Difference between revisions of "Glossary:Surround sound"

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{{stub}}{{cleanup}}{{:Category:Sound}}{{Feature|surround sound}}
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{{stub}}{{cleanup|Some instructions (such as [[#OpenAL|OpenAL Soft HRTF]]) can be simplified or clarified}}{{:Category:Sound}}{{Feature|surround sound}}
 
'''Key points'''
 
'''Key points'''
 
{{ii}} Surround sound is used to give an increased perception of the space around the listener compared to normal sound setups.
 
{{ii}} Surround sound is used to give an increased perception of the space around the listener compared to normal sound setups.
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'''More information'''
 
'''More information'''
 
{{mm}} [https://satsun.org/audio/ PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up @ Satsun.org]
 
{{mm}} [https://satsun.org/audio/ PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up @ Satsun.org]
 +
{{mm}} [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SyOw7D0H2ecGxzPsCFEFKwupU8LuazUrlkI-gVTpyhc/edit?usp=sharing List of games that use DirectSound3D]
 +
{{mm}} [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1j7hqIk0LzMnagk4GHHHk13Bb2L-zt9KRqRRVsnGpLCE/edit?usp=sharing List of games that use OpenAL or OpenAL Soft]
 +
{{mm}} [https://docs.google.com/document/d/1uAklgDNC_LBOYSBbIzBeso6I4laForovIWiTYx6Ss8k/edit?usp=sharing List of games that use other methods for binaural audio]{{note|note=This includes games from multiple systems, not just PC|name="BinauralList"}}
  
 
==Speakers==
 
==Speakers==
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}}
 
}}
  
===Dolby Atmos for Home Theater===
+
===Object-based surround sound===
 +
====Dolby Atmos for Home Theater====
 
{{ii}} Dolby Atmos adds overhead sound by utilizing 2 or more in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.
 
{{ii}} Dolby Atmos adds overhead sound by utilizing 2 or more in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.
 
{{mm}} The [https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/dolby-access/9n0866fs04w8 Dolby Access] app does not require any purchase to enable the use of Dolby Atmos for Home Theater.
 
{{mm}} The [https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/dolby-access/9n0866fs04w8 Dolby Access] app does not require any purchase to enable the use of Dolby Atmos for Home Theater.
  
 
This requires a Dolby TrueHD capable sound card, a Dolby Atmos capable receiver and speaker setup (with at least 2 in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers), as well as Windows v1703 or later and the [https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/dolby-access/9n0866fs04w8 Dolby Access] app.
 
This requires a Dolby TrueHD capable sound card, a Dolby Atmos capable receiver and speaker setup (with at least 2 in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers), as well as Windows v1703 or later and the [https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/dolby-access/9n0866fs04w8 Dolby Access] app.
 +
 +
====DTS:X====
 +
{{ii}} DTS:X adds overhead sound by utilizing 2 or more in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.
 +
{{--}} The [https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9PJ0NKL8MCSJ DTS Sound Unbound] app requires a purchase to use DTS:X with a dedicated home theater receiver.
  
 
==Headphones==
 
==Headphones==
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# Move the <code>.mhr</code> file(s) from <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\hrtf_defs</code> to <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\hrtf</code>.
 
# Move the <code>.mhr</code> file(s) from <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\hrtf_defs</code> to <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\hrtf</code>.
 
# Open <code>alsoft-config.exe</code> in <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\alsoft-config</code>. If SmartScreen pops up, click "Run anyway."
 
# Open <code>alsoft-config.exe</code> in <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\alsoft-config</code>. If SmartScreen pops up, click "Run anyway."
# Configure with these settings: Channels: Stereo; Sample Format: Autodetect; Sample rate: whatever your sound device is set to; Resampler Quality: either linear or cubic<ref>[OpenAL Soft HRTF - Explanation of resampler (point, linear, cubic, bsinc12 & bsinc24) - YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62U6UnaUGDE]</ref>; Enable Dithering: checkmark; HRTF Mode: Force on; Prefered HRTF: whatever <code>.mhr</code> file you created, or a built in mode (KEMAR).
+
# Configure with these settings: Channels: Stereo; Sample Format: Autodetect; Sample rate: whatever your sound device is set to; Resampler Quality: either linear or cubic<ref>[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62U6UnaUGDE OpenAL Soft HRTF - Explanation of resampler (point, linear, cubic, bsinc12 & bsinc24) - YouTube]</ref>; Enable Dithering: checkmark; HRTF Mode: Force on; Prefered HRTF: whatever <code>.mhr</code> file you created, or a built in mode (KEMAR).
 
# Click Apply, then close the window.
 
# Click Apply, then close the window.
 
# Copy <code>soft_oal.dll</code> to the same location as the game executable. For 32-bit games this is found in <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\bin\Win32</code>, and for 64-bit games this is found in <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\bin\Win64</code>. It may be necessary to rename <code>soft_oal.dll</code> to <code>OpenAL32.dll</code> for some games.
 
# Copy <code>soft_oal.dll</code> to the same location as the game executable. For 32-bit games this is found in <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\bin\Win32</code>, and for 64-bit games this is found in <code>{{p|appdata}}\OpenAL\bin\Win64</code>. It may be necessary to rename <code>soft_oal.dll</code> to <code>OpenAL32.dll</code> for some games.
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X3DAudio HRTF is a third-party injector for games using X3DAudio that converts the original spatial sound of the game into binaural sound instead. The tool works for [[Arma 3]], [[Skyrim]], and [[Fallout 4]], but should also potentially work for other titles, including ones based on [[Engine:Unreal Engine 4|Unreal Engine 4]] or developed using the Unreal Development Kit (such as [[The Vanishing of Ethan Carter]]).
 
X3DAudio HRTF is a third-party injector for games using X3DAudio that converts the original spatial sound of the game into binaural sound instead. The tool works for [[Arma 3]], [[Skyrim]], and [[Fallout 4]], but should also potentially work for other titles, including ones based on [[Engine:Unreal Engine 4|Unreal Engine 4]] or developed using the Unreal Development Kit (such as [[The Vanishing of Ethan Carter]]).
 
{{ii}} [https://github.com/kosumosu/x3daudio1_7_hrtf Download X3DAudio HRTF]
 
{{ii}} [https://github.com/kosumosu/x3daudio1_7_hrtf Download X3DAudio HRTF]
{{--}} Must use the makehrtf.exe included with OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 or earlier.  
+
{{ii}} Must use the makehrtf.exe included with OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 or earlier.  
{{--}} If using custom HRTF tables, make sure to create .mhr files for 32000, 44100, 48000, and 96000 hertz.<ref name="aucam8vbL2U">[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aucam8vbL2U X3DAudio HRTF: Fix for sounds playing at full volume at any distance - YouTube]</ref> Precompiled HRTF tables can be found [https://mega.nz/#!SLwBBSyR!pTe5iDCMWgmkMBl60riCqTAFMai06oXR_ZK4CixfMAk here]
+
{{ii}} If using custom HRTF tables, make sure to create .mhr files for 24000, 32000, 44100, 48000, and 96000 hertz.<ref name="aucam8vbL2U">[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aucam8vbL2U X3DAudio HRTF: Fix for sounds playing at full volume at any distance - YouTube]</ref> Precompiled HRTF tables can be found [https://mega.nz/#!SLwBBSyR!pTe5iDCMWgmkMBl60riCqTAFMai06oXR_ZK4CixfMAk here]
 +
{{--}} Latest Unreal Engine 4.24 audio driver seems to have broken compatibility. Always uses ''x3daudio1_7.dll'' from '''System32.''' (''tested in System Shock [2020] and Trepang2 2019 demo'')
 +
{{--}} Some games crash on startup even if ProcessExplorer reports ''x3daudio1_7.dll'' being used. (''tested in Resident Evil 4, The Maw, and Wrack'')
 +
}}
 +
 
 +
====Rapture3D====
 +
{{Fixbox|description=Use Rapture3D|fix=
 +
Custom quality wrapper for OpenAL games. Among various 3D techniques, provides also its own HRTF tables.
 +
{{ii}} Free [http://www.blueripplesound.com/get-update Game Edition] bundled with [[DiRT 3]] can be used with other games following these [http://blueripplesound.com/compatible-games instructions] or using [https://yadi.sk/d/1DGrbOde-Ana0g extracted libraries] near game exe (enabling OpenAL in game options may be required).
 +
{{ii}} Not compatible with DSOAL.{{cn}}
 
}}
 
}}
  
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Some games do not support true binaural audio mixing. For these games, it may be beneficial to use a virtual surround sound solution.
 
Some games do not support true binaural audio mixing. For these games, it may be beneficial to use a virtual surround sound solution.
  
====Windows Sonic for Headphones====
+
====[https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/coreaudio/spatial-sound Windows Sonic for Headphones]====
{{++}} Free and built-in Windows 10 v1703 and newer.
+
{{ii}} Default plugin for Windows Spatial Sound.<ref>[https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/win32/coreaudio/spatial-sound Windows Spatial Sound]</ref>
{{ii}} Works with any game on XAudio2 on any HD sound card
+
{{ii}} Works with any XAudio2-compatible game on any HD sound card and stereo speakers (but is designed for ear/headphones).
 +
{{++}} Free and built in Windows 10 v1703 and newer.
 
{{--}} Does not work with games that auto-detect the speaker setup of the system.
 
{{--}} Does not work with games that auto-detect the speaker setup of the system.
  
====[https://www.razer.com/eu-en/surround Razer Surround]====
+
====[https://www.dolby.com/us/en/apps/access/pc-xbox.html Dolby Atmos for Headphones]====
{{++}} Free version available, with an optional purchasable Pro version adding additional features, including (but not limited to) bass boost, sound normalization, and equalizer.
+
{{ii}} Successor to Dolby Headphone.
 +
{{ii}} Commercial plugin for Windows Spatial Sound.<ref>[https://www.dolby.com/us/en/apps/access/pc-xbox.html Dolby Atmos for Headphones]</ref> Uses the [https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9n0866fs04w8 Dolby Access] app for Windows 10.
 +
{{ii}} Works on Windows 10 v1703 or newer.
 +
{{--}} Requires a purchase after the trial period has expired.
 +
 
 +
====[https://dts.com/headphonex DTS Headphone:X]====
 +
{{ii}} Successor to DTS Connect.
 +
{{ii}} Built into some headphones.
 +
{{ii}} Commercial plugin for Windows Spatial Sound.<ref>[https://dts.com/sound-unbound/faq DTS Sound Unbound FAQ]</ref> Uses the [https://www.microsoft.com/store/apps/9pj0nkl8mcsj DTS Sound Unbound] app for Windows 10.
 +
{{ii}} Works on Windows 10 v1703 or newer.
 +
{{--}} Requires a purchase after the trial period has expired.
 +
 
 +
====[https://web.archive.org/web/20190508225621/http://dl.razerzone.com/drivers/Surround/win/RazerSurroundInstaller_v2.0.29.20.exe Razer Surround]====
 +
''Not to be confused for the newer locked-down virtual surround solution [[#Razer 7.1 Surround Sound|Razer 7.1 Surround Sound]].''
 +
{{++}} Free. A Pro version was previously available for purchase that unlocked additional features, but the ability to purchase this version was removed following the product becoming end-of-life.<ref>{{Refcheck|user=Aemony|date=2019-10-28|comment=Can't find anywhere to purchase the pro version nowadays.}}</ref>
 
{{++}} Uses a virtual audio output device exposing 7.1 virtual speakers, allowing games which auto-detect the speaker setup of the system to work with Razer Surround as well.
 
{{++}} Uses a virtual audio output device exposing 7.1 virtual speakers, allowing games which auto-detect the speaker setup of the system to work with Razer Surround as well.
 
{{ii}} Works with any stereo headset/headphone; not limited to Razer peripherals.
 
{{ii}} Works with any stereo headset/headphone; not limited to Razer peripherals.
 +
{{--}} No longer officially supported.
 +
{{mm}} [https://support.razer.com/software/surround/ Official support page]
 +
 +
====[https://www.razer.com/7.1-surround-sound Razer 7.1 Surround Sound]====
 +
''Not to be confused for the now obsolete generic virtual surround solution [[#Razer Surround|Razer Surround]].''
 +
{{--}} Limited to only Razer Kraken and Razer Kraken X headsets.
 +
{{mm}} [https://support.razer.com/software/7.1-surround-sound/ Official support page]
 +
 +
====[https://www.razer.com/thx-spatial-audio Razer THX Spatial Audio]====
 +
{{ii}} New surround sound Razer solution.
 +
{{++}} Uses a virtual audio output device exposing 7.1 virtual speakers, allowing games which auto-detect the speaker setup of the system to work with Razer Surround as well.
 +
{{ii}} Works with any stereo headset/headphone; not limited to Razer peripherals.
 +
{{--}} Requires a purchase after the trial period has expired.
  
 
====[https://sourceforge.net/projects/hesuvi/ HeSuVi]====
 
====[https://sourceforge.net/projects/hesuvi/ HeSuVi]====
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{{ii}} Requires a virtual audio device, such as [https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/ VB-Cable], for virtualization.
 
{{ii}} Requires a virtual audio device, such as [https://www.vb-audio.com/Cable/ VB-Cable], for virtualization.
 
{{mm}} [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y4O12uomTI Setup video tutorial]
 
{{mm}} [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Y4O12uomTI Setup video tutorial]
 
====[https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/dolby-access/9n0866fs04w8 Dolby Atmos for Headphones]====
 
{{ii}} Successor to Dolby Headphone.
 
{{--}} Requires Windows 10 v1703 or newer, and a purchase after the trial period have expired.
 
{{mm}} Dolby Atmos tries to emulate realistic sounds, causing some sound to be perceived as "muddy" in comparison with other virtual sound solutions.{{cn|This is/was a frequent complaint for Dolby Atmos around release, and is basically up to each individual whether they prefer it or not. Could use some real citations here though, maybe some forum threads/posts etc? //[[User:Aemony]]}}
 
  
 
====CMSS-3D====
 
====CMSS-3D====
 
{{ii}} Exclusively for Creative X-Fi sound cards.
 
{{ii}} Exclusively for Creative X-Fi sound cards.
 
{{ii}} Some manufacturers provide their users with Creative X-Fi MB software to use it without X-Fi sound cards.
 
{{ii}} Some manufacturers provide their users with Creative X-Fi MB software to use it without X-Fi sound cards.
 
====[https://dts.com/headphonex DTS Headphone:X]====
 
{{ii}} Exclusive to some headphones.
 
  
 
====SBX Surround Sound====
 
====SBX Surround Sound====
 +
{{ii}} Available in SBX Pro Studio Panel.
 
{{ii}} Exclusively for Creative sound cards having SB-Axx1 chipset as their main chipsets, such as Soundblaster ZxR, Soundblaster X7, etc.
 
{{ii}} Exclusively for Creative sound cards having SB-Axx1 chipset as their main chipsets, such as Soundblaster ZxR, Soundblaster X7, etc.
 
{{ii}} Some manufacturers provide various Creative softwares for their users to use this surround sound.
 
{{ii}} Some manufacturers provide various Creative softwares for their users to use this surround sound.
{{ii}} You can purchase [http://software.store.creative.com/p/software/sound-blaster-x-fi-mb3 X-Fi MB3 software] to use it.
+
{{ii}} You can purchase [https://software.store.creative.com/software/mb3 X-Fi MB3 software] to use it.
  
 
====Pure Virtual 7.1/5.1 sound over driver with Windows for some cards====
 
====Pure Virtual 7.1/5.1 sound over driver with Windows for some cards====
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{{ii}} If using an upmixer that also incorporates height speakers; such as DTS Neural:X, Dolby Surround Upmixer, or Dolby Pro Logic II Z; you may want to disable your height speakers to remain faithful to the original mix.
 
{{ii}} If using an upmixer that also incorporates height speakers; such as DTS Neural:X, Dolby Surround Upmixer, or Dolby Pro Logic II Z; you may want to disable your height speakers to remain faithful to the original mix.
 
}}
 
}}
 +
{{Fixbox|description=Disable side speakers|ref={{cn|I don't actually have a 7.1 system to test this, but it should work}}|fix=
 +
Use the receiver's speaker layout configuration settings to disable the side speakers. Note that this is different from simply muting said speakers.
 +
}}
 +
 
====Older games not using surround sound on Windows Vista or newer====
 
====Older games not using surround sound on Windows Vista or newer====
 
See [[Glossary:Sound card#DirectSound hardware path|DirectSound 3D restoration software]].
 
See [[Glossary:Sound card#DirectSound hardware path|DirectSound 3D restoration software]].

Latest revision as of 15:21, 3 July 2020

This page is a stub: it lacks content and/or basic article components. You can help to expand this page by adding an image or additional information.
This page may require cleanup to meet basic quality standards. The specific problem is: Some instructions (such as OpenAL Soft HRTF) can be simplified or clarified. You can help by modifying the article. The discussion page may contain useful suggestions.

Sound
Sound
Sound card
Surround sound

For a list of games, see games with surround sound support.

Key points

Surround sound is used to give an increased perception of the space around the listener compared to normal sound setups.

Related articles

Sound

More information

PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up @ Satsun.org
List of games that use DirectSound3D
List of games that use OpenAL or OpenAL Soft
List of games that use other methods for binaural audio[Note 1]

Speakers[edit]

Discrete surround sound[edit]

Most modern games are capable of delivering discrete 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound to the listener's receiver without the need for any post processing.

Use an HDMI cable and HDMI compatible reciever
Use an S-PDIF cable and a lossy compression mixer, such as Dolby Digital Live

Surround-compatible stereo[edit]

Also referred to as Dolby Surround (not to be confused with Dolby Surround Upmixer), Dolby Pro Logic II-compatible, Dolby Stereo, or 4-channel surround sound (not to be confused with 4.0 quadraphonic sound). This was first used in theaters in the 1970s, and was introduced to the home alongside VHS and Betamax in 1982, predating discrete surround sound. It was used in many venues and mediums until discrete surround sound became viable. One notable benefit of surround-compatible stereo is that it can be played back on any stereo speakers and still sound normal.

Use a surround sound upmixer
Suggested upmixers include Dolby Pro Logic II and DTS Neo:6.
If using an upmixer that also incorporates height speakers; such as DTS Neural:X, Dolby Surround Upmixer, or Dolby Pro Logic II Z; you may want to disable your height speakers to remain faithful to the original mix.
Some newer all-in-one receivers do not include a surround upmixer.
Use headphones

Content mixed in surround-compatible stereo will have a surround effect when listened to over earphones or headphones.

Object-based surround sound[edit]

Dolby Atmos for Home Theater[edit]

Dolby Atmos adds overhead sound by utilizing 2 or more in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.
The Dolby Access app does not require any purchase to enable the use of Dolby Atmos for Home Theater.

This requires a Dolby TrueHD capable sound card, a Dolby Atmos capable receiver and speaker setup (with at least 2 in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers), as well as Windows v1703 or later and the Dolby Access app.

DTS:X[edit]

DTS:X adds overhead sound by utilizing 2 or more in-ceiling or upward-firing speakers.
The DTS Sound Unbound app requires a purchase to use DTS:X with a dedicated home theater receiver.

Headphones[edit]

Binaural sound: HRTF[edit]

HRTF (Head Related Transfer Functions) refers to the way that the curvature of one's ears are used to localize sound in 3D space. Algorithms exist that can simulate this action, allowing for full 3D surround sound with just a normal pair of earphones or headphones. The resulting audio is refered to as binaural. While some games, such as CS:GO and Quake Champions include built-in HRTF options, many other games do not; requires external wrappers to enable. As such, it is not recommended for online usage. Listed are methods for adding HRTF using various APIs.

DirectSound3D[edit]

Use DSOAL

A pre-configured version of DSOAL that includes compiled HRTF tables can be found on NexusMods and ModDB. Note that while listed as being for Fallout New Vegas, it can work with most DirectSound3D games.

Alternative downloads for DSOAL: Yadi.sk, Source code git.

OpenAL[edit]

OpenAL Soft is a free, open-source replacement for OpenAL.
Use OpenAL Soft (Windows)
  1. Download OpenAL Soft.
  2. Paste the contents of the folder inside the zipfile of OpenAL Soft inside %APPDATA%\OpenAL. Do not paste it in %LOCALAPPDATA%.
  3. Use this video to determine your personal HRTF table. If your table is an IRC_10xx table, download it from here. If your table is CIAIR, download HRTF data (2) from here. If your table is KEMAR, skip to the configuration step (alsoft-config.exe) and use the built-in tables.
  4. If your table is IRC_10xx, extract the contents of the zipfile you downloaded to %APPDATA%\OpenAL\hrtf_defs\IRC. If your table is CIAIR extract the contents of the .tgz file you downloaded to %APPDATA%\OpenAL\hrtf_defs (you may need 7-Zip).
  5. Copy makehrtf.exe from %APPDATA%\OpenAL to %APPDATA%\OpenAL\hrtf_defs.
  6. If your table is IRC_10xx, open IRC_1005.def in Notepad and replace all instances of 1005 with the number of the table you downloaded. Save as IRC_10xx.def, replacing the x's your respective number.
  7. In command prompt, change the directory to the location of your .def file, makehrtf.exe, and the HRTF tables you downloaded.
  8. If using 1.19.0 or newer, type makehrtf.exe -r RATE -d sphere -i YOURDEF -o YOURMHR. If using 1.18.2 or older, type makehrtf.exe -m -r=RATE -d=sphere -i=YOURDEF -o=YOURMHR. Replace RATE with the desired sample rate (usually 44100, although sometimes you may want to use 48000). Replace YOURDEF with the .def file of your table. Replace YOURMHR with the desired name of the resulting .mhr file (usual nomenclature is TABLENAME_RATE.mhr).
  9. Move the .mhr file(s) from %APPDATA%\OpenAL\hrtf_defs to %APPDATA%\OpenAL\hrtf.
  10. Open alsoft-config.exe in %APPDATA%\OpenAL\alsoft-config. If SmartScreen pops up, click "Run anyway."
  11. Configure with these settings: Channels: Stereo; Sample Format: Autodetect; Sample rate: whatever your sound device is set to; Resampler Quality: either linear or cubic[1]; Enable Dithering: checkmark; HRTF Mode: Force on; Prefered HRTF: whatever .mhr file you created, or a built in mode (KEMAR).
  12. Click Apply, then close the window.
  13. Copy soft_oal.dll to the same location as the game executable. For 32-bit games this is found in %APPDATA%\OpenAL\bin\Win32, and for 64-bit games this is found in %APPDATA%\OpenAL\bin\Win64. It may be necessary to rename soft_oal.dll to OpenAL32.dll for some games.
  14. Launch the game to confirm it works.

Notes

The makehrtf.exe included OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 and earlier create 16-bit .mhr files, whereas 1.19.0 and later create 24-bit .mhr files. OpenAL Soft 1.19.0 and later can use the 16-bit .mhr files, but OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 and earlier cannot use the 24-bit .mhr files.[2]
Precompiled HRTF tables for OpenAL Soft 1.19.0 and later can be found here. Precompiled HRTF tables for OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 and earlier can be found here.
Use OpenAL Soft (Linux)
Pre-compiled binaries for OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 can be found here.

X3DAudio[edit]

Use X3DAudio HRTF

X3DAudio HRTF is a third-party injector for games using X3DAudio that converts the original spatial sound of the game into binaural sound instead. The tool works for Arma 3, Skyrim, and Fallout 4, but should also potentially work for other titles, including ones based on Unreal Engine 4 or developed using the Unreal Development Kit (such as The Vanishing of Ethan Carter).

Download X3DAudio HRTF
Must use the makehrtf.exe included with OpenAL Soft 1.18.2 or earlier.
If using custom HRTF tables, make sure to create .mhr files for 24000, 32000, 44100, 48000, and 96000 hertz.[2] Precompiled HRTF tables can be found here
Latest Unreal Engine 4.24 audio driver seems to have broken compatibility. Always uses x3daudio1_7.dll from System32. (tested in System Shock [2020] and Trepang2 2019 demo)
Some games crash on startup even if ProcessExplorer reports x3daudio1_7.dll being used. (tested in Resident Evil 4, The Maw, and Wrack)

Rapture3D[edit]

Use Rapture3D

Custom quality wrapper for OpenAL games. Among various 3D techniques, provides also its own HRTF tables.

Free Game Edition bundled with DiRT 3 can be used with other games following these instructions or using extracted libraries near game exe (enabling OpenAL in game options may be required).
Not compatible with DSOAL.[citation needed]

Virtual surround[edit]

Some games do not support true binaural audio mixing. For these games, it may be beneficial to use a virtual surround sound solution.

Windows Sonic for Headphones[edit]

Default plugin for Windows Spatial Sound.[3]
Works with any XAudio2-compatible game on any HD sound card and stereo speakers (but is designed for ear/headphones).
Free and built in Windows 10 v1703 and newer.
Does not work with games that auto-detect the speaker setup of the system.

Dolby Atmos for Headphones[edit]

Successor to Dolby Headphone.
Commercial plugin for Windows Spatial Sound.[4] Uses the Dolby Access app for Windows 10.
Works on Windows 10 v1703 or newer.
Requires a purchase after the trial period has expired.

DTS Headphone:X[edit]

Successor to DTS Connect.
Built into some headphones.
Commercial plugin for Windows Spatial Sound.[5] Uses the DTS Sound Unbound app for Windows 10.
Works on Windows 10 v1703 or newer.
Requires a purchase after the trial period has expired.

Razer Surround[edit]

Not to be confused for the newer locked-down virtual surround solution Razer 7.1 Surround Sound.

Free. A Pro version was previously available for purchase that unlocked additional features, but the ability to purchase this version was removed following the product becoming end-of-life.[6]
Uses a virtual audio output device exposing 7.1 virtual speakers, allowing games which auto-detect the speaker setup of the system to work with Razer Surround as well.
Works with any stereo headset/headphone; not limited to Razer peripherals.
No longer officially supported.
Official support page

Razer 7.1 Surround Sound[edit]

Not to be confused for the now obsolete generic virtual surround solution Razer Surround.

Limited to only Razer Kraken and Razer Kraken X headsets.
Official support page

Razer THX Spatial Audio[edit]

New surround sound Razer solution.
Uses a virtual audio output device exposing 7.1 virtual speakers, allowing games which auto-detect the speaker setup of the system to work with Razer Surround as well.
Works with any stereo headset/headphone; not limited to Razer peripherals.
Requires a purchase after the trial period has expired.

HeSuVi[edit]

Virtual surround application that mimics the effects of most popular (and obscure) virtual surround and HRTF implementations.
Requires a virtual audio device, such as VB-Cable, for virtualization.
Setup video tutorial

CMSS-3D[edit]

Exclusively for Creative X-Fi sound cards.
Some manufacturers provide their users with Creative X-Fi MB software to use it without X-Fi sound cards.

SBX Surround Sound[edit]

Available in SBX Pro Studio Panel.
Exclusively for Creative sound cards having SB-Axx1 chipset as their main chipsets, such as Soundblaster ZxR, Soundblaster X7, etc.
Some manufacturers provide various Creative softwares for their users to use this surround sound.
You can purchase X-Fi MB3 software to use it.

Pure Virtual 7.1/5.1 sound over driver with Windows for some cards[edit]

Work on Windows Vista and newer.
Configurable via the native Windows sound panel without dubious programs.
Works on Asus Xonar series and Creative Sound BlasterX series, etc.
It works only with the above cards and which have this support.

Issues fixed[edit]

Sounds not playing on rear speakers when listening to 5.1 content on a 7.1 or higher system[edit]

The standard 5.1 setup does not have rear speakers. The "surround" speakers are actually placed close to where the side speakers on a 7.1 setup go.
Use a surround sound upmixer that supports 6.1 or 7.1
Suggested upmixers include Dolby Pro Logic II X and DTS Neo:6.
If using an upmixer that also incorporates height speakers; such as DTS Neural:X, Dolby Surround Upmixer, or Dolby Pro Logic II Z; you may want to disable your height speakers to remain faithful to the original mix.
Disable side speakers[citation needed]

Use the receiver's speaker layout configuration settings to disable the side speakers. Note that this is different from simply muting said speakers.

Older games not using surround sound on Windows Vista or newer[edit]

See DirectSound 3D restoration software.

Notes

  1. This includes games from multiple systems, not just PC

References