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View Full Version : Phoebus is a step backward compared to DX



WILDCORE
07-11-2012, 06:52 PM
Sound goes analog with 7.1 channels from my audio card into my amplifier. PC runs under Windows 7 64bit.

At first i was really impressed from the crystal clear but warm sound the Phoebus delivers and how I was able to play a game with 7.1 sound and having Dolby Home Theater upmixing a 2.0 audio file -played through winamp- to 7.1 as well. This is something I was waiting for, for year. Asus is the first company realizing this with the Dolby Home Theater integration. Bravo!
But later I found out that:
- It does not upmix any 5.1 source to 7.1*. Not games nor movies. No matter if I use mkvs or Blu-Ray Discs
- It does not upmix 2.0 flash videos to 7.1*. Not from the browser nor any media player, but 2.0 avi movies will be upmixed with the same media player
- If you plug a headphone in, you do not get 7.1 from the game downmixed to Dolby Headphone by your hardware. You get 2.0 from the game "upmixed" to Dolby Headphone. You can tell audio directions can't be so precise that way compared to downmixed 7.1
But the worst of all is that all these missing things my almost four year old Xonar DX card can do! Sure, I have to manually adjust the input channels everytime they cange, but I rather have this funtionality as a fall back.
This one new feature and the nice sound I mentioned above are not outweighing the missing ones

So I would like to see these missing functions back added into the drivers.

*as advertised in the manual page three and on Dolby.com (http://www.dolby.com/us/en/consumer/technology/pc/dolby-home-theater-v4.html) (see Tab Technologies)

Operation Nadethrow
07-12-2012, 02:04 PM
Perhaps it is all still in the future, because the Phoebus can even more than now. It is located on the bad drivers

LunarMongoose
07-28-2012, 10:23 PM
- If you plug a headphone in, you do not get 7.1 from the game downmixed to Dolby Headphone by your hardware. You get 2.0 from the game "upmixed" to Dolby Headphone. You can tell audio directions can't be so precise that way compared to downmixed 7.1

Can anyone else confirm this problem? I can't find any mention of it anywhere on the internet, and the Guru3D reviewers said the headphone surround worked fine, so I'm a little skeptical, but this would be a deal-breaker for me if it were true.

Estatus
08-06-2012, 11:17 AM
Can anyone else confirm this problem? I can't find any mention of it anywhere on the internet, and the Guru3D reviewers said the headphone surround worked fine, so I'm a little skeptical, but this would be a deal-breaker for me if it were true.

Well, the surround with Xear in Phoebus is about the same as Dolby Headphone on previous models. What you get is virtual surround of 7.1 when using 2.0 headphones, so it won't sound as precise as true 7.1 surround, unless you had a headphone that was compatible with true 7.1 (such as perhaps the Razer Tiamat). I can admit that I've never really liked virtual 7.1 surround.

thetruth1983
08-09-2012, 08:13 AM
Can anyone else confirm this problem? I can't find any mention of it anywhere on the internet, and the Guru3D reviewers said the headphone surround worked fine, so I'm a little skeptical, but this would be a deal-breaker for me if it were true.

I'm guessing he is right. On the DX, you can set the incoming and outgoing channels. For example, you can set incoming audio to 5.1 and the DX will downmix it to 2.0 headphones. On the Phoebus, windows just sees the headphones as 2 channel speakers and you are unable to change it. I'm guess that games will only send 2 channel because of what windows says and then the sound card upmixes it to virtual surround.

LunarMongoose
08-09-2012, 11:01 AM
I'm guess that games will only send 2 channel because of what windows says and then the sound card upmixes it to virtual surround.

Thanks for the reply! It didn't seem like anyone was ever going to chime in on this. ;)

Upmixed surround is terrible and I have no interest in it, but I love Dolby Headphone... Can't you just manually select 5.1 in the audio options in each game with headphones plugged in?

p.s. - Never seen or heard of that Tiamat before. Very interesting...

thetruth1983
08-09-2012, 11:55 AM
Thanks for the reply! It didn't seem like anyone was ever going to chime in on this. ;)

Upmixed surround is terrible and I have no interest in it, but I love Dolby Headphone... Can't you just manually select 5.1 in the audio options in each game with headphones plugged in?

p.s. - Never seen or heard of that Tiamat before. Very interesting...

Unfortunately, someone with more experience in this would have to give a definite answer to that question. I do know that in some games (Alien vs. Predator and Assassins Creed revelations), you are unable to change the number of speakers being used. AVP is a 7.1 game so if windows is setup for 7.1, AVP will automatically play from all the 7.1 speakers. I'm guessing that in games where you can change the speaker options (like BF3), Windows will downmix it to 2.0 headphones before it even reaches the sound card software. This is just a guess though since this is just from my own observations. I do have to say that I have tried the virtual surround with DHT and it does give a good sense of direction even when being fed a 2.0 signal.

cx-ray
08-10-2012, 07:58 AM
I did some testing. The OP is correct. At this point in time the Xonar Phoebus doesn't perform any type of multi-channel down mixing to stereo headphones.

Any game that only allows you to set a default sound device, i.e., not allow you to specify the number of channels with a headphone connected, will only output in stereo. The sense of positional audio will have to come from the game itself. The Xonal Phoebus will NOT provide that.

In other words, unless the sound engine of the game itself reverbs the sound, you will not be able to make the distinction of an enemy approaching from the front or the rear. No Dolby Home Theater v4 or XEAR virtualized 5.1/7.1 from stereo will ever change that. It's physically impossible.

thetruth1983
08-10-2012, 08:22 AM
So I guess the next question is whether or not this will be fixed in a driver update.

cutbuter4fmg
08-11-2012, 03:31 AM
I did some testing. The OP is correct. At this point in time the Xonar Phoebus doesn't perform any type of multi-channel down mixing to stereo headphones.

Any game that only allows you to set a default sound device, i.e., not allow you to specify the number of channels with a headphone connected, will only output in stereo. The sense of positional audio will have to come from the game itself. The Xonal Phoebus will NOT provide that.

In other words, unless the sound engine of the game itself reverbs the sound, you will not be able to make the distinction of an enemy approaching from the front or the rear. No Dolby Home Theater v4 or XEAR virtualized 5.1/7.1 from stereo will ever change that. It's physically impossible.

oh, auto down mixing will be great ;)

LunarMongoose
08-14-2012, 09:45 PM
I did some testing. The OP is correct. At this point in time the Xonar Phoebus doesn't perform any type of multi-channel down mixing to stereo headphones.

Thanks for the testing, dood!


So I guess the next question is whether or not this will be fixed in a driver update.

Anyone wanna join in and submit the bug report form on this? Heh.

Unfortunately it means I'll probably have to buy a DX instead... sigh.

thetruth1983
08-15-2012, 04:31 AM
I'll be in it too. I wonder if we could get an official response as to how exactly their system works since it can't downmix 5.1 to stereo headphones.

I was playing Assassins Creed revelations which has no option of changing speaker settings. Windows was set to 2 ch headphones and I had DHT4 game mode activated. The headphones I was using was the PC360 and I went to a quiet place in the game that had only a fireplace for sound. I closed me eyes and spun the joystick in circles. Each time, I tried to guess the location of the fireplace before opening my eyes to see if I was right. 9 out of 10 times, I was able to locate the fireplace in the correct position. I'm interested to know how they can do this since the game was only outputting 2ch stereo and DHT4 was doing all the mixing.

LunarMongoose
08-15-2012, 11:52 PM
I was playing Assassins Creed revelations which has no option of changing speaker settings. Windows was set to 2 ch headphones and I had DHT4 game mode activated. The headphones I was using was the PC360 and I went to a quiet place in the game that had only a fireplace for sound. I closed me eyes and spun the joystick in circles. Each time, I tried to guess the location of the fireplace before opening my eyes to see if I was right. 9 out of 10 times, I was able to locate the fireplace in the correct position. I'm interested to know how they can do this since the game was only outputting 2ch stereo and DHT4 was doing all the mixing.

Clearly the new Fireplace Simulator™ built into the Phoebus is paying dividends here...

dedaciai
08-16-2012, 10:40 AM
Clearly the new Fireplace Simulator™ built into the Phoebus is paying dividends here... Hilarious!

thetruth1983
08-16-2012, 11:07 AM
Clearly the new Fireplace Simulator™ built into the Phoebus is paying dividends here...

Lol somebody needs to pay me!

cx-ray
08-16-2012, 12:47 PM
Admittedly, it would be nice to have the choice of setting 5.1/7.1 sound in all games and down sample it to stereo. However, maybe the current situation is ultimately the better option. To me, on Creative cards at least, their CMSS-3D has quite a large impact on the sound quality. I just took it for granted because it improved my gameplay.
In comparison with BF3 for instance, the sound quality is much better if you let the game engine take care of the positional mixing...only problem there is the lack in accuracy...maybe one day someone will make a game with perfect sound.

thetruth1983
08-17-2012, 07:54 AM
Admittedly, it would be nice to have the choice of setting 5.1/7.1 sound in all games and down sample it to stereo. However, maybe the current situation is ultimately the better option. To me, on Creative cards at least, their CMSS-3D has quite a large impact on the sound quality. I just took it for granted because it improved my gameplay.
In comparison with BF3 for instance, the sound quality is much better if you let the game engine take care of the positional mixing...only problem there is the lack in accuracy...maybe one day someone will make a game with perfect sound.

+1 on them giving us the option. I just tried Max Payne 3. If you are using 5.1, you can choose surround sound in the game. If you are using headphones, the game will only let you select headphones or stereo. The DX handled this much better.

txfeinbergs
08-18-2012, 08:10 PM
+1 on them giving us the option. I just tried Max Payne 3. If you are using 5.1, you can choose surround sound in the game. If you are using headphones, the game will only let you select headphones or stereo. The DX handled this much better.

Have you tried starting the game with 5.1 set in windows, selecting 5.1 in the game, going into the actual game, and then plugging in the headphones? I used to have to do this to trick most games into sending the 5.1 audio to the soundcard so it could work its magic on it and convert it to 3D stereo. (most games only perform the configuration check when launching.

thetruth1983
08-19-2012, 02:55 AM
Have you tried starting the game with 5.1 set in windows, selecting 5.1 in the game, going into the actual game, and then plugging in the headphones? I used to have to do this to trick most games into sending the 5.1 audio to the soundcard so it could work its magic on it and convert it to 3D stereo. (most games only perform the configuration check when launching.

I just tried that on Max Payne and it worked! Thanks for the tip!

cx-ray
01-27-2013, 06:11 AM
Kind of late. I found out yesterday that the 3.08(CR) update supports virtual positional audio. You can enable it in the Phoebus Control Panel under Headphone -> Xear Surround Headphone. Check this setting only (you can experiment with Room Size but don't use the additional option Xear Surround Max. The latter only appears to take away the 3D effect. From what i gathered it's intended for upmixing stereo to multi-channel) . To verify check for Xear Surround 7.1 in the Windows Sound Control Panel -> Headphones Properties -> Advanced tab.

I tested it in Black Ops and BF3. It actually works :) I'll have to play a while to see if it's actually better for BF3 though.



I did some testing. The OP is correct. At this point in time the Xonar Phoebus doesn't perform any type of multi-channel down mixing to stereo headphones.

Any game that only allows you to set a default sound device, i.e., not allow you to specify the number of channels with a headphone connected, will only output in stereo. The sense of positional audio will have to come from the game itself. The Xonal Phoebus will NOT provide that.

In other words, unless the sound engine of the game itself reverbs the sound, you will not be able to make the distinction of an enemy approaching from the front or the rear. No Dolby Home Theater v4 or XEAR virtualized 5.1/7.1 from stereo will ever change that. It's physically impossible.

VicXander
03-30-2013, 02:48 PM
Hi guys :),

I have the explanations about it in another thread (http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?29575-Dolby-headphone-in-Phoebus/page2).
Please click that link.

cheers :)

KILLER_K
03-31-2013, 02:32 AM
Let me help you with your thread link.

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?29575-Dolby-headphone-in-Phoebus&p=246259&viewfull=1#post246259



Hi guys :),

I have the explanations about it in another thread (http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?29575-Dolby-headphone-in-Phoebus/page2).
Please click that link.

cheers :)