Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

The place to sound off on all things related to audio, from sound cards to speakers.

Moderator: Captain Ned

Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:11 am

So heres the issue I'm really torn about. My original X-Fi fatality PCI (bought when they first came out) has started doing the popping and crackling after a virus and a ram upgrade. I haven't experienced any real issues in this regard up till this point. I'm not going to go through the russian roulette of having to reinstall my OS till it works and gets good IRQs. So, it gave me a good 10 or so years of service and I salute it on the way out.

I have been torn between audio choices and opted to buy a X-Fi Titanium HD over a Xonar sound card. Everything I read about it made it superior both in terms of gaming (still) and listening experience to the Xonar sound cards. I read both HardOCPs reviews and general forum takes. It's sorta sad too, the new Soundcore3D design apparently sucks so I'm back to the same option I already own only without the popping/crackling, with newer drivers, and better audiophile equipment. It sounds silly, but what can you do?

I really have to say the listening experience changed tremendously in a positive way between the original X-Fi Fatality and the Titanium HD. It really made me realize, once again, how much I'm missing in good sound. However, what I quickly found out was the optical out only supports 5.1. I have a 7.1 setup and the reviews I read as well as the specifications stated it supported 7.1... it does't. This I can really deal with as my side speakers simply replicate the rear channels in the event my receiver only receives a 5.1 signal. The kicker is the optical out encoding adds about 10ms of lag onto the audio stream, which is noticeable while gaming and especially if you have your headphones on (which don't have the lag). That is something I can't deal with.

Adding to this, digital audio out doesn't actually utilize any of the benefits of buying a good sound card (like the DACs) and it uses whatever is onboard your receiver. My receiver isn't bad, but it's not nearly as good as what kind of sound a dedicated sound card puts out. That just twisted the knife a little more. Which is really quite sad because if Creative still made the Titanium HD with 7.1 analog outputs I would buy it in a heartbeat.

So now I'm contemplating buying a Xonar DX or Essence and my X-Fi is already in the box. BUT from what I'm reading the Essence also has latency associated with encoding the audio stream and it once again bypasses the great DACs on board. (If anyone has Essence, care to comment on this?) That just leaves the DX, which is starting to look like the default choice. What's really leaving a sour taste in my mouth though is everything I've read points out that Asus sound cards do not perform nearly as well in games in terms of the sound stage and being able to recognize everything that's going on nearly as well.

This is why I wish TR would do a up to date sound card roundup as I was really looking for some advice on this issue overall as my X-Fi was dying and aggravating me more and more.

The whole thing makes me want to throw my hands up in the air and walk away, but then my sound pops at me and leaves me grumbling. My onboard audio makes me want to stuff my ears with cotton balls. And quite honestly that Titanium HD was like angels having sex in my ears and that was only with a 24bit/44.1/320kbps mp3 (which was the best I could find on my computer). You really have no idea how much I want to keep it. I played games with headphones and it really did sound better then my original XFi. I could actually hear how **** the sounds were that the game was made with (Teamfortress 2). Not just that, but apparently the people I was playing with said I somehow had a 'golden voice' even though I didn't tell them I upgraded my sound card.

I'm just trying to vent here and see what your thoughts are and what you guys have experienced. I think I may just hold onto the package and wait for a Xonar DX to come in and then decide then if I want to follow through with the RMA (or return the DX). Losing a 7.1 speaker setup for gaming is a big deal to me, but that audio from the Titanium HD almost makes it worth it. God this sucks.

Do you guys know if there is a alternative low latency option for encoding to DTS or DD instead of using Creative or Asus's implementation? Like a piece of software for it.

(Don't just claim Asus is awesome and Creative sucks without ever having experienced either a X-Fi or this new Titanium HD, it's apparently worlds appart from the old Titanium too according to hardOCP)
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:36 am

PC Audio =/= Professional Audio. You don't have many options and pretty much just have to choose the lesser of evils.

If latency is your concern, I think you can sacrifice sound quality for better latency by sticking with onboard audio.
Intel Core i7-875K, Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Win 7 Home Premium
MSI GTX 560 Ti OC, Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1333, Corsair TX650
Cooler Master Hyper 212+, Logitech Z-2300, ASUS Xonar DX
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Dell Ultrasharp U2410, Antec P183
DeadOfKnight
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:20 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:55 am

Have you looked at Auzentech's lineup? I have their X-Fi Forte and have been very happy with it (TR review it awhile back also). It also supports 7.1 analogue and (while vague) the manual looks like it does digital 7.1 out as well. I'm almost positive it's based on the same chipset the Titanium HD is, but has better quality components so sound should at least be equal with what you're experiencing with your current new card.

I came from an Asus Xonar DS (I got tired of base features of the drivers not working) and instantly noticed a difference in games; movies/music sound about the same.

If you do decide to get it a X-Fi make sure you buy it from the Auzentech store. They give you an extra year on your warranty if you buy from them and register the card with them in 30 days. You're also guaranteed to get v2 of the card (it's the one with the heatsink on the X-Fi chip) rather than gambling and getting a v1 (which had some problems).
Ryhadar
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 349
Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:51 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 8:08 am

Interesting. I went from X-Fi PCI Music to X-Fi Titanium PCIe and the quality actually became worse. The sound is very quiet despite all my adjustments and I can't get the speakers to balance well, the fronts are way too loud.

I would try the Xonar and see how the grass is on the other side.
Synchromesh
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 986
Joined: Tue Apr 12, 2005 9:56 am
Location: MA, USA

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 3:48 pm

Keep in mind the card I mentioned is the Titanium HD, HD being the key component of Creatives relatively indifferentiated product line up. As far as I know and from everything I've read, this is based on version 2 of the X-Fi chipset (which I can confirm looking at the chip on the card) and it's a third generation card. It is the only gen 3 card based on the X-Fi chipset Creative has made. It's also the last run of the X-Fi chipset. Everything is being switched over to the Soundcore3D crap.

It really does represent a pinnacle of the X-Fi product lineup and the drivers compared to all other X-Fis I've tried has simply just worked. The installer automatically unintsalls all components too (which is different from the mess it normally leaves). Honestly I couldn't be happier IF I could get rid of the fing latency for the optical out. One thing I haven't tried and contemplating on opening the box back up to do is using a RCA cable instead of optical. Apparently the TOSLINK also functions as a RCA digital out. I doubt it will make a difference, but it's definitely worth a shot. If that doesn't work I'll order up a Xonar DX.

I really do **** you guys not. It was literally like angels having a orgy in my ear.

I've heard of Auzentech before and read the review on TR, but Newegg and Amazon both don't stock them. It also looks like they're gen 2 cards, being made around the same time as the gen 2 Creative lineup. Looking at the stats on the X-Fi Forte confirms that. It's better then the old Titanium, but not as good as the Titanium HD (purely from specifications). Another option I'm contemplating is straight up buying a gen 2 X-Fi Fatality off Amazon used. But if thats the case I'd just skip to the Forte.

The Titanium HD was vague on 7.1 over optical too and even said it supports it in some places, but it doesn't. Only the most recent versions of DDL support it and apparently there isn't a sound card on the market that does it. Asus products do 5.1 to virtual 7.1. Honestly I'd rather skip the optical and go to analog jacks if the card supports it. The only reason I was looking for it was because the Titanium HD doesn't support analog outs for anything more then 2.0.

This is the Titanium HD I'm referring to: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6829102033
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:42 pm

So, some updates. Whoever thought the RCA in lines also were digital RCA outs was foolish and probably just thinking it works that way (cause it should). There are so many redundant outputs and inputs on the back of the Titanium HD. It's really quite sad cause they could squeeze a lot of 3.5mm jacks in there if they wanted.

I tried optical out and it still has about 10ms of latency. It appears as though PCM does not have this latency, which means the DDL encoding is causing the lag. It also happens with DTS encoding.

Which leads me to question if ANY sound cards have hardware DDL encoding. I know Xonar cards have DDL encoding, but I haven't read anything about it being done in hardware. Which actually seems like a selling points for these cards as there is definitely noticeable latency if you're playing a game and have a headphone on one ear while listening with the other. It has a sort of stadium echo effect to it.

I will be ordering the Xonar DX and this card is most definitely going back. If I'm unsatisfied with the Xonar DX I'll be trying the XFi Forte as that seems like one step back to take two forward. I really wanted a sound card made within the last two years and the Xonar DX has been around for roughly four. XFi Forte has as well. The new Xonar cards I haven't heard great things about even though they're hellah cheap. The Phoebus has quite a few glaring flaws so it's not even a choice. X-Fis set the bar so high I really don't even know where to go with this (even though their drivers get progressively worse after release).
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:24 pm

You may end up playing reinstall roulette after all. :-?
Jason181
Gerbil First Class
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Thu May 19, 2005 6:23 pm
Location: Oregon

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:33 pm

Simply uninstalling the drivers > reboot > driver sweeper > reboot seems to clean everything out. I went from my X-Fi to the Titanium HD to the XFi to the Titanium HD to the XFi with seemingly no problems except changing in consistency and amount of popping/crackling the X-Fi does. A pleasant side effect is that it fixed my settings not being saved in the Creative Console XD
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 7:58 pm

You could look into these folks, I switched from an xfi extreme gamer card and have never been happier.


http://www.htomega.com/claro2.html


I see no mention of the ddl you were talking about, maybe I'm looking in the wrong place or perhaps a different card in their lineup has it.

I'm blind, of course it has ddl:)
credible
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:36 pm

This post reflects most of the reviews and recommendations for sound cards I've read on other sites:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1014902/ocns ... t_13493396
Intel Core i7-875K, Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Win 7 Home Premium
MSI GTX 560 Ti OC, Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1333, Corsair TX650
Cooler Master Hyper 212+, Logitech Z-2300, ASUS Xonar DX
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Dell Ultrasharp U2410, Antec P183
DeadOfKnight
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:20 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Sat Aug 04, 2012 7:42 pm

From what I've read the HT-Omega stuff is just a ghetto version of the Xonar lineup. Just so you know all the 'extreme' versions of cards Creative made are budget lineups and not representative of the name they carry. The X-Fi Extreme Music for instance isn't even based off the X-Fi chipset, it's a Audigy 2. You can read up on their chipsets and find reviews on Newegg stating similar things.

Yeah the Titanium HD heads up that list you posted for the most part. I don't believe he tested optical and compared latency to the headphone output. IF there wasn't latency, really, really I would keep the card in a heartbeat. Analog outputs I would nom up as well or a daughter card that has 5.1 or 7.1 analog outs on it... where is it Creative?

The DX is in the mail currently. Some tough choices will have to be made if it turns out inferior in gaming to Creative cards.
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:21 pm

DeadOfKnight wrote:This post reflects most of the reviews and recommendations for sound cards I've read on other sites:

http://www.overclock.net/t/1014902/ocns ... t_13493396


No disrespect friend, I love the site as well for different reasons then this site...............but did they even test any of the HT Omega cards, I can't find where it says they did.
credible
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:30 pm

Bensam123 wrote:From what I've read the HT-Omega stuff is just a ghetto version of the Xonar lineup. Just so you know all the 'extreme' versions of cards Creative made are budget lineups and not representative of the name they carry. The X-Fi Extreme Music for instance isn't even based off the X-Fi chipset, it's a Audigy 2. You can read up on their chipsets and find reviews on Newegg stating similar things.

Yeah the Titanium HD heads up that list you posted for the most part. I don't believe he tested optical and compared latency to the headphone output. IF there wasn't latency, really, really I would keep the card in a heartbeat. Analog outputs I would nom up as well or a daughter card that has 5.1 or 7.1 analog outs on it... where is it Creative?

The DX is in the mail currently. Some tough choices will have to be made if it turns out inferior in gaming to Creative cards.



I have never owned an Xonar card, but there is no way I can believe that it is that superior to a HT Omega card, its not possible in computer hardware, well maybe,lol.


So far as extreme gamer vs music, I can definitely comment on that, "my friend and I" we have the "same" setups, except for sound card and power supply, he insisted on music as it was more important to him then games................to make a long story short, he heard my gamer against his extreme music and even he admitted, it was no contest.

Personally, at this level, my 43 years don't hear the difference anymore,lol, so I rather the extra features and connections of the Ht Omega, plus their drivers are very small and easy to work with.
credible
Gerbil First Class
 
Posts: 178
Joined: Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:47 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2012 5:57 am

Bensam123 wrote:I've heard of Auzentech before and read the review on TR, but Newegg and Amazon both don't stock them. It also looks like they're gen 2 cards, being made around the same time as the gen 2 Creative lineup. Looking at the stats on the X-Fi Forte confirms that. It's better then the old Titanium, but not as good as the Titanium HD (purely from specifications). Another option I'm contemplating is straight up buying a gen 2 X-Fi Fatality off Amazon used. But if thats the case I'd just skip to the Forte.

You can buy Auzentech's cards straight off their website. That's how I bought my Prelude, and it is a wonderful card. The forte is a good all-rounder, and if I was in the market, that's what I'd go for.
http://www.auzentech.com/site/products/x-fi_forte.php
l33t-g4m3r
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:54 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Sun Aug 05, 2012 4:47 pm

I went from an original X-FI Platinum to an HT Omega Claro Halo.

For music, the HT Omega, with its beefier, higher grade power supply, interchangeable OP amps and headphone "amplification" chip was clearly superior. Though I did not have any problems with pops and don't have anything really bad to say about the Creative card (or even the drivers). I would have kept it, however, I broke it trying to replace some filtering caps.

For games, I don't know if either would be superior. Creative did have an edge when games were still supporting EAX, but now? I also never found the dolby headphone implementation (to grant directional audio over stereo heaphones) really sounded that great. It seemed to help a bit with the directionality, but at fairly noticeable degradation in sound fidelity.

So while I haven't heard the new Creative X-FIs (Titanium HD), I still don't know why anyone would buy Creative over say, Asus or HT Omega. Most of these cards do support some type of real-time DTS Interactive or Dolby Live encoding, though I'm not really familiar with how well they work or whether there are latency issues. These seem to be some of the best consumer cards for music over the PC.

Edit: And you can get a 7.1 analog out daughter card for the HT Omega Claro Halo. I think their PCIe (eClaro) version supports 7.1 analog out through a D-Sub breakout cable.
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:32 pm

Have you looked into Creative's external 7.1 USB solution? If you're going to insist on doing 7.1 from a PC, you'd might as well get the sound card as far from the PC as possible, and keep the analog run to the receiver/amplifier as short as possible.

Otherwise I believe the HT-Omegas are the best in the analog surround-sound department. Be worth giving them a shot.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4694
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:41 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:41 pm

Seconded for an external DAC
Intel Core i7-875K, Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Win 7 Home Premium
MSI GTX 560 Ti OC, Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1333, Corsair TX650
Cooler Master Hyper 212+, Logitech Z-2300, ASUS Xonar DX
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Dell Ultrasharp U2410, Antec P183
DeadOfKnight
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:20 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 4:56 pm

Bensam123 wrote:From what I've read the HT-Omega stuff is just a ghetto version of the Xonar lineup. Just so you know all the 'extreme' versions of cards Creative made are budget lineups and not representative of the name they carry. The X-Fi Extreme Music for instance isn't even based off the X-Fi chipset, it's a Audigy 2. You can read up on their chipsets and find reviews on Newegg stating similar things.

Yeah the Titanium HD heads up that list you posted for the most part. I don't believe he tested optical and compared latency to the headphone output. IF there wasn't latency, really, really I would keep the card in a heartbeat. Analog outputs I would nom up as well or a daughter card that has 5.1 or 7.1 analog outs on it... where is it Creative?

The DX is in the mail currently. Some tough choices will have to be made if it turns out inferior in gaming to Creative cards.


Extreme music. Yes it is, you're thinking about extreme audio which is not x-fi based.
http://techreport.com/articles.x/8884
___
As to why choose Creative over Asus. Well, if you play older games then Creative is the way to go because the audio in hardware mode in games is crap with other cards.
I can only summarize my Xonar XD experiences into following when using hardware audio: crashes. People complain often about Creative drivers but in fact they're far better than Asus..
Kaleid
Gerbil
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:19 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:25 pm

Pretty sure Kaleid is correct. I remember when researching my X-Fi purchase that the Extreme Music and the Platinum were identical except the Platinum came with the front drive bay breakout. As I recall, the only thing the X-Fi Fatal1ty added over the Extreme Music/Platinum was extra onbaord memory for EAX effects. All 3 cards were based on the X-Fi chip (there also was a higher end version of the Fatal1ty with a more music creation-oriented breakout box).
cynan
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 738
Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2004 1:30 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Thu Aug 09, 2012 2:29 pm

cynan wrote:Pretty sure Kaleid is correct. I remember when researching my X-Fi purchase that the Extreme Music and the Platinum were identical except the Platinum came with the front drive bay breakout. As I recall, the only thing the X-Fi Fatal1ty added over the Extreme Music/Platinum was extra onbaord memory for EAX effects. All 3 cards were based on the X-Fi chip (there also was a higher end version of the Fatal1ty with a more music creation-oriented breakout box).


Yeah. That extra memory of course was only used in few games, so I ignored it. I still keep my extrememusic because of good service and actually very good drivers...apart from when Vista x64 came out, took creative long before the drivers worked, but they far surpass Asus and any onboard I have tried.
Kaleid
Gerbil
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:19 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Thu Aug 09, 2012 3:12 pm

The extreme music actually bypassed a few initial bugs that only affected cards using xram. UT3 I believe was the worst case scenario, but people found a workaround (Blacksite Area 51 dlls), and creative eventually patched it. IMO, it was more of a game bug than creative's fault, but creative still had responsibility to get it fixed.
l33t-g4m3r
Gerbil Jedi
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1953
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 1:54 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:19 am

Yeah, that would be correct. The whole Creative branding is so ambiguous it's hard NOT to get confused. For instance the only Extremes they sell on Newegg right now are X-Fis, but the reviews claim they're actually rebadged Audigys.

While the name might seem ridiculous, the Titanium HD is not simply just a Titanium. It went through quite a revision, so you really should try it out before slamming the gavel on Creative as far as audio quality goes.

I did get my Xonar DX in tonight and thats why I wanted to stop back. I'll have to test it out a bit more, but my initial impressions are...

Positional audio isn't nearly as good as my X-Fi. The DDL headphone remixer totally rapes the sound quality and makes it sound like poo. Instead of having a nice circular positional sphere around your head I almost want to say it's football shaped. It almost feels like the axis is off. As if sound that's supposed to go in front of you ends up like 45 degrees upwards. And sound behind you is 45 degrees downards. It's elliptical shaped in nature as well, which can be tested out using the little spinning sound thing in the control panel.

The whole 'Creative has terrible drivers and Asus's are godsend' stigma is dead wrong. They both have issues. While Creatives largely relate to installation and uninstalls, Asus's relate to the actual driver usability. I'm currently using the Xonar Unified driver and the C-Media panel. I actually use both of them as it's easier to find features in one then the other. Some features are completely missing in one panel and present in another. Both are schizophrenic messes. Creatives drivers on the other hand are easy to find features in and toggle them. I really don't care how big driver packages are (why do people care so much when they have a 3TB HD?). As long as it works properly I really don't care. Install and uninstall with the T-HD was definitely very easy. I ran into no driver issues.

I'm going to talk a bit more about DDL too. CMSS-3D, which is Creatives version of headphone visualization just works. You turn it on and forget about the setting. You never touch it again and no matter what the sound source is, it's always mixed up to whatever you have your speakers set at. The Xonar equivalent, which is DDL is extremely finicky. You end up having to set your source and your output, then you have to toggle three different settings depending on your preferences. The whole visualization thing, shifter (which is a upmixer), and Prologic 2 (which adds more filtering).

It's just a huge mess and a huge pain in the ass if you want to get the optimal quality out of the game. There is no automatic setting for this so you have to mess around with it constantly when changing between games. I already mentioned the big dip in audio quality simply from having it enabled.

Subjectively, speaking about audio quality in general of the card. The audio clarity is definitely there. I can't tell the difference between the audio quality from the X-Fi to the DX, but the sound stage and the sound itself is quite different. The DX seems to lack a sort of elegance that the X-Fi has and almost seems like it's missing something. The sound makes me feel a bit lethargic and tired. Cyril mentioned having fatigue from one of the Xonar cards and I can echo this. After playing TF2 for about two hours because Blacklight was down all the sound seemed to blend together and become muddled to my ears. It almost seemed lower in quality or maybe my ears were just perceiving it that way.

Where as the T-HD always seemed to pop and be upbeat while using it. Really the T-HD always seems refreshing while listening to it over the last week while waiting for the DX to come in. I really can't word it any better so I'm sorry if it seems a bit ambiguous. It's really one of those things you need to hear for yourself.

I haven't gotten a chance to test the optical on the DX for lag, but I will have to get a optical cable to test it out and let you guys know!

Fun tidbit that no one mentions. The DX apparently has relays to switch between the front and rear speaker outputs. Sorta cool when you can hear them switch when it's booting up (I'm geeky like that ^^). HOWEVER, this means you can't listen to the front headphone jacks and the rear speakers at the same time. You have to switch them. Where as with Creative cards all jacks output at the same time. So you never need to switch anything (although the Titanium HD is the exception and has limitations on this as far as the RCA jacks go). With Creative cards you can even do digital out, analog out, and headphones at the same time. With the DX you can only do one output.

So quite honestly my initial impression is the DX is inferior on a few fronts, completely excluding the DACs. This is about everything, but the DACs because at this SNR they really don't even matter anymore (very few people can tell the difference). So, even if I bought a Essence STX I would still wind up with the same results. If I found the DX superior I was going to return it and purchase a Essence with a H6 module... My analog cables come in later today so I'll be able to try out the DX with my 7.1 setup to see if it sounds better. I'm currently testing it with headphones.


This is definitely edging on being a hard decision. I may go the route of purchasing a Forte that was suggested even if it means stepping back a generation from the T-HD. The T-HD is the X-Fi done right. This really isn't a competition (from my standpoint as a gamer and a user). The pure sound quality is there for the Xonar, but all it has is the specs. The T-HD has fuller and more vibrant sound that is upbeat and fun to listen to, the drivers are easier to use, the features actually make a difference and just work automatically, there is no tom foolery, the audio quality for the T-HD is also extremely good. The price of the T-HD is also superior to the Essence if you're looking to buy based on specifications alone.

I'm not even hitting on EAX cause it doesn't matter anymore, but from what I've seen in driver control panel the DX only supports EAX up to 2.0. This can be found by clicking on the ! on the Xonar Control Panel and looking at the 3D Audio Engine. It's listed as Xear3D DS3D EAX2.0.

While I would classify the T-HD as angels having a orgy in my ear, the DX is more of dogs playing poker at a card table (I don't know why it conjured up that imagery). We'll give it the weekend and see what happens...
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Aug 20, 2012 1:59 am

Bensam123 wrote:While I would classify the T-HD as angels having a orgy in my ear, the DX is more of dogs playing poker at a card table

Up until this point, your impressions seem to mirror mine almost exactly. I have an X-Fi Titanium (no HD) and a Xonar DX. I like the Titanium's software and virtualization better, especially once I have cleaned up some of the bloat that does come with the Creative suite. I find it better for positional audio, but the sound quality on the DX is better (though we're still talking about the Titanium here, not the HD which supposedly far exceeds the Titanium in audio quality). The Xonar drivers really suck though, which I found to be really disappointing because it was from reading all the complaints about Creative's drivers that led me to buy the Xonar in the first place. However, the Xonar does allow you to plug in the case front jacks into it which is a nice plus if people like to use those; I never do. It also requires additional power for some reason, which I found mildly annoying simply because I'm so obsessive about cable management. If I were buying today I'd definitely go with an X-Fi Titanium HD.
Intel Core i7-875K, Asus P7P55D-E Pro, Win 7 Home Premium
MSI GTX 560 Ti OC, Mushkin 2x2GB DDR3-1333, Corsair TX650
Cooler Master Hyper 212+, Logitech Z-2300, ASUS Xonar DX
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB, Dell Ultrasharp U2410, Antec P183
DeadOfKnight
Gerbil Elite
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 634
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:20 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:27 pm

Alright, so I'm going to take the time to write the rest of this before I forget. My overall impression of the Xonar DX remained the same. I kept it for roughly a week and overall it feels inferior to the Titanium HD and my X-Fi Fatality I had before it. The optical out that I mentioned before I could not test the latency with as you can only have one output enabled at a time. To switch between the optical, 7.1, and headphones you have to switch it out on the soundcard control panel. With the T-HD you could have all the outputs going at the same time, minus the RCA jacks. You can only have one of the output jacks enabled on the DX at one time.

The surround sound with the digital on the DX had the same issues the surround sound did for the 7.1 on it. The positional audio had a weird elliptical feeling to it and it was angled oddly at a 45 degree above in front and 45 below in back. The positional audio itself was seemingly narrower when using headphones on the DX.

Turning on the positional audio on the DX also resulted in it sounding muddled and it losing most of its quality. You don't realize how much of a difference CMSS-3D makes until you don't have it anymore. It's really a superior implementation in every way, shape, and from.

Furthermore it appears that the upmixing on the DX doesn't always work properly. I enSoabled it in the Xonar Uni drivers and it worked till I rebooted and then it stopped working entirely. So you would only get whatever sort of output comes in... 2.1>2.1 5.1>5.1 regardless of your speaker setup. This really makes me question how well it muxes content that is made for larger stereo configurations like 7.1 > headphones or even if it does it at all. This may play into why the positional audio sounds eliptical if it's not doing positional sound properly.

Needless to say the DX went back, I'm still waiting for a refund from the company I bought it from.

So, this leaves me in a position to buy a Auzentech Forte as was recommended in this thread. However, I've been watching for the last month and a half and it's been out of stock on the Auzentech website and hasn't been back since... I may end up rebuying the Titanium HD if the Auzentech doesn't show up anytime soon (which is sorta funny). The latency associated with optical output does really suck, but so does using a DX compared to the X-Fi. Keep in mind the DX doesn't suck in terms of audio quality, but rather the overall experience just sucked. Both have issues with drivers as well so I think that's moot.
Bensam123
Gerbil Elite
 
Posts: 941
Joined: Wed May 29, 2002 11:19 am

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:43 pm

Lots of discussion here, and I know I'm late to the party, but:

It seems to me that Creative's new Soundblaster Z series is going to be perfect for almost all gamers. Primarily, even the $100 variant will have a headphone amp and their new microphone; generally speaking you shouldn't be using a sound card for more than 2.0/2.1 these days anyway, and if you're not using headphones, you're not using something that would benefit from a good analog source. Why?

If you're using 'computer' speakers, you're doing yourself a disservice, but that's okay. You'll benefit from having something nicer to feed them than on-board audio though the difference won't be huge as the speakers have their own amplifier, unlike analog headphones.

If you're using real speakers, you're likely using a receiver to power them, which will at least have a digital input to accept TOSlink or coaxial inputs. These can pass high-quality unmolested audio in stereo just fine.

If you're using surround speakers from a receiver, hope that it has HDMI. If it doesn't, then you'll want either a higher-end ASUS or an X-Fi+ that can encode DTS, which is the higher quality of the digital surround formats. You'll be stuck at 5.1 though.

If your receiver has HDMI, use it, and don't worry about a sound card at all. I literally didn't know this until about a month ago, shame on me, but the HDMI outputs on GPUs are more than capable of passing a full-quality 7.1 signal to the receiver. Your applications can span sources with fewer than eight channels or the receiver can do it for you, and either works great.

To that end, I'll be keeping my HDMI setup for my HTPC, which has been tested with HD3000, HD4000, and Nvidia 5xx outputs, and for my desktop (if I get the inkling) I'll be grabbing Creative's Soundblaster Z.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4694
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:41 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 6:57 pm

I've got an Essence. I can offer no technical measurements but I'm using it with Sennheiser earphones and the sound is clear and "punchy" for games and music--no issues. Got it as a half-price open box from newegg and love it. I agree with other poster that that an external DAC might be better--FYI http://www.jr.com/asus/pe/ASU_XONARESSONE/.
Win 8.1 Pro 64-bit-Intel i7 965-Noctua NH-C12P-ASUS P6T Deluxe-Patriot Viper Xtreme 24GB DDR3 1600-SanDisk 240GB SSD-2 WD Velociraptors 300GB-WD RE3 1TB -Radeon 6970-ASUS Xonar Essence -LG GBW-H20L Blu-ray-Thermaltake W0133RU 1200W-CoolerMaster CM 832
Neutronbeam
Gerbil XP
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 330
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:07 am
Location: Atlanta, Georgia USA

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Mon Sep 03, 2012 7:21 pm

Neutronbeam wrote:I've got an Essence. I can offer no technical measurements but I'm using it with Sennheiser earphones and the sound is clear and "punchy" for games and music--no issues. Got it as a half-price open box from newegg and love it. I agree with other poster that that an external DAC might be better--FYI http://www.jr.com/asus/pe/ASU_XONARESSONE/.


An external DAC, such as one of the NuForce ones, would be preferable for headphones. If I could find a USB DAC with a 3.5mm amplified output for ~$50, I'd jump on it!

But they don't exist. And for the price, the new Creative solution seems to have it all figured out- nice card, good drivers, stereo amplification, and a great microphone for VOIP. At $100 it sounds like a package that will be hard to beat if everything works as advertised.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4694
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:41 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 10:37 am

Airmantharp wrote:good drivers

I'd be very, very, very careful before including "good drivers" and either "Creative" or "Asus Xonar" in the same sentence. :)
There is a fixed amount of intelligence on the planet, and the population keeps growing :(
morphine
Gerbil Khan
Silver subscriber
 
 
Posts: 9860
Joined: Fri Dec 27, 2002 7:51 pm
Location: Portugal (that's next to Spain)

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:44 pm

morphine wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:good drivers

I'd be very, very, very careful before including "good drivers" and either "Creative" or "Asus Xonar" in the same sentence. :)


At this point I'd say their drivers are better than their hardware (I still get no sound on boot up once every 5-10 restarts)- at least for gaming, Creative's drivers are where it's at. Asus' are abominable in comparison.
Canon 6D||[24-105/4L IS USM|100/2.8L Macro IS USM|70-300/4-5.6 IS USM|40/2.8 STM|50/1.4 USM|85/1.8 USM|Samyang/Bower 14/2.8 Full-Manual Rectilinear Wide-angle|
Canon EOS-M|11-22/4-5.6 IS STM|22/2 STM|EF-M 18-55/3.5-5.6 IS STM|
For sale!|24/2.8 IS USM
|
Airmantharp
Maximum Gerbil
 
Posts: 4694
Joined: Fri Oct 15, 2004 9:41 pm

Re: Creative X-Fi Titanium HD

Postposted on Tue Sep 04, 2012 4:21 pm

morphine wrote:
Airmantharp wrote:good drivers

I'd be very, very, very careful before including "good drivers" and either "Creative" or "Asus Xonar" in the same sentence. :)

Yeap, mentioning "Creative drivers" in any positive way still tends to attract a bunch of brainless haters (or people who generally don't know what they're doing with their PC) who like to abuse outdated memes ;-)
My subscription allows you people to exist on this site and makes me a better human being than you'll ever be
JohnC
Gerbil Jedi
Gold subscriber
 
 
Posts: 1741
Joined: Fri Jan 28, 2011 1:08 pm
Location: NY/NJ/FL

Next

Return to Echo Vale

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests