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Question for the vets: Opinions/Suggestions for headphone/audio setup

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

Been lurking here for a bit trying to read up on everything.

Little background: I need to get a new "headset" after an unfortunate accident that claimed the life of my old set (a turtle beach model).

In general I consider myself an audio enthusiast but honestly never really looked into headsets and alternative to headsets. Most of my knowledge and effort was spent getting a great HT setup that my computer uses.

That being said, I have been trying to do some actual research this go-around and have found that (as my ears told me with TB) most headsets are.. okay, to be nice.

My overall goal (though this needs to be broken into multiple pieces) is to get a good headphone/headset setup (but at a lower price point 50-100 for the headphones/headset) and then ultimately I would like to be able to crank a DD signal to the cans when the GF is sleeping.

Personally, I love heavy bass (not that I like quantity of bass over quality though). I predominantly watch either procedural shows, or action shows/movies (ranging from law and order to band of brothers to star trek). Music wise I typically listen to rock, some electronica/some classical/etc. That being said these will be used mostly for gaming 80%+, though I tend to turn off game music/etc and play either shows or my own music as an accompaniment) which I would be doing mostly through the headset. (currently live in a studio with neighbors and I try not to blast my system, which is easy).

In my research I think I have a good idea of what I would like to get for a headphone combo, that being the JVC HARX900 and a zalman clip-on. I think given my budget this would be a good option, and as I have read seems to have some good modability to improve even further.

Are there other headphones I should consider or would this be a pretty good set? I am definitely open to opinions from others.

Beyond that I am wondering if I will be limited to something like an astro mixamp, or TB dss for taking a DD signal and pumping it to the headphones down the line, or are there other options that would be better? (stipulation is that I want something external to the PC to handle this for some specific reasons regarding my current setup I would rather not change. Budget for this portion in the future is 100-200$)

Any thoughts or opinions would be greatly appreciated!

Have a great day everyone!
post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by syndicate2083 View Post

That being said, I have been trying to do some actual research this go-around and have found that (as my ears told me with TB) most headsets are.. okay, to be nice.

That is putting it really nicely lol

The JVC's are probably your best bet at your price range, looks like you did your research! Good buy for a cheaper headphone that still has good quality, and always the one I recommend for people on a budget.

If you want bass, then there are a couple great headphones I will throw out there, but will be a little out of your price range. The ATH M-50's and the Ultrasonne 550 pros are amazing. The Ultrasonnes need to be amped though.

The Seinheiser HD 280 pros are also great, and have a closed desgin so will deliver a little more bass. These should fit into your price range as well.

And it wouldn't be a headphone thread without saying the AD 700's, one of the best gaming headphones out there since they have an open design. They have great sound positioning and sound stage, but weak bass because of it.
I personally have owned the AD700's for over 2 years, great cans.

As for Amps, there are plenty of external solutions, and even some internal ones if you buy the right soundcard. You can even build your own amp for fairly cheap. Do some research on head-fi and there will be some guides, I don't have any bookmarked or I would hook you up. Check them out.
Edited by Grief - 12/13/11 at 9:09am
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ATH AD700 
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grief View Post

That is putting it really nicely lol
The JVC's are probably your best bet at your price range, looks like you did your research! Good buy for a cheaper headphone that still has good quality, and always the one I recommend for people on a budget.
If you want bass, then there are a couple great headphones I will throw out there, but will be a little out of your price range. The ATH M-50's and the Ultrasonne 550 pros are amazing. The Ultrasonnes need to be amped though.
The Seinheiser HD 280 pros are also great, and have a closed desgin so will deliver a little more bass. These should fit into your price range as well.
And it wouldn't be a headphone thread without saying the AD 700's, one of the best gaming headphones out there since they have an open design. They have great sound positioning and sound stage, but weak bass because of it.
I personally have owned the AD700's for over 2 years, great cans.
As for Amps, there are plenty of external solutions, and even some internal ones if you buy the right soundcard. You can even build your own amp for fairly cheap. Do some research on head-fi and there will be some guides, I don't have any bookmarked or I would hook you up. Check them out.

I appreciate the feedback greatly.

I was trying to be more kind to the headsets so as to not ruffle any feathers wink.gif

I will definitely check out your suggestions for the headphones though. I was trying to stay away from an open back mostly because I want these to be usable when the GF is sleeping (again tiny place for the time being, so sometimes being quiet is needed).

I certainly have allot more work to do on research as far as amps, still not really sure what to look for there, but I hope that my learning continues in that regard.

Thanks again!!
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by syndicate2083 View Post

I appreciate the feedback greatly.
I was trying to be more kind to the headsets so as to not ruffle any feathers wink.gif
I will definitely check out your suggestions for the headphones though. I was trying to stay away from an open back mostly because I want these to be usable when the GF is sleeping (again tiny place for the time being, so sometimes being quiet is needed).
I certainly have allot more work to do on research as far as amps, still not really sure what to look for there, but I hope that my learning continues in that regard.
Thanks again!!

Forgot about the sleeping gf, ya you aren't going to want the AD700s then, they bleed sound like crazy! Lucky my gf is a heavy sleeper, I can't remember her ever waking up while I'm playing.

I just did some searching and found this site, has a ton of links to DIY amp projects.

http://tangentsoft.net/audio/

EDIT:

You can make them look pretty cool too. Here are a couple awesome looking ones, I've found...may have just found myself another project for Christmas Break lol

http://www.hagtech.com/chime.html
http://www.dddac.de/
http://gilmore2.chem.northwestern.edu/ubb/showpage.php?fnum=3&tid=5896
Edited by Grief - 12/13/11 at 9:27am
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ATH AD700 
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2500k
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @ 4.6 1.27V Asus p67 Pro SLI 560 TI Ripjaws X 1600 2x4GB 
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Crucial C300 + Spinpoint F3 Noctua N-D14 Win 7 x64 LG 1920x1080 
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Das Professional NZXT 750w Hale90 Antec 600 M60 
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ATH AD700 
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Those are pretty awesome, I really like the first one, it looks pretty slick!

Definitely will be checking these out!
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Just ordered a set of HARX-900's and picked up an AntLion ModMic as well.

Can't wait to get em!

Should be here by monday, wooo biggrin.gif
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by syndicate2083 View Post

Just ordered a set of HARX-900's and picked up an AntLion ModMic as well.
Can't wait to get em!
Should be here by monday, wooo biggrin.gif

Nice! Grats!
2500k
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
2500k @ 4.6 1.27V Asus p67 Pro SLI 560 TI Ripjaws X 1600 2x4GB 
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Crucial C300 + Spinpoint F3 Noctua N-D14 Win 7 x64 LG 1920x1080 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Das Professional NZXT 750w Hale90 Antec 600 M60 
Audio
ATH AD700 
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2500k
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Crucial C300 + Spinpoint F3 Noctua N-D14 Win 7 x64 LG 1920x1080 
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Das Professional NZXT 750w Hale90 Antec 600 M60 
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ATH AD700 
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Definitely appreciate the input, thanks again!!

thumb.gif
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello,

For anyone who would care for an update..

Got my ModMic the other day, and the JVC HARX900's last night.

ModMic, I love it. This thing is great. The build quality is clearly evident when I opened the package. The magnet system is pretty genius.

I received allot of comments about voice quality and clarity when I put it on and started using it vs my old mic. It has pretty decent suppression too. I have to say its one of the best MICs I have used for capturing my voice without losing the natural bass a voice exhibits on most MICs, turning it into a weaker sounding version. It does a great job there (for those that care about that). It was super easy to install (3m adhesive on the cup, pressed down hard once I had it lined up and voila, all done). I love being able to easily take it off/put it on, or use the notch system to 90 degree it out of the way.

Overall I give it 5/5. No real complaints that I can think of. It's simple, but has clear build quality. thumb.gifthumb.gif

JVC HARX900's, I love these too! They sound FANTASTIC. Given, I am just entering the world of real headphones, and these are admittedly on the low end of that spectrum. My inexperience is my Bias here. That said. They are excellent.

Once I did a bit of EQ'ing they sounded exactly how I wanted them to on my music. (Clearly they are OOB as well so no real burn in yet) Out of the box I found the high's a bit lacking, and the bass, while present was a little muddy to me. After some adjustments I really clarified allot of what I wanted with them, and expect the sound to only become better with the Burn In.

I did notice in many songs things I had never heard before (throat clearing/ a raspyness to some/ instrument portions) which was awesome!

Currently I just have onboard sound (normally my audio is passed via opti to an onkyo). With the previous headsets I've used I could only tell that the sound was sub par in general, and the muddy response and lack of detail was clearly on the side of the headset (imo).

Now, allot of that is not the case and I can hear (almost painfully when I concentrate on the music, and it gets to portions that are quieter vocally/instrumentally) the inherent hiss of the un-awesome on board. So this is good and bad. Good -> I have a pair of phones that are not terrible, and I can use as a launching pad. Bad -> the other sub par elements of the setup are shining brightly now.

Overall, for entry level little experience with quality phones (but sad experience with Beats/SK/Gaming Headset garbage - Sister/GF for the beats and SK they think they are awesome.. Anytime I tried them on I wanted to punch my eardrums..) I give it a 5/5. thumb.gifthumb.gif

Take it with a grain of salt, or ignore. Just wanted to share and give my impressions from a headphone newbie to the rest of you.

Have a great one everyone biggrin.gif
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