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  • 5.1 and 7.1 systems

    ok, i have finished my new computer and the sound card seems to support 7.1 sound systems, i guess it'll support 5.1 also?
    First question, which do you suggest and why? im new to these sound systems.
    Second, Are they really worth it? Do they work with all games or just games that support it?
    thanks
    jack

  • #2
    Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

    I think WC3 is the only game that supports 6.1 EAX. I wouldn't think any would support 7.1. You could still use it, but it won't be true surround sound for those games. I'd get a nice 5.1 or 6.1 setup on the cheap size unless you use your PC for your living room entertainment.

    Just remember: you have to have devices which support the latest surround hardware or else you just have a lot of speakers playing the same sounds.

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    • #3
      Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

      Originally posted by TheFeniX
      I think WC3 is the only game that supports 6.1 EAX. I wouldn't think any would support 7.1. You could still use it, but it won't be true surround sound for those games. I'd get a nice 5.1 or 6.1 setup on the cheap size unless you use your PC for your living room entertainment.

      Just remember: you have to have devices which support the latest surround hardware or else you just have a lot of speakers playing the same sounds.
      I could be wrong (that actually happened once before...), but I think that the number of channels (speakers) is dependent on the sound card, not the game. The game reports a 3D "location" that the sound should be emanating from, and the sound card uses the available channels (speakers) to replicate the sound coming from that location. EAX doesn't have much to do with the actual surround sound, it merely uses the surround sound to recreate environmental effects (like the difference between the echo in a cave half filled with water, and the echo in a long metallic tube...).
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      • #4
        Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

        you are correct. you can get a 7.1 surround sound card, get a 5.1 surround sound set of speakers, then get a 2.1 set of the same thing (I have a 5.1 and a 2.1 set of altec lansings, so the sound replication is identical for all speakers.) and get the back 2 channels (or the middle 2 or the front 2 even.) I have the speakers and not the card... I would sell you both sets if you want them.....

        http://www.alteclansing.com/product_details.asp?pID=251
        http://www.alteclansing.com/product_details.asp?pID=221

        great sound and thumping bass....on second thought, if you aren't interested, I might get a 7.1 card for me.
        Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
        The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

        If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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        • #5
          Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

          Originally posted by CingularDuality
          The game reports a 3D "location" that the sound should be emanating from, and the sound card uses the available channels (speakers) to replicate the sound coming from that location.
          I'm not so sure. JO has settings for different sound setups and it does not include anything greater than 5.1. What happens there?

          - It's who you game with.

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          • #6
            Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

            Originally posted by =Sarc=
            I'm not so sure. JO has settings for different sound setups and it does not include anything greater than 5.1. What happens there?
            Hmmm, good point. Why would the game need to know what kind of setup you have?
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            • #7
              Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

              a sb 7.1 will emulate the extra 2 channels from a 5.1 signal. you will get use or the setup with a sb card.
              Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
              The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

              If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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              • #8
                Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                Originally posted by =DdogG=
                a sb 7.1 will emulate the extra 2 channels from a 5.1 signal. you will get use or the setup with a sb card.
                Would this be the same as if the game had an option for 7.1? This sounds a lot like Dolby ProLogic. It's good but it's not as good as really having separate audio sources.

                - It's who you game with.

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                • #9
                  Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                  well, ill double check the sound card on the machine tonight. At the moment i just use headphones and use speakers when i'm playing a game with other people around to are watching.. so i wasnt sure if i should stick with headphones or goto some nice speakers. i guess in terms of money though i should stay with headset

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                  • #10
                    Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                    Originally posted by =Sarc=
                    Would this be the same as if the game had an option for 7.1? This sounds a lot like Dolby ProLogic. It's good but it's not as good as really having separate audio sources.

                    Kinda, while it uses the left front and left rear to build the signal for the left center, it does not need to "create" effects from nothing. the signal is there, just split between front and rear. From what I read, SB does a great job of emulation, and since the sources for 6.1 and 7.1 media are very, very rare, I think using something like a SB to get the 7.1 effect from existing 5.1 media AND having the ability to use true 7.1 when it is available is a far better alternative than a 5.1 solution now and a 7.1 solution later. the SB will be able to decode a true 7.1 signal when and if one becomes available, but in the meantime, the emulation of those extra channels puts a SB above even some of the most highend home theatre equipment.


                    and prologic was a fantastic idea for its time. it could emulate rear channels from stereo, or use a 4.1 channel signal to get a nonemulated rear signal. you got theater sound from stereo vhs. with SB you can get 7.1 from 5.1 dvd. but when the 7.1 is there, you are ready for it.
                    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former. -Albert Einstein
                    The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity. -Harlan Ellison

                    If all else fails: "rm -rf /"

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                    • #11
                      Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                      Originally posted by CingularDuality
                      I could be wrong (that actually happened once before...), but I think that the number of channels (speakers) is dependent on the sound card, not the game.
                      You're right and wrong. If the card doesn't support 7.1, then you're screwed right off. Even if the card itself supports 7.1, the game might only support 4.1. You'll get a much more full sound effect with 7.1, but sounds won't span across them like it should. The is of course unless the sound card has software that can interpolate the data between the speakers itself.

                      Same thing with dual CPUs. No game I've seen is coded to take advantage of them. But some programs like Photoshop have plug-ins to do just that. I only brought it up because the "quality" of sound will more than likely be the same for games, but if he uses his PC as a sound-system double, then the room would benefit from having two other mid/high range speakers.

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                      • #12
                        Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                        hm, i think im gonna stick with headsets for now, they seem to work fine. thanks for the help :D

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                        • #13
                          Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                          Originally posted by jackel
                          hm, i think im gonna stick with headsets for now, they seem to work fine. thanks for the help :D
                          Y'know, I've got a SoundBlaster Live! with 4.1 surround, decent speakers and it sounds pretty nice (for a computer), but 99% of the time my headphones are plugged in so I don't disturb my family. I never game with my speakers and (except for when I go on cross country work details for extended periods of time) I never listen to music or watch movies on my computer.
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                          • #14
                            Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                            You could always try the Zalman 5.1 headphones. They have been getting pretty good reviews and I'm sure somebody here has a pair. I think they sell for about $50. You need a separate mic though.

                            - It's who you game with.

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                            • #15
                              Re: 5.1 and 7.1 systems

                              Originally posted by =Sarc=
                              You could always try the Zalman 5.1 headphones. They have been getting pretty good reviews and I'm sure somebody here has a pair. I think they sell for about $50. You need a separate mic though.
                              I tried them last time I was at Fry's. They are some of the cheapest things I've ever seen... They sound horrible. Surround sound is good, but I've heard better sound come out of a $2 headphone speaker mounted inside a coffee can... Gimmicks, even good ones that work, don't make up for the lack of a good speaker.

                              Plus not having a boom mic would be a dealbreaker for me...
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                              Buy a Tactical Duck!
                              Take the world's smallest political quiz! "I was touched by His Noodly Appendage."
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