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Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound processing in Headphones

musicreo

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Ah yeah, you're talking about the New Audio Spatial soundcard that was talked about earlier (https://newaudiotechnology.com/products/spatial-sound-card-2/ ). How did you find it, was it effective? Did you compare it against some other virtual surround solutions?

I compared it to OOYH, the standard HESUVI BRIRs/HRTFs and some free BRIRs/HRTFs that are not included in HESUVI. For movie and gaming some rooms were ok. The problem was that the Spatial soundcard and OOYH did not have any benefit for me compared to some of the free BRIRs/HRTFs.
I copied some of the rooms from the Spatial soundcard and OOYH in HESUVI but never used them. In time I switched to a Impulcifer measurement.
 
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Robbo99999

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I compared it to OOYH, the standard HESUVI BRIRs/HRTFs and some free BRIRs/HRTFs that are not included in HESUVI. For movie and gaming some rooms were ok. The problem was that the Spatial soundcard and OOYH did not have any benefit for me compared to some of the free BRIRs/HRTFs.
I copied some of the rooms from the Spatial soundcard and OOYH in HESUVI but never used them. In time I switched to a Impulcifer measurement.
I understand some of what you put there, but seeing as I've never used those I'm not aware of the specifics, but I'm sure I'll find out about it if I try it. So you've tried Impulcifier yourself then, as in done your own measurements, so that's created your unique Target Curve? Or are you using someone else's Impulcifier measurment? You like the results of Impulcifier better than the others?
 

Brianc

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I have had a Subpac as my tactile subwoofer for years. I also used Out of Your Head for years before I got the A16. OOYH is good but not A16. But OOTH costs a couple of hundred dollars not $5 k, and it's important you find a preset that works to your satisfaction. I only found two out of 23. YMMV.

If you go with OOYH either use a Mac or be certain he's solved his issues with Windows.
OOYH STILL doesn't work with Win10.
 

musicreo

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I understand some of what you put there, but seeing as I've never used those I'm not aware of the specifics, but I'm sure I'll find out about it if I try it.
I just wanted to say that there are some BRIRs (binaural room impulse response) e.g. from scientific publications (This was one of my favourites for long time) which are freely available and that I preferred over the rooms in OOYH and the Spatial soundcard.

So you've tried Impulcifier yourself then, as in done your own measurements, so that's created your unique Target Curve? Or are you using someone else's Impulcifier measurment? You like the results of Impulcifier better than the others?

I use my own measurement and for me it is the only BRIR that gives my a 100% realistic center speaker. But I have to admit that the measurements were a lot of try and error before I got the best results.
 

zermak

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That sounds pretty versatile in it's flexibility & usage, it doesn't sound as complicated as The Impulcifier Project either, but it sounds like there'd be an element of trial & error involved in trying out the different HRTF's to see which suited you best? Do you know how much latency and CPU usage it takes up on your system (what system you got)? (EqualiserAPO shows the latency & CPU usage in the Analysis Panel). The reason I ask about latency & CPU usage is due to effects on gaming reaction time and system resources.
Sorry for the late reply.
I usually run EqualizerAPO with a few filters like low pass (to cut out over 22/24kHz, 96db/oct.), preamplification (obviously), the HeSuVi configuration and the headphones equalization.
I usually use 64k resolution and there is no latency and something like under 7.5% CPU usage on one core with an initalization time of under 85ms. I have a i5 6600K, so a simple quad core without HT. But I don't trust the readings of the CPU usage so much because it says the same when the CPU is at 800MHz and at 4400MHz...
On HeSuVi I personally use DTS Headphone:X without reverb for watching movies and since I don't play first person shooters seriously anymore I just use stereo for casual gaming :)
 
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Robbo99999

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Sorry for the late reply.
I usually run EqualizerAPO with a few filters like low pass (to cut out over 22/24kHz, 96db/oct.), preamplification (obviously), the HeSuVi configuration and the headphones equalization.
I usually use 64k resolution and there is no latency and something like under 7.5% CPU usage on one core with an initalization time of under 85ms. I have a i5 6600K, so a simple quad core without HT. But I don't trust the readings of the CPU usage so much because it says the same when the CPU is at 800MHz and at 4400MHz...
On HeSuVi I personally use DTS Headphone:X without reverb for watching movies and since I don't play first person shooters seriously anymore I just use stereo for casual gaming :)
Ok, good, so HeSuVi doesn't create any latency, that's comforting to know. I've got a few different options I can try now re different Virtual Surround Sound systems, which I'll do when I've got some time I want to dedicate to it.....I am happy with the Soundblaster Virtual Surround implementation on my G6 DAC, so I'm not in major need of a replacement, but I do still believe that it can be improved on, so I'm willing to try other surround sound implementations.
 

boba

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Hi Robbo, have you had a chance to compare a real X-Fi Titanium (or X-Fi Titanium HD) to the G6? They're ancient by computer tech standards but the 7.1 virtualization (5.1 for the HD version) is still quite good. Creative branded this as "CMSS-3D" which is rumored to be based on Aureal's HRTF work from the 90s. I tried the HeSuVi emulation of CMSS-3D and it wasn't the same. I've had the X-Fi Titanium HD for nearly a decade and recently picked up a standard Titanium card (to compare 5.1 to 7.1) and a G6 from the great refurb deal, so I'll try to do some comparisons myself when I have time.
 
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Robbo99999

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Hi Robbo, have you had a chance to compare a real X-Fi Titanium (or X-Fi Titanium HD) to the G6? They're ancient by computer tech standards but the 7.1 virtualization (5.1 for the HD version) is still quite good. Creative branded this as "CMSS-3D" which is rumored to be based on Aureal's HRTF work from the 90s. I tried the HeSuVi emulation of CMSS-3D and it wasn't the same. I've had the X-Fi Titanium HD for nearly a decade and recently picked up a standard Titanium card (to compare 5.1 to 7.1) and a G6 from the great refurb deal, so I'll try to do some comparisons myself when I have time.
Nice, well that would be interesting to hear any differences you experience between the old CMSS-3D and the newer SBX on the G6. I have indeed heard of CMSS-3D, and someone once linked me a Youtube vid comparing various surround sound technologies from actual repeatable in-game footage and CMSS-3D was the best of the bunch, although I don't think SBX was included in that video, can't quite remember, but I do specifically remember CMSS-3D as sounding the most convincing to me of the ones demonstrated. That's a real pity that the HeSuVi emulation of CMSS-3D doesn't seem to have the same positive effect.....how come they're different, do you know why they'd be different, I'm not aware of the technical limitations (or indeed process) associated with any conversion process in HeSuVi? Have you thought much about how you're gonna compare the G6 to the CMSS-3D to arrive at some accurate results? Do be aware that the Surround variable that you can set from 0-100 in SBX of the G6 makes an absolutely humongous massively large difference to how effective the surround sound implementation actually is for you. It might be related to personal HRTF differences between people, but I know from experimentation that 30 is the most realistic setting for me in the SBX software for the Surround setting.....so definitely consider playing with that variable to tweak SBX to it's best effect. Have a look at my first post in this thread I post a link to a simple voice related 7.1 speaker test, and I find that equates 100% to setting up a virtual 7.1 system properly, I find it very easy to tell if the virtual speakers are in the right position.....in fact the Surround variable (0-100) in SBX influences the positions of the virtual speakers, which is very easy to tell in that test, here's the test (don't need to refer to 1st post) (close your eyes when listening to try to picture the positions of the different speakers as the voice migrates to each speaker, set up the surround variable until they're in the right position):
https://www2.iis.fraunhofer.de/AAC/7.1auditionOutLeader v2.wav
So actually I think it would be pretty useful to use that link to setup any of your different virtual surround systems you might want to test (CMSS-3d or SBX, whatever).
 
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boba

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@Robbo99999
Very good points and questions. I want to do some comparisons of SBX, CMSS-3D, and their HeSuVi equivalents. To be rigorous, I'd want to match the settings used by the authors who generated the impulse responses. For example, the SBX surround setting is 33 for one of the profiles. Alternatively, I could record my own impulse responses following the steps in the HeSuVi wiki. That would remove the uncertainty. Support for the X-Fi Titanium sound cards has ended and there have been some previous audio updates for Windows 10 that have broken things until Creative provided updated drivers. So I know I'll eventually be forced to retire the X-Fi Titanium cards and will need an alternate solution.

I'm still evaluating the G6 but so far I settled on 25 for surround which is very close to your 30 and also sounds good to me. I noticed that around 60 actually gives better surround positioning, for my ears at least, but at the expense of the front left and right channels sounding too far to the sides.

Creative is tight lipped about what the "Surround" value does exactly. Here's their official answer. According to that, we're both in the "FPS game" range, which is what I'm mostly interested in. You can see some people speculating that maybe the surround dial is adjusting channel crosstalk.

I have a few ideas that could be neat for comparing virtualization of different devices. For example, building a simple level in Unreal or Unity with a point sound and rotating the camera either manually or automatically if possible. But I don't want to get ahead of myself and that might be overkill. Still brainstorming...
 
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Robbo99999

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@Robbo99999
Very good points and questions. I want to do some comparisons of SBX, CMSS-3D, and their HeSuVi equivalents. To be rigorous, I'd want to match the settings used by the authors who generated the impulse responses. For example, the SBX surround setting is 33 for one of the profiles. Alternatively, I could record my own impulse responses following the steps in the HeSuVi wiki. That would remove the uncertainty. Support for the X-Fi Titanium sound cards has ended and there have been some previous audio updates for Windows 10 that have broken things until Creative provided updated drivers. So I know I'll eventually be forced to retire the X-Fi Titanium cards and will need an alternate solution.

I'm still evaluating the G6 but so far I settled on 25 for surround which is very close to your 30 and also sounds good to me. I noticed that around 60 actually gives better surround positioning, for my ears at least, but at the expense of the front left and right channels sounding too far to the sides.

Creative is tight lipped about what the "Surround" value does exactly. Here's their official answer. According to that, we're both in the "FPS game" range, which is what I'm mostly interested in. You can see some people speculating that maybe the surround dial is adjusting channel crosstalk.

I have a few ideas that could be neat for comparing virtualization of different devices. For example, building a simple level in Unreal or Unity with a point sound and rotating the camera either manually or automatically if possible. But I don't want to get ahead of myself and that might be overkill. Still brainstorming...
That's really very interesting what Creative say about the virtual speakers and the effects of the Surround variable, but I've found the opposite or at least for some of the speakers. When I test it, increasing the Surround variable definitely moves the front left & front right speaker closer to the centre speaker, and does the same for rear left & rear right speakers - in fact if I set the Surround variable to 40 then for some strange reason the rear left speaker almost sounds the same as the rear right speaker and actually feels it's coming from the right more than the left! To me the Surround at 30 actually represents a 30 degree front left & right speaker (equalateral triangle).....unfortunately I don't think it quite nails the positions of the rear left & rear right speakers, as in they both feel at about 200 and 160 when I think they should be at 210 and 150 (or am I wrong about the where the rear speakers should go in 7.1, genuine question, not googled it?). But increasing the surround variable to 40 or beyond just moves the front left & front right speaker too close to the centre speaker and makes both rear speakers sound the same. A lot of this might depend on the initial frequency response of your headphone that the SBX is acting upon, because the effects are based on frequency response/gain changes I think, so a reliable frequency response of a headphone I would think is a good basis on which the SBX can function well. In fact, SBX is designed to work not just with headphone but with real speakers too, so it can take 2 front channel real speakers and then create virtual side & rear speakers.......now I remember reading a comment on reddit from a Creative Dev saying that in this case you want to set up your two front speakers at a 30 degree angle to you, so that marries quite well with the idea that it makes sense to have a frequency response in your headphone that is trying to mimic "speakers in a room" arranged in an optimal manner (equilateral triangle, 30 degrees each speaker), which was the basis for the Harman Curve creation.....so I use a Harman Curve EQ as a basis on which to apply the SBX effects.....and I believe this to be optimal in experience & for those reasons.

Interesting ideas re setting up a simple & predictable game world in which to test Virtual Surround, but I think you can get 80% of the way there using that simple vocal 7.1 speaker test link I gave you. (close your eyes when listening to imagine where the voice is coming from in relation to your head)
 
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boba

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@Robbo99999 here are recordings of the 7.1 audio test file that you linked earlier. The biggest differences between real hardware and HeSuVi are the surround channels for the G6. I suspect the HeSuVi HRIR file was generated from a different implementation of SBX, but it actually sounds better to me. The other results are very close. Be sure to disable virtualization and listen to the files in stereo (or direct mode). I think my poor initial impression of HeSuVi was due to making that mistake, because I'm impressed with the results now.

Hardware - CMSS-3D from X-Fi Titanium in Game Mode
Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 with Surround at 33
Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 with Surround at 67

HeSuVi - CMSS-3D from X-Fi Titanium in Game Mode (cmss_game.wav)
HeSuVi - SBX Pro Studio with Surround at 33 (sbx33.wav)
HeSuVi - SBX Pro Studio with Surround at 67 (sbx67.wav)

Also, when I was reinstalling HeSuVi, I stumbled across an HRIR of the latest version of Steam Audio. This is the HRTF used in games like CS:GO, Half-Life Alyx, and some other VR titles. It's worth trying out.

HeSuVi - Steam Audio aka Phonon 3D (Steam_Audio_4.0.wav)

And here's a folder with the above files.

It appears that Creative uses 0, 30, 90, and 135 degrees for speaker placement, but it's hard to tell:

X-Fi Titanium:
7.1_xfi.png


Sound BlasterX G6:
7.1_g6.png
 
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Robbo99999

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@Robbo99999 here are recordings of the 7.1 audio test file that you linked earlier. The biggest differences between real hardware and HeSuVi are the surround channels for the G6. I suspect the HeSuVi HRIR file was generated from a different implementation of SBX, but it actually sounds better to me. The other results are very close. Be sure to disable virtualization and listen to the files in stereo (or direct mode). I think my poor initial impression of HeSuVi was due to making that mistake, because I'm impressed with the results now.

Hardware - CMSS-3D from X-Fi Titanium in Game Mode
Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 with Surround at 33
Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 with Surround at 67

HeSuVi - CMSS-3D from X-Fi Titanium in Game Mode (cmss_game.wav)
HeSuVi - SBX Pro Studio with Surround at 33 (sbx33.wav)
HeSuVi - SBX Pro Studio with Surround at 67 (sbx67.wav)

Also, when I was reinstalling HeSuVi, I stumbled across an HRIR of the latest version of Steam Audio. This is the HRTF used in games like CS:GO, Half-Life Alyx, and some other VR titles. It's worth trying out.

HeSuVi - Steam Audio aka Phonon 3D (Steam_Audio_4.0.wav)

And here's a folder with the above files.

It appears that Creative uses 0, 30, 90, and 135 degrees for speaker placement, but it's hard to tell:

X-Fi Titanium:
View attachment 149024

Sound BlasterX G6:
View attachment 149025
Ah, very interesting! I've tested out your files, and come to some definitive conclusions. SBX 33 sounds the best out of all them for accurate positioning, and the HeSuVi version works just as well, maybe it sounds just slightly different but the positioning is the same. SBX 67 moves the front left and front right speaker too close to the left & right side surrounds so they sound almost the same......yesterday I said that SBX 30 is the best (which still holds true for me) and that SBX 40 brings the front left & front right speaker too close to the centre speaker, but recently I had not tried greater than SBX 40, so it seems that between SBX 30 as you progress to SBX 40 then it moves the front left & right closer to the centre, and then probably as you progress above SBX 40 it starts moving the front left & right back out away from the centre and toward the side surrounds (but not tested that theory thoroughly, just the SBX 67 file you linked as a datapoint in that region)....either way SBX 30 is still ideal for me for correct positioning. CMSS-3D didn't work for me at all, no sensation of behind the head, the rear speakers sounded the same as the side surround speakers......I'm quite surprised about that because I remember from a demonstration I tried back at end of 2019 I thought it was the best, but that was when I was using my K702 at stock without a Harman EQ, so perhaps that's why. I do believe using a Harman EQ along with a virtual surround implementation like SBX is the way to go. I also tried your HeSuVi Steam Audio aka Phonon 3D and that was a very similar experience to CMSS-3D in-as-much that there was no behind your head sensation, and the rear speakers sounded the same as the side surround speakers. Which did you find most accurate/convincing from a positioning perspective?
 
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mysiak

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I tried majority of available virtual surround processors/sound cards and at the end I settled with Creative SBX (+SFXI if I want to go fancy).. :)

Redscape - nice virtualization with minimum of reverb. Very high CPU utilization and it didn't detect all sound cards connected to my system (it worked only with ASIO one). No demo/trial mode, but app developer was nice enough to provide me with a temporary license.

Spatial sound card - simulating real rooms, only one was fitting to my HRTF, but it isn't anything spectacular. HeSuVi HRIR files are very similar.

Waves NX - not very stable application (HW sound card often disappears and Waves NX must be restarted). Virtualization is convincing with configurable reverb/room size, but for some reason it causes me listening fatigue after longer sessions. It might be something to do with high(er) frequencies which seem to be somehow exaggerated. Strange licensing model (after activation it's not possible to transfer the license to another PC).

Out Of Your Head - glitchy app not fully compatible with Windows 10, HeSuVi HRIR files were pretty much identical. The first profile is extremely convincing, but causes too much echoes.

Razer virtual sound card - IMHO not worth even trying.

Creative SBX - doesn't cause any echo/reverb, but isn't as much convincing. I like level 20 for stereo music listening and level 67 for movies/games.

Creative SXFI - in theory amazing technology, setup is complicated (you need another person to take photos of you). The result is very convincing, but it again creates too much reverb. Unfortunately it's not possible to fine-tune any of the parameters, so I use it only for some content.

Dolby Headhones (from Asus sound card) - nothing special, too bassy, not very convincing surround.

Windows Sonic/Dolby/THX - while they work for 5.1/7.1 sources, they do not process stereo sounds at all, so not suitable for music listening.

HeSuVi - I find some of the response files mediocre when compared to the "real" stuff. SBX/Sonic/DH/.. sound worse than "original". I know that in theory IRS should sound indistinguishable, but it's not the case for me. Other HRIRs are interesting to try (OOYH, SSC,..), but I couldn't listen to them for too long. Crossfeed plugin is nice. Being a free app, one can't complain though. :)

VST plugins loaded in Equalizer APO - I tried several of them, none is really worth mentioning. There are still some interesting ones out there which I would like to try, but they are only in VST3 format which sadly isn't supported by Equalizer APO (VST wrappers didn't work either).
--
On my mobile phone I use James DSP + Atmos or other "subtle" IRS files, which help preventing listening fatigue. I wanted to record my personal SXFI profile for use "on the go", but the Creative sound card must be detecting my attempts as it doesn't record (or play) any impulse response with SXFI activated. :)
 

boba

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Ah, very interesting! I've tested out your files, and come to some definitive conclusions. SBX 33 sounds the best out of all them for accurate positioning, and the HeSuVi version works just as well, maybe it sounds just slightly different but the positioning is the same. SBX 67 moves the front left and front right speaker too close to the left & right side surrounds so they sound almost the same......yesterday I said that SBX 30 is the best (which still holds true for me) and that SBX 40 brings the front left & front right speaker too close to the centre speaker, but recently I had not tried greater than SBX 40, so it seems that between SBX 30 as you progress to SBX 40 then it moves the front left & right closer to the centre, and then probably as you progress above SBX 40 it starts moving the front left & right back out away from the centre and toward the side surrounds (but not tested that theory thoroughly, just the SBX 67 file you linked as a datapoint in that region)....either way SBX 30 is still ideal for me for correct positioning. CMSS-3D didn't work for me at all, no sensation of behind the head, the rear speakers sounded the same as the side surround speakers......I'm quite surprised about that because I remember from a demonstration I tried back at end of 2019 I thought it was the best, but that was when I was using my K702 at stock without a Harman EQ, so perhaps that's why. I do believe using a Harman EQ along with a virtual surround implementation like SBX is the way to go. I also tried your HeSuVi Steam Audio aka Phonon 3D and that was a very similar experience to CMSS-3D in-as-much that there was no behind your head sensation, and the rear speakers sounded the same as the side surround speakers. Which did you find most accurate/convincing from a positioning perspective?

Sorry for the late reply. I don't think I mentioned it earlier but I'm using the HD560S with oratory's Harman EQ, in case you wanted to know the listening conditions.

Out of the HRIRs I tested above, my ranking would be:

1. HeSuVi - SBX Surround 33 or 67
These sound nearly the same except for a very small difference in the front left/right channels. They're so similar I wonder if they were made incorrectly. Regardless, the virtual speaker placement seems perfectly placed at 0, 30, 90, and 135 degrees.

2. Hardware or HeSuVi - CMSS-3D
They both sound the same to me. The rear left/right positions seem too close to the side left/right, creating an oval soundstage. My brain is used to using CMSS-3D so I'm biased in favor of it.

3. HeSuVi - Steam Audio
Similar to CMSS-3D but less reverb and slightly muffled.

4. Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 Surround 67
Front left/right channels are spaced too wide apart and the rear left/right channels are too narrow behind the head.

5. Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 Surround 33
The side and rear channels are too close to my head. As a result, the soundstage feels cone shaped.

Our head and ear shapes must vary enough that we end up with different preferences. That's pretty typical and it makes sense that sometimes it takes a few tries until finding an HRIR that's a good match.
 

odyo

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I have the AE5. SBX surround, despite claiming it's 7.1, it actually does 5.1 surround. Dolby atmos does true 7.1. I like these especially for games.
Didn't like the out of your head.
Waves NX is good for stereo music in my opinion. Definitely not good for gaming but it's interesting for movies as well.

A good way of testing: https://www.demolandia.net/downloads.html?id=27781967 playing this on a good media player. I like megamix lavfilter. Madvr, mpchc and lavfilters included all in one package. (make sure you untick the ''ignore system channel mixer'' in audio options.
 
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Robbo99999

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Sorry for the late reply. I don't think I mentioned it earlier but I'm using the HD560S with oratory's Harman EQ, in case you wanted to know the listening conditions.

Out of the HRIRs I tested above, my ranking would be:

1. HeSuVi - SBX Surround 33 or 67
These sound nearly the same except for a very small difference in the front left/right channels. They're so similar I wonder if they were made incorrectly. Regardless, the virtual speaker placement seems perfectly placed at 0, 30, 90, and 135 degrees.

2. Hardware or HeSuVi - CMSS-3D
They both sound the same to me. The rear left/right positions seem too close to the side left/right, creating an oval soundstage. My brain is used to using CMSS-3D so I'm biased in favor of it.

3. HeSuVi - Steam Audio
Similar to CMSS-3D but less reverb and slightly muffled.

4. Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 Surround 67
Front left/right channels are spaced too wide apart and the rear left/right channels are too narrow behind the head.

5. Hardware - Sound BlasterX G6 Surround 33
The side and rear channels are too close to my head. As a result, the soundstage feels cone shaped.

Our head and ear shapes must vary enough that we end up with different preferences. That's pretty typical and it makes sense that sometimes it takes a few tries until finding an HRIR that's a good match.
Yes, you've had a completely different experience to me then in your preferences, and we also have the same headphone, I have HD560s as well as k702 EQ'd both to Harman Curve, and my experiences are the same with the HD560s.....so the differences between us must be somehow HRTF based then (as you said).
I have the AE5. SBX surround, despite claiming it's 7.1, it actually does 5.1 surround. Dolby atmos does true 7.1. I like these especially for games.
Didn't like the out of your head.
Waves NX is good for stereo music in my opinion. Definitely not good for gaming but it's interesting for movies as well.
A good way of testing: https://www.demolandia.net/downloads.html?id=27781967 playing this on a good media player. I like megamix lavfilter. Madvr, mpchc and lavfilters included all in one package. (make sure you untick the ''ignore system channel mixer'' in audio options.
Are you sure your AE5 is not 7.1?? My G6 is 100% definitely 7.1, it appears as a 7.1 device in Windows - does your AE5 not appear as a 7.1 device in Windows (if you set it as such)? It's also possible to test it's actually 7.1 by using that test file I linked in the first post of this thread and using EqualiserAPO to apply say a -99dB negative preamp to one of the 7.1 channels, and you'll hear that this channel is then omitted from the test file.
 
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Robbo99999

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spotifyguru

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Does this really work? It's more a combination of relative left/right audio and visual deduction.

Close your eyes and press play on the video below (if you have seen the video before it wont work), listen to the first 30 seconds (guns firing), see if you can pick determine if its one of the 3 scenarios below.

1. All the shooters are in front of you but at different distances.
2. Combination of shooters in front of you and behind you, different distances.
3. All behind you at different distances.

Then replay it and look at the visual and see if you got the correct scenario.


Can you really conclude if the sound is behind you or far away in front of you? Both are heard as quiter sounds then compared to if the person i close in front of you. Could you even tell that the sounds were all fired at the same distance away from the user?

I find that in games because you can see in front of you, when you hear something and you don't see the object in front of you, its not 7.1 surround working, its your brain concluding that since there is nothing in front of you, then it's behind you. The other way to find out where the sound is coming from is to sweep left and right so the sound either gets louder or quieter in the L+R channels (for FPS games).
 
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Robbo99999

Robbo99999

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Does this really work? It's more a combination of relative left/right audio and visual deduction.

Close your eyes and press play on the video below (if you have seen the video before it wont work), listen to the first 30 seconds (guns firing), see if you can pick determine if its one of the 3 scenarios below.

1. All the shooters are in front of you but at different distances.
2. Combination of shooters in front of you and behind you, different distances.
3. All behind you at different distances.

Then replay it and look at the visual and see if you got the correct scenario.


Can you really conclude if the sound is behind you or far away in front of you? Both are heard as quiter sounds then compared to if the person i close in front of you. Could you even tell that the sounds were all fired at the same distance away from the user?

I find that in games because you can see in front of you, when you hear something and you don't see the object in front of you, its not 7.1 surround working, its your brain concluding that since there is nothing in front of you, then it's behind you. The other way to find out where the sound is coming from is to sweep left and right so the sound either gets louder or quieter in the L+R channels (for FPS games).
Just to make it clear for people, you'd have to watch this video making sure your soundcard was in Stereo mode with all Surround Sound processing for the soundcard turned off, because the surround information has been baked into the 2 channel stereo sound of the video, that's correct right?

I agree with you that if you hear a loud gunshot and there's nothing in front of you then your brain quickly deduces it must be from behind you, but for me some of these virtual surround processors actually do work as intended, I can distinguish front & back sounds using my SoundblasterX G6 - in the first post of this thread I provide a link to a virtual 7.1 surround sound speaker test file which you can listen to with your eyes shut and your choice of Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound activated on your sound card or in your software.
 

spotifyguru

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Just to make it clear for people, you'd have to watch this video making sure your soundcard was in Stereo mode with all Surround Sound processing for the soundcard turned off, because the surround information has been baked into the 2 channel stereo sound of the video, that's correct right?

I agree with you that if you hear a loud gunshot and there's nothing in front of you then your brain quickly deduces it must be from behind you, but for me some of these virtual surround processors actually do work as intended, I can distinguish front & back sounds using my SoundblasterX G6 - in the first post of this thread I provide a link to a virtual 7.1 surround sound speaker test file which you can listen to with your eyes shut and your choice of Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound activated on your sound card or in your software.

The problem is that it tells you which speaker should be making sound. A blind test without any audio or visual indication is needed.
 
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