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post #61 of 182 Old 07-14-2019, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by gactm View Post
I tried to playback a 5.1 DTS HD MA 24/192 recording from a blu-ray audio (also Morten Lindberg’s productions) with Yarra 3DX. The result was very distorted and metallic sound. To fix that issue I had to turn Yarra off and on again. I’m not quite sure that my Yarra 3DX “recovered” from that attempt.

Same thing happened here. I connected my Yarra 3DX to my PC and was fiddling with the sound settings when I sent a 24/192 signal through the soundbar, with the same result: distorted and metallic sound. Surprisingly, reverting to the previous settings did not fix this problem. Turning the Yarra unit off and on again fixes the issue, but only for a minute or so. I haven't been able to finish a song without it getting all distorted and metallic since.


I now have switched from optical to AUX, and that seems to work for now, but I rather use optical. I hope this is a software issue and can be fixed with a firmware update.
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post #62 of 182 Old 07-14-2019, 03:20 AM
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I think Comhear Inc. should update the YARRA 3DX User Guide stating what are the compatible file types and also files that cannot be played. In addition, technical specifications should be included in the manual.

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post #63 of 182 Old 07-14-2019, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gactm View Post

...
I think that Mark Waldrep included his Smyth Research A8 as part of the demonstration rig for Yarra 3DX just to overcome the limited processing capacity of the system.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX at "https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yarra-speaker-system.860123/page-3"

...
As for the recent questions, the reason that I inserted my Smyth A8 in the signal flow from my Blu-ray player HDMI output to the YARRA 3DX was to be able to demonstrate the solo function.
...
I think Gactm is quite right and Dr. AIX is avoiding the truth in order not to reject potential backers.

Last edited by Kri; 07-14-2019 at 04:11 AM.
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post #64 of 182 Old 07-14-2019, 04:27 AM
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Originally Posted by atabesc View Post
Windows 10 shows the supported sound format for Yarra is Dolby Digital only. But I could confuse it with capabilities of my TV, the TV is connected after the Yarra in a HDMI chain and I don't know which capabilities Windows shows.
There are no test sounds from the virtual speakers if I set some surround configuration (e.g. 4.0, 5.1, 7.1) in the Windows sound control panel. I'm afraid there is no support for multichannel formats other than stereo.
I think in the 'HDMI handshaking' process devices 'tell' each other about their capabilities and then they choose the level they all (both) satisfy. So, the source devices probably send to Yarra only stereo or DD or Apt x, no matter what they would generally be capable of.
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post #65 of 182 Old 07-14-2019, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by gactm View Post
I’m also interested in playing back lossless multichannel music. For my tests with Yarra 3DX, I’ve downloaded some samples from 2l.no site (Morten Lindberg’s productions).
...
Bravo! Morten Lindberg is my favourite. I have many of his recordings (discs).

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Originally Posted by gactm View Post
...
Mozart: Violin concerto in D major – Allegro, Marianne Thorsen / TrondheimSolistene
a) original CD, 16BIT/44kHz
b) stereo, 24BIT/96kHz
c) 5.1 Surround, 24BIT/96kHz

In addition, I have played back some of Mark Waldrep’s productions (DVD-Audios).

I used bitstream for HDMI Audio output on my OPPO 103D player as it had been set up previously. a) sample was played back seamlessly. For b) sample the sound was somewhat distorted and more and more distorted for c).

When I played some of Mark Waldrep’s DVD-Audios, e.g., Mixtures I: A Classical Surround Sampler, group 3 Dolby 5.1 “Audience”, the eighths led (from left to right) lighted blue, which meant that the internal Dolby decoder was on. It was interesting that for group 1 MLP 5.1 “Audience” I got sound, no blue light was on. I cannot figure out what kind of digital audio processing might have occurred inside Yarra.

Also, when I played back an SACD (Morten Lindberg’s productions) there was no sound unless I switched the setting for SACD output from DSD to PCM.

I tried to playback a 5.1 DTS HD MA 24/192 recording from a blu-ray audio (also Morten Lindberg’s productions) with Yarra 3DX. The result was very distorted and metallic sound. To fix that issue I had to turn Yarra off and on again. I’m not quite sure that my Yarra 3DX “recovered” from that attempt.
...
I would say 'HDMI handshaking' results in Oppo 'forgetting' it's bitstream setting (except for the DD) and 'translating' everything to stereo or HD stereo. And it seems Yarra struggles with HD, so, more HD - more distortion.
By the way, did you mean DVD Audio (HD mch) or audio DVD (lossy DVD sound, without video content)?.

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Originally Posted by gactm View Post
...
To the best of my knowledge, I don’t think that one user might have control of whether the binauralisation function is on or off.
...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr. AIX at "https://www.head-fi.org/threads/yarra-speaker-system.860123/page-4"

The binauralization can be turned on or off...it is not automatic. Those users that simply want to use the bar to create a stereo sound field would turn it off.
I hope Dr. AIX is right, because otherwise, in case of playing previously binauralized content, you would have two binauralizations in a row, and that doesn't seem to be good at all.

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Originally Posted by gactm View Post
...
So, to conclude, I remember that Mark Waldrep (aka as Dr AIX) wrote on his blog that listeners looked over their shoulders to see if he had placed surround speakers in the corners. I hadn’t the sensation that surround speakers were behind me when I listened to multichannel music recordings with Yarra 3DX. I’m aware that it’s not quite proper to compare Yarra 3DX with a carefully designed 5.1 speaker setup.
Maybe Realiser A8 really made so good previous binauralization and maybe Dr. AIX really somehow turned 'the second' binauralization off ?
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post #66 of 182 Old 07-15-2019, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Kri View Post
I think Gactm is quite right and Dr. AIX is avoiding the truth in order not to reject potential backers.
After I’ve read Dr AIX’s posts in Yarra Speaker System thread (head-fi.org), I think I’ve got a better perspective of what may have happened with respect to the development of Yarra 3DX. Now, I understand why he included his Smyth A8 as the binauralizer. Initially, I didn’t figure out his idea to demonstrate the solo function.

As part of my trials with Yarra 3DX, I played back a 5.1 channel speaker test. The result was disappointing. I could hear the sound only in front of me. Dr AIX wrote that when he soloed the right surround channel and the sound appeared to come from over the listener's right shoulder, the demonstration was taken to a whole new level. That did the trick: inclusion of his Smyth A8 prior to sending the signal to Yarra 3DX. The result was that listeners looked over their shoulders to see if he had placed surround speakers in the corners.

So, I think that Dr. AIX was not misleading the prospective backers deliberately. Achievements are not always as intentional as possible.
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post #67 of 182 Old 07-15-2019, 03:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kri View Post
.........
By the way, did you mean DVD Audio (HD mch) or audio DVD (lossy DVD sound, without video content)?.

I hope Dr. AIX is right, because otherwise, in case of playing previously binauralized content, you would have two binauralizations in a row, and that doesn't seem to be good at all.

Maybe Realiser A8 really made so good previous binauralization and maybe Dr. AIX really somehow turned 'the second' binauralization off ?
I meant DVD Audio (HD mch or MLP 5.1).

The issue of turning binauralization on or off was not my concern. I didn’t download the android app. Someone who uses that app can say whether or not that setting is active.
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post #68 of 182 Old 07-15-2019, 04:19 AM
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As you may remember, there was a backer event/demonstration for some local backers at Comhear headquarters on August 21, 2018. The event was recorded and the video posted on youtube. Unfortunately, under not so clear reasons, the backer demonstration video was withdrawn.

After our friends across the pond get their Yarra 3DX parcels and if some of the attendees at that backer demonstration read here, it might be interesting to learn their opinions on Yarra as against their perceptions at the demonstration event.

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post #69 of 182 Old 07-15-2019, 04:30 AM
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By the way, APT X HD isn't HD format at all. It is also a lossy format.
Not only that it only exists as a BT codec not as a file system, and both the transmitter and receiver must be Aptx HD, I'm guessing the Yarra has the receiver part taking care of. Most Android phones of Android 8 and above is capable to send Aptx HD signal, however BT currently doesn't support any multi channel transmission on any codec, so Yarra has to do it's own processing after that.

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post #70 of 182 Old 07-16-2019, 12:10 PM
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And one additional general question - do you have control of whether the binauralisation function is on or off?
I think I found an answer to your question. In a previous post, I wrote that to the best of my knowledge, I didn’t think that one user might had control of whether the binauralisation function was on or off.


After I installed Yarra Android application, I was able to see the settings highlighted as in the attached photo. If one clicks on Stereo that means binauralisation is by-passed. Surround - binauralisation is on.
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post #71 of 182 Old 07-17-2019, 02:24 AM
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Ah, good, that makes sense. Thank you for the explanation.
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post #72 of 182 Old 07-19-2019, 07:26 AM
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New firmware available, version 1.2.15.360. There's no change log.
Configuration utility unchanged, version 1.0.20.0.

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post #73 of 182 Old 07-20-2019, 01:21 AM
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Originally Posted by gactm View Post
New firmware available, version 1.2.15.360. There's no change log.
Configuration utility unchanged, version 1.0.20.0.

Running the latest firmware, I've noticed that I'm getting occasional (1 tonight, 3 last night) "crashes" of the sound bar. The audio stops and the far right LED turns from blue to red (need to power OFF and ON and then it works again). Anyone else seeing this? I didn't have this happen when I was running the original firmware it shipped with.
I'm running optical (toslink) input, using the Xbox One X set to output bitstream dolby digital. Apart from this, it really does sound amazing.

With good DD 5.1 source material, the sound stage is wide and individual elements are very discrete. It doesn't, however, seem to provide any sense of a rear sound stage.
Overall I'm pleasantly surprised by it. Hopefully future firmware updates will improve the robustness of it, and perhaps its ability to provide a rear sound stage.
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post #74 of 182 Old 07-20-2019, 05:51 AM
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Running the latest firmware, I've noticed that I'm getting occasional (1 tonight, 3 last night) "crashes" of the sound bar.
I've also had the issue with the previous 1.2.14.359 fw build. Moreover I often get distorted sound output from the Yarra, it sounds like digital echo plus some sand or noise effect.
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post #75 of 182 Old 07-20-2019, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by atabesc View Post
I've also had the issue with the previous 1.2.14.359 fw build. Moreover I often get distorted sound output from the Yarra, it sounds like digital echo plus some sand or noise effect.
When you get the sound distortion, are you sure you are sending an audio signal compatible with the Yarra (e.g. DD 5.1, stereo PCM)?
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post #76 of 182 Old 07-20-2019, 11:27 AM
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When you get the sound distortion, are you sure you are sending an audio signal compatible with the Yarra (e.g. DD 5.1, stereo PCM)?
Yep, I'm sure that it can happen with a compatible audio signal. It's not a permanent effect, it happens from time to time with the same sound source. For instance, it happens with the Windows system sounds, sometimes they are distorted, but sometimes they sound normal.
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post #77 of 182 Old 07-20-2019, 11:33 AM
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Yep, I'm sure that it can happen with a compatible audio signal. It's not a permanent effect, it happens from time to time with the same sound source. For instance, it happens with the Windows system sounds, sometimes they are distorted, but sometimes they sound normal.
Have you sent this issue into Comhear support? I emailed their support email yesterday about it. The more feedback they get, the more likely we'll get a fix. I'll post here with any response I get back from them.
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post #78 of 182 Old 07-20-2019, 12:50 PM
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Have you sent this issue into Comhear support?
Yep. They've responded that my request has been forwarded to their engineers.
And it's not the only issue I have with the sound bar.
I'm not happy that there's no native volume control from an OS.
The sound bar automatically turns off in 30 minutes when it's not in use, and there's no automatic turn on except by the HDMI-CEC. And I hate to manually control multiple devices in a chain, it's something from the far past. There should be one interface to control all of the devices.

The sound bar automatically switches from the proper HDMI input to the wrong ARC input when it is turned on by the CEC.
There's sound distortion, there's sound loss.
There's no support for multichannel PCM or other surround formats except for the DD. It will be more correct to say that Yarra 3DX is a multiuser (up to 3) stereo sound bar, it's not a true 3D or surround sound bar as it's been advertised.

There are issues in the control applications.
It's quite a crude product. I hope it will be well-polished soon.
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post #79 of 182 Old 07-22-2019, 12:35 AM
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If some of you would like to test your Yarras with binaural files, I was able to find two sites dealing with experimental binaural sound.

TERZO ORECCHIO | Registrazioni Binaurali (in Italian). Besides Toccata there are many other recordings.
https://www.terzoorecchio.com/toccata.html

and

Le son binaural, which is a French site. You can download various samples by clicking Télécharger.
For example, Orgue P.Quoirin, Carpentras
https://www.lesonbinaural.fr/#ecoutes

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post #80 of 182 Old 07-22-2019, 12:07 PM
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FYI - A question I asked Mark Waldrep and his response:
I just started testing the Yarra. Generally good but a few questions. So far I’m not noticing any sense of sound coming from behind me. I’ve checked that with the speaker channel verification on your older AIX sampler disc, as well as with the Xbox One X outputting DD 5.1 via TosLink. Any suggestions on how to clearly demo sound from behind one’s head? Yarra settings? Yarra positioning? What about height of the Yarra relative to one’s head?

I believe others are also having difficulty achieving the sensation of rear channel sound. Any advice much appreciated.

Reply from Mark Waldrep:
The system emulates the sound of a 5.1 surround system and its unlikely that you will experience sound directly behind your head. In some occasions (a moving sound for example) will seems to travel behind you, but in general think of a 5.1 setup with sound coming from the 110-120 degree position of a properly set up home theater.
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post #81 of 182 Old 07-23-2019, 01:43 AM
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As part of my trials with Yarra 3DX, I also played back a 5.1 channel speaker test. The result was disappointing. I could hear the sound only in front of me. The 3D surround sound effect was stunning both in near field and far filed options when I played binaural recordings.

I acknowledge that there’re some fine music recordings made by Mark Waldrep (aka Dr AIX) on the included DVD. I’ve noticed that most of the demo files included are AC3, 48 kHz, 16 bits and 6 channels. However, the surround sound effect was not as impressive as for the binaural files.

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New Control Panel update available, version 1.0.22.0. There’s no information about the changes in this update.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meiche View Post
Running the latest firmware, I've noticed that I'm getting occasional (1 tonight, 3 last night) "crashes" of the sound bar. The audio stops and the far right LED turns from blue to red (need to power OFF and ON and then it works again). Anyone else seeing this? I didn't have this happen when I was running the original firmware it shipped with.
I'm running optical (toslink) input, using the Xbox One X set to output bitstream dolby digital. Apart from this, it really does sound amazing.

With good DD 5.1 source material, the sound stage is wide and individual elements are very discrete. It doesn't, however, seem to provide any sense of a rear sound stage.
Overall I'm pleasantly surprised by it. Hopefully future firmware updates will improve the robustness of it, and perhaps its ability to provide a rear sound stage.
Here's the response from Comhear support re. the above issue I reported:
This LED sequence means that the Dolby decoder on the DSP is failing to decode the bitstream for an unknown reason. We have been able to reproduce this issue and are actively trying to track it down. The simplest workaround is to change your audio stream source to PCM instead of Dolby. We hope to issue a fix soon via a firmware update. Thank you for the detailed report.
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post #84 of 182 Old 07-23-2019, 09:55 PM
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Thanks for sharing your findings. It’s a shame that Comhear Customer Support are not more opened to their customers. I should’ve expected to see a forum or a blog as part of their support page. It might be more helpful when owners of Yarra units share their findings and issues among themselves and Comhear step in to find solutions.

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post #85 of 182 Old 07-25-2019, 05:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meiche View Post
Here's the response from Comhear support re. the above issue I reported:
This LED sequence means that the Dolby decoder on the DSP is failing to decode the bitstream for an unknown reason. We have been able to reproduce this issue and are actively trying to track it down. The simplest workaround is to change your audio stream source to PCM instead of Dolby. We hope to issue a fix soon via a firmware update. Thank you for the detailed report.
Latest update from Comhear:
We have several reports of this issue and are working on a firmware update that will be released very soon. Please keep an eye on the support page http://www.yarra3dx.com/support/ for the announcement about the new firmware update. We anticipate it will be ready within 10 days.
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post #86 of 182 Old 07-27-2019, 07:30 AM
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Somebody on the Kickstarter site reports to have connected his Yarra to the TV set and enjoyed the Auro 3D content!
Is that a cruel joke or what???
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post #87 of 182 Old 07-27-2019, 12:28 PM
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I’ve also read that piece of report. Until there is a bit more details available, we have to take what Vasja Laharnar says with a pinch of salt.

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post #88 of 182 Old 07-28-2019, 05:39 AM
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Vasja Laharnar said: ……The back sound didn't sound like it's coming from the back, maybe slightly from the back but I certainly didn't have a 360 feeling of the sound. More like 200 degrees.


I think this new piece of information is also exaggerated. Maybe he should be more careful about finding the degrees in a circle.

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Yarra 3DX
gactm is offline  
post #89 of 182 Old 07-28-2019, 05:03 PM
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For those confused about (lack of) surround cues:

Multichannel PCM and non-Dolby Surround formats

The *Multichannel* PCM promised (in the final email update to backers when they announced they would shortly be ready to ship) clearly doesn’t work properly (if at all), neither by USB nor HDMI. Have tried a variety of sources and I get no proper surround channels at all.

The system does not support DTS or other surround formats.


Dolby Digital Surround

The only way to get proper surround on the Yarra is from content encoded in Dolby surround formats bitstreamed to the Yarra from your source device as Dolby Digital 5.1. If there’s no Dolby Digital 5.1 in the audio stream you’re feeding the Yarra then you won’t get Surround.

If your source content is *not* Dolby encoded, the only way you will get surround on the Yarra from that content is if your Media player, games console, PC, TV ARC etc. can convert PCM multichannel surround into Dolby digital 5.1 or transcode other non-Dolby Surround formats such as DTS into DD5.1.

(Warning for those using ARC without previous experience: On some usually older TVs, ARC does not support 5.1 DD passthrough (some do, some don’t, most recent models do), in which case you will only be feeding 2.0 stereo to the Yarra).

The Xbox 360/One/One X and the Playstation 3 / 4/ Pro consoles can definitely do this (convert to DD5.1) for games and DVD/Bluray DTS content, you just need to select bitstream in the audio output settings and choose Dolby Digital 5.1. Some DVD/Bluray players and PC soundcard / motherboard audio chip drivers are capable to differing degrees of transcoding some non-Dolby formats and Multichannel PCM into Dolby 5.1 too.

(*In the case of Xbox One consoles specifically (not sure about PlayStation), for DTS encoded DVD and Bluray content, you need to ensure that that the System’s Bluray Player app setting of “let my receiver decode” is un-ticked, otherwise you would just be passing the DTS through to the Yarra which won’t result in surround.)


Testing DD5.1 surround cues

DD5.1 Surround testing via films and TV shows can be hard if you don’t already have strong familiarity with how the surround effect should sound on a properly setup true 5.1 speaker system, or at the very least how it sounds when converted into virtual surround format with decent headphones. Pause/rewind/play of film and TV scenes, rinse and repeat can get pretty tedious.

For this reason it may be easier to conduct at least some of your testing via a surround test function on a DVD or Bluray (THX branded ones often have such tests), a speaker/channel test on a PC that supports DD5.1 (using windows in-built sound manager etc.) or via a video game. The latter two options are particularly useful in in that they offer more control over the testing of directional cues for the various channels as you please.
If the video game supports surround sound and has free control of the camera view then just find a consistently emitting sound source in gameplay, say a fire or waterfall etc., and just rotate the camera around your character to test different angles of origin and also to test perceived depth (of the cues) try moving your character to test different positions and distances.

Testing on PC

Provided your motherboard audio chip or sound card supports multichannel audio and Dolby Digital 5.1 encoding, then all you need to do is set your PC to 5.1 speaker config in the sound manager and, in the case of games, set audio to “surround” in the in-game audio options, should there be any.

If you are not a gamer, don’t own a console and don’t want to spend money on games, there are games which are free to play or trial on PC and some of these use surround sound.

Be mindful that game surround tracks tend to be mixed a bit differently from movie and TV surround. Rear cues tend to be much louder and feel much closer than front cues, even if the ‘virtual’ distance in-game from the source cue is the same.
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post #90 of 182 Old 07-28-2019, 05:23 PM
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Impressions of Yarra 3DX surround capabilities:

TLDR:
  • Multichannel PCM doesn’t work at all for surround whether via usb or HDMI.
  • At near field distances, the far field surround mode is more noticable and convincing and for me closer to the experience of a true setup.
  • In terms of surround effect (rear cues in particular), although good, it still feels and to some extent sounds more like processed virtual surround than it does a true setup.
  • Pre-binauralised content fed to the Yarra in 2.0 stereo requires the Yarra’s surround mode to be in effect (i.e. double HRTF) in order to be convincingly enveloping and cues to be accurate. Unfortunately doing this also destroys the sound quality / fidelity.


Elaboration:

Dolby Digital 5.1

When DD5.1 works on the Yarra, the Surround Effect can be very good but works in a similar way to headphone VSS and as such will be limited by the mixing of the source content and the limitations of VSS. Rear channel sounds will be appreciable but feel somewhat artificial/processed, particularly in videogames where rear cues are often boosted in comparison to front cues. In terms of rear and side cues, it is not noticably better than the best headphone / virtual surround combos. The advantage it does have over headphones however is its installation position as physical source of the sound either beneath or close to the TV / monitor screen, thereby avoiding the perceived “in your head” disconnect you can get with headphones clamped to your ears in comparison to the physical distance between you and the speakers and the Tv or monitor. So I guess in that sense cues from the front/center tend to feel like they have more depth and distance (but then again that would likely be the case with any physical speaker setup).

Near field vs Far field Surround modes

While I am not familiar with the exact mechanics behind Yarra’s surround field processing and output, I was under the impression that the bundle of sound beams would be output in a wider, more diffuse pattern in near field mode in order to create an enveloping surround effect for the close range user while the far field bundle of beams would be narrower and more focused at point of origin in order to preserve equivalent separation and surround effect at farther distances where the effect created by the near field mode would have otherwise dissipated due to being much wider and more diffuse to begin with.

Regardless, in practice (at least to my ears and no matter what ambient preset or HRTF model I use), at near field range the surround effect is much more apparent, enveloping and convincing if using the far field mode instead. . .!?
I have yet to try in a different room which would allow me to test both near and far field modes at a far field listening distance. Will update if I get a chance.


Binaural Content and Pre-binauralised surround mixes using pre-existing virtual Virtual Surround sound solutions.

In the few instances I have seen this previously discussed by commenters on forums, the big concern appeared to be ensuring that Yarra’s surround mode could be turned off to avoid double HRTF or the re-binauralisation of already binauralised content.

Well, in my testing of specifically binaural tracks like “virtual barbershop” and also discrete multichannel content binauralised into headphone virtual surround (via Dolby Atmos for Headphone, DTS Virtual X and Creative SBX surround) then fed to the Yarra, the Yarra’s surround effect needs to be set to “ON”, presumably to detect and exploit the various cues in the pre-binauralised 2.0 stereo. While the mechanics behind it may well be different, in terms of results, it reminds me of using Dolby Pro Logic or DTS Neo on surround content that has been downsampled into 2.0 stereo. You won’t get much in the way of surround effect from it unless you use something to intelligently upmix back into some semblance of the original surround.

In every instance and sample content I tried, setting the Yarra to stereo just meant the cues and depth were all over the place, with rear and sides totally off, whether in near or far field modes. Setting the Yarra to surround on the other hand, positioned the cues exactly where they were supposed to be.

If you want to try this out, just go to the “virtual barber shop” binaural demo on YouTube. Listen to it a couple of times using the best pair of headphones you have, familiarising yourself with the positional cues. Now try that same content with the Yarra. In stereo mode, the bits where the barber is behind you and cutting the hair around your ears sounded markedly in front of me with no illusion of rear placement. Setting the Yarra to surround mode fixed this and the cues were back to where they should be. Unfortunately, however it also wrecked the sound quality.
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