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Why do USB headsets sound worse?

post #1 of 12
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A friend and I were discussing this and wanted to know if other people feel the same way and why. The more expensive gaming headsets are usually USB instead of 3.5mm but we both felt like 3.5mm headphones w/mic sounded better. I am currently looking at some XLR headsets that I will have to convert to use with my PC and I wanted to understand it better before I chose which to convert to.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 12
What USB headsets sound worse than what 3.5mm ones? They both make better and worse versions.
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post #3 of 12
EDIT: Combo breaker haha. was 4 posts, now just double.
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post #4 of 12
USB headphones don't use discrete sound cards, but rather use those integrated in headphones themselves.
post #5 of 12
Because of the cheap components on the internals.
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post #6 of 12
Cause everything is 'DIGITAL'. Analog headphones give you straight true sound from soundcard. And USB is using build in digital sound or something like this.

I mean their are using integrated mini-soundcard and it has everything digital so the sound quality can´t be that good as normal Analog Headphones.
    
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post #7 of 12
yea, not always true, snappy. but generally with cheaper USB no-name headphones yea
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post #8 of 12
There's no such thing as a digital speaker- everything has to go to analog circuitry at some point. This is true regardless of headphone type.
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post #9 of 12
A headset or headphones using an analogue connection are fed an analogue signal, the processing and conversion of the signal from digital to analogue is handled by the soundcard (or onboard sound) of the PC. With USB headphones a digital signal is sent to the headphones which have their own internal soundcard, this handles the DSP and conversion, these parts a generally far cheaper and lower quality than their full-size soundcard counterpart.

It's not correct to say that all USB headphones sound worse than all standard headphones, it all depends on the components involved. It does tend to hold true at the lower end of the market though. A $60 standard headset doesn't need to factor in the cost of DSP/DAC components that a $60 USB headset does, so should offer better value as higher quality parts will be found in the standard headset.
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post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by KSIMP88 View Post

yea, not always true, snappy. but generally with cheaper USB no-name headphones yea

Yes i know
    
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