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Guide: How to properly configure 3D surround sound virtualization for PC games with headphones on Windows Vista/7/8/10?

Poradnik: Jak prawidłowo skonfigurować dźwięk przestrzenny w grach na słuchawkach na Windows Vista/7/8/10?

by ReznoR

Chapter I

Sound Blaster Z, Zx, ZxR [SBX Pro Studio Surround]

Sound Blaster Z-series Control Panel settings:

Windows advanced sound settings:

44,1 kHz + 24 bit.

In-Games settings:

Speaker configuration: 5.1 (SBX Pro Studio Surround needs this)

Overall sound volume (master volume): 0,2 (20%) (for proper Dynamic Range!)

Hints and tips:

- use 5.1 sound in games when SBX Pro Studio Surround is active.

- don't use in-game "headphones" setting or "2.0" when SBX Pro Studio Surround is active.

- when changing to "Headphones" in SBZ Control Panel the sound in Windows will automatically be set to "5.1". Don't change this if you want to use SBX Pro Studio Surround.

- when changing speaker settings in-game to "5.1" the in-game master volume must be lowered to approx. 20% (depends on the game) to maintain proper Dynamic Range.

- in-game master sound volume is NOT the same as main Windows volume, or main Control Panel volume.

- use headphones for best experience.

- use GOOD headphones for even better experience (check your local sound forums before buying!)

- use 44,1 kHz/24 bit in Windows most of the time. Change to 48 kHz/24 bit only when the source is 48 kHz.

- set SBX Pro Studio Surround slider to your liking. Default is 67%. Use it as a starting point.

- don't use equalizer, crystalizer, bass, smart volume, dialog plus, scout mode and other effects.

- if you need to use any of the above effects - it's a first sign to change your headphones for a better sounding model (check your local sound forums first!).

- some games have really good built-in 3D sound engines that sometimes can be superior to sound card virtualization. Feel free to experiment what sounds best for you.

Coming soon:

- Chapter II: guide to X-Fi sound card series (CMSS-3D)

- Chapter III: guide to Asus Xonar sound card series (Dolby Headphone)

I exclude all marketed "4Gamers [USB] Headsets" like:

- Razer

- Steelseries

- Skullcandy

- Logitech

- Tritton

- Turtle Beach

- Asus

- Creative

- Tracer

- Natec

- Plantronics

- Roccat

- Mad Catz

- Corsair

- TT eSports (Thermaltake)

- Art

- Gamdias

- Tesoro

- Hama

etc. from this guide due to very poor quality of sound coming from both headset and the USB sound card (with very few exceptions). Please sell them and buy a normal sound card and normal headphones. Check your local sound forums before buying.

Useful links and resources used in conjunction with sound experience to create this guide:

- Creative's official guide for Surround Sound Settings with Creative Headsets in Windows Vista/7

- Creative's official manuals (why nobody reads them?)

- (Polish) Jak przywrócić sprzętową akcelerację audio w starszych grach - poradnik znajomego deton24

- and maaaany hours testing sound cards in games on decent headphones

This guide was written and created by ReznoR ®© 2016

Feel free to share a link to this guide to help more people in having the best sound experience possible.

Tags: #surround #sound #headphones #creative #csgo #sbz #soundblaster #games #3d #cmss3d #sbx #pro #dolby #virtual

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