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HappyFella

Surround Sound via Dolby Digital Live / Xonar DX

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I'm thinking of buying an Asus Xonar DX soundcard which can natively encode (gaming) audio streams direct to Dolby Digital via Dolby Digital Live, so hopefully transport proper gaming surround sound via a single SPDIF cable to my audio receiver, negating having to run a trail of cables from the back of a soundcard to a another separate 5.1 PC Surround speaker system. My AVR does not have a 5.1 set of inputs anyway!

 

 

 

 

 

Does anyone know if this works well with WoWs, if at all?

 

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Beta Tester
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Sound card's AC3/DD encoding works with any software as sound source.

(of course Microsoft occasionally breaks things with new OSes/patches)

 

You basically set it up so that speakers (configured as 5.1) are default playback device in sound settings of Windows.

That makes software (like games) see 5.1 spreakers and send such audio to sound card normally.

When DD Live is enabled in sound card's settings sound card then encodes that received audio and sends it through SPDIF without sound source knowing anything different.

 

 

Though as separate sound card can be longer time "investment" carried over other hardware/PC upgrades I would recommend considering similarly priced Creative's Sound Blaster Z.

Cinematic "tab" has controls for enabling either DD or DTS encoding in it.

http://www.legitreviews.com/creative-sound-blaster-z-zx-sound-card-review_155705/3

 

But especially if ever having need of using headphones for gaming Creative's SBX Pro Surround is superior to overhyped Dolby Headphone...

Which actually isn't pure binaural-simulation, but as much room echo simulation making lots of bass and overall sound similar to some ceramic tiled bathroom/public bath.

 

Creative's drivers are today as clean as any unlike pile of shovelware they were 15 years ago.

Actually Asus has lot worser attitude to supporting anything but newest models.

While Creative offers Win10 drivers even for nearing 15 years old cards discontinued/replaced many years ago.

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Players
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Thanks Esa, interesting.

I hadn't realised Creative had come up with a similar DDL solution to Asus'. 

I will do some more research on the Creative products. :)

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Players
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I've got Xonar STX paired with Beyerdynamics 990 Pro, so rather high end for gaming. Needless to say, boomy noises are noice:hiding:

Actually going back to integrated sound card on laptop makes me die a bit. Everything sound... shallow.

 

Can't recall settings now, I'll check them later. Headphones connected via mundane 6.35 (1/4in) jack, gets the job done.

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Players
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I have a Creative Sound Blaster Zx and play this game in DTS, so it is working :)

 

Is that with running a single SPDIF cable to your AV Receiver?

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[MERCS]
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You wont be sorry :)

And maybe it sounds weird, but you have to set it on DD or DTS in the soundcard settings and on speakers in Windows sound settings, else it doesnt work.

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Beta Tester
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I hadn't realised Creative had come up with a similar DDL solution to Asus'.

Already Sound Blaster X-Fi launched in 2005 had capability for it.

It was just disabled/hidden, because obviously Dolby wants royalties for use of it. (+logo)

Then one hobbyer found a way to unlock it in drivers and some time later Creative started selling official DD Live "unlocker" patch for few euros.

 

Don't remember if X-Fi's PCI-e versions had it as default, but at least X-Fi Titanium HD (first Creative with top end components) had it along with DTS Interactive.

SB Z serie has had it as default.

Recon 3D-serie between X-Fi and Z was fiasco: All around worser than X-Fi and audio components at level of basic integrated of mobos. :facepalm:

So what ever it had/hadn't doesn't matter.

I guess they kicked out who ever deviced that serie, because even basic Z-card has very good quality DACs.

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And maybe it sounds weird, but you have to set it on DD or DTS in the soundcard settings and on speakers in Windows sound settings, else it doesnt work.

That's because selecting SPDIF as playback device in Windows sound settings basically bybassess sound card's routines.

And unless source software is playing back already DD or DTS encoded audio it can output only stereo PCM signal.

(unless itself having DD/DTS encoder which is enabled)

 

 

 

I've got Xonar STX paired with Beyerdynamics 990 Pro, so rather high end for gaming. Needless to say, boomy noises are noice:hiding:

Actually going back to integrated sound card on laptop makes me die a bit. Everything sound... shallow.

 

Can't recall settings now, I'll check them later. Headphones connected via mundane 6.35 (1/4in) jack, gets the job done.

Try gaming headphones and you'll die lot more than a bit...

DT990 is one of the best balanced between fun and competitive sound headphones for binaural gaming with rare strong bass for open headphone without flooding over other frequencies and big "sound stage".

 

But Dolby Headphone's boomy bass would like more some very bass neutral AKGs/Sennheisers.

While completely killing bass and mangling music old CMSS-3D is ultimate for nitpicking directional cues.

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Beta Tester
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Dont know mutch for headphones, i know some are amazing, me im still using the logitech z5500 and optic and despite its age, for my gaming needs its still sweet. 

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