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Need some help deciding on a headset

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have recently started to look into using a headset. Most of the time I have been using IEM's, nothing fancy either like $20 pairs I grab at walmart that I use for the gym. I've been plugging them into my PC and using a logitech usb mic.

Mostly playing MMOs, I never ran into much of a problem with sound, sure the game didn't sound amazing, but it got the job done and I could hear vent. However in FPS games, I would do fairly well but I realized buddies on vent would just seem to have the location of people when I would really only be playing off of sight it seemed.

So, I want to get a nice headset, recently, I purchased a new keyboard from razer, a blackwidow. So I decided to grab a headset from them as well. Ended up with the Megalodon. I'm sort of torn with this headset, the stereo sound is really good, positional audio seems much better then the IEMs I have been used to. However, when I use the 7.1 audio feature on it, everything sounds like I'm in a cave. Tons of echo to certain sounds. So, with that I started looking into audio info. And I can't help but feel, these really aren't worth $150.

I know the AudioTechnica AD700 are recommended alot around here. I have some concerns, first I have an evga p55 mobo, no discrete sound card. The realtek stuff, I have heard isn't all that great, so I was opting for a USB set. I figured analog sets would be limited by what you plug them into. The AD700s, I would like to try, to get an idea of what great sound really is I guess, but ultimately I don't know if I would keep them. I'd like a headset to sound good, be comfy, and also fit in with my PC setup. At least something all black, it doesn't have to have lights or crazy bling, but the AD700s just look hideous IMO.

So, I would like to know if there are any other alternatives to the AD700s, that would give me sound on their level. I am interested in positional audio for FPS, and I listen to a lot of house music. A Mic isn't really needed, so they can just be headphones. My price range would be upto $150, and keep in mind I have no soudncard/AMP etc. Guess this would be something to start me off with good sound.

I did notice the Megalodons had some great positional audio in the crysis 2 demo, but any voices over vent had that echo/cave sound to them. Feels like their virtual surround implementation is screwed up bad. Which also put me on the fence with Logitech G35 or Corsair HS1s. Then I went into Best Buy, and tried some Sony, Beats, and Bose headphones they had on display. Some of them, the beats esp, cost more then my Razers and they didn't really sound all that different. So now, I am left feeling stumped on what really to go for.
Edited by jasonjlx - 3/2/11 at 3:00am
post #2 of 9

You can never expect quality from a USB headset. There are no exceptions. They use their own small and crappy sound cards in them. They're okay if you're looking to chat with people on vent for MMOs or something, but when it comes to FPS and if you're wanting to be serious, there's no excuse to buy a headset. Especially a $150 one at that. You really should have come to us before buying that.. crap, if I may be so brazen.

You're at crossroads now, but headed in a much better direction. Now you need to choose your new path and I'm going to tell you where they both lead.

You can choose to ignore the fact that the

are not aesthetically pleasing and go for the best gaming cans many can even think of for 90 bucks AND grab yourself a Xonar DX sound card to go with them which CAN be found for around 60 bucks if you look for a deal or get them second hand at the OCN For Sale Audio Section of this forum or ebay, etc..

http://www.overclock.net/audio/

(actually, if you have another 20 to spend, I would DEFINITELY buy that Prelude for 80 bucks. Maybe you can even offer him slightly less and he'll bite since it's OBO. That card is better than the DX.)

http://shop.ebay.com/?_from=R40&_trk...All-Categories

That imo, is your best solution and is exactly 150 dollars.

The other solution is you go with another pair of headphones, like the , and also grab the Xonar DX. I personally am not a fan of the HD555s, but many people love them. I'm pretty sure they don't hold a candle to the AD700s though.

Basically you can't skimp out on the sound card. The nice headphones are great, but the sound card really allows you to hear where the footsteps are coming from. Trust me. I tried gaming with AD700s in onboard and the difference between on board and a sound card made all the difference. I may as well have NOT been using quality headphones without a sound card. That's how much difference there was. CLARITY, is the best way to describe it. Without a sound card, I really had no depth in terms of sound stage and could not pin point where people were. When I got the sound card, I could hear people from 1/4 of the map away and knew where they were and if they were running or sneaking. EVEN WITH NINJA PRO on in CODMW2, I could hear their steps. NOW THAT'S AWESOME.

Anyway, that's my suggestion. I don't think you will get better information from anyone else in this regard. You should do your own research on this matter though to confirm everything I've said. This is an investment you should carefully consider. It's very important and if you're tossing around 150 dollars, you should definitely make sure you know what you're buying.
Edited by Simca - 3/2/11 at 3:57am
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks a lot, very informative response. +Rep

Given I buy the Xonar DX, I had been under the impression that the audio in games wouldn't really require anything above onboard sound. Guess I was wrong.

Say we subtract the price of the Xonar DX from my budget. At $150 just for headphones, are my options still only the AD700 or HD555? I had a look on Audio Technicas site and the ATH-M50 seem nice to me visually and would run me around $120. What is your opinion on those?
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjlx View Post
Thanks a lot, very informative response. +Rep

Given I buy the Xonar DX, I had been under the impression that the audio in games wouldn't really require anything above onboard sound. Guess I was wrong.

Say we subtract the price of the Xonar DX from my budget. At $150 just for headphones, are my options still only the AD700 or HD555? I had a look on Audio Technicas site and the ATH-M50 seem nice to me visually and would run me around $120. What is your opinion on those?
The M50s are amazing headphones, but they're not for gaming. They're DJ headphones when it comes down to it. They're awesome for bass, and not known for their awesome sound stage like the AD700s are. In fact, you can even get the M50s for like 106 bucks on ebay. If you're wanting music, I would definitely grab the M50s, but for gaming, that wouldn't even be an option for me. Honestly, the AD700s are so awesome, that they beat out many headphones that are 3 times their price if you're just using them for what they were made for. They offer a great sound stage with a huge lack in bass. So if you're using them for FPS gaming or listening to classical music, they're great. Just don't expect to be jamming to some deadmau5 with them.
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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the AD700s do get a ton of praise, I might as well see what its all about. Guess I could just hide them in a draw when I'm not using them.

Would a sound card like the Essence STX provide me any further benefits over the DX as far as gaming audio goes?
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjlx View Post
Yeah, the AD700s do get a ton of praise, I might as well see what its all about. Guess I could just hide them in a draw when I'm not using them.

Would a sound card like the Essence STX provide me any further benefits over the DX as far as gaming audio goes?
Say what you will about the looks of the AD700, but once you slip them onto your head you will forget what they look like and you will most likely forget they are even there. By far the most comfortable (in affordable price range) headphones produced to date. Design is impeccable and the sound is immaculate for gaming (and music as well, don't let anyone fool you).

As far as the sound card goes, STX has a built in amp while the DX does not. AD700's do not require amping so you can safely go with the DX without missing out on much.
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post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlahBlahBlah View Post
Say what you will about the looks of the AD700, but once you slip them onto your head you will forget what they look like and you will most likely forget they are even there. By far the most comfortable (in affordable price range) headphones produced to date. Design is impeccable and the sound is immaculate for gaming (and music as well, don't let anyone fool you).

As far as the sound card goes, STX has a built in amp while the DX does not. AD700's do not require amping so you can safely go with the DX without missing out on much.
At first, the AD700s were massive on my head. Took a while getting used to them, but they're meant for really long gaming sessions. That's how I see it.

As for the soundcard, I would get the Titanium HD if you're all about gaming and have the money. I just threw out the DX because..it fit the 150 dollar budget.
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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ended up returning the Razers today, and now I'll pick up the Titanium HD and AD700s. Quick question though, if I am looking to run speakers and a headset off the card, do I just get a 3.5mm jack splitter? And turn off the speaker power when I just want the sound from the headset, but I guess the headset will always be on. Unless there is another way around this?
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonjlx View Post
Ended up returning the Razers today, and now I'll pick up the Titanium HD and AD700s. Quick question though, if I am looking to run speakers and a headset off the card, do I just get a 3.5mm jack splitter? And turn off the speaker power when I just want the sound from the headset, but I guess the headset will always be on. Unless there is another way around this?
Get an STX.
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