Keep USB DAC and get X-Fi MB2 or buy a Recon3D PCI-E for headphone surround?

Discussion in 'Hardware Discussion & Support' started by ColinMacLaren, Feb 29, 2012.

  1. ColinMacLaren

    ColinMacLaren New Member

    Feb 8, 2010
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    Right now I am using a small external DAC from Behringer (UCA 202). This is kind of an insiders' tip an audio expert in a German forum recommended. For just plain music playback over ASIO I even prefer it to a Xonar DX due to ist neutral sounding and superior stereo separation. Currently a Superluxx HD681 is plugged in, but it will be replaced by an Ultimate Ears 10 at the end oft he week. I also own a fiio E11 headphone amp, so none is required (and most wouldn’t do it with the UE anyway, since they require an amp with a really low outpout impedance, even the STX’s 10 Ohms would drastically bend their frequency range.

    So for listening to music (and movies, too) I’m totally fine with my current setup. However, I’m also a gamer. Therefore I’m looking fort he perfect solution that privides the best headphone surround emulation . Xonars are out, I just don’t like Dolby Headphone, all it does is adding more echo. I don’t need EAX either since most oft he games released during last two years use neither EAX nor OpenAL but bring their own sound rendering engine instead.

    Thus I’m thinking about getting either a Recon3D PCI-E or the X-Fi MB2 software. I tried the dubious Realtek mods floating around the net, but they just provide X-Fi MB1, the THX Ture studio does start, but the settings have no effect and the ccontext menu tells me no supported hardware detected.

    So I’m asking myself: Ist he X-Fi MB2 pack any good? Does it really work on any sound device? Is the surround effect comparable tot he one provided by an X-Fi or Recon3D? As far as I know you are required to set the windows speaker setting to 5.1 or 7.1 when using CMSS-3D headphone or the THX Studio equivalent. But that’s impossible on a pure stereo device like the Conexant Smart Audio Codec in my laptop or the Behringer DAC.
    So which one am I to get? As I said before, I am only interested in good gaming sound since for music playback I will keep my Behringer DAC with native ASIO support.

    Daniel_K says about X-Fi MB2:

    However I read about some guys that got their X-Fi MB2 with their Asus boards in a German forum. They claim, CMSS3D didn’t work with that at all.

    So I’m relly confused right now. I’d like to stick with my Behringer and the MB software sicne it is only 25 bucks and I could use it on both my laptop and my gaming rig. But in case the provided surround emulation is much inferior I would get a Recon 3D.

    Thanks for your info.

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