XIM Community

[Gaming Audio] Astro MixAmp presets + Best Audio Gear Guide + Headphone Reviews  (Read 229198 times)

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
Hello,
Does you used Dolby almos with GSP 600 or stéréo uncompressed ?

Thanks
I think somewhere on the first pages of these thread is a link for GSP600 tuned with MixAmp by Emperor Potara. If not, you can join his discord to download it.  ;)

Hello Alanmacgregor!
Can you please tell me, I have Xbox Series X connected in this order astro mixamp pro tr gen3 - jds labs atom amp - ears HyperX Cloud Alpha Cloud9 Edition (I think to buy DT990Pro 250 ohm)
I have an audio extractor, is it worth adding it here and connecting it with an optical cable?
Also tell me which DAC is better for me to take, in Russia I have only three options: 1) Schiit Magni3 2) Topping D30 3) TOPPING E30
Here are my photos of the complete set, I will be glad for your help.https://imgur.com/a/YKYloRl
I play on a Dell S2721DGF monitor, it has a line-out!
If you are using the MixAmp as a DAC you audio goes Digital through the USB connection so doesn't makes any difference because it will end up being "interpreted" by MixAmp DAC. If you take out MixAmp DAC out of the chain, then yes go SPDIF via HDMI Audio Extractor and feed a better DAC with this signal.

1) Shiit Magni is a Amp, not a DAC, so its out.

2. Topping E30 or D30 both are pretty good DAC, you can't go wrong with either but I will take the one more up to date and with DSD playback is a nice feature to have for music listening on a PC or Laptop.  ;)

Pretty good set, those headphones had audiophile pedigree, you will most definitely notice a great improvement with a nice HiRes DAC. My recommendation will be JDS EL DAC I or II if you can afford it.

Offline Bagura32rus

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
  • PSN ID: POLiCE_SHEERIFF
Hello,
Does you used Dolby almos with GSP 600 or stéréo uncompressed ?

Thanks
I think somewhere on the first pages of these thread is a link for GSP600 tuned with MixAmp by Emperor Potara. If not, you can join his discord to download it.  ;)

Hello Alanmacgregor!
Can you please tell me, I have Xbox Series X connected in this order astro mixamp pro tr gen3 - jds labs atom amp - ears HyperX Cloud Alpha Cloud9 Edition (I think to buy DT990Pro 250 ohm)
I have an audio extractor, is it worth adding it here and connecting it with an optical cable?
Also tell me which DAC is better for me to take, in Russia I have only three options: 1) Schiit Magni3 2) Topping D30 3) TOPPING E30
Here are my photos of the complete set, I will be glad for your help.https://imgur.com/a/YKYloRl
I play on a Dell S2721DGF monitor, it has a line-out!
If you are using the MixAmp as a DAC you audio goes Digital through the USB connection so doesn't makes any difference because it will end up being "interpreted" by MixAmp DAC. If you take out MixAmp DAC out of the chain, then yes go SPDIF via HDMI Audio Extractor and feed a better DAC with this signal.

1) Shiit Magni is a Amp, not a DAC, so its out.

2. Topping E30 or D30 both are pretty good DAC, you can't go wrong with either but I will take the one more up to date and with DSD playback is a nice feature to have for music listening on a PC or Laptop.  ;)

Pretty good set, those headphones had audiophile pedigree, you will most definitely notice a great improvement with a nice HiRes DAC. My recommendation will be JDS EL DAC I or II if you can afford it.
thank you for the advice.  I looked at JDS EL DAC I https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-dac/but it does not have an optical input, how can I then connect it to the XBSX?  The JDS EL DAC II is very expensive.  Thank you anyway!

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
EL DAC I had Optical (You are looking to the Atom DAC) but is discontinued you may find it on ebay at good price.

Again, Topping is pretty good too.

Offline ninjasinpjs

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
  • Gamertag: ninjasinpjs
  • PSN ID: ninjasinpjs
Hey newbie here, I used to own a XIM a long time ago and have since moved to PC.  I currently use a Sennheiser PC37X (I have a PC38X ordered as well due to be here on March 30th from Drop). I am using the Sennheiser GSX1200. I won this pair at a gaming tournament so they didnt cost me anything. I am very interested in the Mayflower ARC MK2 and either using it with the PC38X or buying a set of DT990 Pros. Is this worth the upgrade? Should I stick with what I have? What upgrade path would you recommend? Money is no object and I have an audiophile grade setup for music, I just need this solely for my gaming rig so maximum sound whoring. I am also interested in planar magnetic, would you say the imaging on the Sundara's is better than say a HD660S?
« Last Edit: 08:01 PM - 03/16/21 by ninjasinpjs »

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
Hi ninjasinpjs awesome prize you got there! congrats.   ;D

GX1200 is a pretty good DAC but lacks of power for audiophile/hi-res headphones. If you are happy with its "sound signature" you can add a headphone AMP like LiquidSpark to the chain so you can pair it with higher impedance headphones,

ARC MK2 + DT990 Pro definitely will be substantial, noticeable upgrade, just keep in mind no more Surround (reverb) effects is going to be pure stereo, which is better for competitive.

DT990P are a difficult headphone to recommend while is amazing for sound whoring footsteps, is quite "bright" (treble are quite strong and sharp) which can be annoying or tiresome if you are sensitive to high frequencies. Is a try-before-buy or a get them from a store that offers a nice return option if you don't like it.

As I mentioned before, for gaming and specifically sound whoring footsteps you should get a headphone with an outstanding good middle range (where footsteps tracks are present). Senheiser are well know to focus on this, that's why they are pretty good for vocals (middles). HD660S are a $500 worthy upgrade over the PC37X no doubt, and while it sounds "familiar" is way more precise imaging (to localize sound cue sources) and sound-stage (how wide you can hear) with a nice present but not overloaded bass (explosions, fun).

You can not get a open headphones with good quality bass and in order to get it there is where you look at planars these technology will be what you are looking for, are open, very dynamic (ability to reproduce low to high frequencies quickly) and specially a very smooth strong bass.

However keep in mind when you are looking for a Audiophile headphone with audiophile sound signature you get a more "flat" and neutral sound, music instruments should sound like they were recorded on the studio. On gaming these can sound... "boring", live-less.

For gaming a V shape is preferred with a present bass and highs, is fun most cheap and commercial gaming headsets does it.

However, for sound whoring gaming: middles should be present dominant and low treble clear yet not bright.

Talking on gaming Sundara feels liveless its bass is pretty bland, IMO I personally prefer the Hifiman HE4XX for both gaming (campaign immersive like witcher 3, Doom Eternal, Ghost of Tsushima) and listen music.

Now if money is no object and you only want to use one set of headphones, I will recommend to give a try to the Beyer Dynamic DT1990 Pro, that is like combination of HD660S with brightness of the DT990s and similar planars dynamics.

However IMO with the budget of DT1990 Pro is better to get 2 set of headphones, ones for gaming sound whoring (DT990Pro) and another for gaming and music like HE4XX or K702 or Beyerdynamics MMX 300 Gen2.

Hope it helps.
« Last Edit: 03:44 PM - 03/18/21 by alanmcgregor »

Offline ninjasinpjs

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
    • View Profile
  • Gamertag: ninjasinpjs
  • PSN ID: ninjasinpjs
Alan,

Just want to start out by saying, thank you so much for your input. I probably need to clear some things up as I went back to read my original post and I wasn't very clear.

For listening to music I have a JDS stack (EL DAC II + Atom), a microZOTL MZ3, and a Burson Conductor 3 Reference. For headphones I currently mostly use Sennheiser HD820, Focal Clears, and Warwick Acoustic Sonoma M1s. Obviously different sets depending on genre.

As for the gaming situation, I don't really play traditional games (e.g. I don't play any of the games you mentioned) I only play CS:GO, Rainbox Six Siege, Unreal Tournament, and recently start dabbling with Escape from Tarkov. Other than those titles I don't play any other games.

I don't really care for "immersive" type sound. Even in music I tend to prefer accuracy (most people read this as I hate bass), In the past I have had some extremely bright headphones that I loved and everyone else complained were fatiguing and I listened for hours on end without a problem. What you would probably call boring and lifeless sound in a game is exactly what I would be searching for as long as it was locationally accurate and gave me good queues from a positional perspective.

I havent really dabbled with planar magnetics but I have listened to them from friends and at audio stores. I was just curious how their locational audio and soundstage compared with more traditional headphones in the gaming realm. I wasnt necessarily hooked on the Sundaras, the reason I mention them is because I can get them as a trade from a friend and wouldn't cost me much. In reality I am much more interested in the Aryas or Anandas (I will most likely order both and tinker with them and keep the one I like most).

I already have a nice setup for music and I don't mind having numerous sets of headphones (at this point I'm at over 20 pairs and growing). What I was mainly looking for was what is the best self contained setup I can get for competitive shooters so that I can attach it to my gaming pc and leave it and stop lugging stuff out of my listening room and into my office everytime I want to game.

I have taken your advice and dusted off my set of DT1990 Pros, I may end up dedicating them to the gaming rig since I do not use them as often as I used to. As far as amps/dacs go, I will probably go the Mayflower Arc MK2 route or potentially the Schitt Hel, I'm going to order both and see which one I like better. I was mainly looking for a simple, semi-portable solution with a mic input that would give as accurate as possible positional queues for audio. If a amp/dac stack would be significantly more advantageous I could potentially weight the options of using the Arc MK2 when I travel and a better stack at home for the primary gaming PC.

Again, thank you so much for your input. My original plan was to do my normal shotgun solution, just order numerous different pairs and amps/dacs until I found the right combo. I will probably still do that, just trying to get some input that may save some time and return shipping annoyances.

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
You have an Awesome audiophile gear :D ;D hope you can share your findings on this topic will be enrich with your opinions.

I 'm not against bass, however many gaming headsets are over saturated with low end because human hearing find it pleasing and can hide bad sound performance. Bass is like salt, gives flavor to a dish but can mask deficiencies or ruin it if is use on excess.

Great to know you understand this audiophiles terms, I tried to avoid them so everybody can understand what we are speaking of.

So yeah in essence, for competitive gaming go for a narrow sound-stage headphone, with very high resolution imaging on middles from 500Hz up to 10KHz on this frequency range: enemy footsteps, friendly call-outs, reload, ambient cues (enemies walking stealth) are mixed in games, stereo no surround.

In lame terms: just like video for competitive gaming is hideous to look at: dulled blacks to see enemies on the darkness, oversaturated reds or yellows(if you are using a colorblind scheme) for outline cues or pop up enemies, etc, for sound you need dominant middle range and very sharp treble. Dynamics are not that important.

Planars are for fast dynamic range.

Mayflower ARC MK2 has a very good DAC that does a great job to outline or separate stereo sound cues and its amplifier is enough to power must hungry headsets. But you can use other choices like K5 Pro, JDS Atom DAC/AMP stack, Schiit, etc. BTW heads up, Schiit Hell doesn't work with consoles, only PC.

Any HiRes DAC/AMP that allows you to connect your console via DIGITAL Audio Input (SPDIF or USB) is preferable than a analog one (3.5mm or RCA In).

I kept recommending the ARC because is the only one I know that pull all these in a small package + Mic input + Analog Audio In Mix, for a very good price.

I think they are working on a slim version without mic and analog mix to make it more affordable.

You are exactly right the best scenario is having a headphone for different uses, mixes or sound applications. IMHO anyone who start on this hobby should have as a starter kit at least 3 different headphones for each spectrum one that does great bass, other that standout in vocals (middles) and lastly one that does delivers fantastic treble for instruments.

Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro's 250 Ohms is in my opinion one must-have or try for competitive gaming, but that's the thing with headphones, same with mice... you have to try them to find the right for you.
« Last Edit: 04:35 PM - 03/20/21 by alanmcgregor »

Offline Walle90

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Hi Alan!

Just recently bought a XSX. Due to the removal of the optical port I got pair of the Audeze Penrose X. My question is if I would notice or if it would be better to use the 3.5 mm controll port with studio headphones and a separate mic? :)

If that's the case which headphones would you recommend?

Mostly play FPS games such as COD Warzone.

Thanks in advance.

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
Hi Alan!

Just recently bought a XSX. Due to the removal of the optical port I got pair of the Audeze Penrose X. My question is if I would notice or if it would be better to use the 3.5 mm controll port with studio headphones and a separate mic? :)

If that's the case which headphones would you recommend?

Mostly play FPS games such as COD Warzone.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Walle90!
I don't think so, the DAC built-in your headphones it produces a higher quality audio that the on coming from the control port.

DACs are key, these devices decode and produce sound. Good high resolution DACs can't fit inside of a headphone driver due physical circuitry requirements. A midrange desktop DAC will be better than a wireless headphone, without of doubt. Another thing wireless components deal with is the wireless bandwidth, audio signal requires to be compressed (quality loss) and mic signal gets a huge hit, that's why all wireless headset struggle with it.

Wired audio is raw uncompressed for both game audio signal and microphone can be full range vocal range, your voice doesn't sound like coming from a 80's telephone line.

I'm not bashing wireless technology, is convenient, gives you freedom, has its place IMO when you are working out or doing the dishes, walking the dog, etc. where you are not really paying attention what you are listening. Serious competitive gaming is not, you will do better with wired but the trade off is messing cable management.

Audeze only put its name in a product meeting a high standard audio, so you are fine, good enough.

Mic suffers, that's unavoidable... and if you are thinking on streaming then my recommendation is going for a dynamic microphone like the Samson Q2U, or Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB. Condenser mics are more popular like Blue Yeti and Quadcaster but those need a good acoustic-threaded room(that cost almost like a console) to get a good recording quality, not dynamics... these are meant to work on concerts (with instruments all over around) any enviroment and only focus on your pick up your voice.

But these mics... again, involves messing with cables.

Hope it helps!

Offline Walle90

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Hi Alan!

Just recently bought a XSX. Due to the removal of the optical port I got pair of the Audeze Penrose X. My question is if I would notice or if it would be better to use the 3.5 mm controll port with studio headphones and a separate mic? :)

If that's the case which headphones would you recommend?

Mostly play FPS games such as COD Warzone.

Thanks in advance.
Hi Walle90!
I don't think so, the DAC built-in your headphones it produces a higher quality audio that the on coming from the control port.

DACs are key, these devices decode and produce sound. Good high resolution DACs can't fit inside of a headphone driver due physical circuitry requirements. A midrange desktop DAC will be better than a wireless headphone, without of doubt. Another thing wireless components deal with is the wireless bandwidth, audio signal requires to be compressed (quality loss) and mic signal gets a huge hit, that's why all wireless headset struggle with it.

Wired audio is raw uncompressed for both game audio signal and microphone can be full range vocal range, your voice doesn't sound like coming from a 80's telephone line.

I'm not bashing wireless technology, is convenient, gives you freedom, has its place IMO when you are working out or doing the dishes, walking the dog, etc. where you are not really paying attention what you are listening. Serious competitive gaming is not, you will do better with wired but the trade off is messing cable management.

Audeze only put its name in a product meeting a high standard audio, so you are fine, good enough.

Mic suffers, that's unavoidable... and if you are thinking on streaming then my recommendation is going for a dynamic microphone like the Samson Q2U, or Audio-Technica ATR2100x-USB. Condenser mics are more popular like Blue Yeti and Quadcaster but those need a good acoustic-threaded room(that cost almost like a console) to get a good recording quality, not dynamics... these are meant to work on concerts (with instruments all over around) any enviroment and only focus on your pick up your voice.

But these mics... again, involves messing with cables.

Hope it helps!

Thanks you for a detailed and an amazing response!! :)

So do you recommend returning my Audeze and buy a DAC and a pair of studio headphones with a separate mic? Clear sound for footsteps is way more important than chatvoice.

Thanks again!!

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
If you want to go the next level, yes absolutely.

Clearer pop-out footsteps on competitive games, revealing sound cues to locate your enemies and true immersive audio on campaign experiences.

Remember: brain reacts 3x faster to sound than visuals.

If you don't care on competitive and only play casual, keep your headphones.

No, for $300 that Audeze Penrose X cost, you can get:
+ Beyerdynamic DT990 pro ($159)
+ Fosi Audio Q4 ($62)
+ Modmic Uni ($49)

This package will give you 2.5X better audio performance than the penrose's.

The DAC/Amp can be connected with a RCA to 3.5mm adapter, I have been testing this device (it sent to me for review) and oh man, is such a great surprise, pretty powerful and clear for the price. It has surprisingly great sound-stage, and the knobs allows you to turn down bass and increase treble to hear better footsteps.

Now, if you can put 50$ more I suggest to try the FIIO K5 Pro, get a HDMI extractor to connect the SPDIF out to the DAC for uncompress raw audio.

My top recommendation for DAC is the Mayflower ARC MK2 ($270), as you can see going for better audio you have to pay for a more quality DAC, DAC is like the musician that performs the music you want a pro on piano, right?.

« Last Edit: 05:23 PM - 03/24/21 by alanmcgregor »

Offline Walle90

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
If you want to go the next level, yes absolutely.

Clearer pop-out footsteps on competitive games, revealing sound cues to locate your enemies and true immersive audio on campaign experiences.

Remember: brain reacts 3x faster to sound than visuals.

If you don't care on competitive and only play casual, keep your headphones.

No, for $300 that Audeze Penrose X cost, you can get:
+ Beyerdynamic DT990 pro ($159)
+ Fosi Audio Q4 ($62)
+ Modmic Uni ($49)

This package will give you 2.5X better audio performance than the penrose's.

The DAC/Amp can be connected with a RCA to 3.5mm adapter, I have been testing this device (it sent to me for review) and oh man, is such a great surprise, pretty powerful and clear for the price. It has surprisingly great sound-stage, and the knobs allows you to turn down bass and increase treble to hear better footsteps.

Now, if you can put 50$ more I suggest to try the FIIO K5 Pro, get a HDMI extractor to connect the SPDIF out to the DAC for uncompress raw audio.

My top recommendation for DAC is the Mayflower ARC MK2 ($270), as you can see going for better audio you have to pay for a more quality DAC, DAC is like the musician that performs the music you want a pro on piano, right?.

Yesterday I tried a HDMI audio extractor unfortunately it didn't work for 1440p/60hz. So until a decent 2.1 extractor Is available I'll stick to the 3.5mm jack. If I would like to connect everything to the controller jack am I able to do that with the Fiio 5k Pro?

Headphones->Fiio 5k Pro-> From line in w RCA 3.5mm adapter cable->Y headphones jack on adapter->controller.
Mic->controller Y - mic jack on adapter-> controller

Is it a correct setup without using the optical? Or do i need another DAC/AMP?

I was thinking of buying
FIIO K5 Pro, HD660S, Modmic Uni. Is it worth paying the extra bucks for the HD660S or should I go for the DT990P?

For max 400-500$ which headphones would you recommend purely for gaming (FPS, mostly COD) with the FIIO K5 Pro? Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro?

Unfortunately, Mayflower ARC MK2 is not available in Sweden (or Europe) :/

Sorry I'm a noob on the subject and there's so many questions haha. Thank you so much for your help!
« Last Edit: 12:44 PM - 03/27/21 by Walle90 »

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
No problem Walle90  ;) keep asking.

Mayflower ARC MK2 is available worldwide on their site.

I'm pretty stoked by the Fosi Audio Q4, this little fella has a lot ot power and very good audio quality. Definitely high recommended for anyone who whats next step gaming audio and starting on HiRes for music listening. Q4 offers great sound quality for the price, it can feed a power hungry headphones and gives you the versatility of EQ via its knobs, so you can modify the sound to your liking, accordly the music you are listening or where the sound cues are better on a specific game.

IMO is a must-try before investing on a better quality and expensive DAC/Amp, pretty sure most people will be settle with the Q4 specially if they are coming from lower dacs like audio dongles, wireless headphones and sound blaster midrange line. What I'm saying all these? is because before FIIO K5 Pro was my go-to entry recommendation before jumping to a better DAC like the ARC or any $400 DAC/Amp stack.

FIIO K5 is pretty good, like having a small $200 DAC/Amp stack on one unit, but after try it, the sound-stage feel a little to subtle, and very bassy. Sound-stage is how far you can hear, how far the sounds cues feels from your ears, for sound whoring you should go for a close feeling sound-stage, and less bass, so you can hear the midrange and treble where footsteps and sound cues are. Q4 has a closer soundstage than K5 Pro, kind of similar to the ARC and with the knobs you can adjust bass and treble.

Now about the headphones. More expensive audiophile grade headphones doesn't mean better footstep detection. Again and sorry if I sound like a broken record, if you want footsteps you should check for headphone and DAC that gives you very present midrange and treble.

Expensive audiograde headphones, are for better audio fidelity. We don't play fortnite or Escape of from Tarkov to pick up a AK and said, "hey the Kalashnikov doesn't sound like that in reality" or "the explosions on Battlefront II 2017 doesn't sound the as real like Battlefront 2015 which were recorded by lucas movies". Headphones like HD800, DT1990Pro, Audeze LCD 2, etc needs at least a $800 DAC to really shine and the sound source should be very high quality, far from that comes for our games.

Yes those headphones does gives you a more "realistic" sound and immersive experience, but it won't gives you a wall-hack kind of power which other headphones does, like: DT770, DT990P, HD600, HD58X or HD660S this one specially is pretty attractive because it does gives you an edge on gaming but is also a fantastic headphone for music listening, specially vocals. But for sound-cue sweaty tryhard I will say DT990P is better, follow by DT770.

HDMI 2.1 Spliters accordly OREI (a very good manufacturer) are ETA for the third quarter of this year. Hope is not delayed again.  :)
« Last Edit: 03:05 PM - 03/27/21 by alanmcgregor »

Offline Walle90

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 25
    • View Profile
Thank you for your awesome replay!

Yesterday I bought the FIIO K5 Pro and DT660S (I got it on sale for 300$). I think I'll give it a try and see what I think, hopefully I like and keep it otherwise I'll go for your recommendation :)
« Last Edit: 04:29 PM - 03/27/21 by Walle90 »

Online AMG

  • MVP
  • *
  • Posts: 2903
  • Gamer - Audiophile - Coder
    • View Profile
Congrats on your purchase!, again FIIO is fantastic DAC/Amp without of doubt you have all you need for next step audio. It has better resolution than Q4, those HD660S are going to shine! embrace to be amaze.

Please share your experience and ENJOY!  8) ;D :)