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Headphone/microphone advice

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have a pair of Creative Aurvana Live 2 headphones, and I've been very happy with them.
However the plastic in the headband is slightly cracked and seems to be getting worse. It may be time soon for a new pair.

My uses are for the computer (gaming, teamspeak, skype, music) and phone (music, calls).
A good quality microphone is really important.

I'm currently using the mic from my Soundblaster Omni Surround, and the quality isn't bad at all.

These are three I'm looking at:

1: SoundblasterX H7 (has detachable boom mic -- I wonder if this is the most ideal type of microphone for talking?)
2: Soundblaster EVO ZxR (Wireless, has two integrated dual beamforming mics in the headset)
3: Creative Aurvana Platinum (Wireless, similar to the above)

ANC is not particularly a feature that I want or am likely to use.

I'd welcome any advice or suggestions,
Thanks!
Kasuf
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Kasuf
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post #2 of 6
So basically you're looking at the 190- 260 USD range?

I'll point out that my post is going to be extremely bias since I work for ModMic, but...

I wouldn't limit yourself to Creative Labs stuff. There are several detachable mics like the ModMic, BoomPro, and many desktop mics that are simply going to blow integrated mics out of the water. And similarly, most people agree that the best headphones out there tend to be ones without mics.

Since you're happy with your current setup there's a strong reason simply not to change to be honest, but if you DO want to try something else... the most common combinations for ModMic (Which will add 42-50 USD to this) are:

Beyerdynamic DT990 (32 ohm since you said you may use it plugged into your phone) (~155USD)
Sennheiser HD 598 (~155 USD)
Audio Technica M50X (~145 USD) *I'd only use these if you want closed back headphones for noise isolation*


These are the three most popular models of headphones used by users who own a ModMic, which should give you a good indication of their quality. I only personally own the M50s, so I can't personally speak to their quality comparisons, but there's PLENTY of reviews on all 3 out there. These will all land you at the ~200 USD price range after adding a good mic and a Y adapter if you're a console gamer (and use our mic).

I don't know for certain and sound is like taste, everyone is a bit different, but I'd bet good money they will outperform the soundblasters in terms of quality.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your input!

The ModMic looks cool, but I'd be concerned about putting it on and then taking it off several times during the day (if that's even possible.) How does the uni-directional ModMic compare to a desktop mic and is it easily removable?

Perhaps I should consider a desktop microphone. I've been looking at the Yeti, Snowball, and Snowflake. The latter being most appealing, as it'll fit under my screen nicely, but I'm not sure of the quality. (The former two I would need to mount to the wall next to me.)

What sort of specs should I look for when looking at a mic?
I know I need a uni-directional one, but I see things like: sensitivity, response, SNR, and impedance and am unsure how to compare these to that of other mics.

I do have a soundblaster E1 dac which can support up to 600ohms so more powerful(?) headphones aren't an issue.

I've checked out the headphones you linked me, I'll keep them in mind when I decide to buy a new pair.
Kasuf
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Kasuf
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post #4 of 6
On the ModMic:

Taking it off and putting it back on depends on what you're talking about doing. If you mean removing it from the base clasp that attaches to the headphones, it's super easy and awesome for that.

If you're talking about unhooking it from the back of your PC AND the headphones (to move to a different pair of headphones) then you can have some problems. Because the ModMic is adding an extra cord, we include cord clips, and while taking them off and on are easy, it isn't something you want to do. So if you're changing around headphones all the time you'd want to keep them unclipped which can be a bit of a pain. Otherwise if you're leaving it all clipped up, it's not terribly difficult to move the headphone+modmic+cords around as a unit.

Hope that made sense smile.gif

Specs on a mic are a lot like specs on headphones. It's a starting point but its really hard to simply say "this mic has a better SNR so it must be better"

Stats you tend to want to pay attention to is the freq response range, SNR (Signal to Noise), and Sensitivity. I think those tend to cover all you need to know about a mic. Simply put the better the response range the more natural your voice will sound, especially when taking things to extremes (Shouting, etc). SNR is going to be how much white noise you'll get from the mic naturally. Sensitivity is how much background noise you're going to be picking up, as well as how loud you'd have to speak to hit peak volumes where you get distortion.

Again, those are like really broad strokes though. There's plenty of good videos out there that try to compare the sounds of mics though.

Here's one I tend to link to for people asking what ModMic is best for them. This is not a paid promo video or anything, just a legit review that does an excellent job covering the differences and components.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nfl3j98Hm4

I can't speak for the other mics on your list, but they're all good ones that come up often in comparisons to ours smile.gif
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
I see I see. That sounds good then, as I would leave it connected to the computer but simply remove it from the headphones when I want to go mobile.

I really liked the sound of the omnidirectional ModMic in that video you linked. Didn't like the sound of the unidirectional one, though it's a definite plus that it blocks out more of the keyboard and such.

Thanks for the info!
Kasuf
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Kasuf
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post #6 of 6
For your uses, a headset microphone is definitely what you want.
sinep
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sinep
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