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an actual squirrel

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  1. You can google the model and find the entire manual. It says it has a dolby digital decoder and a dts decoder. It was a standard feature on av receivers for the dvd era, and dolby digital is still the audio compression used on digital tv broadcasts today. When you enable a passthrough/bitstreaming option in the player, you are telling it to pass the audio down the connection. When it is not enabled, the player will decode the audio to 5.1 pcm. This is a problem, because spdif itself only supports up to 2.0 pcm. So the sound card can't pass that down. It can potentially re-encode it at that point, but then you are looking at unnecessary quality loss from using additional lossy compression. Best solution is to bitstream it from the player.
  2. I feel like most people who use dolby prologic II never learned how to use surround sound with spdif connections and just gave up. It is not that difficult to do properly. There are modded realtek drivers out which have dolby digital live (a realtime systemwide dolby digital encoder for uncompressed 5.1). The video content may have dolby digital audio already, and then you just have to tell your video player to bitstream it. Or the video player may offer a realtime ac3 (dolby digital) encoder itself, and that can be used to create compatible surround sound from other formats. So in the latter cases, we are talking about simply changing one or two options in the software to get proper 5.1 audio. Using dolby prologic II is not the proper solution. That is meant for 5.1 audio that has been mixed down to two channels such that the surround channels are out of phase and all the original channels are algebraically encoded, and the prologic decoder can see this to recreate the original 5.1 audio. So this is obviously not as good as sending 5.1 digitally where everything is always kept separate. But configuring your player's mixer to dowmix like this or creating a systemwide downmix like this requires about the same amount of effort as incorporating a dolby digital encoder. So I see no value in pursuing this method. What you were advocating for was to use a prologic decoder without using the corresponding downmix and assuming that everything would just work, which is not correct.
  3. One of the jacks is a combination spdif out, line in/mic in. You use it with a minitoslink adapter.
  4. So, you want something with DDL. The asus xonar dx does do this when configured properly. Alternatively, you might be able to find modded realtek drivers with DDL functionality for your current motherboard. This is a very niche subject, and I am surprised that there are two threads about this now lol.
  5. You just have to change how the audio is encoded for gaming or 5.1 flac files. For some video files, the audio may already be encoded in the right format, and then you just have to change player's passthrough settings.
  6. I'm gonna be real with you guys, a lot of these answers are terrible. @Mira Yurizaki was on the right track. spdif only supports uncompressed 2.0 audio. To get 5.1 support, you have to use the compression from dolby (dolby digital) or dts. The video file may have this audio compression natively, just as it might be mp3 or aac or opus (other types of audio compression that you may be more familiar with). Then you only have to instruct the player to pass this along to the receiver, and you will get 5.1 audio (look for "passthrough" or "bitstreaming" settings specifically). Games usually have surround sound pcm audio. You will need an encoder to be able to send this as 5.1. The best known encoder is dolby digital live. iirc, you can usually find drivers that have been modded to include dolby digital live for realtek chipsets, if your motherboard audio drivers don't come with dolby digital live natively. Using dolby digital pro logic decoding on the av receiver isn't the proper solution. That's really meant for sources that have been encoded in a certain way. Now, to sidestep this problem entirely, you could use hdmi, which does support uncompressed 7.1 audio.
  7. How windows spatial sound works depends on the audio api the game uses. Borderlands 3, Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and Gears of War 5 support it fully.
  8. What I'm suggesting is to not buy a dac, and to use the analog output of the motherboard, to simplify the setup. With a headphone amp alone, you will still have improved signal to noise ratio. You can get around that issue of not being able to select 7.1 by installing the default microsoft audio driver or by just having a bunch of dummy stuff plugged in for the sake of confusing the motherboard.
  9. If you are going to use hesuvi, I recommend actually using integrated audio with a headphone amp. In this configuration, since you can output higher levels from the motherboard, and then you lower the levels with the volume control on the amp, you still end up with a higher signal to noise ratio (the main reason why people do dac upgrades). And because integrated audio natively supports windows with 7.1 audio, that will make some of the hesuvi set up easier since you no longer would need to create a virtual 7.1 sound device. The virtual surround sound is the thing that actually can help you get a better sense of direction in games. The dac and headphone amp are more about making sure there isn't a lot of noise or making sure you have enough volume, respectively.
  10. Overwatch has a "dolby atmos for headphones", pubg has an "hrtf" setting, csgo has hrtf under the "advanced 3d audio processing" setting . These are virtual surround sound settings, so there may well be many high level players using virtual surround sound, which is much more accessible when it is a setting in the game. However. when these type of options aren't available, then something like virtual 7.1 is needed for similar benefits. I'm a big proponent of using virtual surround sound, and I think it would surprise most laypeople how logical the case for using virtual 7.1 over a plain stereo mix is. When you have discrete front and back channels, it gives you the opportunity to distinguish these directions in situations where a plain stereo mix can not. And if a game were to assume front facing stereo speakers, this would further reduce the amount of directional information from audio panning. In these two areas, you can see objective advantages with working with a virtual 7.1 mix over a regular stereo mix. Now, some people do have problems with subjective quality of virtual surround sound, particularly if the algorithm is simulating the reverb of a room, which does otherwise help with externalization (the sensation that sounds are coming from outside the headphones). But I've never viewed this as a deal breaker, since with repeated exposure, you can adapt to it, and it'll eventually just sound pretty normal.
  11. The advanced 3d audio processing setting in csgo encompasses a virtual surround sound for headphones setting. In other games where there is no such option, you generally need virtual 7.1 to get the same type of benefits. If people aren't using it, I think it is due to ignorance about the potential benefits (because how audio works is just a mystery for a lot of people) or just plain old resistance to change.
  12. Remember, because 7.1 has discrete front and rear channels, it will be able to resolve front/back in situations where traditional stereo can not. This advantage is intuitive for speaker systems, but can also apply to headphones using virtual 7.1 surround sound processing. For a demonstration of the advantages, see this video that looks at the in game virtual surround sound for headphones setting in pubg:
  13. The dts app for windows 10 seems pretty nice. It can process audio differently based on distance, and it has headphone equalization profiles as well. I haven't used it yet though. Ideally, you want to be using that with applications that support windows spatial sound. So like, borderlands 3, shadow of the tomb raider, gears of war 5, and call of duty modern warfare, these newer dx12 games can do that. But for regular virtual 7.1, I've tried what sennheiser uses on the gsx 1000, and it sounds really nice with sennheiser headphones. It's also available through hesuvi if you are willing to set that up right. The main advantage with object based audio or 7.1 surround sound is that front and back sounds don't get lumped together like they do in stereo.
  14. There's this video from a headfi member with audio captured from the game, specifically to address this topic. It's 5.1.
  15. Most games will output surround sound if they see that the windows default format is surround sound. Call of Duty Modern Warfare, Borderlands 3, Gears of War 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider - these games can go beyond traditional surround sound and can do full object based audio with the dolby and dts apps in the windows store. HRTF is typically for headphone users, and not meant for speaker users. CSGO , PUBG (hrtf), Overwatch (dolby atmos for headphone) are some examples of games with hrtf. In those games, the setting is optional, so that speaker users can keep them off, and the onus is on headphone users to turn them on. iirc, it's the opposite situation. rainbow six siege doesn't support binaural audio, so for headphone users to get the most information from the game, they have to get the game to output surround sound and then convert that to binaural themselves.