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(Q) Upgrading from stock on board sound and cheap $5 headsets

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I've read a few guides here, and I'd like to ask for a better guidance from you.

I'm no audiophile by any means when it comes to technical knowledge and PC usage. I do have a humble 5.1 Sony home theater I use to watch movies and I do find pleasant to watch a movie with dolby DTS and 5.1. But when it comes to music or gaming, I just don't know what to do on the audio area. Its not as easy as its to upgrade video or ram. I want to upgrade to my first pair of headsets to be used in my PC and perhaps a sound card.

My budget would be about $80 for each thing.

When it comes to music I love the 80's. From Gun's and roses to Huey Lewis and The news, classical music and a few sub genres of rock

Regarding perks , I'd say I want a few things: 1. something good all around in order: gaming/music-movies. 2. Something that doesn't leak out sound so I don't bother anyone around when I'm gaming lately during weekends.. Regarding bass, I think I'd like bass as (is my general idea) i'd get a bit more immersion in gaming and better sound in music?

I might be connecting my headphone to my sony receiver in case I want to hear some music if that matters?

I don't mind buying 2nd handed, refurbished, from ebay, etc.

From my initial search in your guides I found out a few things. People tend to claim: USB headsets (corsair vengeance, creative 3D omega, razer,etc) are just not enough for a real audio experience even when compared with cheaper headphones, so thanks as I discarded most of my initial selections. Now, I'm considering: 1- the Audio Technical AD700 since I can get it about $80. 2.The Senheiser 280 Pro (thou, I saw no one menctioned it in the forum, I noticed a few good reviews about).

What I hate about AD700 is that I've read it leaks sound. A700 is out of my league as it costs around $110 for me. From what I read, gaming headphones are better when they are open. Is this true? In such case, would it be wiser to get a good $80 headset for gaming (even if it leaks sound but that I could use during day) and a good extra $80 music/movies headphone I could use solely for that purpose but also, perhaps at night so it doesn't leak sound at all? or should I be better looking at a different kind of headphone not considered before? I've read reviews and I can't seem to find a good all around headphone that covers the basics I'm looking for.

Regarding the need or not for an external card, my onboard card is a realtek 892 so I guess you will tell me I'll need an upgrade. Bare in mind, if the headphones recommended need an external card for the amps, or just for the sake of improving quality, this won't be a problem. I actually heard the Xonar DG is a good choice but I'd like to ask for a similar card with possibility of optical output that you guys could recommend me within the $80 range I have for each one.

I'll appreciate any help on this.
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post #2 of 14
ATH AD700's are not what you want if you don't sound leaking. The sound leakage won't be as loud as what you are listening too, but it s going to be noticeable once you go above 60% volume. At least it is for me with my titanium HD sound card. They also lack in bass, I can crank the bass on my sound card options but still don't feel anything.

Something else to note about the ad700's is they provide almost no sound isolation, when you are just typing on your keyboard (which I am doing right now) with no music or TV in the background I can hear a lot of stuff running in my basement. My dads fish tank pump, my noiseblocker XLP h100 fans. Thats my big gripe about these headphones.. I love em for everything aside from the fact that it blocks almost nothing out.

You're also right about those name brands for "gamer headphones" like turtlebeach, corsair, razer etc. Most of them are just marketing gimmicks, true sound quality is not found in those sets of headphones vs comparable brands like Sony, Ultrasone, Audio Technica, etc.
Edited by JAM3S121 - 12/9/12 at 12:49am
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JAM3S121 View Post

ATH AD700's are not what you want if you don't sound leaking. The sound leakage won't be as loud as what you are listening too, but it s going to be noticeable once you go above 60% volume. At least it is for me with my titanium HD sound card. They also lack in bass, I can crank the bass on my sound card options but still don't feel anything.
Something else to note about the ad700's is they provide almost no sound isolation, when you are just typing on your keyboard (which I am doing right now) with no music or TV in the background I can hear a lot of stuff running in my basement. My dads fish tank pump, my noiseblocker XLP h100 fans. Thats my big gripe about these headphones.. I love em for everything aside from the fact that it blocks almost nothing out.
You're also right about those name brands for "gamer headphones" like turtlebeach, corsair, razer etc. Most of them are just marketing gimmicks, true sound quality is not found in those sets of headphones vs comparable brands like Sony, Ultrasone, Audio Technica, etc.

Thanks for your advice. While I can certainly live with leak out (I live alone anyway, but sometimes someone stays over and then they watch a movie, read a book, work on their laptop or just sleep and the last thing I want them to hear is zombies from l4d or like a war is been broadcast) I think the leak in you are describing is just not what I'd like, specially If you happen to be gaming, camping in an isolated area as a sniper and someone 6ft away is watching TV :S
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post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 
Bump . After kept reading and trying to stretch my budget I might be able to get a beyerdynamic DT770 Pro (80) which I wasn't considering before. Already discarded the Sennheiser. I think I'll be better buying a good headset for music and one good for gaming, so, from what i've gathered I'm looking at beyerdynamic DT770 as a main headset for music and fun gaming (due bass) but I haven't seen a favoirte headset for competitive gaming. I've read good things about the Creative Aurvana, SR850 and still AD700. My concern is these ones aren't as good the beyerdynamic.

I'm considering two headsets now just because I can't seem to find a good all around headset without compromising something. However, please let me know your thoughts. Am I better getting two good headphones, or just one good -all-rounder? Are there better headphones in this price range?
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post #5 of 14
If the DT770's are a little bit over your budget then I would recommend the CAL!
Edited by General Crumples - 12/10/12 at 3:03pm
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post #6 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Crumples View Post

If you can get a good deal on the DT770 Pro then you should definitely get those. They are a good all rounder.
If the DT770's are a little bit over your budget then I would recommend the CAL!

I can certainly get a good deal on the DT770's 80s . $85 bucks shipped in pretty good shaped but no original box, which I don't mind and is within my budget biggrin.gif. Honestly the only way I won't be getting those is unless someone tells me they are hyped, over priced or something like that, just what I learn about razer tyamat which I was about to buy a few days back hehe, but reviews I've read say they are good. I thought they were more towards music-and to get that in your face kind of effect .

At this point I'm just thinking if I need another headset to complement the flaws of this one (if any, but I 've heard low soundstage for example, so getting one with better soundstage to use for teamplaying for instance) or just be happy with the DT770, and upgrade my sound card at the same time.

Thankfully, people on this forum has posted so many useful info that have made my understanding a bit better.
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Razorstorm View Post

I can certainly get a good deal on the DT770's 80s . $85 bucks shipped in pretty good shaped but no original box, which I don't mind and is within my budget biggrin.gif. Honestly the only way I won't be getting those is unless someone tells me they are hyped, over priced or something like that, just what I learn about razer tyamat which I was about to buy a few days back hehe, but reviews I've read say they are good. I thought they were more towards music-and to get that in your face kind of effect .
At this point I'm just thinking if I need another headset to complement the flaws of this one (if any, but I 've heard low soundstage for example, so getting one with better soundstage to use for teamplaying for instance) or just be happy with the DT770, and upgrade my sound card at the same time.
Thankfully, people on this forum has posted so many useful info that have made my understanding a bit better.

The DT770 should fit all your needs as an all rounder headphone. It has a decent soundstage for a closed phone but it also has a good immersion factor too.
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by General Crumples View Post

The DT770 should fit all your needs as an all rounder headphone. It has a decent soundstage for a closed phone but it also has a good immersion factor too.

Thanks for the feedback biggrin.gif
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post #9 of 14
im at same boat as u, so i cant tell u what i "realize" and ...

for that music and fps games hd 598 is verygood pick, but way over your budget ...



DT770's 80s .for that money is great deal
i would buy new pads for it cuz i dont like used pads, u never know ...
they should be great for immersion and good for your music
if u dont play fps for money u dont need other HP

only prob with them that u need amp or sound card that have amp
and with that budget u cant have ....
only option is xonar dg (it should be decent)


with that combo, u should have Upgrade that will blow u away smile.gif
post #10 of 14
words can hardly express how much i dislike my AD700s ... i have no idea why i did not return them. (no bass at all...and i'm pretty sure I'm allergic to the earpads...lol... super)

if you want something good which is inexpensive i have been using for most of this year JVC HA-RX700 headphones (which are some times referred to as poor man's A700s ..btw)

$39~ right now at amazon (price bounces around a bit...mine where like $33 i think)

http://www.amazon.com/JVC-HARX700-Precision-Sound-Headphones/dp/B0013OWPV4


or their big brother the HA-RX900

http://www.amazon.com/JVC-HARX900-High-Grade-Full-Size-Headphone/dp/B0013P3ZOE/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355192107&sr=1-1&keywords=rx900

$57~


other than the comically large size of these headphones and long long cord (10.5ft or so i think) i have nothing bad to say about these(ha-rx700) I've worn them for hours without discomfort i enjoy gaming and music both w/ these headphones...


I also have a Xonar DG and have been satisfied with it's performance

you could do both the DG and RX700 both for what ?? $50~60 bucks (i see the DG is $23.99 at newegg ) then put the other $80 away for a rainy day rolleyes.gif


or ... get the DG and i just got these ATH-M50 headphones .. they are very very good... indeed .. more comfortable then the RX700 (but the RX700 is comfortable) the sound quality of the M50 is very good...

http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATHM50S-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B004ZG9TMA/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1355192540&sr=1-2&keywords=ath-m50

$116~ right now ...so you could stay under your $160 budget w/ the M50 + Xonar DG combo...
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