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Astro A40 & ASUS Xonar Essence STX

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October 30, 2012 4:26:10 AM

Hello everyone!

I would like to buy the Astro A40 Headset.
It Looks a bit complicated to plug into the computer since it has an Astro MixAmp.
You can check out this headset here.
Astro A40 Audio System | A40 Headset & Mixamp | AstroGaming.com

I was wondering if I was able to plug in my headset in the soundcard.
You can check this sound card here
ASUS - Sound & Multimedia Devices- ASUS Xonar Essence STX

and if not,

Can I use the benefit of my soundcard trought my headphone or I am obligate to plug something in the soundcard to hear the difference?

(This is a really newbi question, I don't know much about sound card :p )

Thanks for any answer! :) 
November 4, 2012 5:14:44 AM

I would suggest going against buying the A40. It's no good. Consider the Sennheiser HD 598 for both amazing sound, as well as true surround sound experience in games.
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November 6, 2012 7:18:43 PM

You will need a soundcard that has dolby digital live or dolby headphone which the card has both. The card comes with a s/pdif adapter so yes it will work with that card. Sound cards typically give you a higher range of sound. I love my astro a40's if you decide on them though be prepared if you voice chat on the pc you will need a pc chat cable.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 6, 2012 7:24:36 PM

I had quite a few questions as well when I purchased my Astro A40 here is a thread I had where people helped me out.

http://forums.astrogaming.com/showthread.php?23193-A40-...

Also you will more then likely just hear your headphones in stereo if you used onboard and the quality will be much lower as the asus essence cards are high end sound cards.

Also with that card it looks like you wouldn't need the mixamp.
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November 6, 2012 10:27:59 PM

ha ok alright thanks for your answer :) !
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November 6, 2012 10:46:17 PM

no problem man enjoy! please private message me when you get your setup all done. I'd like to hear how it goes with that sound card I'm in the market for a new one. Creative has some really buggy drivers.
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November 10, 2012 3:55:59 AM

bigshootr8 said:
I had quite a few questions as well when I purchased my Astro A40 here is a thread I had where people helped me out.

http://forums.astrogaming.com/showthread.php?23193-A40-...

Also you will more then likely just hear your headphones in stereo if you used onboard and the quality will be much lower as the asus essence cards are high end sound cards.

Also with that card it looks like you wouldn't need the mixamp.

i getting o pair of a40 too but if i buy a essence stx i wont need mixamp but if i dont i will still get 7.1?my mobo is a asus p8z77-v pro
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November 10, 2012 4:22:11 AM

with the essence stx you will yes its a 7.1 surround sound card. And whether you get a mixamp or not make sure you get optical s/pdif cable. It came with my mixamp I'm unsure if it would with just a headset. This is the one I have however there are a lot of other companies that make them and they aren't all that expensive Monster for example makes them the people that make the expensive home theater equipment.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dolby Digital Live reads this under encoder under my creative sound card. In short you have nothing to worry about. Your card may be able to dish out the full 7.1 unlike mine.

Dolby Digital live converts 5.1 audio signal into a digital bitstream in realtime for transport and playback through dolby digitial equipped home theater system or digital speaker system via a single digitial connection.
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November 10, 2012 4:56:03 AM

bigshootr8 said:
with the essence stx you will yes its a 7.1 surround sound card. And whether you get a mixamp or not make sure you get optical s/pdif cable. It came with my mixamp I'm unsure if it would with just a headset. This is the one I have however there are a lot of other companies that make them and they aren't all that expensive Monster for example makes them the people that make the expensive home theater equipment.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Dolby Digital Live reads this under encoder under my creative sound card. In short you have nothing to worry about. Your card may be able to dish out the full 7.1 unlike mine.

Dolby Digital live converts 5.1 audio signal into a digital bitstream in realtime for transport and playback through dolby digitial equipped home theater system or digital speaker system via a single digitial connection.

i already ordered my astros with mixamp, what you recommend stay with the mobo integrated sound card or buy the essence stx?btw with the essence stx i will need mixamp or what just to know.thanks for the help
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November 10, 2012 5:04:35 AM

o and if i buy the essence i wont need a mixamp, and whats the use of the toslink cable if i will not be using mixamp only with my xbox y have both but i play pc more :) .i dont know to much about this :D 
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November 10, 2012 5:09:35 AM

Well since you're integrated sound does not have the dolby digital live encoder you will not have surround sound. As its a Dolby headset (I know the brand is astro people :p ). So having the astro and the mixamp is good because it will act as amp and its a nice piece of equipment to have you can use it with other headsets as well.

What I would do.

Get a card with dolby digital live.
Doesn't have to be expensive. For example. The mic port will act as the digital out I'm unsure if it comes with the adapter or not but thats what I would do.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And above all else if you have any intent on pc chatting you will need this with this headset. And I guess ps3 as well :p 

http://www.astrogaming.com/mixamp-5-8-ps3-adapter
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November 10, 2012 5:12:21 AM

Because the headset is meant to be used with a digital signal It won't sound good without a toslink cable. People have said the quality goes down quite a bit without it. Plus your xbox has a toslink connection you can plug it in :) and the mixamp is nice because it comes with the xbox connection for your controller.
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November 10, 2012 5:15:03 AM

i do not intend pc chatting only on xbox so ill get a cheap sound card with dolby digital.im finally understanding this i read your post on astro gaming about mixamp or not mixamp it help me alot . thanks for the help :D 
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November 10, 2012 5:17:17 AM

Yea man not a problem its a lot to take in if you just intend to listen on your computer the sound card will be needed for surround sound for the xbox just the mixamp and the headset.
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November 10, 2012 5:19:40 AM

And if your intent is xbox 360 gaming I think you made a 100% dead on choice with the mixamp :) 
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November 10, 2012 2:36:12 PM

bigshootr8 said:
And if your intent is xbox 360 gaming I think you made a 100% dead on choice with the mixamp :) 

i will play games on both but i am more likely to play on pc more but i will not use mic on pc bc i don't talk much
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November 10, 2012 2:46:03 PM

Hey I recieved everything, I plugged everything together so the mixamp with the soundcard.

If you plug those together, the preset of the mixamp are not working.
you can still turn the volume up and down, You can use the bass/voice thing but I can't see any difference, I can just feel that the sound is going up and down.

What I did, I plugged my headset directly into a split Pink/Green for Mic and Sound. I plugged my pink jack into a 1/4 adapter so it can fit in my sound card, and my sound are in another split, Red and White, so they can fit in the sound card.

So I can use the sound card settings with that setup.
I don't know if there's any better setup tho, since im not plugged in optical!
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November 10, 2012 3:30:22 PM

zeelive said:
Hey I recieved everything, I plugged everything together so the mixamp with the soundcard.

If you plug those together, the preset of the mixamp are not working.
you can still turn the volume up and down, You can use the bass/voice thing but I can't see any difference, I can just feel that the sound is going up and down.

What I did, I plugged my headset directly into a split Pink/Green for Mic and Sound. I plugged my pink jack into a 1/4 adapter so it can fit in my sound card, and my sound are in another split, Red and White, so they can fit in the sound card.

So I can use the sound card settings with that setup.
I don't know if there's any better setup tho, since im not plugged in optical!

were i get that cables. they sound better without mixamp?
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November 10, 2012 6:26:26 PM

You need to use a optical audio cable. If you use the standard stereo and mic cable you won't get decent quality. It's a digital headset. Did you land the wireless or the regular version?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6_xAEqIZSo around 1:20 in that video.
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November 10, 2012 6:58:34 PM

True, we can see that he can plug his optical cable there, but in mine, i have to use an adapter cause the mixamp is not the same, I got the new A40 not the old version.
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November 10, 2012 7:14:26 PM

Oh okay I see what you are talking about. I was watching this guys video and he goes into the 2013 model. To help you out as well I'll share my audio settings with you guys. Mic gets very very loud on the pc so I have to turn it down quite a bit so people don't feel there having there ears starting to bleed. It also looks like if you get the new version you will have no choice but to use the optical cable they give you which is fine it will come with the mixamp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOExIlPvrIg



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November 10, 2012 7:56:40 PM

Alright I will watch the video and try to test his setup :)  thank you
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November 10, 2012 8:08:46 PM

I plugged everything correctly but I can't see any difference then I use the 2 button on the mixamp (EQ Button and Bobly on/off) Where is the problem?
And when I turn the little circle on the bottom for more game or voice, when I listen to music it just reduce or increase the sound of it.

Is this normal?
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November 10, 2012 8:16:14 PM

The dolby with the head phones on it is the dolby headphone button. That should be on the one to the left is the equalizer presets which I don't have I have the 5.8 mhz mixamp wireless astro a40. For me if I turn it more towards voice it gets a louder. Otherwise I keep it in the middle the small game voice turn dial. And zeelive since you got the soundcard you will want to go into the settings and set it up there as well you will need to find the encoder dolby digital and make sure everything is setup there as well.
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November 10, 2012 8:19:16 PM

Yeah I know wheres the dolby button haha, it lights up when I click on it but theres no change at all in the sound that I get. same the the EQ button.
and when you say that the sound become louder when you turn the thing to the left, you mean theres more bass?
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November 10, 2012 8:24:11 PM

Well on my setup it has a reciever and mixamp so i have a bass expander what I mean is the volume range when it turn it towards voice my volume range goes higher.

The biggest thing on the pc setup is you have to setup your sound card with your a40.
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November 10, 2012 8:24:24 PM

OMG this is soooo weird. Is this normal that I can listen to music trought my headset with only the USB cable going from my comp to the mixamp, and my headset cable from my headset to the mixamp?

what is the use of the optical cable ?!
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November 10, 2012 8:30:47 PM

Man this is so weird haha!

But yeah now I Managed to plus the mixamp into my soundcard.

The EQs are changing a little bit the sound and the dolby is working.

The weird this is that now the little turning button on the button have like change side. I don't know how to say it but, when I turn to the left now my volume is increasing and when I go to the right the volume is getting lower.
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November 10, 2012 8:32:13 PM

Hmm, hahah that is weird! I leave the nob in the middle honestly more of a gimmicky thing the mixer at the bottom.

Hows the sound?
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November 10, 2012 8:40:21 PM

The sound is good. But I think there's something not correct still.
When I watch my software of my SoundCard, Normally when Im set on the right sound input, I see the sound "waves" in the program going up and down, but when I set the input that I have right now witch is "S/PDIF Pass-trough Device (ASUS Xonar Essence STX Audio Device".

It's when I put it in "Speakers (ASUS Xonar Essence STX Audio Device" that I can see the waves going up and down but no sound, I don't know if it's normal or not
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November 10, 2012 9:10:01 PM

Sounds normal to me. SO what I'm gathering is you are getting sound through the pass through but when you try to set to speakers you do not?
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November 10, 2012 9:36:47 PM

Well, overall I think that everything is setter alright now. I wasen't just sure when I put the input "speaker" if I was suppose to hear sound from my headphone but I guess not :p 
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November 10, 2012 9:41:22 PM

Yea when I change my settings my playback settings it will only work one way for me. Honestly my opinion they are great headsets the a40s but the two cons I take away from them are a bit chaotic to get going with a pc and the cables 1 standard headset has mic and stereo.
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November 10, 2012 10:11:52 PM

Yeah that's chaotic, and they dont even give a adapter for the optical cable, that cost like 1$ if you buy it on the internet ...

they need to give more information on how to set it up in the computer also
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November 10, 2012 10:16:49 PM

Indeed I was quite upset with them as well when it came to that. It took me a week or so to get it to work exactly the way I wanted it. Which is why when I see people asking about the astro a40 on toms I jump on it to help people because you buy an expensive piece of hardware you expect it to work the way you want it to with little effort.
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November 11, 2012 4:24:14 PM

bigshootr8 said:
Oh okay I see what you are talking about. I was watching this guys video and he goes into the 2013 model. To help you out as well I'll share my audio settings with you guys. Mic gets very very loud on the pc so I have to turn it down quite a bit so people don't feel there having there ears starting to bleed. It also looks like if you get the new version you will have no choice but to use the optical cable they give you which is fine it will come with the mixamp.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOExIlPvrIg


Hi I'm having a similar problem. I've got the mixamp + some Beyerdynamic MMX 300 headphones but I'm not getting surround sound from them -- only upmix stereo. My playback devices look nothing like yours as well. I don't have the SPDIF out/headphones options (even though I'm connecting via SPDIF) -- will I need to get a sound card like the STX/DX in order to hear it? Thanks.

is what it looks like.

(Don't mean to hijack your thread OP -- it's just that I have the same problem and am wondering if the solution applies to me too.
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November 11, 2012 6:48:43 PM

Well the way that it was explained to me which may or may not be the case for your headset was I had to have Dolby digital live to be able to utilize to surround sound with the headset.
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November 11, 2012 6:53:47 PM

Chance are you will need a sound card to get the surround sound due to the fact the realtek onboard audio does not supply dolby digital
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November 11, 2012 6:56:51 PM

Okay, thanks for the advice. I assume the Sonar DX/STX would work fine, right?
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November 11, 2012 7:10:33 PM

This should work as well as STX if you were to go that route. I have zero experience with the asus software so I'm not exactly sure how you would set it up but I hear its a better experience in comparison to the creative solution.


DX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

STX
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

What I have
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


What you would probably get if the creative solution was the updated one. Which looking at the software I've seen may be easier to setup but from what I've heard from astro is stay away from creative due to buggy drivers.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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November 11, 2012 7:14:10 PM

Yeah I was considering creative at the start; but I've seen a huge of people mention how unreliable/bad their products can be -- reviews on websites don't help it's cause either.

Well thanks for clearing that up! I'll probably be getting the STX
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November 11, 2012 7:42:23 PM

yea more then likely the direction I would go myself I mean you have a expensive headset yourself. It needs love and care :p 
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!