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Roccat Kave vs Sennheiser PC37x

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by SpudMaster, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. SpudMaster

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 23, 2004

    Posts: 2,698

    Location: blackburn

    I'm currently using some Roccat Kave XTD 5.1 head phones with a Soundblaster Z. Now I've been considering ditching the 5.1 headphones in favour of some better quality stereo headphones for a while now. Would the Sennheiser PC37x be a good upgrade or would I be dissapointed with the lack of 5.1 sound. I've only ever used 5.1 speaker systems and 5.1 headphones in the past.

    As far as I can tell the PC37x is basically the same as the Game One headphones but all black.

    They'd be used with my Soundblaster Z.

    Any input would be appreciated.
     
  2. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,777

    Location: Finland

    All multi driver 5.1 headphones are pure frauding/scamming:
    We hear in 3D because shape of the head causes direction dependant changes to signal received by both ears from sound source.
    No matter how big garbage truck load of even wroser drivers is crammed into headphones, they can never create those binaural cues.

    And garbage factory used by "Roskat" (=garbages/trashes in Finnish) can't even tune single driver to give decent sound.
    https://nl.hardware.info/reviews/60...-luisteren-testresultaten---frequentierespons
    So more even worser drivers with less tuning can only create worser cacophony.


    Only real way is accurate stereo headphones and two channel signal containing those binaural cues needed by brain.
    Which is the job of mathematical algorithms called Head Related Transfer Function.
    Those simulate how sound waves coming from sound source are modified by head shape before ears receive them.

    Creative has very good algorithms for that, including the one used in Sound Blaster Z serie.
    Besides directionality there's also very good feel of distance with headphones accurate enough for binaural sound.
    You need to only select headphones as output and enable Surround in SBX Pro Studio tab.
    That should automatically change Windows playback channel configuration to 5.1, but it's better to check that manually from Windows sound settings.

    From headsets that Sennheiser should be very good.
    Open design is lot better starting position for accuracy of sound than closed design, whose only acoustical strength is easy to achieve strong bass.
    (though for noisy environment closed design is needed)
    Bad/inaccurate headphones simply make immersion collapse completely.

    But if you don't actually need microphone, there are very good headphones for gaming around £100 price level.
    If you like above neutral bass punch (what your current Roskat likely has) Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro is available for that.
    Bass neutral and overall very accurate AKG K702 is again "aural god mode/wallhacking" king for distinguishing details.
     
  3. SpudMaster

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 23, 2004

    Posts: 2,698

    Location: blackburn

    Thanks for the response, wasn't expecting quite the depth but its definitely appreciated and has helped me make up my mind to ditch the Kaves..

    The main reason I was choosing the Sennheiser PC37X was because of the price I can get them for but I have looked at the DT990 amd K702 in the past. The included mic is a bonus but wouldn't be a deal breaker without. I've read that the directional audio offered by the Sennheiser's is really good. Would the DT990 and K702 be just a capable in this department?
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
  4. SpudMaster

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 23, 2004

    Posts: 2,698

    Location: blackburn

    So the Kave's have been ditches and I went for the AKG K702.

    Now a couple more questions. Would a Sound BlasterX AE-5 be a worthy upgrade over my Sound Blaster Z? Reading up some people say the sound blaster is capable where as others say you need a better amp.

    Also in games should I use stereo or surround options? Windows is set at 5.1 and SBX is set accordingly.

    As I said I've only ever used 5.1 set ups before so any tips for getting the best surround experience out of these stereo headphones would be appreciated.
     
  5. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 4,777

    Location: Finland

    SBX AE-5 is major update in capabilities of headphone output from SB Z.
    Though Creative has developed head shape customizable HRTF algorithm and would expect them to be planning on some updated sound cards.
    Shouldn't be hard to think that differences in shape of head cause differences to details of personal binaural cues.
    And if head shape differs more from average, average head shape using algorithms don't produce best immersion.

    For SB Z (which is max 5.1 card) Windows playback settings should be configured for 5.1.
    That's what games see as speaker configuration and default to in case they have own sound settings.
    Games basically think you have surround speaker set and output 5.1 surround sound.
    In SB Z's control panel needed settings are headphones as output and Surround in SBX Pro Studio tab.
    (default 67% should be good)

    That power button style button in SBX Pro Studio tab can be used to disable processing if you want to listen something directly.
    Like this:

    First minute of that is excellent quick test for gaming capability of headphones.
    Should feel like you have sounds coming genuinely from different directions and distances.