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Need advice on choosing a headset for PC gaming

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased the Razer Carcharias headset to replace my Audio Technica ATH-AD700s (HD555 before that), which I grew tired of after 3 years of using them. I've read nice reviews about the Razer Carcharias so I decided to get them (they didn't have a big selection). I'm not a Razer fanboy, although I do own quite a few of their products, (Razer Deathadder, Lycosa *replaced Tarantula* and even a Frag Edition Goliathus mouse pad) but I do like their stuff.

Anyway, I like the Razer Carcharias.. they are comfortable and extremely light.. you don't even notice them on after a while. The mic seems to work great and everyone can hear me loud and clear. As far as audio quality goes, there's a noticeable difference from my ATH700s. Everything sounds clearer and just better with the Carcharias.. from music to gaming. These are only stereo, but combined with my *outdated* X-fi xtremegamer, they pack a punch. They handle bass so much better than the ATH700s and just seem to separate individual sounds to where it sounds like a true surround sound experience. Then I started snooping around and reading more headset reviews, and saw a bunch of them that were surround sound with good reviews. Should I jump on the virtual surround sound headset market?

A few I looked at were the Razer Megalodon 5.1 (same design as the Carcharias), Logitech G35 (I already x'd this out due to ear cups), AX Pro 5.1 (I don't know if it's compatible with my X-fi card), SteelSeries 7H and a few others.. I really like the Megalodons because they're extremely comfortable like these, and that's a plus.. and the reviews said the audio wasn't bad either. I know there are probably better headsets or headphones out there, but my main concern is using them for gaming first, music and movies last.

Price range is probably $200 max, and that's pushing it for a pair of cans right now, considering I got these Carcharias for $65. If it's USB it'd probably be better because my sound card is limiting my CPU overclock (whenever I pass 3GHz I get the screech of death in games)but only as long as it has software where I could tweak the EQ or any kind of audio settings. Looking for a true surround sound headset solution for gaming. Not too many cables and craziness of wiring. With or without mic. Prefer product suggestions from personal experience.

Some of the games I play are Counter Strike: Source, CoD series, Crysis and a few others. Mostly games that support surround sound.

I'm on Windows XP Pro and have the X-fi XtremeGamer sound card.

Thanks in advance.
    
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post #2 of 64
Use this guide.

http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...-headsets.html.

Many time they market lower quality cans to gamers because they figure we won`t notice. The guide even has a section about virtual surround sound.
post #3 of 64
i got a pair of zalman 5.1 for my gaming... people say i hack because i shoot through walls etc.... when the headphones make me hear them and that is why i shoot through the wall. i was very hesitant but i love them...

pros.

still comfy after 6 hours of wearing them
sound is brilliant with onboard and sound card with std speed and high OC.
5.1 suround sound


cons.
mic is a seprate piece of wire and clip on... but can be good i guess


my zalman headset
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post #4 of 64
Thread Starter 
So, that guide basically says screw surround sound headsets and to get stereo headphones + mic. My only problem is that the guide is roughly 3 years old and a lot has changed since then.. I'm pretty sure there have to be some true surround sound cans that perform better than stereo headphones.

As for that guide crapping on USB headphones, not all of them are bad. Some have headphone amps and their onboard sound card might be better than my x-fi xtremegamer.

I've had that zalman mic, matter of fact I still do.. it just stopped working. Idc about a mic to be honest, but if it comes attached that sounds good, F it.

Thanks for the replies so far
    
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post #5 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relly View Post
So, that guide basically says screw surround sound headsets and to get stereo headphones + mic. My only problem is that the guide is roughly 3 years old and a lot has changed since then.. I'm pretty sure there have to be some true surround sound cans that perform better than stereo headphones.
no, not really. Same still applies.
post #6 of 64
Razer Cacharias shouldn't sound clearer. Maybe they'll give you better bass which is what you were lacking, but they shouldn't be better for gaming positionally.

What you're asking for is almost like a troll post to us because it's like "I went from a decent setup and I'm wanting to downgrade enormously. How does this REALLY gimmicky crap sound like for an UP-grade?"
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post #7 of 64
Thread Starter 
I'm being honest.. I can hear footsteps more clearly and their exact positions.. with my AD700s they sounded further, inaccurate. I've had the AD700s for years and I loved them.. but I got tired of them and got these.. so far, they are better. I know people hate razer, but the reviews were dead on.. these are the most comfortable pair of cans Ive ever worn. I still have my HD555's, sitting around catching dust.. and everyone seems to love those.. guess it's personal preference.


So what stereo headphones should I get that would give me a better gaming audio experience?

I see you have the AD700s.. and that's cool.. I got them because of their hype.. and I was pleased.. but it's 2011.. they're old and I'm tired of them.. that's why they're sitting next to my HD555's and will until I sell them or something.

I will stand by my opinion, the Carcharias are better than the AD700's for gaming. Everything sounds more dull with the AD700s compared to the Carcharias. All the games I played before and after sound so much better, makes me feel like I'm playing a new game. And I can actually turn SVM off now without going deaf.. for some reason on the AD700s everything was super loud with it off. Now, doesn't mean that I wanna stick with them if there are better headphones out there.. I only liked Razer for their deathadder and lycosa.. not a fanboy at all.

So if there are some stereo cans perfected for gaming specifically, please recommend them.
    
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post #8 of 64
The thing about sound is that you can`t aproach it like you would graphical fidelity. A GPU made in 2011 will be better than one made in 2005, but a nice set of cans can last years. Some of the best headphones are actually years old and still in production. That "new and improved" stuff is just marketing, they market to us gamers because we naturaly want the newest version of everything, because to us it is "the best." The audio market has a habit of moving at a sluggish pace compared to other tech markets, and trying to aproach it like the other markets will result in getting screwed over by some gimmick.

The other thing about sound, is that it is subjective. And highly variable. Some headphones/sound card combo`s work better than others, and some people like their sound better than others. Sorry if it felt like we were pressuring you, we just go by what has been proven to work.

There are no set of cans specialized for gaming, there are just cans that are better at it than others. Cans marketed for gaming usually suck. Really, really badly, until you go to the unjustifiable price range.
post #9 of 64
i wouldn't go with the AX-51 i had 2 pairs and both broke there nice but meh
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post #10 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioGamer View Post
The thing about sound is that you can`t aproach it like you would graphical fidelity. A GPU made in 2011 will be better than one made in 2005, but a nice set of cans can last years. Some of the best headphones are actually years old and still in production. That "new and improved" stuff is just marketing, they market to us gamers because we naturaly want the newest version of everything, because to us it is "the best." The audio market has a habit of moving at a sluggish pace compared to other tech markets, and trying to aproach it like the other markets will result in getting screwed over by some gimmick.

The other thing about sound, is that it is subjective. And highly variable. Some headphones/sound card combo`s work better than others, and some people like their sound better than others. Sorry if it felt like we were pressuring you, we just go by what has been proven to work.

There are no set of cans specialized for gaming, there are just cans that are better at it than others. Cans marketed for gaming usually suck. Really, really badly, until you go to the unjustifiable price range.
Makes sense.. you're right, we naturally think newer is better lol

So ok, which cans are better for gaming than others? I'm now convinced that surround sound headphones aren't the path to take.. so what stereo cans will make my gaming experience worth it. For now I'm going to stick with this sound card until I get a new one.. so with this sound card, what pairs of stereo cans will make gaming audio much better.

I don't want to spend over $200.. so please, some suggestions. Some models and name brands would be appreciated so I can at least know where to look.. Googling "Best Gaming Headset" always shows the same gimmicky ones.

PS. It's funny, cuz these Carcharias are actually good lol. They're the most comfortable I've ever worn, and they sound good. Maybe razer didn't make them so gimmicky, and they're not expensive.
    
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