ROG Xonar Phoebus and 7.1 headsets..

zxci

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Jul 25, 2015
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Okay, so after scouring the internet for information, I'd like to say this first and foremost:

This is not a debate as to whether or not 7.1 headsets are a gimmick.
This is not a debate as to which sound card is best.
This is not a debate as to how good or bad a certain company is at producing a certain product.

Here's my issue that I'm wondering if any of you could help with..

I purchased the Razer Tiamat 7.1 headset on a whim because I got it on the cheaps slightly used. I purchased the ROG Xonar Phoebus on the cheaps aswell, because the internet seems to think it's a good sound card. There's nothing wrong with either product physically. The problem are the drivers... from what I can tell, either ASUS has monkeys working on their development team, or someone dropped the ball HARD and never picked it up.

For starters, they have a set of drivers dated to 2013 that works fairly decent. The headset (which I'd assume the case is the same for ANY 7.1 headset) has to be plugged in to side/spdif out, sub, left and right (don't bother saying this is wrong because it's not wrong, if you plug it in any other way you don't get side channel audio - I tried. Unless ofcourse there's some workaround that I missed - then by all means tell me). In doing so, you no longer get the option to set headphone impedance as nothing is being sent out the headphone jack. All of the 7.1 functionality is still in place. FlexBass, which is essential to keep sub-bass frequencies from entering the other speakers, works like a charm. The only gripe I found with it was the complete lack of a graphic equalizer to account for the fact that literally every audio setup on earth behaves differently across the audio spectrum... it's curious that they would not include that on what could be considered a $300+ card on its release (and is still fairly pricey).

They included dolby home theater v4, which is a joke in my eyes. It completely distorts audio, even with every setting ticked off. No point turning it on and suffering through that just to use ITS equalizer. It's specifically painful in my case because I produce music as a hobby and I'd at least like my headphones to be SOMEWHAT accurate. I know they won't sound like my studio monitors, but at this point the audio quality is so bad it's laughable - and I know it's not the headsets fault because when properly EQ'd they sound great!

Sooo, I did some quick research online and found that the drivers I had were outdated. I downloaded the most recent ones, which includes the "sonic suite for phoebus" - a MASSIVE joke. It no longer detects that there's even a sub channel (or if it does, the GUI doesn't even so much as hint at it). There's no FlexBass or even a similar alternative to prevent subbass from being sent to the other speakers. Still can't set impedence (and I'd imagine a lot of 7.1 headset users would be requesting this by now, regardless of if its a gimmick or not, unless Razer just wired their headset weird).

Am I at a dead end? My choices at this point are:

A: Suck it up and listen to a horribly balanced reproduction of audio with the old drivers, but on the plus side I get bass
B: Use the new drivers, get EQ, no bass
C: Sell phoebus and buy ____ card that will actually have drivers worth paying money for
D: ??????


 
Is there a question in here somewhere is did you write a review?

All I can offer is to go back to the ASUS site, look for more drivers ... maybe send them an e-mail.

E: Continue on ... take this advice ... Take this blade to the new world beloved son! Carry my name with honour ... and pass it on to your own child. Promise me! I promise! Remember Datak: Pride, Greed, Ambition. These are vanities of the flesh. Only honour endures. And when honour dies ... the spirit dies with it. Make me proud! Defiance S3E08.
 

zxci

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Jul 25, 2015
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It was horribly worded, my apologies. My question was intended for owners of this sound card with 7.1 headphones, and was basically, is there some sort of workaround or sound driver not listed by asus that actually does what it needs to do to provide a proper 7.1 experience. The drivers they included are laughably inadequate, and the only response I got from asus was "Please update to the most recent drivers by following this link" - and the most recent drivers are indeed the ones I have lol.
 
Hey no worries.

Hey what motherboard are you using?

http://www.razersupport.com/gaming-audio/razer-tiamat-71/

Do I need a sound card to use the Razer Tiamat 7.1?
We advise that you have a 7.1 surround sound card installed on your system so you can experience the full true surround sound functionality of the Razer Tiamat 7.1. Please visit www.razerzone.com/tiamat/en/soundcards for a list of soundcards that will enable full 7.1 audio on the Razer Tiamat 7.1. If you have a 5.1 sound card or a non-surround sound sound card, the Tiamat 7.1 will function according to the sound card’s limitations.




 

zxci

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Jul 25, 2015
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I've got the gigabyte 990-fxa-ud3 which supports 7.1 but to properly amplify the headset for its drivers as it's not USB powered you need a 7.1 dedicated sound card. :v
 

MenialSix88

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You don't need dedicated sound card if your motherboards sound chip has 8.1 suond support (1 green, 1 pink, 1 black, 1 orange, 1 grey and 1 red audio input in otherwords, same colored audio inputs as headsets cables have.) Also razer tiamat works on 5.1 channels as well (just plug the audio cables to same colored audio inputs) though 7.1 sound cards are pretty much worth to buy since they aren't that much more expensive (actually your headset is more expensive than good 7.1 sound card).

The difference is audio quallity, hardware fault safety and frequency, for example if you get blackout or your motherboard gets short circuit it also might kill your headphones and if your motherboards sound chip runs on too high frequency it can kill your headphones (on Tiamats case especially the microphone since it is quite fragile).

There's only 3 reasons why you should get dedicated sound card:

1. You are doing some audio editing or mixing music samples
2. You want better sound quallity, more hardware failure protection, virtual surround sound support for stereo headsets and you wanna play some games which support certain audio codecs or are designed for certain sound cards.
3. You want to watch some movies in Dolby Surround sound on some kickass movie theater system.

Motherboards sound chip is good enough for standard use, sound cards are more suitable for Hardcore enthusiaists who want to have the very best and nothing else.
 

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