coming? Beside the obvious removal of the mic.

Offline alanmcgregor

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Makes sense to me, I had already ordered a goxlr mini out of the UK only place that has them in stock. And actually converted to us saved about 75.00 So that's on its way. I'll take your word you've never done me wrong in advice before and pick up that mic. Also do you any updates or changes to the arc mini coming? Beside the obvious removal of the mic.
Thanks for your trust :) I'm trying to help the community, audio gear can be very complicated and is flooded of snake oil, however I see this as an space where we can share our experiences, my opinion is only one more  ;).

Haven't seen what is new, besides to be a more portable and minimalist version. Audio wise is the same quality. I will be more interested on a Arc with an XLR mic input with phantom power, but I know can be a very expensive product to make and the mini being more modular makes sense.

I know, that AudioTechnica USB mics and Yetis are very popular on the streaming scheme. Condenser mics are very popular because are cheap to make also due its construction are very sensitive and even though picks ups sound better than dynamic, but for streaming Condenser mic my be very reveling they need special sound treatment and we are in our houses with a lot of echos, and noise that we can't control, AC units, dogs barking etc. A dynamic cardiod or supercardiod are way better to pick up only your voice and not the environment that's why these are used on live concerts.

Pro Dynamics mics like SM7b any studio grade are very expensive and if you are doing this as a hobby is truly overkill for your budget, most of these needs powerful preamps to be audible and this implies more expensive equipment.

For more info about mics check Podcastage videos Bandrew is very unbiased on his reviews
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3XjQYPIxP68

For expertise on mic, audio interface gear: https://www.youtube.com/user/JayKayRause

Offline MisterWicked1

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Yeah way back when the Xbox 360 days I used to stream, I stopped when all the consoles started coming out with build in capture cards. Iam currently remodeling part of the house and building a desk etc. So I been picking stuff here or there to start eventually again. Got a bunch of sound deadening foam for the walls already as well to try to kill some of the echos.

Offline DanielClem

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I got myself the Xbox Series X and have been enjoying it with the 2019 Astro Mixamp pro TR connected to Fidelio X2HRs.  I use dolby atmos app turned on and the amp dolby turned off by having the star icon highlighted. The X2s are my first headphones above the A40s that I have had for 6 months.  I do notice the sound is very fun and I enjoy playing with them but the positional audio is not always pin point definitely not to the point that it takes away from enjoyment, but I have been thinking of getting Sennheiser HD660S = I have more budget to try for a more expensive audio setup now. I'm not an audiophile or really critical kind of person I generally enjoy most things that I read people complain about, but wanted to have the option of better positional audio sometimes and have always wanted to have a Sennheiser headphone.

If I get the 660s (good choice you guys think?) will the mixamp be enough to power them?  If not what would be an appropriate amp to add to the mix? 

If I need an added amp would I use the Y splitter that came with the mixamp to the headphone jack and out the y splitter add the amp, then from the amp connect the 660s?  I appreciate all the discussions here and info I have learned a lot over the months when I found this thread :)

Offline alanmcgregor

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Yeah way back when the Xbox 360 days I used to stream, I stopped when all the consoles started coming out with build in capture cards. Iam currently remodeling part of the house and building a desk etc. So I been picking stuff here or there to start eventually again. Got a bunch of sound deadening foam for the walls already as well to try to kill some of the echos.
I would love to follow/subscribe please let me now if you have your channel running.  :)

Offline MisterWicked1

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Sure once I get things going I'll let you know

Offline alanmcgregor

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I got myself the Xbox Series X and have been enjoying it with the 2019 Astro Mixamp pro TR connected to Fidelio X2HRs.  I use dolby atmos app turned on and the amp dolby turned off by having the star icon highlighted. The X2s are my first headphones above the A40s that I have had for 6 months.  I do notice the sound is very fun and I enjoy playing with them but the positional audio is not always pin point definitely not to the point that it takes away from enjoyment, but I have been thinking of getting Sennheiser HD660S = I have more budget to try for a more expensive audio setup now. I'm not an audiophile or really critical kind of person I generally enjoy most things that I read people complain about, but wanted to have the option of better positional audio sometimes and have always wanted to have a Sennheiser headphone.

If I get the 660s (good choice you guys think?) will the mixamp be enough to power them?  If not what would be an appropriate amp to add to the mix? 

If I need an added amp would I use the Y splitter that came with the mixamp to the headphone jack and out the y splitter add the amp, then from the amp connect the 660s?  I appreciate all the discussions here and info I have learned a lot over the months when I found this thread :)

Hey DanielClem welcome!

Fidelio X2HRs is a pretty darn good headphone, with a great fun not overpowering bass. Those are 30Ohms so MixAmp can driving without an issue, amp is no needed yet recommended to get the best of its high definition neodymium drivers.

Before getting a HD660S I invite you to try your Fidelios on Stereo - no surround - with a Emperor Potara profile tune for them. You are going to feel it different, by loosing the reverb effect but an improved positional audio then you choose if want to try something different.

What you get by going for HD660S: less bass, more wide sound-stage (is like Field of View, Field of Sound?) and your mid-range will be totally different, very present. Mid-range is where the vocals are in music, friendlies callouts and enemy footsteps are on gaming, this sound cues are going to pop.

Another alternative very veeeery close to HD660S are the Senheisers HD58X Jubilee edition exclusive from Drop.com, these headphones uses the same drivers for only $150usd. I don't know if they are available at this moment. Check the reviews an you see are very popular and recommended for gaming. I hope some of our members who own a pair can chime in.

If you already make up your mind and want the best, HD660S are completely worthy as someone who is starting to level up its audio gear that will be a huge step up, and nice well rounded studio hi-res headphone. However these definitely requires amplification due its 150Ohms drivers.

Good news is now headphone amps are very affordable, used to be $500 for an entry level, now you can get an headphone amps for $100 with better performance. JDS Atom, Monoprice Liquid Spark, Schiit Magni, Objective2.

You are completely right, you need a Y splitter to take out the headphone jack, connect the headphone jack to the Audio In on your headphone amp. If your headphone amp has a 3.5mm input you only need a male to male 3.5mm extension, if your amp only has RCA inputs you need a male 3.5mm jack to male RCA Y cable adapter. Then you connect your headphones to the headphone amp. Set your MixAmp Volume to 12o'clock and control the volume of your headphones with your Amp knob.

I going to put this diagram here.



Offline DanielClem

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Thank you for the awesome reply.  I have read this whole thread and it's how I came up with what I'm asking. I played Alien Isolation with the X2s and many other games the last few months and did try stereo and multiple settings and really noticed in stereo and mixamp that it was hard to get a good sense of how far behind me the sounds were coming from.  Ive noticed this a lot that the positional audio is typically good with X2s but especially behind me I have no sense of how far away something is.  It is not a huge deal I really love the fun sound of these headphones, but I would like to compliment the X2s with a headphone option that has better positional audio especially now that I have the cash to get really anything.  I really wish Xbox would allow some of the good DAC companies to get official compatibility like the astro mixamp. 

I am also curious if anyone has an opinion on the HD58x vs 660s as I've been watching some reviews and can't decide all things considered. I don't mind the extra cost as I plan to keep the X2s and the next choice for many years.

If I do pair the hd660s or ???? with a JDS atom I see you talking about the double amping effect with the astro mixamp would it be bad to a non-audiophile as I have no experience doing this or using any kind of amp really.  Again thanks for all the ideas and knowledge given here.

Offline thelastword

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This topic got me a new hobby!

Decided I wanted to try open back as well next to my GSP 600.
Got the DT 990 pro and the K701 to try now  ;D

Your ears will loved it, might hurt your wallet; but hey! I will gladly pay for anything that make me feel something -besides of the competitive advantage-.

Hi,

First off, thanks for all the great input and advice with choosing my audio gear  :)

Not sure if this is the correct thread to ask this I will give it a go..

To improve my sound for FPS gaming on a ps4, I acquired the SBX G6, with DT990Pro 250ohm + ModmicUni.
It works fine, but I think I have something setup wrong, as I dont notice much different when comparing the sound to a cheaper USB headset connected directly to my ps4.

The G6 is connected to the ps4 via optical in, and the usb for mic chat.
The high gain is turned on.

I have tried to setup the G6 in SB Connect2, with basic Stereo and with different sbx profiles.
Right now Im playing mostly Cod, so Ive been using the FPS or COD profile.

But still, its very hard to hear the direction of the sounds.

So I was wondering if anybody have any tips regarding the G6 and Ps4 ? :)

My pleasure, fortunately other members are contributing to this thread with his own valuable experience.

That's a pretty good audio setup, you should be able to have a noticeable improvement on your audio listening vs a cheap headphone.

First, make sure you set your game audio to Stereo, and the mix that give you the widest Dynamic Range or any binaural mix. Try Studio Reference or Dynamic Home Theater.

IMO SBXG6 should be used on Direct Mode (blinking led) when pairing it with audiophile grade headphones, any mix with "surround" will add a reverb effect that will hinder sound cues position. The Scout mode might not be a good idea when using "bright" headphones like DT990Pro which high treble can pierce your ears, if is amplified by the Scout Mode equalization.

In short: in-game widest Audio Dynamic Range setup + High Gain + Direct Mode on SBXG6, give it a try, those headphones are like a hound for footsteps.

...
Currently looking at the THX AAA 789 amp from drop. Seems this would be a nice toy for music as well. Can anyone recommend a dac to pair it with? And how would this work with connecting a mic? Currently use a modmic uni.[/size}

Being a worthy $400 USD Amp you go for a $300 or above DAC at minimum to really receive the performance you are paying for, not JDS Atom or Schiit Modi, something like EL DAC II at least.

BTW is on THX AAA 789 is on sale, right now.

Thanks heaps you all for sharing valuable info in this forum!

Alan, I read the whole thread and now I am trying to adjust my setup as per your suggestion above since I have the same arrangement (DT990 Pro and SBS G6)

I have only one issue, I connect SBX G6 to PC via USB and change to direct mode, then I get flashing ring on scout button as expected.

1) Even with direct mode, I still can choose between Stereo and 7.1. Your recommendation is Stereo, right?

2) Once I got direct mode selected with SBX G6 connected to my PC, I want to disconnect it and connect to my Ps4. Then I noticed the scout button ring which was flashing when connected to the PC, now became solid light. Does that mean direct mode DOES NOT work when SBX G6 connected to Ps4? Or is it just the lighting scheme that is bugged?

Thanks mate, really appreciate if you can come back to me.

Offline DanielClem

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Alan I have a question about your statement here as I will try to use those eqs tonight =

"Before getting a HD660S I invite you to try your Fidelios on Stereo - no surround - with a Emperor Potara profile tune for them. You are going to feel it different, by loosing the reverb effect but an improved positional audio then you choose if want to try something different."

I found his google drive and the presets for the X2s, but I have questions how to do.

In the atmos app I matched his EQ settings that he has for atmos, set to the star icon on mixamp and enabled that custom eq as the one working within atmos app with the first dot on top of the mixamp out of the four lit up.  Question = do I need to go into command center and set my first custom eq as flat 00000 across?  Or does this matter when in atmos app as I am confused when using the atmos app does it override anything that is set in command center for each of the four preset eqs there.  Thank you

Offline alanmcgregor

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If I do pair the hd660s or ???? with a JDS atom I see you talking about the double amping effect with the astro mixamp would it be bad to a non-audiophile as I have no experience doing this or using any kind of amp really...
For some one who doesn't have previous experience hearing from a HiRes DAC and Amp you will not notice the double amp effect and it will be OK. Then if you change the DAC for a HiRes and single Amp, you will realize what you were missing and definitely will notice the difference. Our hearing is very sensitive developing a "taste" for what you hear is not an audiophile snob thing... in fact hearing is very direct stimulation to our brain, 3 times faster than sight.

thelastword, hello  :)

Quote
1) Even with direct mode, I still can choose between Stereo and 7.1. Your recommendation is Stereo, right?
Just for hardcore FPS gaming and better positional audio allows better footsteps detection and other sound cues. That's how game devs record they audio tracks for a stereo system specifically headphones on a competitive scenario. For campaign immersive gaming I like some simulated surround but I do prefer binaural stereo audio (when available) is more engaging in my opinion.

Quote from: DanielClem
Quote
2) Once I got direct mode selected with SBX G6 connected to my PC, I want to disconnect it and connect to my Ps4. Then I noticed the scout button ring which was flashing when connected to the PC, now became solid light. Does that mean direct mode DOES NOT work when SBX G6 connected to Ps4? Or is it just the lighting scheme that is bugged?

Thanks mate, really appreciate if you can come back to me.
Yeah you are right, is bugged heheh. It depends on the Firmware version you have on your device: if you connect G6 on PS4 and have a solid light ring on SBX, that means Surround or EQ profile is active, if you hold the SBX button for 4 seconds it will turn off, meaning Direct Mode is active.

In the atmos app I matched his EQ settings that he has for atmos, set to the star icon on mixamp and enabled that custom eq as the one working within atmos app with the first dot on top of the mixamp out of the four lit up.  Question = do I need to go into command center and set my first custom eq as flat 00000 across?  Or does this matter when in atmos app as I am confused when using the atmos app does it override anything that is set in command center for each of the four preset eqs there.  Thank you
Sorry have no experience with using his Atmos EQ for a Atmos system, but this is how his workflow works.
He creates MixAmps EQ's (gaming, natural audio, music, atmos, etc) for a specific headphones, so you tune or set the Command Center and is there where you have to set Potara's EQ's on the small parametric EQ(sliders). Once you did that, you are telling to the MixAmp, "hey you have these headphones connected(X2), play it like this (EQ) so the it matches the source sound signal". If Emperor specifies that you have to turn off Dolby, do it, if not it will add a unnecessary reverb effect.

MixAmp is a "symbiotic" DAC , like if it was built-in inside of the A40 Headphones (kind of is with the wireless models), they are meant to be together and MixAmp compensate the lousy performance of A40 with equalization, making sound better. When we are using different headphones, through EQ we are telling the MixAmp "hey you are no using those crappy cans, play this frequencies like this" so it matches for studio headphones performance. The best option is neutral stand-alone DAC who doesn't depends of EQ to play any pair of headphones, and that's where audiophile, studio DAC's comes to play.

But MixAmp Chat/Game mix is so useful and nice, ┐right? I mean it! hehe love play with my friends but sometimes someone is eating popcorn or chewing gum when we are full tryhard attacking an objective, is nice to have a very polite way to shut up.  ;) I still use mine, is a very important device on my streaming audio chain.

I invite you to ask Emperor on his Discord, he is a very kind and cool guy he will explain you better, just be patient he gets a lot of questions.

Offline thelastword

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If I do pair the hd660s or ???? with a JDS atom I see you talking about the double amping effect with the astro mixamp would it be bad to a non-audiophile as I have no experience doing this or using any kind of amp really...
For some one who doesn't have previous experience hearing from a HiRes DAC and Amp you will not notice the double amp effect and it will be OK. Then if you change the DAC for a HiRes and single Amp, you will realize what you were missing and definitely will notice the difference. Our hearing is very sensitive developing a "taste" for what you hear is not an audiophile snob thing... in fact hearing is very direct stimulation to our brain, 3 times faster than sight.

thelastword, hello  :)

Quote
1) Even with direct mode, I still can choose between Stereo and 7.1. Your recommendation is Stereo, right?
Just for hardcore FPS gaming and better positional audio allows better footsteps detection and other sound cues. That's how game devs record they audio tracks for a stereo system specifically headphones on a competitive scenario. For campaign immersive gaming I like some simulated surround but I do prefer binaural stereo audio (when available) is more engaging in my opinion.

Quote from: DanielClem
Quote
2) Once I got direct mode selected with SBX G6 connected to my PC, I want to disconnect it and connect to my Ps4. Then I noticed the scout button ring which was flashing when connected to the PC, now became solid light. Does that mean direct mode DOES NOT work when SBX G6 connected to Ps4? Or is it just the lighting scheme that is bugged?

Thanks mate, really appreciate if you can come back to me.
Yeah you are right, is bugged heheh. It depends on the Firmware version you have on your device: if you connect G6 on PS4 and have a solid light ring on SBX, that means Surround or EQ profile is active, if you hold the SBX button for 4 seconds it will turn off, meaning Direct Mode is active.

In the atmos app I matched his EQ settings that he has for atmos, set to the star icon on mixamp and enabled that custom eq as the one working within atmos app with the first dot on top of the mixamp out of the four lit up.  Question = do I need to go into command center and set my first custom eq as flat 00000 across?  Or does this matter when in atmos app as I am confused when using the atmos app does it override anything that is set in command center for each of the four preset eqs there.  Thank you

Thanks for quick response mate!
Regarding item 2 above, I recently updated my SBX G6 to the latest firmware, so i reckon it should be fine. Tonight I will try to hold the SBX button for 4 seconds as mentioned to get direct mode on Ps4. I will report back if that works as intended.
I think I tried to hold the SCOUT mode button, but I didn't manage to get all lights off when connected to the Ps4 this way. So I believe I was pushing the wrong button :)

Anyway, I still using optical cable, not USB only, and a mod mic connected to the SBX G6 as well. Is this arrangement fine to get direct mode for competitive FPS gaming.

Thanks a lot!

Offline JamesFPS

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Hey alanmcgregor ! I hope you're doing well :)

So I have my Xbox Series X arriving in a few days but I think I find myself in a bit of a pickle regarding audio!

My current setup on PS4 is: Topping D30 DAC, JDS Labs Atom Amp, Blue Yeti Mic and DT990 Pro. This is all connected using optical for the DAC and Amp and USB for the mic.

Now with XSX, there is no optical option but I've also come to the conclusion that Xbox are not even that flexible with third party audio options either. Eg. My mic likely won't work plugged in via USB(?)

So with my equipment in mind, what solutions do you think I have? My monitor does not have an optical connection. I have heard about hdmi optical splitters, but I'd hate to use this if it means it will compromise things such as the ability to achieve 120fps.

If the hdmi optical splitter/audio extractor meant that it would cause side problems such as inability to reach top frames per second, or some lag - I would much rather avoid it completely and just buy new equipment that would work with XSX

FYI my monitor is AOC 24g2u 1080p 144hz hdmi 1.4 with freesync capabilities and as far I understand the hdmi 1.4 /freesync capabilities means I can play games at up to 120fps with 1080p.

It almost seems as if I might be forced to buy an Xbox licenced mixamp such as Astro mixamp and a new headset such as Sennheiser GSP 500 in order to have top audio with the new console.

I'd really appreciate your thoughts.

Best regards
JamesFPS
PS4 | XIM Apex | Monitor: AOC 24G2U/BK | Mousepad: Cooler Master MP510 | KB: Durgod Taurus K320 TKL Cherry Silent Red | Mouse: Endgame XM1 | DAC: Topping D30 | Amp: JDS Labs Atom | Mic: Blue Yeti | Headphones: beyerdynamic DT 990 PRO | Config: MJFame/Blamer 800 DPI | MW/Warzone

Offline misdah

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@JamesFPS, with a proper splitter you can still run the 120 FPS in 1080p and even 1440p.


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