DMAS audio review

No, support wants me to send back the DMAS and offered to refund me their cost, which leaves me with a faulty 8KX with no sound… Great customer service

@hammerhead_gal @PimaxQuorra @PimaxVR

Can you look into getting the 8kX RMA as it is defective.

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While we know that other customers have had a whining problem resolved by replacing their 8KX with a newer revision, it’s at least possible that Pimax has determined a way to resolve the issue with a change to the DMAS instead.

As I understand it, users experienced this whine on launch 8KX’s specifically with the DMAS and not other headphones. And, as you mentioned, the DMAS does not experience whine with other audio sources. It is the specific combination of launch 8KX and DMAS which produces the whine.

Therefore, technically it may be possible to make some sort of change to the DMAS which also avoids the whine for the same reason that other headphones do not trigger it. And it would make sense for Pimax to pursue such an option since it’s presumably much less expensive than replacing every launch 8KX.

I’m not claiming that this is actually what Pimax has done. I’m just pointing out that it’s not actually completely impossible that following Pimax support’s suggestions will fix the issue.

That said, my recommendation for your best course of action at this point would be to accept the refund of the DMAS and buy the KDMAS instead. I own and have done extensive testing with both and concluded that the KDMAS are easily the better headphones and also cost less.

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The problem is they already authorized the rma on the 8kX then have “changed there mind”. PimaxUSA said it was determined to have to do with power platform used in some models. Likely not enough shielding or adequate power noise filters. Creating interference.

Now if they want to waste time and money; rma the DMAS; ship new replacement. And when it likely does not resolve issue; rma the 8kX as was originally authorized in the first place. It seems like some kind of internal communication issue

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That’s not saying much. If I had paid for my KDMAS, I would have refunded it. Even a $100 set of Sennheiser monitors expose how poor the sound is by comparison, given the “D” stands for Deluxe.

That people are finding problems with sound, eye tracking, hand tracking and even early Sword reports makes me wonder what their 12K will end up like, if they can’t even get current gen peripherals up to acceptable standards.

This would all be fine if Pimax was selling low end VR.

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The KDMAS certainly sounds cheap out-of-the-box. I posted a guide with software and specific EQ settings which improves its sound quality substantially:

Pimax software doesn’t appear to be performing any sound processing whatsoever. They don’t even have their own drivers but rather rely on the stock Microsoft USB audio driver which has known sound quality issues. And even if it didn’t, the sound quality is completely raw and untuned. It wakes up considerably with the application of 3rd party software to do it, but that should be built in to Pimax’s own software.

To be fair, sound quality should probably be compared to other VR headsets on the market rather than dedicated headphones. The Valve Index (and Reverb G2 which uses the same audio system) is generally considered to have the best audio on the market, and the KDMAS produces better audio quality than the Index does in my A-B comparisons… with 3rd party EQ applied. As the KDMAS sounds stock, it’s not nearly as good as the Index audio.

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Indeed MS usb Audio Driver for both Audio & Mic. Pimax should have read up used a custom audio driver.

For compared to CV1 Audio which has been praised for on ear vr audio.

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I am aware of your guide and indeed have made adjustments with my own EQ software but that doesn’t change my opinion of the sound capabilities (by comparison). It will suffice for some as gaming solution but as a musician my preference is for a much cleaner sound.
in any case, as a gamer,I prefer a full room surround experience rather than headphones. I understand that others will not always have the luxury of being able to make all the noise they want. In my case, I have had rock musicians play in my home without my neighbors being able to hear the sessions, so blowing things up isn’t an issue. Indeed, when the windows shake it is glorious. :grinning: … and easier on the ears than phones.

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By comparison to studio headphones, I agree. I’m also a musician (amateur). I do have gear which is able to produce much higher sound quality than either the KDMAS or the Index or anything else in VR land.

But there are substantial usability issues with wearing dedicated headphones over VR headsets. So it’s not really an apples to apples comparison in terms of the total product experience.

I wish truly high end audio was available for VR headsets. Someday it will be.

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There already is.

The Index and G2 have a wonderfully open soundstage, wide and even range, and really allow for immersion. They are far superior to any other VR headset’s soundsystem, out-of-the-box and post-tuned. Absolutely no doubt about that.

If Pimax can mirror this for the Q12, we may have the perfect device. That is my hope.

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I dunno. I think @dogbite has the best off ear sound stage. :grin:

Off ear vs 9n ear really depends on one’s needs and preferences.

Agree that from practical standpoint this wouldn’t be the preferred and was only speaking to sound quality.

As you say " They don’t even have their own drivers but rather rely on the stock Microsoft USB audio driver which has known sound quality issues" This is why Pimax maybe should have spent more time developing a system that would be representative of enthusiast level gear. They are charging enthusiast level prices.

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I am finally in contact with ‘Adonis’ from tech support, who is making reasonable requests for evidence and testing to confirm the issue. Hopefully they will see sense and proceed with replacing the faulty headset.

In case anyone has any doubts on whether it is the 8KX or the DMAS, I recommend you put earphones on and watch this:

I’m on the latest firmware and pitool FYI.

Also - @Sargon I have the KDMAS already, I had it months before the DMAS. I find low & mid-end is muddy, and the high end is incredibly poor. Case in point - nobody noticed the high pitched whine from the KDMAS, because their freq response is terrible. I too have messed around with EQ settings but cannot get anything near satisfactory audio performance from them. The DMAS however, while severely lacking in base, has accurate mid & high ends after EQ and a much better soundstage. If I am able to eliminate the high pitched whine I will be satisfied (but not overwhelmed) with them for now.

Edit: to avoid confusion, in the video I’m not highlighting the background ‘fuzz’ or lower pitched humm that you can hear, but specifically the whine at exactly 23-24 seconds. It’s tough to pick up with the mic but when it’s on your head it’s VERY prominent.

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I’ve actually gotten mine to produce similar noise when attaching other headphones to the 8KX output in the same manner you’ve shown in the video. I think the KDMAS is 8 ohm while the DMAS is 4 ohm, and the 8KX is auto-detecting. This is also why you need to use the splitter with KDMAS but must not use it with DMAS.

The 8KX only seems to perform this auto-detect at boot. So in the video, when you’re disconnecting the DMAS (seemingly only on the left side) and plugging in other devices, there is a mismatch in the expected resistance, and it will make terrible noises.

But, at least in my own tests, I found that if I rebooted it with the different headphones still connected, it would auto-detect again and start working properly.

So that may be something to check out in your case. What you’re experiencing in the video when connecting other audio devices may actually be a red herring that’s not related (at least directly) to your DMAS whine problem.

I’ve heard similar from a few other people, and while it could just be difference in subjective opinion, what you’re describing is far enough away from how I would describe it that I wonder if we’re really testing the same device. Or more correctly, the KDMAS itself may be the same between us, but the amplification section of early versus later 8KX’s appear to be different (as suggested by the whine issue).

I’m skeptical that the KDMAS high frequency sound reproduction is so bad that they don’t reproduce the whine at all, and that this is why you don’t hear it with KDMAS. The 8KX’s amplification section seems to be running in a different mode when DMAS is installed, and this is when the whine seems to occur.

In any case, I’m not really trying to argue with you. I’m trying to provide some background on the engineering aspects of this that have been determined (or at least conjectured) in hopes that it may help your plight and get you to a solution sooner.

Not having the DMAS or an 8KX my only ability to accept that the whine exists has been the sheer number of reports…until your video. No amount of EQ tinkering will alleviate what I just heard. Just awful.

Blame MS stock drivers. Blame shielding. Blame some faulty component made by a Pimax partner (always a favorite scapegoat). Blame Sony for digital music ruining people’s ability to discern full sound. :grinning: Whatever the case ends up being, if it isn’t resolved, blame Pimax.

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Hi Sargon,

I appreciate your insights, I don’t feel the need to bring up my background here but it more than equips me with the understand of the concepts at play here from both an engineering and scientific perspective. I spent weeks troubleshooting this issue when the DMAS first arrived and was already aware of the DMAS switching impedance between KDMAS and DMAS on restart. The speaker connected in my video is a Beoplay A2, which is also 4 Ohms, which I have made clear in my communications with the Pimax tech dept.

The high pitched noise specifically at the 23 second mark is the issue, not the noise that can be replicated with any amplification/gain on an analogue signal. You’re correct in highlighting that the whine is more likely an issue specific to the 4ohm amplification mode rather than the freq response though I’ll concede.

I would be overjoyed if a firmware update somehow eradicated this issue, but for now, the only solution I am aware of is a replacement 8KX, and I really need their support to honour what they previously

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Holy hell… now I’ve proved it’s the 8KX they are trying to tell me it is out of warranty…

You have got to be kidding me.

I’m going to go nuclear if they don’t back down and repair or replace my 8KX at no cost (happy to cover shipping though).

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I said some time back that if pimax was good at anything it’s dancing (around an issue)… Dragging things out until warranties expire is no surprise.
I said in Nov 21 “None of that video would even expose the whine “22 of the 24” reports here mention exists”.

There are reasons after 4 years, I still only have the 5K+ and this is one of them.

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I received the DMAS over a year after the 8KX came to me, when my original order was an “8KX with DMAS”. It’s not my fault it took so long for them to get the DMAS out, if I had it sooner I would have revealed the fault with my 8KX within their own definition of warranty, but hey.

The fault with the headset could only be revealed when the DMAS was received, therefore the total warranty period under that logic is… negative 2 months.

I have no problems putting together a snappy pitch to all of the tech & VR websites & youtube channels if they don’t correct their view of this situation and actually treat me like a paying customer rather than a chump.

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That’s exactly what I have been trying to say, when we log a support ticket within the warranty period, the date the ticket is created should be the date of the warranty claim.

In this situation it is clearly a defective HMD out of the box, and not your fault that the defect could not be heard before all the hardware as ordered was delivered.

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