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X-Fi = Uberology

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October 6, 2005 7:08:03 AM

I just got an X-Fi, using it with my 1500W 5.1 Home Theatre system and my badass Sennheiser headphones...

My God...

Music from any other source will always suck. I'm going to cry every time I drive my car, or listen to a cd player...

I've never gotten the real 5.1 experience from my MP3's and other music even with my old SB Live! 5.1 Platinum, because it's all done in 2 channels. The upmixing that the X-Fi can do is a miracle. It's so beautiful. Even if you don't like classical music, you will learn to love it if you have this card.

I've bought this card after a good review from THG... Thank you so much.

And thank you Creative Labs - All other music is inferior now. No music enthusiast with a good system and good headphones should be without this card.

Best thing is, I've not even tried it on a game yet... Battlefield 2, here I come...

X-Fi 4TW!


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by draxsath on 10/06/05 03:10 AM.</EM></FONT></P>

More about : uberology

October 7, 2005 5:48:34 PM

Which version of the X-fi do you have? I've been waiting to hear from normal users about what kind of experience they get before I go out and spend the cash on it rather than using my onboard. Don't care about the sound in my games, or even movies that much, but if it can make my MP3's that much better, than it'll be worht every penny.

Of course, I also need to get a good sound system to go along with it. My dad's old yamaha amp and NX-1000 speakers dont' cut it any more (well that's not true, the speakers are still great, but the amp is definitly showing it's age and should be replaced).
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October 8, 2005 4:44:13 PM

what kind of head phones do you have and which ones do you recommend i look at i need a good set to game with?

pentium 4 3.2
oczpc3500 el ddr platinum matched ddr433
western digital raptor 74 gig 10k rpm
8knxp gigabyte
geforce 4 titanium 4600(i know get a faster card)soon!
October 8, 2005 9:42:29 PM

I received my X-Fi Elite Pro about a week ago. Today, I recorded an LP to WMA, then converted to CDA with Nero. Absolutely awesome. While recording, I could hear the occasional pops or clicks but the cleaning software makes the digital recording sound brand new! I have about 500 albums, most of which were only used to copy to cassette to preserve them. Converting to CD is going to save me a lot of money, plus I can burn LP's that aren't available on CD. I love this card (and games sound awesome, too!).

scrapser
October 11, 2005 1:01:58 AM

I have the ExtremeMusic version.

Honestly, I thought the extra $70+ just to get the front bay thing wasn't worth it at all.

I had one on my old SB Live and found very little use for it apart from having a headphone jack.

If the front drive was essentially useless, I can't imagine the other unit being really worth having unless you really have the $400 to blow.

In all 3 packages you get the SAME CARD. The only exception is that some of the high end ones come with built-in 64mb of memory for games. However it says it’s only used by games that support that feature, and my guess is that means 'none yet, maybe a few later'.

Overall, you’re getting the same card with each package, if you think having the front drive is worth the extra $70+, then go for it, if you think the front drive and external unit are worth the extra $280+, then go for it.

I paid $120 for the ExtremeMusic one, and I almost called it the 'low-end' one a few times in the post, it's not low end at all - something I can't stress enough is that you get the SAME CARD in all the packages, the external goodies is all that changes.

But I wouldn’t recommend anything but the cheapest version unless you're planning on doing some real hardcore recording... and if you are you probably already have mixers do that stuff for you.

As for headphones, I have Sennheiser HD497's. They go for about $100. You may be unfamiliar with this brand name, and you will not find it in wal-mart for sure. They are way above that...

Type in the name on Google and find their website, some of the bigger computer stores and electronics stores carry them online.

For a good set of headphones, if you’re not spending at least $100, you're getting trash in my opinion (and that’s a low-end Sennheiser model, the high-end ones can be as much as $400). These headphones are as uber as my soundcard, and I've used them for years DJ'ing.

This soundcard keeps amazing be beyond that first night that I had it and posted here. The sound quality for acoustic rock, hard rock and metal are also amazing. Live performances as well - they sound incredible!

One thing I must also point out is that the effect of the up-mixing and the crystallizer are not as pronounced on electronic music. I believe this is because electronic music spans a smaller range of frequencies, whereas acoustic and classical will span extremely wide range of frequencies and amplitudes, most of which isn’t even audible to humans. In other words, it basically has more to work with. But don’t get me wrong, even techno sounds awesome, just not as big of a difference.

Again, the most impressive thing is this card's ability to up-mix the 2-channel MP3's into 5.1 surround sound. I was always so disappointed with my SB Live's conversion - which was hardly conversion at all; it only sounded slightly different from having only 2 speakers. (And after $1400 on a home theatre system for a computer, this was a disappointment for years).

I can't say this enough to my friends or online, it’s the best $120 I've ever spent on a computer (and I currently have 4, and have built close to 8 for personal use).


<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by draxsath on 10/10/05 09:43 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
Anonymous
October 11, 2005 6:31:58 PM

Quote:
you get the SAME CARD. The only exception is that some of the high end ones come with built-in 64mb of memory for games.

Not exactly true as the elite pro has a better SNR than the rest. That might be worth the $$$ to some people.
October 23, 2005 2:33:50 PM

I was just wondering which head phones are best for gamming & dvds,mp3s do i need noise cacelling,dj,boomsets,professonal,audiophile,homeentertaiment, im confused and the wifes complaining about the noise from my logitech z5500 grrr.can someone give me some advice on a some bad azz headphones the most i would spend would be 200 but i honestly want to spend around 100-150.

athlon 64/msik8n neo2 plat/corsair twinx1024-3200/
thermalright120mm heatsink,fan/wd 74gig raptor and 250gig/audigy2/logitechz-5500,mx1000laserwkeyboard
22inch mitsubishi mon
October 24, 2005 6:19:13 PM

As for what type your looking for you should probobly look into the home entertainment type - professional ones will cost way too much for what you need them for, DJ headphones... well, they're for DJ's. Audiophile headphones will likely be very bulky and extreemly expensive as an audiophile will stop at nothing to make sure the sound is reproduced near perfectly.

Almost all of the headphones you'll find being sold at online computer stores will be the home entertainment type.

There are three main factors when evaluating headphones:

Frequency Response: This is the range of frequencies the headphones can create, normal hearing is between 20Hz and 20,000Hz (sometimes listed as 20Hz-20kHz). So anything that is around this range is going to be sufficient, my headphones do 24Hz-22kHz and they kick ass.

Sensitivity: This is how loud the headphones can get and a good measure of how much power is needed to make the sound. High sensitivity is desireable for protable devices, as they have less power to give the headphones, the more sensative the headphones are to this power, the less power will be needed to make the sound. If you've ever plugged some of these big-bad-boy headphones into tiny AAA battery powered MP3 players, you'll drain the batteries fast... Though in my opinion it's totally worth it. 90-110dBA is ideal.

Distortion: This is how accurate the sound reproduction is, anything below 1% is good, lower than 1% is better, but nearly inaudible.

If you need some help shopping for them, i can e-mail you some links to some vendors who sell good headphones, and point out some good ones within your price range.

<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by draxsath on 10/24/05 02:56 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
October 25, 2005 11:29:55 AM

I wanted to ask i was looking at this pc sound card to go with the headphones it is a creatve labs x-fi.I am wondering if you think this is a great combo with the headphones?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1682...
I am looking for 5.1 sound.I am wondering if the sennhieser head phones will give me 5.1 sound and will i need an amp for the headphones?if so what do you reccomend somthing simple yet good quality keeping in mind im not an audiphile mostly i want good sound for games and dvds that will handle music good as well but the dvd and game sound is more important .also some people were complaining about the headphones you mentioned because of impedance or ohms i cant remember the word i was just wondering how that factors in when im using the headphones plugged into the head phone jack?I also own the logitech z-5500 they are thx certified dolby etc.

athlon 64/msik8n neo2 plat/corsair twinx1024-3200/
thermalright120mm heatsink,fan/wd 74gig raptor and 250gig/audigy2/logitechz-5500,mx1000laserwkeyboard
22inch mitsubishi mon
October 26, 2005 3:27:13 AM

Hello, I am planning to buy the Elite verson of the board. I downloaded a documentation and found that recording could be done only
24 bit / 96 HZ. But from a Toms Hardware review it was clear that recording could be done 24 bit / 192Hz using Elite version of the board. Did anybody try it? Does UI allow you to choose 24 bit / 192Hz recording settings, using Elite version?
October 29, 2005 7:18:32 AM

"audiophile" headphones will do you just fine. if it says you can use it to monitor recordings, i'm sure it's fine for most anything else. the frequency response is supposed to be flat...but if you're an audiophile, you probably wouldnt want any of that "bass enhance" or whatever.

try Audio-Technica headphones. Sennheiser is probably pretty good as well. the THG review wasn't favorable toward the PC headphones, but i trust their pro-audio products enough.
October 29, 2005 1:13:25 PM

I have the Klipsch GMX D-5.1 Speaker system. I wanted to upgrade from my crappy on-board Realtek AC97' sound and I was reading up on the X-Fi but then I read in one of the reviews at Newegg that this card only supports 2.1 channel sound through the SPDIF? Right now I am using a TOSLINK cable to connect my GMXD-5.1 to my onboard soundcard. So my question is that whether it is true that if I use my fiber optic cable to connect my speakers to the card then I will only get 2.1 channel sound?

Also how is everyone else connecting their speakers to their X-Fi's? Dont tell me you're using analog cables because quite frankly that would just be an insult to the X-Fi!

I recently switched over from Analog to Optical Fiber and it is simply amazing! there was so much distortion and loss of signal on the Analog cables! There is a button on the Klipsch GMX D-5.1 speakers which lets you toggle through the Optical Fiber connection, SPDIF COAX and Analog connection and I plugged in all of them and Toggled through all three and the difference is just amazing! You think Creative cards boost the sound ceiling as compared to other cards? Try using them with a TOSLINK cable, you will be amazed!

Also the basic version of the X-Fi, the X-Fi Xtreme doesnt come with a front mount rack and the card only has an SPDIF COAX connection, so does that mean that without the Front Mount Rack I cannot connect my speakers with a TOSLINK Cable? If so then that sucks.

Last question in my head is concerning that annoying "hissing" sound you get on onboard audio. Does anyone get that on the X-Fi?
Anonymous
October 29, 2005 3:58:22 PM

I read somewhere it puts out all the channels through SPDIF this time (or maybe it was only 5.1, can't remember), but sorry I can't remember where. It appears there is no TOSlink option unless I'm missing something.

Quote:
Dont tell me you're using analog cables because quite frankly that would just be an insult to the X-Fi!

How do you figure? If not for driving analog lines why else have one of the main selling points be the very good SNR specs touted by CL? By running digital to the speakers you bypass the very good SNR feature completely. Hopefully you wont spend more for the Elite Pro only to bypass it's one differentiating spec. You might as well buy the bottom of the barrel card unless you need the memory or the extra I/O.
December 11, 2005 4:46:03 AM

what you need are some good cans like Grados. Grados are better than senns
December 11, 2005 5:06:08 AM

Grado's are better then Senns, if you think badly measuring headphones with upper midrange resonance is good, then yes.
December 15, 2005 10:11:11 AM

Quote:
I was reading up on the X-Fi but then I read in one of the reviews at Newegg that this card only supports 2.1 channel sound through the SPDIF? Right now I am using a TOSLINK cable to connect my GMXD-5.1 to my onboard soundcard. So my question is that whether it is true that if I use my fiber optic cable to connect my speakers to the card then I will only get 2.1 channel sound?

Also how is everyone else connecting their speakers to their X-Fi's? Dont tell me you're using analog cables because quite frankly that would just be an insult to the X-Fi!


I am using analog connection and let me tell you there are reasons behind that. Properly shielded analog connection run in a room of normal size causes no problems. If you wanted to have surround information sent across one cable this would have to be on the fly encoded into dolby or dts. These formats are lossy and conversion to and from introduces latency. That's fact with games and for gaming audio reason I use analog connections.

For Movies X-Fi has ac3 passthru so no worries here: you can send 5.1 audio stream from the movie thru the card straight to the external decoder. If you wish. But bear in mind X-Fi has more sophisticated controls for dolby and dts decoding, with various levels of compression for night watching etc. These are really nice. Your set does not decode DTS, either, so there is another reason to rather go analog from X-Fi.

Whole optical/digital business is much hyped to make ppl shift towards new gear that is not necesarilly better.

BTW: are the GMX D-5.1 really so loud? They do not look as if they were in position to output 108dB SPL... Small wonders? ;) 
December 20, 2005 12:12:26 PM

Quote:
Grado's are better then Senns, if you think badly measuring headphones with upper midrange resonance is good, then yes.


lol, Grado's are better in the sense that they are more asthetically pleasing than most descent headphones.. :p  .. actually i like etymotic and also i have a pair of Bose noise cancelling. Both I am extremely happy with :) 
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