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Games with advanced sound

Discussion in 'Soundcards' started by Antonio Huerta, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. I have stormed through Bioshock and through a part of Dead Space, and
    enjoyed their sound-rich atmosphere. (By the way, are there any other
    such games ? This appears to be the only games I get excited.) I used
    onboard sound (Realtek HD, Azalia 1.0 spec). But now people tell me
    that my experience with those games (and other games) would be much
    richer if I used a sound card.

    I did a search on the Internet. Here are my findings:

    -- The main reason of having a sound card in gaming is the surround
    sound. This gives one an opportunity to pinpoint the source of sound.
    It is not clear to me yet whether onboard sound adapter can provide a
    surround sound as well.

    -- Sound quality from Realtek HD is almost as good as a sound card (we
    are talking about gaming in here, not music or movies).

    -- Games like Bioshock use EAX 2.0-5.0, which is a fancy way of saying
    that the game engine generates directional sounds and pumps through
    2-5 speakers. Quality of sound reproduction improves. (One of the
    features of EAX is that the sound can reflect several time in a
    corridor from a stone wall or other material, and one can hear that.)

    -- There is a separate 5.1 standard (pumping sounds through 5
    speakers) to play non-EAX games. The sound card should have a Dolby
    surround sound for that; onboard sound cards apparently do not have

    -- Creative Labs is a manufacturer of sound cards, and they came out
    with an "X-Fi", which is s set of sound technologies, one of them
    being EAX effects.

    -- Creative Labs is virtually a monopolist on the sound card market,
    and they have an XtremeGamer card which is for the gaming (around US
    $100). A recent contender is ASUS which came up with a Xonar line of
    sound cards. The cheapest but able contender is the "DX" card (around
    US$80) (and that's what I recently ordered).

    It is still unclear to me whether one can get surround sound (via the
    headphones) using only the onboard sound card. I need this function to
    play the games such as Dead Space or TF2. It seems to me that the
    onboard sound adapter provides such a capability, but I am not sure if
    the sound cards have some additional sound technologies which provide
    an enhanced sound experience (such as directional sound etc).

    On the whole, I've come to the realisation that the immersion depends
    heavily on sound atmosphere (gameplay), and this is likely to be the
    direction of the development of the future games. Is anybody aware of
    the new such games in development (so that I could look forward to
    them) ?
    Antonio Huerta, Jan 2, 2009
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  2. Antonio Huerta

    Lou Guest

    I have on board Realtek HD audio and it has surround sound. I have a 5.1
    surround speaker setup and when I test each speaker with the Realtek speaker
    setup utility you can hear the sound from each speaker independently, that
    is you hear the 5.1 surround sound working. It also works well with my
    Zalman surround sound headphones that have four separate speakers, two front
    and two rear (the center and subwoofer speakers sounds are simulated ). The
    surround sound is good, but not having a subwoofer leaves out some of the
    bass, but that's OK with me. I have read about other headphones with too
    much bass.
    Most other surround headphones have only two speakers and all the surround
    sound is simulated. I believe that for a good simulated surround sound from
    two speaker headphones, it need to be Dolby or maybe the X-fi. Some
    headphones have USB and built in sound card with Dolby surround sound, that
    way you don't need a sound card in the PC. I have read a lot of mixed
    reviews on these other headphones and its hard to know if they work any
    better than the Zalman for surround sound.

    I have tested the surround sound in games also by standing near a constant
    sound like a radio and then I turn around and hear it in all speakers. Works
    well with both my 5.1 speakers and with the Zalman headphones.
    Lou, Jan 2, 2009
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  3. Antonio Huerta


    Feb 20, 2012
    Likes Received:
    Nice solutions...
    sharpsmiley, Feb 20, 2012
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