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Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi Elite Pro - CMSS3D: Games

Especially games is where Creative suggests using CMSS3D Headphone which makes these effects interesting. In Gaming Mode two extra options for CMSS3D Headphone appear: MacroFX and ElevationFilter. The first is for simulating sources of sound very close to the listener and the latter to simulate differences in height.



Game:
Format:

BF2

Battlefield 2

OpenAL
EAX 5.0

When we start Battlefield 2 our first reaction is that the sound i considerably louder than music and DVD-film than when we use regular speakers. We have to turn down the volume to make it comfortable. Done that we're ready to start enjoying. CMSS3D Headphone is actually just as Creative said it would be. That it is not real surround is hard to believe. Not only do you hear when a sound comes from behind, you can even judge whether it comes directly from behind or even just a little from the right or left. Besides that the front sound picture has more details and width. No more American forces sneaking up on you. And in turn the height differences are compensated by the ElevationFilter.
CMSS3D Virtual works well here, but in comparison with Headphone it feels bleak.



Game:
Format:

Far Cry

Far Cry

DirectSound3D
EAX2.0

We continue to use CMSS Headphone with Far Cry and I am really starting to enjoy myself despite the critic inside me. The effect is astonishing despite that Far Cry has much worse sound implementation than Battlefield 2. That this function is indispensable for a gamer is obvious as I crawl ahead in prone mode and all of a sudden hear how a twig breaks and leaves move behind me. You instantly turn around in the exact correct direction and fire of a round at the patrolling mercenary. It may sound a bit too good but the fact is that it really is that good.
The Virtual-mode works well as it can locate sounds behind you, but when it comes to judging from what angle is more or less impossible. An addition but compared to CMSS3D Headphone it feels weak.

We also took the opportunity to really test the Headphone-mode with the RightMark 3DSound Positioning Accuracy-test which is a part of the RM3DS-suit. Here we could really see the difference MacroFX makes. With the effect inactive almost impossible to hear a difference between sounds from 0.15 or 5 meter away. When we turn it on it's clear as crystal that Creative made an excellent deal when it acquired Sensaura which has made MacroFX. Instead of a limit of 5 meter,where everything closer than that sounds pretty much the same, you can hear the difference between sounds coming from practically the same distance, I.e. with a really small difference.
We tested with ElevationFilter but except for making sounds sounding further away when they were far below or above us it didn't really give us a good picture of where in the vertical position the person or object really was.

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