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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 09:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Headset and soundcard combo?

I have been looking at a headset and soundcard combo for mostly gaming. I am not looking for stuff that tweaks the sound for and "advantage." I just want good immersive audio. I do need a mic though.

Current thoughts are a Sennheiser GSP 600 headset and Creative AE-9. Friend's and family is going one at Microcenter, so I can get a decent price on them. I won't likely get both at once but need a headset sooner rather than later.

I like Sennheiser stuff. Most of my audio stuff is Sennheiser already. So, I would prefer to stay with them. My other thought was getting the HD 598 headphones and one of those add on mics. Any thoughts?
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-06-2019, 11:07 PM
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My thoughts are to enter in that giveaway of an AE-9 at the top of the main page.

Also to check if you are ok with the tradeoff of better soundstage (which you likely won't miss if you don't get) vs letting in the background sounds when you are gaming. To see if you want open or closed headphones.

Also do you want an emphasis on bass quantity and quality? Treble quantity and precision (more treble lends to more detail detection)? Or maybe a good all arounder that has a comfortable sound you can listen to for a while?

There are those who prefer each of those and argue from their bias. They are just trying to tell the best in their opinion, but it helps if you know were you are coming from. And you generally don't get a headphone that is best at everything.

Bloomy bass or just kind of good treble won't be innately apparent, so you might not notice unless you compare to tight bass or crisp treble. You will probably notice your ears getting worn out from harsh headphones though. Even if they are giving you the wall of bass or cutting detail you want. So a comfortable sound is nice to have. I don't use a mic more than barely at all so my answers will be largely ignorant on that important aspect.

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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Well, I am looking for the cleanest overall sound. I do listen to some music once in a while on my computer. That's how I listened to the new Tool album. I put my current headset one and leaned back with my eyes closed for 90min. That is not a regular thing, but it happens. So, I guess a good clean al rounder. I don't need bass to be thumping me hard. I just want to be able to hear it cleanly.

As for closed vs open, generall I game after the wife and kid are in bed. So, background noise does not matter much. I also have my own room for the computer. I owned one open headset in the past, but that was years ago.

So, basically I want to sit in my games and feel like I am in the world. At least to the best that the game has the ability to do that. But none of those gaming gimmicks like tweaking the EQ so footsteps are louder. I want more of that movie sound experience. But, then be able to listen to music afterwords with equally good quality. I am leaning more HD598 the more I look into things.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 08:49 AM
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Quote: Originally Posted by Prophet4NO1 View Post
Well, I am looking for the cleanest overall sound. I do listen to some music once in a while on my computer. That's how I listened to the new Tool album. I put my current headset one and leaned back with my eyes closed for 90min. That is not a regular thing, but it happens. So, I guess a good clean al rounder. I don't need bass to be thumping me hard. I just want to be able to hear it cleanly.

As for closed vs open, generall I game after the wife and kid are in bed. So, background noise does not matter much. I also have my own room for the computer. I owned one open headset in the past, but that was years ago.

So, basically I want to sit in my games and feel like I am in the world. At least to the best that the game has the ability to do that. But none of those gaming gimmicks like tweaking the EQ so footsteps are louder. I want more of that movie sound experience. But, then be able to listen to music afterwords with equally good quality. I am leaning more HD598 the more I look into things.

Creative is junk... Also what type of headset you need ? Most headsets now are USB and Virtual Surround 7.1 ................... I can't think of any headsets that has jacks except for my last decade first headsets they ever made. After that they went USB which is great. You will get positional audio. You can hear ***** behind you on the side of you in front of you and around the corner.
What is your budget ? Honestly if your mobo is half decent, I suggest you use the on board audio as it has come a long way. As for headsets what is your budget ?

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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 08:56 AM
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The headphone + attachable/separate mic route is the better way to go. I'd read the writeup I did in my sig for how DSP works since there's some equipment recommendations there. Strange as it might sound, for any low impedance and or high sensitivity headphones, I recommend Apple's USB-C to 3.5mm headphone adapter ($8-9) since it's already audibly transparent. It has a SINAD of 99dB (you need 96 dB or higher for an effective 16 bits of dynamic range; there's no equipment I've seen that does 24 bits and 120 dB of dynamic range from 16 bits with noise shaping is already enough to capture any reasonable volumes we'd want to playback). It's also basically made every piece of audio gear below $150-$200 irrelevant. The more expensive gear will have higher SINADs which are moreso just for bragging rights at this point. I'd only spend more if you plan on getting high impedance and or low sensitivity headphones because this dongle doesn't output enough power to drive those.

If you want an HRTF algorithm for any content that doesn't have its own (e.g. movies that offer surround sound) or video games whose HRTF don't quite work for you, Microsoft includes one with Windows 10 called Windows Sonic (right click your volume icon and go into the Spatial Sound submenu) due to their mixed reality initiatives (Hololens and the Mixed Reality headsets).

Last edited by HybridCore; 12-19-2019 at 03:10 PM.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Budget for the headset is $200-300. Most everything I have looked at in this range is 3.5mm or 6mm jacked. I do not really want USB.

Mobo was a really good one a few years age ROG Rampage IV Extreme. Decent onboard for the time. Want better.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:03 AM
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If you really need a sound card for whatever reason, I'd get the EVGA NU Audio so long as the driver issues I've heard of are fixed. Usually I stray away from recommending internal solutions because they're prone to driver issues; if not now, down the road as operating systems change their system calls and interfaces such that previously fine drivers no longer work. The USB UAC interface is stable and practically universal (it's part of USB spec), so external equipment that does use USB UAC won't be buggy or become incompatible down the road.

Onboard is still more or less trash. Even the boards using the ALC1220 which claim an SNR of 120dB actually have implementations that result in SINADs south of 90dB. The chip on its own can produce those kinds of numbers but the motherboard implementations can't.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:05 AM
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most sound cards are still battling driver issues with Microsoft.

get a Schiit Hel or something.

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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:07 AM
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Can't go wrong with AiM SC808 with changed OPAMPS. Sennheisers GSP600 as a headset is very good too.

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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2019, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote: Originally Posted by HybridCore View Post
If you really need a sound card for whatever reason, I'd get the EVGA NU Audio so long as the driver issues I've heard of are fixed. Usually I stray away from recommending internal solutions because they're prone to driver issues; if not now, down the road as operating systems change their system calls and interfaces such that previously fine drivers no longer work. The USB UAC interface is stable and practically universal (it's part of USB spec), so external equipment that does use USB UAC won't be buggy or become incompatible down the road.

Onboard is still more or less trash. Even the boards using the ALC1220 which claim an SNR of 120dB actually have implementations that result in SINADs south of 90dB. The chip on its own can produce those kinds of numbers but the motherboard implementations can't.
I am open to a DAC. I don't have to have a card. I was trying to avoid USB headsets and getting a sound upgrade.
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