Category Archives: Audio

Headphones + Speakers at the same time in Windows 7

 

Enable sound output on both speaker and headphone at the same time in Windows 7

  1. right click the Sound tray icon
  2. click Recording devices
  3. right click “Stereo mix” and click Properties
    (stereo mix is a “microphone” that listens only to sounds your computer makes.  It might called something different on your computer)
  4. click the Listen tab and check Listen to this device
  5. Now, if your Speakers are the default device, set “Playback through this device” to your Headphones (and vice versa: if your headphones are the default device, set it to your speakers).
  6. Click OK, OK, and it should work.

Note:

  • There is a signal lag (audio lag, audio delay) between computer Application and Bluetooth headphone. (i.e. when you what movie, you will see image runs faster than audio/sound).
  • If you don’t want such audio lag, select Bluetooth Headphone as the Primary/Default in Playback Device.

This setup is applied successfully to output audio to both (1) Xonar Audio Card to speaker and (2) Sony XB950BT Headphone via Bluetooth connection (wireless via CSR V4.0 Dongle). Software used are iTunes in Windows 7 Pro 64bit.

Source: [link]

Connect to Sony MDR-XB950BT Headphont via Bluetooth

xb950btblack1-1200

Connect to Sony XB950BT Headphone via Bluetooth

  1. Place the Bluetooth device (iPhone, laptop…) within 1 meter (3 feet) of the Headphone.
  2. Enter pairing mode on the Headphone. Press and hold the POWER button for about 7 seconds. Make sure that the indicator flashes blue and red alternately after you release the button.
  3. Perform the pairing procedure on the Bluetooth device (iPhone…) to detect the Headphone. When the list of detected devices appears on the display of the Bluetooth device, select “MDR-XB950BT.” If passkey input is required on the display of the Bluetooth device, input “0000”
  4. Make the Bluetooth connection from the Bluetooth device.

 

Led indicators

  1. : Turns on in blue
  2. : Turns on in red
  3. – : Turns off

 

  1. Pairing mode    ○  ○
  2. Connectable      ○ – – ○ – – ○ – – ○ – – ○ – – ○ – – ○ – – ○…
  3. Connecting        ○ ○ – ○ ○ – ○ ○ – ○ ○ – ○ ○ – ○ ○ – ○ ○…
  4. Connected (HFP/HSP or A2DP) ○ – – – – – – – – – ○ – – – – – – – – -…
  5. Connected (HFP/HSP and A2DP) ○ – ○ – – – – – – – ○ – ○ – – – – – – -…
  6. Playing music or during a call (HFP/HSP or A2DP) ○ ○ – – – – – – – – ○ ○ – – – – – – – -…
  7. Playing music or during a call (HFP/HSP and A2DP) ○ ○ ○ – – – – – – – ○ ○ ○ – – – – – – -…
  8. Incoming call ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○…

Hint: when the remaining battery charge becomes low, the indicator turns from blue to red, except for pairing mode.

 

Checking the remaining battery

When you turn on the headset by pressing the POWER button, the indicator (red) flashes. You can check the remaining battery charge by the number of times the indicator (red) flashes.

You can also check the remaining battery charge when the headset is turned on. Pressing the POWER button will cause the indicator to flash and show the remaining battery charge.

  • 3 times: High
  • 2 times: Medium
  • 1 time: Low (needs to charge)

When the battery is almost empty The indicator turns red. When the battery becomes empty, the headset sounds a warning beep and turns off automatically.

 

Reset headphone

1. Soft reset the headset:

If the headset cannot be turned on, or if it cannot be operated even when it is turned on, set the headset in charging status, then press the POWER and BASS BOOST buttons simultaneously. The headset is reset and turns off.

2. Hard reset the headset (to factory default):

Turn off the headset, then press and hold the POWER and PLAY/CALL buttons simultaneously for more than 7 seconds. The indicator (blue) flashes 4 times, and the headset is reset to the factory settings. All pairing information is deleted.

16-bit và 24-bit. Nghe hay là sưu tầm?

Trong giai đoạn hiện nay, mặc dù thú chơi đĩa vinyl vẫn tồn tại và tiếp tục phát triển trong một bộ phận nhỏ của giới audiophile, nhưng nếu xét trên toàn cục, nhạc số vẫn là sự lựa chọn hàng đầu của hầu hết những người yêu nhạc. Nhạc số xuất hiện ở cấp độ người tiêu dùng phổ thông lần đầu tiên vào những năm 1980 nhờ sự ra đời của các hệ thống chơi đĩa compact và yêu cầu được thưởng thức một thứ “âm thanh hoàn hảo” của người dùng.

Trong giai đoạn đầu, âm thanh nhạc số thường bị chê là khô và cứng. tuy nhiên, với những tiến bộ về mặt công nghệ, trong những năm gần đây, các audiophile đã có thể thưởng thức các bản nhạc số với âm thanh mềm và mịn không kém gì chất âm do đĩa vinyl tái tạo.

Trong một quãng thời gian dài, nhạc số thường được ghi lại trên đĩa compact ở 16-bit và 44.1 kHz. Tuy nhiên, Audiophile là một trong những chủng tộc tham lam nhất quả đất, do đó các định dạng nhạc số với độ phân giải lên tới 24-bit và 192 kHz nhanh chóng xuất hiện.

Tham lam và mù quáng là một đôi bạn chí thân.

Liệu các định dạng nhạc số có độ phân giải cao có mang đến khả năng tái tạo âm thanh tốt hơn cho chúng ta hay không?

Câu trả lời ngắn gọn là chúng phụ thuộc vào rất nhiều yếu tố.

Để vén bức màn bí mật, đầu tiên chúng ta sẽ tìm hiểu âm thanh kỹ thuật số ở cấp độ tế bào – tức là bit dữ liêu. Một số người gọi đó là bit rate (tốc độ bit), nhưng chính xác hơn thì bạn nên gọi đó là bit depth (độ sâu bit). Bit đơn giản chỉ là những mã nhị phân (số 0 và số 1) dùng để tạo ra dữ liệu – hay những file nhạc mà chúng ta tải về trên HDvietnam. Bit depth sẽ cho biết số lượng các bit được sử dụng để lưu trữ tín hiệu âm thanh.

Quá trình lưu trữ nhạc ở định dạng kỹ thuật số liên quan đến việc cắt các tín hiệu âm thanh và lưu trữ chúng thành từng lát (slice) dưới dạng mã nhị phân. Khi tín hiệu âm thanh được cắt thành từng lát X-bit thì độ phân giải của tín hiệu mà chúng ta nhận được sẽ là 2X. Ở đây X chính là bit depth còn 2​X là độ phân giải, ví dụ tín hiệu âm thanh 16 bit sẽ có độ phân giải là 65.536 level (216), còn tín hiệu âm thanh 24 bit sẽ có độ phân giải là 16.777.216 level (224).

Nếu như bit liên quan đến level (mức) thì sample rate (tần số lấy mẫu) lại liên quan đến thời gian. Nói cách khác, sample rate cho biết số lần tín hiệu âm thanh được đo và lấy mẫu trong một giây.

Để dễ hiểu hơn, chúng ta sẽ lấy ví dụ thực tế:

– Khi tín hiệu âm thanh được lưu lại ở 16-bit depth với tần số lấy mẫu 44.1 kHz thì mỗi giây tín hiệu nhận được sẽ bị cắt thành 44.100 lát và mỗi lát có 65.536 level.

– Khi tín hiệu âm thanh được lưu lại ở 24-bit depth với tần số lấy mẫu 96 kHz thì mỗi giây tín hiệu nhận được sẽ bị cắt thành 96.000 lát và mỗi lát có 16.777.216 level.

Bây giờ chúng ta sẽ đến phần quan trọng hơn: Liệu các định dạng nhạc số có độ phân giải cao có mang đến khả năng tái tạo âm thanh tốt hơn cho chúng ta hay không?

Đầu tiên, phải thừa nhận rằng âm thanh có độ phân giải cao sẽ chi tiết hơn âm thanh có độ phân giải thấp. Tuy nhiên:

– Chất lượng âm thanh sẽ phụ thuộc vào quá trình thu âm và tín hiệu trước đó. Ví dụ một album có chất lượng thu âm tệ hại thì cho dù ở độ phân giải nào đi nữa thì âm thanh của nó vẫn là thứ tệ hại, hay một file nhạc MP3 có sample rate là 128 thì có chuyển lên độ phân giải bao nhiêu đi nữa thì nó vẫn chỉ là MP3.

– Hệ thống âm thanh quyết định phần còn lại, đặc biệt là bộ DAC mà chúng ta sử dụng.

– Thính giác con người luôn có một giới hạn nhất định, và độ phân giải càng cao thì càng khó phân biệt.

Cùng với những giác quan khác, thính giác là thứ tuyệt vời nhất mà thượng đế đã ban tặng con người. Tuy nhiên, tin buồn là nếu bạn có thính giác ở mức trung bình hoặc thấp hơn thì việc nhận ra sự khác biệt giữa tín hiệu âm thanh 16/44.1 và 24/96 là vô-cùng-khó-khăn. Nói chung, phần lớn người nghe chỉ nhận thấy được sự khác biệt giữa MP3 và 16/44.1 mà thôi. Tất nhiên điều này chỉ xảy ra trên những hệ thống âm thanh thực sự tốt.

Tại sao lại có tần số lấy mẫu trên CD là 44.1 chứ không phải là con số quái quỉ nào khác?

Như chúng ta đã biết, tai người bình thường có thể nghe được âm thanh với tần số từ 20 Hz đến 20 kHz, theo định lý Nyquist thì tần số lấy mẫu tối thiểu phải là 40 kHz.

(Định lý Nyquist: Một tín hiệu không chứa bất kỳ thành phần tần số nào lớn hơn hay bằng một giá trị fm có thể biểu diễn chính xác bằng tập các giá trị của nó với chu kỳ lấy mẫu T = 1/2fm)

Tuy nhiên, thay vì lấy luôn 40 kHz thì Sony lại phải chọn 44.1 kHz để đáp ứng một số yêu cầu về kỹ thuật. Dù sao đi nữa, tần số lấy mẫu 44.1 kHz sẽ tương đương với hơn tần số âm thanh 22 kHz và chứa tất cả các tần số âm thanh mà con người có thể nghe thấy.

Hiện nay, sự phát triển và đa dạng của công nghệ am thanh khiến tần số lấy mẫu trở nên đa dạng hơn. Con số chúng ta thường thấy bao gồm 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 và thậm chí là 192khz. Trong khi đó, số bit depth cũng phong phú không kém với 16, 18, 20, 24 hay 32-bit. Thật kinh khủng!

Liệu có sự khác biệt âm thanh giữa file nhạc 16-bit và 24-bit hay không?

Trong một thời gian dài thì tín hiệu 16 bit từ đĩa CD đã trở thành chuẩn phổ biến, tuy nhiên hiện nay chúng ta vẫn dễ dàng tìm kiếm những bản ghi âm có độ phân giải lên tới 24-bit hay kinh khủng hơn là 32-bit.

Bit depth là một câu chuyện khá dài và phức tạp. Ở đây chúng ta chỉ nói vắn tắt mà thôi:

Về cơ bản, đĩa compac 16-bit sẽ có dải động (dynamic rage) lý thuyết là khoảng 96 dB, tín hiệu âm thanh kỹ thuật số 20-bit có dải động là 120 dB và tín hiệu âm thanh kỹ thuật số 24-bit có dải động là 144 dB.

Thông thường, nếu không có gì đột biến, dải động mà tai người có thể tiếp nhận là 140 dB. Nhưng vấn đề là ở chỗ dải động của các bản nhạc trong một phòng hòa nhạc thường không vượt quá 80 dB và dải động của tiếng nói do con người phát ra sẽ không quá 40 dB.

Nên nhớ, một bản thu âm CD thông thường sẽ có giải động 60 dB và chỉ sử dụng 10 bit dữ liệu, 6 bit dữ liệu còn lại chỉ là noise.

Nếu bạn hỏi, sự khác biệt giữa tín hiệu âm thanh 16-bit và 24-bit ư?

Câu trả lời là không nhiều, chỉ khoảng 8 bit chứa những âm thanh vô nghĩa mà thôi.

Bit depth chỉ là không gian để chúng ta nhồi nhét tín hiệu, bit depth càng lớn thì không gian dành cho tín hiệu càng lớn. Tuy nhiên, ở đây là tín hiệu số chứ không phải là tín hiệu analog.

Việc lựa chọn 24-bit hay 16-bit đôi khi giống như việc lái chiếc container hay chiếc xe bán tải để chở một cái tủ lạnh vậy. Với 24-bit bạn sẽ tốn kém hơn trong việc sắm sửa thiết bị, bao gồm cả khoản ổ cứng để lưu trữ nữa. Nếu không tin thì đây là bảng so sánh của một file nhạc có thời lượng 3 phút được lưu giữ theo các định dạng:

Một số hãng thu âm thậm chí phát hành các bản thu âm 32-bit nữa. Đó có thể là những thứ vô nghĩa nhưng lại là mánh khóe quảng cáo tuyệt vời, bởi hầu hết người tiêu dùng đều nghĩ rằng âm thanh có độ phân giải càng cao thì càng chất lượng.


Dù sao đi nữa, nhạc nhẽo cũng chỉ là một thú chơi.

Một thú chơi sẽ trở nên ý nghĩa hơn khi các vật sở hữu ngoài giá trị thưởng thức thì còn có cả giá trị sưu tầm. Hai thứ giá trị này tồn tại song song nhưng lại hoàn toàn tách rời nhau. Nếu như giá trị thưởng thức chỉ mang đến cái sung sướng cho lỗ tai thì giá trị sưu tầm lại có thể khiến người ta sướng đến tận tim óc.

Vấn đề ở chỗ là chúng ta phải biết mình đang thưởng thức giá trị gì?

Nghe và sưu tầm là hai khái niệm hoàn toàn khác nhau.

Source: http://www.hdvietnam.com/diendan/121-ban-luan-am-nhac/493107-16-bit-va-24-bit-nghe.html

Chặng đường 10 năm ca hát của ‘nữ hoàng phòng trà’ Lệ Quyên (2003-2012)

Cách đây khoảng 10 năm, người yêu âm nhạc Hà Nội và cả nước còn ít biết đến cái tên Lệ Quyên, một cô ca sĩ phòng trà. Nhưng thời gian một vài năm gần đây, Lệ Quyên đã có những bứt phá bất ngờ.

 

Với giọng ca khỏe và đầy cảm xúc, cô ca sĩ Hà Nội đã dần lấy được vị trí của mình trong lòng người yêu âm nhạc với những album: Giấc mơ có thật, Lời yêu còn mãi, Khúc tình xưa, Tình khúc yêu thương
Lệ Quyên là ca sĩ dòng nhạc nhẹ của Việt Nam. Cô tên thật là Vũ Lệ Quyên. Lệ Quyên sinh ngày 2/4/1981 tại Hà Nội.

 

Lệ Quyên có một thời gian dài sinh sống và biểu diễn tại Hà Nội. Hiện nay Lệ Quyên đang thực hiện bước tiến trong sự nghiệp của mình tại Thành Phố Hồ Chí Minh.

 

Năm 2002

 

 

Lệ Quyên theo học Đại học Văn hóa Hà Nội. Sự nghiệp ca hát chuyên nghiệp của cô chỉ bắt đầu từ năm 2002 khi được chọn tham gia hát bài hát của nhà tài trợ cho “See game 22” tại Việt Nam.

 

Có chất giọng tốt cùng ngoại hình khá, Lệ Quyên được xem là giọng ca Hà Nội được khán giả phía Nam đón nhận nhanh chóng với mật độ “ăn bài” khá cao. Tuy nhiên, cô vẫn chỉ được xem là ca sĩ thị trường bị giới chuyên môn “hắt hủi”.

 

Năm 2005

 

Lệ Quyên cho ra mắt khán giả album đầu tay, “Giấc mơ có thật” đưa tên tuổi lạ lẫm của cô đến với khán giả yêu nhạc cả nước. Thành công của album cũng giúp cho Lệ Quyên có chỗ đứng ở thị trường ca nhạc Sài Gòn rộng lớn với luợng khán giả riêng ổn định. Nhiều ca khúc đã trở thành hit ca khúc của năm như: Giấc mơ có thật, Thôi đừng chiêm bao, Trăng chiều, Hãy trả lời em…

 

Lệ Quyên hát “Hãy trả lời em” trên sân khấu Làn sóng xanh 2005
Top 10 ca khúc được yêu thích nhất do khán giả bình chọn

 

Năm 2006

 

Album: Lời ăn năn muộn màng- Trái tim buồn

 

Sau khi phát hành album vol.1, Lệ Quyên có một thời gian vắng bóng mặc dù cô vẫn phát hành album chung với nam ca sĩ Hoàng Thiên Long, một số bài hát tiền chiến trong album “Mắt biếc” cùng với nam ca sĩ Tùng Dương và Tuấn Hiệp.

 

Tuy nhiên, một số ca khúc song ca của Lệ Quyên đã nhận được sự yêu mến của khán giả. Các ca khúc song ca nổi tiếng của Lệ Quyên bao gồm: Con đường màu xanh (với Lê Hiếu), Tình yêu thần thoại (với Đan Trường), Như mùa thu qua (với Lam Trường), Vì anh đánh mất (với Hồ Ngọc Hà).

 

Năm 2007

 

Sau 2 năm khá im hơi lặng tiếng, cô ca sĩ “triển vọng” của Hà Nội
Lệ Quyên trở lại với album Vol 2 “Lời yêu còn mãi”

 

Năm 2008

 

Lệ Quyên phát hành album “Như giấc chiêm bao” với Tuấn Hưng
Đã có những khoảng thời gian, Lệ Quyên và Tuấn Hưng gây khá nhiều tò mò về tình cảm giữa họ: tình bạn – tình yêu. Nhưng khi album “Như giấc chiêm bao” ra mắt công chúng năm 2008, mọi nghi ngờ đều qua đi, để lại là một tác phẩm âm nhạc, chứng minh cho sự ăn ý cũng như tình bạn, tình đồng nghiệp giữa hai người.

 

Năm 2009

 

 

Bẵng hơn ba năm vắng bóng trên thị trường âm nhạc TP.HCM, với công việc kinh doanh đang trên đà phát triển và đã ở “tuổi băm”, có người cho rằng Lệ Quyên đã an phận bỗng nhiên cô ca sĩ gốc Hà Nội này tổ chức giới thiệu với công chúng nghe nhạc album Vol 3 – “Nếu như ngày đó” với nhiều tâm huyết và kế hoạch trở lại sân khấu Sài Gòn.

 

 

Tiếp đó, Lệ Quyên cho ra mắt album “Lệ Quyên Acoustic”. Với Lệ Quyên Acoustic, không gian âm nhạc được cô đọng lại để làm nổi bật lên cái sâu lắng, nồng nàn trong từng phát âm, từng hơi thở, từng nét ngân giọng đặc trưng của Lệ Quyên.

 

Ca khúc “Lầm lỡ” của Lệ Quyên được chọn làm nhạc nền cho bộ phim
truyền hình “13 nữ tù nhân” phát sóng trên kênh VTV3 của Đài truyền hình Việt Nam

Năm 2010

 

Ấp ủ từ lâu để thực hiện album nhạc xưa, Lệ Quyên hoàn thành được mong ước của mình. Một album “Khúc Tình Xưa” với 12 ca khúc nhạc xưa do chính cô biên tập và sự trợ giúp của một ekip chuyên nghiệp ra đời. Những ca khúc xưa cũ được Lệ Quyên thổi “hồn” trong từng câu hát, nắn nót trong từng nốt trầm và buông lơi khi có quãng ngân dài đầy mùi mẫn.

 

Năm 2010, CD nhạc xưa ” Album Khúc tình xưa”  mang âm điệu uyển chuyển của Lệ Quyên

 


Lệ Quyên được lọt vào top 10 ca sĩ Topten Làn Sóng Xanh năm 2010

 


Đặc biệt, thời gian này cô hay xuất hiện bên cạnh một người đàn ông (sau này là chồng cô)

 

Năm 2011

 

Ngày 1/1/2011, Lệ Quyên bất ngờ tổ chức đám cưới khi mang bầu ở tháng thứ 6

 


Dù vừa sinh con chưa bao lâu, ngày 19/5 Lệ Quyên
đã chính thức phát hành album “Để nhớ một thời ta đã yêu”

 

“Để nhớ một thời ta đã yêu” là album mà Lệ Quyên thu âm trước khi sinh em bé và cũng là một trong những công việc chuẩn bị khi cô nghỉ một thời gian khá dài để sinh con.

 

Lệ Quyên khiến cho nhiều người bất ngờ khi cô ngày càng
xinh đẹp với thân hình thon gọn hơn cả trước khi sinh con

 

Tiếp tục tung các cú bùng nổ, Lệ Quyên cho ra mắt album “Khúc tình xưa 2”

 

Thành công ấn tượng của album “Khúc tình xưa” là động lực cho Lệ Quyên theo đuổi dòng nhạc xưa. Album “Khúc tình xưa 2 – Trả lại thời gian” cùng một liveshow giới thiệu album này tại Nhà hát Thành phố Tp.HCM được tổ chức vào 25/12.

 

Liveshow này có sự góp mặt của các khách mời nổi tiếng của dòng nhạc xưa

 


Đây cũng là liveshow đầu tiên trong sự nghiệp ca hát của Lệ Quyên

Năm 2012

 

Lệ Quyên ra album “Tình khúc yêu thương“. Đầu tư nghiêm túc cho những ca khúc dường như đã “bỏ quên” nên khi vào phòng thu, Lệ Quyên đã hát bằng chính cảm xúc của mình. Album là 12 bản tình ca xuất sắc trong vòng 15 năm trở lại đây.

 

Album Lệ Quyên – Tình Khúc Yêu Thương

 

Tháng 6/2012 liveshow thứ 2 trong sự nghiệp mang tên “Tình khúc yêu thương”

 


Khán giả được xem phần trình diễn của 5 giọng ca nữ:
Lệ Quyên,Thu Minh, Hồ Ngọc Hà, Hiền Thục, Uyên Linh

 

Sau gần 5 tháng chuẩn bị, mới đây DVD liveshow Tình khúc yêu thương của Lệ Quyên đã chính thức phát hành trên toàn quốc.

 


Tháng 11/2012 DVD liveshow 2 “Tình khúc yêu thương” ra mắt với khán giả yêu nhạc

 

Sau khi ra mắt DVD liveshow, Lệ Quyên sẽ tiếp tục thực hiện đêm nhạc riêng vào ngày 8/12/2012 tại TP. HCM.

Source: http://giaitri.tinmoi.vn/chang-duong-10-nam-ca-hat-cua-nu-hoang-phong-tra-le-quyen-d3755.html

Best Headphones for Bass

Best bass: Ultrasone >> Denon >> Sony headphones.

 

– Sony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones

– Sony MDR-XB700 50mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones

Best Headphones for Bass Lovers

by: http://bestbassheadphones.net/

Let’s start with bass lovers. You want a little more thump in your sound? Look no further. First up is the Skullcandy SCS- SCBP3.5 Skullcrushers Subwoofer Stereo Headphones. The Skull crushers come with enough bass to clean the wax out of ears. Known for their portability, durability and style, these headphones were made and designed for active bass lovers. Comes with a lifetime warranty and adaptor for watching movies at 40,000 feet. These power packing headphones feature an adjustable in- line bass amplifier and speakers with industry first built-in vibrating subwoofers. Pricing ranges form $49-$69, but Amazon carries them for a skosh under $40.

Specs and Reviews

Sony MDR-XB500 40mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones . Massive bass but still keep good sound balance. The headphones are more than comfortable. These headphones do leak a little noise and are not recommended for use in your local library. Lightweight, great sound, exceptional value. If your a bass lover, your gonna love these. I shopped around and found several places that sell the Sony MDR-XB500. 4 stores had them under $50, but 3 of them added shipping and tax which priced them higher than several stores that did not add tax and/or shipping. Best price once again was Amazon. No tax or shipping, all for under $50 total.

Specs and Reviews

Sony MDR-XB700 50mm XB Diaphragm Driver Extra Bass Headphones. A step-up from the XB500. Hey, these might look like pillows on your head, but they pack a hard punch. Designed for bass lovers. You know like the ones you hear driving thru the hood late at night. Thump, thump…. rattling pictures off the wall and scary off every pet within 4 blocks. The only problem with these is the length of the cord. If you can live with that, give these a serious look. If you value accurate musical representation above all else, keep shopping. The lowest price was just under $80 from B&H Photo, McMall.com, and Amazon.

Specs and Reviews

Best Balanced Headphones for The Money

Sennheiser HD555 Professional Headphones with Sound Channeling. Sennheiser is legendary. True sound quality. Top of the line headphones with mind blowing sound. Clean and crystal clear. Sennheiser is all about quality in design and sound. For under $100, I would compare these to any $300 headphone on the market. They’re that good. As a sidenote, Sennheiser happens to make the very best headphone today. The Orpheus was limited and is hard to find for under $10,000. The HD 555’s are a great buy for the quality, sound, ease of use, durability and design.

Specs and Reviews

High-end Professional Grade Headphones

Sennheiser HD800 Over-Ear Circum-Aural Dynamic Premiere Headphone

There’s has always been a debate between electronic reproduction and natural sound. The is the headphone that has been specifically engineered in replicating the basic acoustic conditions of natural hearing. This level of performance has yet to be matched by any competitor. The HD-800 is the ultimate headphone. More than 60 years of ingenious headphone engineering has been applied into the new HD 800.

Incorporating Sennheiser’s most advanced driver technology, these open, circum-aural dynamic stereo headphones redefine what reference-level audio is all about. You will form an altogether new height of sonic perspective as you experience a high-fidelity natural hearing experience. Premium parts have gone into their production – the transducer is encased by a precision material made of stainless steel; ear pads are made of special high-quality Japanese Alcantara; while the headband and headphone mounting utilizes the most advanced development from the aerospace industry.

In terms of connectivity, these headphones utilize specially designed, four-wire, high-performance connections with Teflon insulation. These headphones have been developed to provide the closest match to “being there” than any other available headphone. The Sennheiser HD-800 is for the discriminating audiophile seeking the best and most natural sound available. From rich bass lows to definitive highs, the Sennheiser HD-800 headphones deliver the exclusive sound that nature had intended.

Headphone Information & Terminology

Headphones 101: Do you have some questions about headphones? The article below may shed some light…(by Bill K)Do Headphone Specifications Matter?Circumaural vs. Supra-Aural?Open vs Closed (Sealed)?Portable Headphones?Wireless Headphones?Noise Reduction Headphones (ANR Cans)?IEM’s – In Ear Monitors, (In-Ears, not Earbuds)?Headphone Amps?Bottom Line?

Headphones have been around a while, but they originally were only seen in the recording studio or in the home! Nowyou see them everywhere these days!  First walkmans, then discmans, now MP3s, iPods, and iPhones. Computers at work and on the road, and even portable DVD players!  As the price of portable electronics has come down, more and more people are re-discovering the detailed sound quality headphones can offer. And, in these economic times, good quality full sized headphones can be your ticket to affordable listening at home. As the owner of a specialty CD store for many years, I wish I could have had a dollar for the number of times I heard a positive comment about their listening experience from someone finishing a session at one of our CD listening stations. I know I still can be amazed at the detail I hear through headphones that eluded me when listening with standard speakers.  It is not our goal to sell headphones solely to audiophiles, but rather to introduce the rest of you to the concept of enjoying your music through affordable higher quality headphones.

Headphones are the least expensive way to listen to high quality music reproduction from your musical sound source. You would probably have to spend five to six times as much money on speakers to get close to the equivalent quality of sound you hear through headphones. Unfortunately though, most headphones sold these days are sold in sealed containers at department stores for the cost equivalent of one or two CD’s. Or even worse, you are listening  to the headphones they gave away with your portable player!  Frankly, most of those headphones are lacking in sound quality!  Stereo Review’s Ken Pohlmann wrote in an article back in the 90’s about portable CD players in which he said… “The headphones supplied with CD portables vary widely, and their sound quality is almost always inferior to the signal quality available at the headphone jack”! The same is still true today with most portable players! And don’t get us started about the cheap headphones many people have lying on a shelf collecting dust! If you had good headphones, you might be torn between listening to them rather than tinny sounding speakers placed awkwardly in an out of the way corner.

We have been selling headphones since 1988. In our quest to become a “Quality” headphone specialist, we have spent much time over the past decade researching and comparing headphones for sound quality, comfort, and price. In our research, we have found some spendy headphones fromSennheiser and AKG consitently garner positive comments from audiophile reviewers. Our favorite audiophile headphone manufacturer,Grado, is consistently highly rated for sound quality by the audio experts, even at some lower price levels! And Ultrasone is a relatively young company, but their goal of making sound quality a feature again is refreshing, (in this day and age, many mass marketing companies have abandoned sound quality for styling and low prices). Another younger company, Equation Audio, has caught our ears. Besides good sound and build quality, they have a detachable cord, (a feature we would like to see more manufacturers utilize as it helps avoid bad connections which can develop when you inevitably accidentally yank on the cord).

Given the huge growth in the portable player category, we are now listening to “In-Ear” earphones and are especially happy with some very affordable in-ears from MEElectronics.

Our initial goal here is to introduce the masses to high quality music reproduction at budget prices. And what better way to save money than to buy good but affordable headphones rather than good, but expensive speakers. We are always open to reviewing headphones from different manufacturers, but we do urge you to pay Grado some attention.  Grado Labs is a small audiophile company dedicated to better sound quality at affordable prices.Though not winning any awards for styling, Grado’s price/performance level is unequaled!

Don’t Worry Too Much About Specifications:   Frequency response specifications listed on most headphone packaging are only helpful for weeding out the cheapest of headphones (under $20). True sound quality comes from the headphones producing the most accurate music reproduction, which is not necessarily from headphones capable of reproducing sounds way above and below the range of human hearing. We have personally heard headphones with a frequency response from 20-20,000 Hz with far better music reproduction quality than a pair of headphones with a 10-30,000 Hz frequency response! Impedance and sound pressure levels matter a bit more depending on what source you are using to drive the headphones. Higher end home headphones, including many Sennheisers, usually need more power to drive them, so hooking them up to a portable CD player just won’t do. Grado’s, Portables, and IEM’s however, sound great connected to most portable players, a standard headphone jack, or a headphone amp.

Circumaural vs. Supra-aural.  Circumaural headphones have earcups which totally surround the ear and can be more comfortable than supra-aural headphones which sit directly on the ear.  Weight and earpad materials can vary the comfort level.  Many of the Sennheiser’s and AKG’s we review are circumaural and very comfortable. Grado headphones are supra-aural which has been the source of some criticism for their comfort level, (it’s also part of the secret behind their great sound quality).  I have found however that once the headphones are broken in, they become more comfortable.  Also the Grado’s are light in weight, and since the headband is a sturdy leather or vinyl covered metal band, they can be bent to conform to your head (try that with the plastic cheapies).

“Open” headphones as opposed to “Closed” or “Sealed” headphones. Open headphones have grills behind the transducers that allow sound to flow in and out. Closed Cans have solid material behind the transducers to avoid sound leakage. Open headphones are often cherished by audiophiles listening at home as they can offer a more natural sound quality than closed Cans are capable of due to the confined sound. But sound leakage of open headphones, both in or out, can be a problem for many uses, (recording purposes, out in public, others in the same room, etc.). So, Closed headphones are often a necessity. Plus, if your musical tastes tend towards the bass heavy, some closed Cans may be more to your liking as some have a punchier bass than that found in many open headphones! Our favorite brand of “Open” headphones for years has been the Grado’s. If you tastes are towards acoustical music, or you want to hear every little detail as naturally as possible, check out the Grado’s. If your tastes are more towards bass strong music, or your needs require a closed headphone, pay close attention to the Ultrasone headphones.Ultrasone makes some great quality closed Cans that offer fuller and more detailed sound than that heard from many other closed headphone manufacturers.

Portable Headphones.   I have purchased a few portable CD players and mp3 players in the last 20 years, and I am continually amazed at the marvel of such neat little machines at affordable prices. One thing that always disappoints though is the cheapie headphones or earbuds that come with such great portable players! In order to keep costs down, virtually all of the companies have shortchanged us with inexpensive headphones or buds that barely do their players justice. While we’ve had some customers who prefer to connect a Grado SR60i or SR80i to their portables, to be fair, the Grado’s are actually mid-sized headphones. Not necessarily portable. True portable headphones are a bit smaller. Sometimes collapsible.But unlike earbuds, portable headphones can create a large, full sized headphone sound. Over the years we’ve been totally pleased with the Koss PortaPro, (not to be confused with the lesser quality SportaPro). We had been pleased with the Sennheiser PX100, but they replaced it with the spendier PX100-II. More recently, MEElectronics has introduced a good quality portable that has caught our ears.

A couple of subcategories of portables are the “StreetStyle”headband, (behind the neck rather than on top of the head), and the “Ear Clip,” (no headband, just clips to hold the transducer to the ear). Our favorite Streetstyle is the iGradoand our favorite earclip is the Koss KSC75. Here’s a link to more info on Portable Headphones: Portable Headphones

Wireless headphones.   Our emphasis with headphones over the years has been “sound quality”. We have auditioned quite a few wireless headphones, but more often than not, sound quality wise we are usually disappointed! And reception quality…. don’t get us started! Most have been bad! FYI, traditional RF,(Radio Frequency), wireless headphones that have been around for a couple of decades, can sound good at some locations, and bad at others. Depends on what radio waves, electronics, or microwaves that may be around your listening location. So what works fine for one person at their house, may not work for you at yours? Frustrating!!! And in the past there have been some IR, (Infrared), wireless headphones that transmit an anolog signal. Reception could be decent as long as you were short distance line of sight to the transmitter, but sound quality wise, IR didn’t have enough bandwidth to transmit a high quality signal. In the mid 2000’s we were especially impressed with the transmission quality of the xDream by FreeSystems… which used an IR signal transmitting digital information! Unfortunately the xDream is no longer available. These days, bluetooth technology has garnered momentum by headphone manufacturers mainly marketing for computer uses. Unfortunately, to an audiophile who is used to the quality of “Corded Headphones,” Bluetooth is not quite there sound quality wise. And now, we are excited by the new KLEER™ wireless technology. In fact, the Sleek-Audio in-ears we recommend have a wireless option using this technology and we are impressed. And in late 2009, Sennheiser has come out with some headphones using the Kleer technology and we’re very happy with them! Here’s a link for more information: Wireless Headphones

Noise Reduction Headphones.   Sometime in the early 90’s, ANR headphones began to be marketed primarily to airplane travelers. ANR refers to “Active Noise Reduction,” (as opposed to Passive Noise Reduction which is just blocking sound with a bulky, closed headphone, or use of earplugs in the ear canal). If you’re in an environment with a steady, low droning sound, (like an airplane engine), ANR headphones can be helpful because they produce an opposite sound wave to the ear which in effect, lessens the loudness of the offending droning noise. The result, the offending noise is reduced and you now have the means to listen to music or movies through headphones at a normal volume, (FYI, turning up volume in headphones to drown outside sounds is not good for the ears).

Some points about ANR headphones to remember:
 Random noises are “NOT” reduced! Talking, banging, babies crying, etc….. not reduced by the ANR circuitry.
 Sometimes erroneously called “Noise Cancellation” headphones…. they reduce one offending noise, not cancel!
 $300 ANR headphones, even from self boastful famous audio manufacturers, do not sound as good to an audiophile’s ears as does a $79 Grado SR60i. Besides being closed which affects sound quality, the ANR circuitry introduces some hiss.
 If you travel a lot, by all means, spend some money on some good ANR headphones. But if you only travel occasionally, opt for the less expensive ones for traveling and buy some regular headphones for all other uses.
Sennheiser makes some very high quality ANR headphones which we are liking and recommending. We are also liking one from an independent company called thePlaneQuiet headphones.  Or, you may want to consider an IEM, as they can passively block outside noises, (see below).

IEM’s, In-Ear-Monitors, In-Ear Earphones, Canal Phones…  In-Ears are a tricky product to recommend. So much depends on the fit in the ear for both sound quality reasons and for noise blockage reasons. And everyone’s ears are different, so what works for one person, may not work well for another! Plus, some people can’t stand sticking the things deep into the ear canal, while others seem to get used to it, and love the intimacy of the sound. Etymotic and Shure kind of led the way in this category. But given the popularity of the iPod, (and other portable players), and the not-so-good earbuds that come with them, IEM’s have gained in popularity and many companies are jumping in with me-too products. Even Grado now has some in-ears! Unfortunately, many of the better ones are quite expensive, ($200 and up). Besides Grado, in the $200-$400 price category, Sleek-Audiois a smaller company we have our sights on, (new products due in 2011). In the under $100 category, in the past, we were often disappointed with the sound quality as many companies really held back, (many in the lower price ranges have been lacking in detail or bass).. But now, Grado came out with one for under $100, with which we were quite pleased. NuForcecame out with a very good under $50 model. MEElectronics is perhaps our new favorite in-ear brand, as they have come out with multiple in-ear’s at prices ranging from $20 to $90 that rival in-ears formerly selling well above the $100 price level! Here’s a link to some of the latest in-ear’s: In-Ear’s

Due to the portability factor and the noise blocking factor, I’ve enjoyed some in-ears for several years now. They sound better to me than earbuds which I don’t find fit my ears very well, (and sound inconsistent as a result). And I find besides being super portable, IEM’s can block outside sound out quite well so I use them a lot when traveling. And a maybe not so common use… I often use them when going to sleep at night, (which rules out some of the bulkier designs that protrude from the ear). One thing I want to point out. Good IEM’s can produce very clear detail. But when it comes to headphone sound, I feel a full sized headphone gives a larger sound and it’s hard to compare with an IEM which produces a sound that is totally inside your head. In other words, I’m not gonna give up my Good Cans!

The truth about headphone amplifiers:   Not many of you are aware that there even exists such a thing as a headphone amplifier? We get a kick out of listening to a $1000  plus headphone/headphone amp setup! But quite frankly, though the sound quality can be better than a pair of $99 Grado SR80i headphones hooked up to portable CD player…. it is in no way 10 times better!  We are now reviewing and selling headphone amps, but until you are a true audiophile with a quest for the best sound possible, don’t concern yourself too much. Get some good headphones first. Listen a while. And if you really get into it, then maybe step up? Whether you do want to get an amp does depend on the quality of your sound source and current amplification? For Grado listeners, Grado themselves has some very good headphone amps aimed specifically at driving Grado headphones. For years we’ve been very pleased with the quality of some headphone amps built by Creek. Their OBH11 is one of the more affordable headphone amps available and the build quality is stellar! More recently a tube headphone amp made in the USA by Bellari has caught our ears. If your main music source is your computer, then you should be interested in several products from NuForce which have combined headphone amps with USB DAC’s. Here’s a link to some more info on the above products: Headphone Amps

A note on portable players:  As technology has improved battery life and increased shock resistance, sound quality has suffered a bit.  With many of the new players, it is getting increasingly difficult to drive a good pair of headphones.  My portable CD and MP3 players do drive the Grado SR80i’s OK, (though the volume control is getting nearer to it’s upper end limit)!  And in fact, we’ve had dozens of iPod owners go out of their way to tell us they love the SR80i connected up to an iPod!  But eventually you might consider as an alternative for high quality playback to connect a headphone amp to the your portable. The Grado RA1 is a fairly expensive battery powered amp that we love connected up to a line-out. But you might hesitate if you’re portable player doesn’t have a line out, (unfortunately these days, a line-out is an uncommon feature)? BTW, it seems no mp3 players these days have a line out. But we have found there are some third party manufacturers making a line-out for some iPod models. I have been using one with my Classic iPod and have been loving listening through an external headphone amp. And FYI, there are somewhat more affordable alternatives for portable headphone amps available, but most seem to be from very independent sources and are not available through normal commercial sources. (Note: Since we wrote this, NuForce has come out with a portable headphone amp with a built in USB DAC that we have been stocking and are very please with. Here’s a link to more info: iPod Accessories

The bottom line:   It is possible to spend hundreds and even thousands of dollars on headphones. But we feel that some audio boutiques and even some mailorder companies try to squeeze as many dollars out of the consumer as they feel is possible by leading you to believe the more expensive items are staggeringly better. In reality, to the average listener, they are not necessarily all that much better!  We often look for the price/performance level that offers close to the highest quality without going overboard on price. If you step up from department store cheapies to a medium priced pair of audiophile headphones, (under $100), such as the Grado SR60i’s or SR80i’s, you’ll be rewarded with a huge improvement in sound quality. If your needs require a closed design, check out the Sennheiser HD280pro or the Ultrasone HFI580. If you really want close to the best sound quality available from any headphone, for around $300 the Grado SR325is and the AKG K701 are worth looking at!  Once you’re hooked on the great sound quality you are hearing with your headphones and want to spend more money on music reproduction, you may then want to step up to some great top of the line headphones like theGrado RS1i or GS1000i and maybe even a headphone amp like the Bellari HA540 or a NuForce headphone amp/USB DAC!

Why buy from “Listening Station”? We are an authorized dealer for many various brands of headphones, and are continually exploring different makes and models and passing along the information with reviews. Yes, we have found some “Good Cans” from various manufacturers and even highly recommend some of them. But you can probably tell we are sold on Grado Lab’s high quality sound reproduction which is available at affordable prices. Grado’s headphones are not sold at department stores or mass merchandisers because they are not discount, large volume products. By all means, if you have a high quality stereo shop near you, check to see if they carry Grado. If not, we believe in Grado headphones so much that we are doing our best to market them to the average consumer who never steps foot into a high end stereo shop.We have sold Grado headphones side by side with other more famous name headphones since 1996 and our customers have backed our enthusiastic recommendation for Grado’s! And let’s not forget to mention the “Closed” Cans from Ultrasone as they are also becoming a favorite brand around here! …BTW, if you’re into in-ears, MEElectronics has become a favorite due to their quality sound at affordable prices!

 

http://www.goodcans.com/#circumaural

Battle Of Kings – Creative X-Fi Vs Asus Xonar (SoundCard)

Article written by: lynnperformance

Introduction
After trolling many, many years on forums for info on sound cards, you will eventually get the impression that two sound card makers reign supreme in gaming circles. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Creative and Asus. (Sorry other makers, I’ll get back to you. Particularly HT Omega…) So today, what I’d thought I’d do is write a shoot-out/review of Creative’s and Asus’ flagship soundcards, the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty and the Xonar Essence STX (Oops, I almost wrote GTX there).

(You can skip this if you want. Its not important.)
So lets start with some backstory. After building my most recent rig, I was playing games and going about my business as usual. And then it dawned on me…I have no surround sound! Thinking that, I ran to the nearest Fry’s and starting hunting down a sound card. Note that I have Dolby DTS onboard, but I felt it was somewhat lacking. Anyway, I walked out two hours later with the two cards I am comparing today.

The reason I picked these cards was quite simple. First off, they met my price point. I had exactly $200 to spend and I took advantage of Fry’s price matching to get them at Newegg price; $155 for the Creative and $168 for the Asus. Secondly, both were PCIe cards, which I happened to have free on my board. (Its the only one free, in fact). Finally both incorporated some form of Hi-Fi surround sound.

Features (Input and Outputs)
First, lets take a look at the features. The first thing I noticed was that the Creative comes with both an optical out and an optical in. The Xonar only comes with an optical in and that is via an included adapter. This was important to me, since I use optical for most of my audio. But I should point out that this is virtually pointless. The optical in on the X-Fi only supports 2.1 audio, so you can’t chain audio through the card and maintain source surround. Additionally, who does that anyway? Secondly, since the optical port is ON the card, it has no space for Coaxial, which is a minor problem if your devices have no optical. The Asus on the other hand does have coaxial. (The optical adapter goes to the coaxial). Additionally, the X-fi has 3.5 ports built in, whereas the Asus uses adapters (which I prefer for maximum compatibility). My favorite feature about the Asus, however, is the Headphone amp. Headphone amps increase overall quality of headphones and audio equipment, boosting the amount of detail played by the audio drivers in your headset. This is FANTASTIC if you are an avid headphone audiophile. These can be accessed using 6.3 audio jacks, which for many people, will not see much use.

Features (Audio Performance)
Now here is where everything changes. The Asus has wildly unexpected figures. Its got a 124 dB SNR, which indicates how much noise you get for quality sound, and higher is better. This figure is much higher than its competitor’s. The Creative only has 115 dB so the quality difference is unmistakable. Additionally, the frequency response range is wide on the Asus: 10 Hz to 90kHz. The Creative has only 10Hz to 46 kHz. However, for 99.9% of the people out there, this figure will mean nothing. (If you want to know more about what this means though, I have provided a link at the bottom of the article). Additionally, both cards are spec’d at 24 bits with a sampling rate of 192 kHz. However, with the Creative, I noticed a noticeable drop in sampling for most of the channels. It did not perform as expected.

What I wrote above is very technical, and I am not completely qualified to put any opinion into it. However, what I got is what I got, and it is important to understand I got the results the way MOST PEOPLE would achieve them. Since this is a review mostly for people like me who are not professionals, it makes sense to provide this feedback.

EAX vs Whatever Asus has
From my experience, those who use the Creative are one of three people: Loyalist -who buy anything Creative makes, Gamers – who swear by EAX tech, and those, who like me, heard that Creative is the audio standard on PC. Asus, on the other hand, has a very weird fan base. Many of them are those who found Creative products lacking (and are therefore very mean and critical of creative), or those who saw the high ratings on Newegg (I am of the later).
But what it comes down to is the API standards. Since both cards support 7.1 Virtual Surround, both have Dolby and Xear, both Dolby Digital Live (the Creative has the outdated DTS as well), the defining difference is that Creative has THX Certification and EAX. THX is not that important, but EAX is a sticking point for many gamers. For those that don’t know, EAX is a processing preset developed by Creative to enhance 3D sound, giving the listener more accurate location sounds. I, however, don’t really buy into the EAX thing. You can hear the difference, but unless you are a pro gamer and rely on sound to pinpoint targets off-screen, it doesn’t mean much, since the overall quality of the sound will seem about the same between the two cards. But if EAX is important to you, then this is the card for you.
Another sweet bonus of the Fatal1ty Pro is the presence of X-Fi Crystalizer. This is a neat little feature that revitalizes compressed audio to a more lossless sounding quality. Its not completely perfect but it is certainly a nice touch.

What they are like to live with
If you are like me and love convenience, for only about $20 more than the stripped version, the Creative Titanium has a version that comes with a cool little 3.5 bay insert. From here you can access handy little controls as well as plug in your awesome gaming headset. The Asus does not have that. Its a nic, thoughtful thing for creative to include that. However, if you don’t have an open bay, or if that inclusion is a little gimmicky to you, you may want to lean to the highly compatible Asus.
As mentioned above, because of the smart use of adapters, the Asus was able to plug into EVERY device I own. This includes my home theater, my PS3, my XBOX, among other things. I also was able to hook them up to all my headphones and headsets, all of them exhibiting virtual surround fantastically. Similarly, the Creative had great 7.1 surround, but I did find that having no Coaxial was a little weird. But for most normal people this won’t affect you too much. The Asus also sports 6.3mm headphone jacks, which lets one use high-end studio headsets, but that is not useful for most people.
As for the drivers, I have to speak to this. Both drivers suck. Many of you out there who have used Creative, Realtek or Asus will know that the drivers can be unreliable at any stage during ownership. Luckily, I didn’t run into these issues, but I did notice that the Creative needed more driver fiddling than the Asus to get the same degree of sound quality. The ease of use of the Asus makes it better for those who know less about audio.
An interesting note that I didn’t mention earlier is that both cards have good mic support, but I found that the Asus was more mic dependent than the Creative. The X-fi was clear regardless of the mic I used, the Asus picked up noise on my Logitech. It shouldn’t make much of a difference.

NOTE: If you run SLI or Crossfire, note that the Creative may BSOD your comp. For some reason, I got an error where the sound drivers of my NVidias or Radeons conflicted with the Creative driver causing a crash. I know this also happens with Asus, but that has not yet happened to me.

Summary and Conclusion
The Asus Xonar Essence STX is a fabulous piece of kit. Compared to other cards in its range, it is far more capable of delivering detailed sound that many enthusiasts crave. It may not be as good as some more expensive cards, but for under $200, its hard to beat. It also has all the necessary I/O ports that you need, although if you wanted to use your computer to process surround, you are better off with another card, since the card lacks S/PDIF Input. Additionally the Asus provides an ample headphone amp that can drive ultra quality headphones of up to 600 ohms, which is a HUGE plus to me.
The Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty is a good choice for gamers. It has EAX and a decent set of hardware. It isn’t the most powerful, but for most people it should do just fine. What makes this card a good buy, however, is you can often get it for quite cheap. I saw it once for $120 without the 3.5 bay addition. My biggest problem with the Creative is it is a niche product. It was really only made with gamers in mind. That being said, it does do everything just fine.
So if you can get the Creative for $120, its a HUGE bang for your buck, if however, you prefer that little extra umph, you can’t go wrong with the Asus.

Asus Xonar Essence STX 7.1 Surround:

  • Sound: 5/5
  • Drivers: 3/5
  • I/O: 5/5
  • API Compliance: 4/5
  • Value: 4/5
  • Final Score: 4.2/5

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty:

  • Sound: 4/5
  • Drivers: 3/5
  • I/O:3/5 (4.5 if you have the 3.5″ drive)
  • API Compliance: 5/5
  • Value:5/5 (4 if you have the 3.5″ drive)
  • Final Score:4/5

WINNER: ASUS Xonar Essence STX

By a small margin the Asus wins! If you have anything to comment about or say about these two cards please feel free to comment? I will add more to this review as I experience more about these two cards. I got a few days until one of them needs to go back to Fry’s and I have to make a final choice!

About Frequency Response (http://www.ecoustics.com/electronics…es/131062.html)

 

Source:  http://www.overclock.net/a/battle-of-kings-creative-x-fi-vs-asus-xonar