Whatever Happened to good 3D sound?

I owned an A3D 1.0 sound card from back in '99. The card cost $15, nothing special. It used psycho-acoustical algorithms to mimic sound coming from different directions. It did it so well, I could kill people in Counter-Strike entirely based on their foot steps. I got lots of kills through walls.

Eventually I convinced my cousin that A3D was much much better than Creative's EAX even though several times cheaper. He finally switched over and got an A3D 2.0 sound card for $35. Shortly after getting his sound card, he installed new video drivers and mid game in CS, all the player models stopped displaying. He was unable to see the enemies, so he hid. After a bit, his team was dead and he was the only one left. He killed 4 people on his own without being able to see them. Even beat one in a knife fight. That is how good the 3D sound was.. BACK IN 1999!!!.. WTF

Headphones were actually better because it so perfectly mimicked directional sound that having a fixed distance between your head and the speakers meant perfect hearing.

WTF ever happened to decent 3D sound?
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More about whatever happened good sound
  1. Have you considered that like me your hearing just might not be as good as it was in 1999?
  2. Hearing sensitivity is not the same as hearing perception. Unless the audio perception in my brain has been deteriorating, then it's crappy sound.

    I have never heard a game since CS+A3D that has allowed me to close my eyes and still know where people are.
  3. I blame years of Creative dominance, frankly. EAX becoming proprietary after EAX 2.0, and a total lack of comeptition, killed any advances when it came to audio output.

    Still, with a decent [non-Creative] soundcard, you can still be shocked at how good some games sound.
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