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[Gaming Audio] Astro MixAmp presets + Best Audio Gear Guide + Headphone Reviews  (Read 250014 times)

Offline AMG

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How the sound of the headphone output of a HTS compares with a dedicated DAC + AMP combo? Have you tried this?
Sure, I tried... I mean when you pay for $1000 you should try everything they can get you to get the most of your money right?

However, these are not up to par... and it make sense... who will pay for a 7+ channel device to use headphones. So the manufactures they don't pay attention to it.

Like on a Marantz SR7012 its headphone dac is beaten for a dedicated $200 Chip based DAC, is similar to a $100, like Schiit Modi's, that entry level range, but with lot of noise and input impedance (bad impedance, performance leak). They actually had its own separate headphone AMP and DAC's line-up. Headphone drivers are way different to speakers, basically the noise and circuitry needed to power speaker channel is not optimal for headphones.

Actually top Audiophile AVR's don't even offer headphone outputs.
« Last Edit: 03:26 PM - 07/06/21 by alanmcgregor »

Offline russellkao

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Hi alanmcgregor

Now I'm consider for what audio device i have to invest , then have some choice on the market

1. Astro gaming Mixamp / 2. Sennheiser GSX 1200 /3. Creative sound blasterx g6 /4. Sound Blaster GC7

Do you have any experience for using those other product like Creative or Sennheiser

Actually I have not really get the point about the different between Mixamp and Gaming Dac

For me I'm the console user both have PS5 and Xbox Series using the Logitech G331 headset

and purpose only want to more clear sound could hear the footsteps
 

Offline Roman_M

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How the sound of the headphone output of a HTS compares with a dedicated DAC + AMP combo? Have you tried this?
Sure, I tried... I mean when you pay for $1000 you should try everything they can get you to get the most of your money right?

However, these are not up to par... and it make sense... who will pay for a 7+ channel device to use headphones. So the manufactures they don't pay attention to it.

Like on a Marantz SR7012 its headphone dac is beaten for a dedicated $200 Chip based DAC, is similar to a $100, like Schiit Modi's, that entry level range, but with lot of noise and input impedance (bad impedance, performance leak). They actually had its own separate headphone AMP and DAC's line-up. Headphone drivers are way different to speakers, basically the noise and circuitry needed to power speaker channel is not optimal for headphones.

Actually top Audiophile AVR's don't even offer headphone outputs.


Hello Alan.  I want to hear your word.  Now I have a bunch of: mixAmp tr pro gen4, shiit loki +, jds atom amp.  But I want to get more from my amplifier, so I want to buy this one, would you advise me to buy this one?  What do you think Alan is worth his money?  Or stay on the old (jds)?

Jds atom amp / iFi Zen Can,  or ZEN CAN Signature 6XX ?
 - I want something better from this, what do you recommend?  Thanks for coming.
« Last Edit: 11:47 AM - 07/09/21 by Roman_M »
Eve Spectrum 4k/144hz ✓ Xbox series X ✓ Xbox elite series 2 ✓ Jds ell dac 2 ✓ Jds atom amp ✓ Insignia audio extractor ✓Bayerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm ✓ Audio-Technica ATGM 2 ✓ASTRO Gaming ,  MixAmp Pro TR ✓Shiit loki mini ✓iFi Zen Can ✓ Varmilo MA87 Koi with EC switch V2 Wired Mechanical KeyboardMA87MCu2W/WR2BnGJv ✓ ZYGEN NP-01G Esports Mouse (Glossy) ✓ BOSE SPORT EARBUDS BLUE ✓ Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 XB ✓ HyperX Cloud Mix ✓

Offline AMG

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Do you have any experience for using those other product like Creative or Sennheiser
I have...plenty, long time user Creative Soundblaster, currently I own a Sound BlasterX G6. I use GSX1000 on my laptop.

Sennheiser in particular, I worked with a research team for its hearing aid division, long time ago. Consumer wise, I'm familiar with its gaming offerings.

Quote
Actually I have not really get the point about the different between Mixamp and Gaming Dac
MixAmp is a gaming DAC, pretty good one, with many attractive features like:
+ Chat and Gaming Audio Mix
+ Dolby Digital Surround support
+ A small parametric Equalizer, which is pretty helpful to tweak how your headphones sounds to make more audible some frequencies like footsteps. That was the original idea of this thread to share this EQ profiles for many headphones, because the A40 that came with MixAmp are pretty bad.

A DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is an device that Converts Digital signal (101001 binary) to Analog Signal (Sound waves). For audio, the quality and performance of a DAC is represented on how accurate, resolving and recreates sound.
Every device on your life, with a Audio plug as a DAC. When is a very basic DAC(like the one where you plug your headset to the controller) the sound that produces feels very crowded, and inside in your head, audio frequencies are all mess and mix together, some absent, that's why you struggle to hear footsteps.

Some gaming DAC has "footsteps detection" or "game sense feature" which is a gizmo to highlight and make louder those frequencies, is handy and maybe all you need, but if your headset is pretty bad, by its own, to reproduce those  frequencies it won't make a big difference. So a decent headphone is pretty important, i will say it comes first, then a decent DAC.

Most gaming headphones/headsets like Logitech G331, are design to sound very bass heavy and soft treble, is called V shape, unfortunately the frequencies where the footsteps are, are in the dip of the V, you can't hear them properly they got veil by a boomy low end or harsh artificial treble.

High-end and pricey gaming headphones, are better to separate those frequencies, so you can distinguish where your friendlies are, where the enemies are coming from, explosions, enemy reloading around a corner, walking ontop of your position, etc. for above $299 usd you get that performance... or get something even better that was specifically design to hear every sound detail, an audio studio headphone for only $60

And that's why we keep encouraging everybody to get better headphones, hi-fi, studio grade or audiophile over gaming offerings, a very few are pretty good and guess why? because they are audiophile headphones rebranded as a gaming ones, audiophile pedigree.

So, get better headphones. My go-to suggestion:

Philips SHP9500 - Link $80 usd

Get a V-Moda Boom mic $20 to turn it on a headset.


For $100 you are getting a headset that sounds better than a most gaming headset around $200, and a fantastic headphone for music on the go.

I can't not recommend any DAC up to this point, because it won't make any money-worth difference on your G331.

But I can guarantee you the SHP9500, worth every single penny and it will give you an edge to hearing footsteps and enemies positioning.

Then... once you can/want, get a decent Hi-Fi DAC and its sound performance will be unleashed, even better, because this cans scale... better audio equiptment, more detail and resolving they are, like increasing screen resolution.




Offline AMG

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Hello Alan.  I want to hear your word.  Now I have a bunch of: mixAmp tr pro gen4, shiit loki +, jds atom amp.  But I want to get more from my amplifier, so I want to buy this one, would you advise me to buy this one?  What do you think Alan is worth his money?  Or stay on the old (jds)?

Jds atom amp / iFi Zen Can,  or ZEN CAN Signature 6XX ?
 - I want something better from this, what do you recommend?  Thanks for coming.

Hey!  :)

OK, going from JDS Atom to iFi Zen CAN?, both pretty good headphone AMPs.


My current test bench setup


again which headphones are you using?
If you need more amplification, iFi Zen CAN definitely is more powerful, than JDS Atom.

Zen CAN and Drop Zen CAN Signature are the same, the only difference: Signature bass boost is tuned specifically for the Sennheiser HD6XX headphones sold by Drop. HD6XX are HD600 with more bass, ZEN signature adds just a little bit more. The regular ZEN CAN bass boost adds more bass it can be too much for the 6XX but very subtle and nice for any other headphone.

See a headphone AMP doesn't change the sound as much as a DAC, it shouldn't technically is not as easy because a DAC does all digital processing, AMP only amplifies the analog signal, it can make it sound "warmer" (softer pleasant) or "cold" (analytical, more detail), but just a bit.

However, iFi is doing something very unique and weird on the Bass Boost and specially with its 3D, button. These are changing the sound on the analog domain, which means is very organic natural without distortion.

Bass Boost is only more punchy bass but subtle, not over done.

3D makes an holographic effect on mid-range, a way to put it on words will be:
you are hearing a song and you hear the singer very close to you, like you are the microphone and is singing in your face, press the 3D button and the singer goes 2-3 feet away, you are not a microphone on an studio anymore... you are more like seated on the 3rd row on a small room with the singer and the band in the background.

For gaming, generally footsteps are in the same frequency as vocals in music... so it is a hit or miss effect. Is great for wide soundstage games like warzone, pubg, single players... but for very chaotic battlefield environments where many things going around you, explosions, vehicles; I'm not sure.

As far I tested 3D effect does this to headphones with:
Regular mid-range performance: 3D tends to improve it.
Strong very present mid-range: 3D tends to turn it on wider sound-stage and sometimes like god voice.
Weak mid-range: 3D tends to move its position on-top of your head.

So there you go, that will be what you might get with Zen CAN over JDS Atom.

But, analyzing your audio setup what I'm seeing is someone who is not happy with its sound quality, that schiit Loki makes me think you are EQ on attempt to improve your sound.

I think you have a DT990 Pros, right? those are power-hungry headphones i can see the need for a more powerful AMP, but that MixAmp right there... is a funnel, a sound performance bottleneck for those headphones.

If you want to improve your sound and you already own Hi-Fi headphones, go for a better DAC. Something analytical and open like SMSL M100 or Topping D30 will be a killer footsteps-detection hack with DT990Pros, if you can handle high treble.

« Last Edit: 01:36 PM - 07/09/21 by alanmcgregor »

Offline Roman_M

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Hello Alan.  I want to hear your word.  Now I have a bunch of: mixAmp tr pro gen4, shiit loki +, jds atom amp.  But I want to get more from my amplifier, so I want to buy this one, would you advise me to buy this one?  What do you think Alan is worth his money?  Or stay on the old (jds)?

Jds atom amp / iFi Zen Can,  or ZEN CAN Signature 6XX ?
 - I want something better from this, what do you recommend?  Thanks for coming.

Hey!  :)

OK, going from JDS Atom to iFi Zen CAN?, both pretty good headphone AMPs.


My current test bench setup


again which headphones are you using?
If you need more amplification, iFi Zen CAN definitely is more powerful, than JDS Atom.

Zen CAN and Drop Zen CAN Signature are the same, the only difference: Signature bass boost is tuned specifically for the Sennheiser HD6XX headphones sold by Drop. HD6XX are HD600 with more bass, ZEN signature adds just a little bit more. The regular ZEN CAN bass boost adds more bass it can be too much for the 6XX but very subtle and nice for any other headphone.

See a headphone AMP doesn't change the sound as much as a DAC, it shouldn't technically is not as easy because a DAC does all digital processing, AMP only amplifies the analog signal, it can make it sound "warmer" (softer pleasant) or "cold" (analytical, more detail), but just a bit.

However, iFi is doing something very unique and weird on the Bass Boost and specially with its 3D, button. These are changing the sound on the analog domain, which means is very organic natural without distortion.

Bass Boost is only more punchy bass but subtle, not over done.

3D makes an holographic effect on mid-range, a way to put it on words will be:
you are hearing a song and you hear the singer very close to you, like you are the microphone and is singing in your face, press the 3D button and the singer goes 2-3 feet away, you are not a microphone on an studio anymore... you are more like seated on the 3rd row on a small room with the singer and the band in the background.

For gaming, generally footsteps are in the same frequency as vocals in music... so it is a hit or miss effect. Is great for wide soundstage games like warzone, pubg, single players... but for very chaotic battlefield environments where many things going around you, explosions, vehicles; I'm not sure.

As far I tested 3D effect does this to headphones with:
Regular mid-range performance: 3D tends to improve it.
Strong very present mid-range: 3D tends to turn it on wider sound-stage and sometimes like god voice.
Weak mid-range: 3D tends to move its position on-top of your head.

So there you go, that will be what you might get with Zen CAN over JDS Atom.

But, analyzing your audio setup what I'm seeing is someone who is not happy with its sound quality, that schiit Loki makes me think you are EQ on attempt to improve your sound.

I think you have a DT990 Pros, right? those are power-hungry headphones i can see the need for a more powerful AMP, but that MixAmp right there... is a funnel, a sound performance bottleneck for those headphones.

If you want to improve your sound and you already own Hi-Fi headphones, go for a better DAC. Something analytical and open like SMSL M100 or Topping D30 will be a killer footsteps-detection hack with DT990Pros, if you can handle high treble.

Dt990pro - 250 .
 > iFi Zen Can,  or ZEN CAN Signature 6XX ?
 Tell me what should I choose for shooters on xbox?  which "Zen" should I choose ???

thanks for the help again.
Eve Spectrum 4k/144hz ✓ Xbox series X ✓ Xbox elite series 2 ✓ Jds ell dac 2 ✓ Jds atom amp ✓ Insignia audio extractor ✓Bayerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm ✓ Audio-Technica ATGM 2 ✓ASTRO Gaming ,  MixAmp Pro TR ✓Shiit loki mini ✓iFi Zen Can ✓ Varmilo MA87 Koi with EC switch V2 Wired Mechanical KeyboardMA87MCu2W/WR2BnGJv ✓ ZYGEN NP-01G Esports Mouse (Glossy) ✓ BOSE SPORT EARBUDS BLUE ✓ Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 XB ✓ HyperX Cloud Mix ✓

Offline AMG

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ifi Zen CAN.

As I said, they are the same. Signature has a softer Bass boost button suited only for HD6XX.

But use it with JDS EL DAC II, not MixAmp.

Offline Roman_M

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ifi Zen CAN.

As I said, they are the same. Signature has a softer Bass boost button suited only for HD6XX.

But use it with JDS EL DAC II, not MixAmp.
Thank you, I wanted to hear exactly what would be better for my build and for the purpose of playing shooters.  🤝 You will always help and prompt, I am very glad that you are 🤗
Eve Spectrum 4k/144hz ✓ Xbox series X ✓ Xbox elite series 2 ✓ Jds ell dac 2 ✓ Jds atom amp ✓ Insignia audio extractor ✓Bayerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm ✓ Audio-Technica ATGM 2 ✓ASTRO Gaming ,  MixAmp Pro TR ✓Shiit loki mini ✓iFi Zen Can ✓ Varmilo MA87 Koi with EC switch V2 Wired Mechanical KeyboardMA87MCu2W/WR2BnGJv ✓ ZYGEN NP-01G Esports Mouse (Glossy) ✓ BOSE SPORT EARBUDS BLUE ✓ Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 XB ✓ HyperX Cloud Mix ✓

Offline K9ozzy

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Indulge me.......is there any possible way to use the Sennheiser GSX1000 with Xbox Series X?  What if I did HDMI out from [tv/samsung one source] to an [hdmi to RCA converter] then to [RCA to micro usb converter] then micro usb to GSX 1000?  Would the proper signal (digital or analog) reach the GSX 1000 to make it properly work and give me the surround sound processing?

Offline AMG

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Indulge me.......is there any possible way to use the Sennheiser GSX1000 with Xbox Series X?  What if I did HDMI out from [tv/samsung one source] to an [hdmi to RCA converter] then to [RCA to micro usb converter] then micro usb to GSX 1000?  Would the proper signal (digital or analog) reach the GSX 1000 to make it properly work and give me the surround sound processing?
GSX1000 Input is digital only, process audio through USB; meaning besides audio signal, data signal, drivers etc goes to that cable, there is no RCA to MicroUSB adapter.

Haven't try it but my guess is:
You need:
a PC as intermediate
an capture card
a headphone Amp

1. Install GSX1000 on your PC, set as a default playback device.
2. Connect XBSX to PC capture card HDMI IN
3. PC capture card HDMI OUT to your gaming Monitor/TV. Turn everything on.
4. Open the capture utility that comes with your capture card, like elgato or OBS.
5. At windows mixer, mute the other apps sounds. Capture utility volume at 100%.
6. Connect your headphone amp RCA IN to the GSX1000 Headphone Out.
7. HD800S to the headphone amp.

You need a zero latency capture card(Internal), like elgato 4K60 Pro,
Mic should work through controller.

That's it.

Again, haven't try it but that should do the job.

Offline Roman_M

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Indulge me.......is there any possible way to use the Sennheiser GSX1000 with Xbox Series X?  What if I did HDMI out from [tv/samsung one source] to an [hdmi to RCA converter] then to [RCA to micro usb converter] then micro usb to GSX 1000?  Would the proper signal (digital or analog) reach the GSX 1000 to make it properly work and give me the surround sound processing?
GSX1000 Input is digital only, process audio through USB; meaning besides audio signal, data signal, drivers etc goes to that cable, there is no RCA to MicroUSB adapter.

Haven't try it but my guess is:
You need:
a PC as intermediate
an capture card
a headphone Amp

1. Install GSX1000 on your PC, set as a default playback device.
2. Connect XBSX to PC capture card HDMI IN
3. PC capture card HDMI OUT to your gaming Monitor/TV. Turn everything on.
4. Open the capture utility that comes with your capture card, like elgato or OBS.
5. At windows mixer, mute the other apps sounds. Capture utility volume at 100%.
6. Connect your headphone amp RCA IN to the GSX1000 Headphone Out.
7. HD800S to the headphone amp.

You need a zero latency capture card(Internal), like elgato 4K60 Pro,
Mic should work through controller.

That's it.

Again, haven't try it but that should do the job.

Alan, what to do with 144Hz, 2.1hdmi monitors.  I ordered this one for myself .... but I have that extractor only at 60Hz, how to be in such a situation ??
Eve Spectrum 4k/144hz ✓ Xbox series X ✓ Xbox elite series 2 ✓ Jds ell dac 2 ✓ Jds atom amp ✓ Insignia audio extractor ✓Bayerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm ✓ Audio-Technica ATGM 2 ✓ASTRO Gaming ,  MixAmp Pro TR ✓Shiit loki mini ✓iFi Zen Can ✓ Varmilo MA87 Koi with EC switch V2 Wired Mechanical KeyboardMA87MCu2W/WR2BnGJv ✓ ZYGEN NP-01G Esports Mouse (Glossy) ✓ BOSE SPORT EARBUDS BLUE ✓ Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 XB ✓ HyperX Cloud Mix ✓

Offline AMG

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Alan, what to do with 144Hz, 2.1hdmi monitors.  I ordered this one for myself .... but I have that extractor only at 60Hz, how to be in such a situation ??
Which Monitor Roman_M?

Offline Roman_M

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Alan, what to do with 144Hz, 2.1hdmi monitors.  I ordered this one for myself .... but I have that extractor only at 60Hz, how to be in such a situation ??
Which Monitor Roman_M?

https://evedevices.com/pages/order (144,4k,2.1)
Eve Spectrum 4k/144hz ✓ Xbox series X ✓ Xbox elite series 2 ✓ Jds ell dac 2 ✓ Jds atom amp ✓ Insignia audio extractor ✓Bayerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm ✓ Audio-Technica ATGM 2 ✓ASTRO Gaming ,  MixAmp Pro TR ✓Shiit loki mini ✓iFi Zen Can ✓ Varmilo MA87 Koi with EC switch V2 Wired Mechanical KeyboardMA87MCu2W/WR2BnGJv ✓ ZYGEN NP-01G Esports Mouse (Glossy) ✓ BOSE SPORT EARBUDS BLUE ✓ Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 XB ✓ HyperX Cloud Mix ✓

Offline Roman_M

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Alan, I would like to ask you about something.  Look, I have a friend who would like headphones that are very similar in all respects (most of all, convenience: for streaming, and convenient streaming - for many hours).  The variant is "Audeze Mobius", but he said that they do not suit him, could you advise anything at about the same price?  Friend streams and plays games (girl).  I would be grateful, she wanted something very much that would resemble like Audeze
Eve Spectrum 4k/144hz ✓ Xbox series X ✓ Xbox elite series 2 ✓ Jds ell dac 2 ✓ Jds atom amp ✓ Insignia audio extractor ✓Bayerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm ✓ Audio-Technica ATGM 2 ✓ASTRO Gaming ,  MixAmp Pro TR ✓Shiit loki mini ✓iFi Zen Can ✓ Varmilo MA87 Koi with EC switch V2 Wired Mechanical KeyboardMA87MCu2W/WR2BnGJv ✓ ZYGEN NP-01G Esports Mouse (Glossy) ✓ BOSE SPORT EARBUDS BLUE ✓ Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 XB ✓ HyperX Cloud Mix ✓

Offline AMG

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Alan, what to do with 144Hz, 2.1hdmi monitors.  I ordered this one for myself .... but I have that extractor only at 60Hz, how to be in such a situation ??
Which Monitor Roman_M?

https://evedevices.com/pages/order (144,4k,2.1)
If your HDMI Extractor is version 2.0, it will work at 1440p/(120Hz)144Hz, but no VRR or FreeSync.

- Another way to play with VRR or FreeSync support is: a headset adapter that comes with a better DAC like: Turtle Beach Headset Audio Controller Plus or Astro M80 + Headphone Amp + high impedance Hi-Fi headphones and settle with it.



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