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Thanks for all the replies. Finally downloaded your trial - have 13 hours left. The trial version is clearly working with my USB dac and IEM's. Effects very clear but a few more questions.
1. The volume is very soft. Usually on my Dragonfly which has software volume control, with my IEM, I can listen at 20 of 100. But with this software, my volume control no longer works. The Spotify volume still works but that's a very limited help as even on max, it is too soft. How do I raise the volume? On your software, all the volume is as high as possible.
2. The trial setting are MUCH louder than with the Bypass on. This throws the trial off significantly as we almost always think the louder version is better. So your presets are all quite a bit louder than with bypass. This makes comparison very difficult. I wish the trial version is more fair in making the bypass and modified samples more similar in volume.
3. I see that you have 2.0 and 7.1 setups.
For 2.0 channel music listening - what is your three most popular presets ranging from most popular to less?
For 7.1 channel - what is your three most popular presents ranging from most to less?
And with 2.0 channel, if I am watching movie in 7.1, it won't make any difference right - still 2.0?
And with 7.1, will 2.0 channel music simply play back 2.0? If so, won't one usually try to select 7.1 so that the preset will work for both 2.0 and 7.1?
Thanks for posting your questions:
1) It's tricky to find a balance for the volume levels. Many people find that they get clipping because the levels on the presets are too high. Some recommend that I set the default levels lower so they won't get clipping. Others, like you, have DAC's which do not have external volume controls and find that the levels are too low.
I am not familiar with the Dragonfly's operation. Are you on Windows or Mac? If you are on Windows, one thing to try is to right-click on the Windows Sound system tray icon and select "Volume Mixer". Then in that window, click on the drop-down menu triangle under the audio device name and select the Dragonfly. You should be able to adjust the Dragonfly's internal analog volume control from there. (I do not have a Dragonfly to test, so this is just a theory.)
On Mac, you may be able to adjust the Dragonfly volume from the "Audio Midi" utility.
2) Generally by default, the Out Of Your Head Bypass setting does not have the volume levels in the Out Of Your Head control panel set to maximum. You should be able to turn those levels up to match the preset you are trying to compare to. However, the best way to compare Out Of Your Head on and off is to exit Out Of Your Head completely using the system tray menu on Windows, or the top menu bar icon menu on Mac. This way you can be sure that Out Of Your Head is not affecting your sound at all for a true "bypass".
3) There really isn't a "most popular" preset. The sales are really evenly spread out. There isn't a clear winner in either category. I think part of the reason is that the sound of each preset is fairly dependent on your ear shape. What sounds great to one person may sound bad to another person simply due to the difference in the shape of their ears.
Although there isn't a clear favorite, the Genelec Studio and the Acoustic Zen are probably the top.
The 2 channel presets are much less popular than the 7.1 presets, but the Sasha preset is popular.
Yes, you are right regarding the channels. If you are playing 2 channel music on a 7.1 preset, you will just hear sound from the Left and Right virtual speakers. If you are playing 7.1 content on a 2 channel preset, you will only hear the L and R channels. So, yes, if you wanted one preset to work with both music and movies, you should pick a 7.1 preset.