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Tough Decisions

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I'm very new to your community, and this forum to be exact, but I've been doing quite a bit of research on new audio equipment for my computer and was in need of a bit of ACTUAL advice that's not just your standard Google search result garbage.

Basically what I would like to get is a good idea about what set up is the best for the audio peripherals I want to purchase in the next couple months.

I've done some looking around, and can't quite come up with a good decision on which sound card is the best for the speakers and headsets I have narrowed my selection down too. What I've come up with are these 4 sound cards. I am a pretty avid gamer, mainly FPS, and I am also a bit of an audiophile.
ASUS Xonar Essence ST:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132014
ASUS Xonar Essence STX:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132010
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102019
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102033

I've pretty much decided on this 2.1 channel speaker system, based on several reviews I found, that placed it well above comparable systems in its price range. If you know of a comparable system that is better suited for my tastes/needs, give your input. One thing that concerns me though is that this system appears to be only RCA input so that limits my choice on sound cards, unless using RCA to 3.55mm adapters don't cause major losses in sound quality. Any info on that is appreciated as well.
Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836852001

Headsets have always been a bit of a sticky spot for me, because I never know if I should be looking into 7.1 surround sound, 5.1 surround sound, stereo sound, or what have you. So, after doing a bit of research, I've compiled a list of 4 different headsets that I'm debating upon purchasing. Again, any input of better/comparable items is welcomed. (I already own the G35 as well as a TurtleBeach HPA2 but both are pretty old, and have taken a beating from continued use and abuse by me and my brothers.)
SteelSeries 7H USB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826249053
Logitech G35 USB:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826104281
ROCCAT Kave 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826436005
SENNHEISER PC350
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16826106219

What I came up with by myself that fits what I need/want is to combine the ASUS Xonar Essence ST with the Corsair 2.1 speaker system I would like, along with either the Sennheiser PC350 or the SteelSeries 7H. From what you guys know, and from the components I listed does this seem like a decent set up?

Thanks for the time guys, hopefully I can finally put my mind to rest about this soon. .
post #2 of 9
1. Ditch any boxed PC speakers and dip into the used audio hardware market for stereo amp +bookshelf and good 8-10" sub that would not only trump any boxed speakers in sound quality but due to design longer lasting as well

2. Good stereo wired can + mic always over "headsets"
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El Pinguis Cattus
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post #3 of 9
Why a headset? Why not a quality headphone + clip on mic combo? :3

Unless you're like a traveling gaming professional or something.
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by trog View Post
1. Ditch any boxed PC speakers and dip into the used audio hardware market for stereo amp +bookshelf and good 8-10" sub that would not only trump any boxed speakers in sound quality but due to design longer lasting as well

2. Good stereo wired can + mic always over "headsets"
1. I never actually gave much thought to that oddly enough. I might take a look into it depending on the opinions of some more replys.

2. Not sure what you mean by "wired can", but I'm assuming you mean, a decent set of stereo headphones, and a stand alone mic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Inverse View Post
Why a headset? Why not a quality headphone + clip on mic combo? :3

Unless you're like a traveling gaming professional or something.
I like headsets because it's less hassle, when buying, using, etc. They are usually relatively cheap and still have decent audio. I don't do any recording or mixing of music or things of that nature, so I don't think I'd need a really super duper high quality mic or studio quality headphone.

Thanks for the input guys.
Edited by jjs.pioneer - 10/30/11 at 5:47am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjs.pioneer View Post
I like headsets because it's less hassle, when buying, using, etc. They are usually relatively cheap and still have decent audio. I don't do any recording or mixing of music or things of that nature, so I don't think I'd need a really super duper high quality mic or studio quality headphone.
i disagree

anyway as for sound card get the Titanium HD (best for gaming FPS)

as for headphones get the AD700 or the Ultrasone 55Pro

or if getting a headsets is a MUST ,then get Sennheiser PC 350
    
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crag View Post
i disagree

anyway as for sound card get the Titanium HD (best for gaming FPS)

as for headphones get the AD700 or the Ultrasone 55Pro

or if getting a headsets is a MUST ,then get Sennheiser PC 350
I did a little more searching around, and I guess I can agree with you somewhat, to disagree with me. (if that makes sense?) I have this innate habit of pulling random factoids out of nowhere sometimes.

As for the AD700 you mean?
http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/he...56f/index.html

and for the Ultrasone 55 Pro you mean this?
http://ultrasone.com/stores/us/Ultra...e-PRO-550.html

Now, I don't know if I can justify spending $200+ on a headphone, considering what I'm intending to use it for, but the AD700 is viable. What sort of microphone would you suggest? Just something cheap that clips on or is slid behind the ear or something? As I said earlier, my main use is gaming, and the major use of a mic would be the voice chat, so it doesn't have to be super fancy or anything.

I also ran across the ASUS Xonar Xense:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132018
what are some thoughts on this card? I don't think I'd purchase it unless there is some insanely huge difference between it and the Titanium HD. I'm thinking I'm going to try to keep my expenses per item to a $200 limit or something around that.

Thanks for the help.
Edited by jjs.pioneer - 10/30/11 at 7:29am
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
So I've been skimming through the forum some more, and stumbled across this really intuitive and ultra helpful post, but I am still kind of torn between the ASUS Xonar ST and the Titanium HD.
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...-products.html

I'm willing to spend the extra $$ on the Xonar if it is comparable in gaming to the Titanium, but gives a better spread on sound scape for music and movies.

As far as the headphones are concerned, I'm pretty much set on the Audio-Technica AD700s, and just need a little guidance for stand alone mics, clip on to the headset type, around/over ear mics, etc. The above thread lists the Zalman Clip on Mic as a recommendation, any thoughts or other recommendations?

I also stumbled across a thread about all sorts of different receiver/amplifier/speaker/sub-woofer setups,
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...aker-club.html

This link is something I came upon a little earlier as well, and is where I pulled the above link from,
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...ease-read.html
any thoughts on what brand/model is a good pick for around $2-300? If this price range isn't possible, is the Corsair SP2500 really all that bad in comparison?

Again, thanks for your time and input.
Edited by jjs.pioneer - 10/30/11 at 3:29pm
post #8 of 9
If you have $200, go get a Maverick Audio D1. Later down the road, get a good amp too if you need it. Now all you need is a good recommendation for a good set of headphones.
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Trinity
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post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
If you have $200, go get a Maverick Audio D1. Later down the road, get a good amp too if you need it. Now all you need is a good recommendation for a good set of headphones.
That is a definite possibility for me to consider. As far as headphones are concerned, I'm pretty much, like 90-95% sure, that I am going to purchase Audio-Technica AD700s, which seem like the best price per performance headphone people recommend.

Thanks for the suggestion.
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