Best gaming headset

spike99

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I'm looking to get the best PC gaming headset (with microphone).

I'm currently looking at TRITTON AX360 5.1 Headphones.

For the PC sound card... I am planning to get Creative Labs: X-Fi Platinum Fatal1ty Champion Series.

Platinum series has digital output via coax/optical.... and the headphones also have optical input...

Any advise would be appreciated.
 
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What's your budget? You can probably get much better quality gear if you get a pair of stereo 'phones and a standalone microphone- just worth thinking about.
 
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Plantronics Audio .370

Very well rounded cans for gaming with a very good microphone. It's comfortable to wear too. Best bang for bucks as well.

If you want best sound altogether ( but has no mic ), i would recommend my ATH-A900 cans :cool:
 
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My brother has an Icemat Siberia i've tested it. Yeah the mic is awesome. Actually do they also sell this separately by itself ? :confused:

However the Siberia sound quality is trash compared to my Audio Technica A900 :D
 

spike99

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Thank you for the suggestions so far...

Comments:
1. I'd rather stay away from USB headphones. I currently have LTB 5.1 (USB)... but I would think that having a headphone connected to sound card... You would get better sound.

2. If i have a budget... ? No, not really... Pls let me know the best possibilities...

3. Mansize, I haven't really thought about getting headphones and a standalone microphone... I'm gonna start looking into this... But one thing... My understanding is that the audio from the PC can come out from sound card as analog or digital. I don't know how much better.. but my understanding is that digital would be better than analog.

4. Looking at some stereo headphones (ATH-A900)... I have a couple of concerns... These headphones seem to be for the purpose of listening to music not playing PC games. With these headphones... will I be able to hear someone coming from the left or behind me ? I may listen to some music but I mainly want headphones to play PC games...
 
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Audio Technica ATH-A900 (Closed cans) review

http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/index.php/taxid;2136212603;pid;1266;pt;1


:D


I got these so i can tell you my opinion so far.

1. Their very comfortable to wear. I am even wearing glasses and it doesn't hurt :]

2. Their rather big so i don't recommend wearing them in say... on a train, bus etc :p Their big that they stand out :x If you want to bring them to lan you can =^-^=;

3. A900 is closed cans, they do leak A BIT but nothing serious :x If your the sort of gamer that wants to be able to hear to noises from others while wearing your cans, i recommend you get the Audio Technica A700 which is an open can.

4. These cans don't require an amp. In fact many audiophiles would recommend these cans as being one that doesn't require an amp to sound good, and even if you did get one it wouldn't be that big an improvement. So bang for your bucks getting these cans :]

5. These are highend cans for music, BUT their a favourite among gamers since it has a large sound stage meaning you have more grasp where the sound is coming from ( correct me if i am wrong ). Also i would recommend only an XFI card which has cms3d headphones and EAX to further enhance sound positioning for these cans.

6. The only weakness for these cans is that since the intent of it's design wasn't intentionally aimed at gaming, so there is no mic. I have also being looking for a mic to go with these. Possible solutions is a clip on Mic, or a desktop mic. You could even mod the cans and attach a desktop mic to it :d i've seen some pictures of it done.



The price range for the can is 150-200 USD. You can purchase them from audiocubes and get international shipping. Shouldn't take more then a week to get it shipped to your doorstep :D


Basicly these cost the same as those cans that are designed for gamers with 5.1 true surround sound. Difference is the A900 high end stereo cans have better sound quality and still awesome for gaming, which means their better for your moneys worth. Just ask any gamer here they should recommend these or Senheisser HD555, beyerdyanmic's etc. These are the popular stereo can choices for gamers without sacrificing music/sound experience :]
 

spike99

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Moogle,

Thanks for the reply... I'm gonna do a bit more research on ATH-A900 & HD555 and get back.
 
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If your the sort of gamer that wants to be able to hear to noises from others while wearing your cans, i recommend you get the Audio Technica A700 which is an open can.

The A700s aren't open, they're closed like their big brother, the A900. If you want an open pair of headphones, look into Audio Technica's AD range, like the AD500 or AD700. Although, closed cans are generally better for gaming since they're usually produce more bass impact and provide isolation. Or there's the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros, which are largely considered as bass-head headphones. Personally, i use these and they're amazing.
 

RanceJustice

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I use a pair of Sennheiser 165s, which are USB phones with the option to take off the USB part and plug them into the sound card. They are the best of both worlds really.

One reason I enjoy the USB feature is that I set up my voice communication software (Teamspeak/Ventrilo/Mumble) to use the USB sound device. That way the game sounds still come out of my speakers, but my teammates talk into my headset.

I also use a bluetooth headset and dongle set up a similar way.
 
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Man Size is right.

Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros 80 ohms is a bass head. It needs an amp if you want the most out of it. It may depend on your taste whether you like a shitload of bass or not.... these offer alot of bass and is probably the highest among those around it's price range ;)

I never heard it but thats what the reviews say. If you can listen first to the different cans, you can make your own choice.

Reading reviews is half the story, listening is the other :D

Anyway just a recap of the selection of highend stereo cans for gamers

- Audio Technica ATH-A900 (Closed)
[/img]http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/im.php/width/640/im/1266_7_ATA900.jpg[/img]
Review: [/url]http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/index.php/taxid;2136212603;pid;1266;pt;1[/url]

- Audio Technica AD700 (Open)
[/img]http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/im.php/width/640/im/1283_7_AudiotechnicaAD700.jpg[/img]
Review: [/url]http://www.goodgearguide.com.au/index.php/taxid;2136212603;pid;1283;pt;1[/url]


- Senheisser HD555
[/img]http://www.gamegear.be/images/senn_hd555-full.jpg[/img]


- Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros 80 Ohms ( there a few variants for DT 770, so the one i am refering to is the 80 ohms one which many agree is the best in that series )
[/img]http://www.musik-schmidt.de/osc-schmidt/catalog/images/BEYERDYNAMIC_DT770.jpg[/img]

edited: please do not hot link images. ------ magnetik
 

ourfpshero

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the icemats arent really a headset- its a set of cans with a clip on mic. the audio.370's are better-i've had both. (the audio370 is huge!- guarranteed to keep out goverment mind control rays)

best gaming headset-imo-is the steelsounds. audio370 is best bang for buck

u will get better quality from a seperate headphones/mic setup but less convenient than a boom mic headset
 
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That was a good post, Moogle Stiltzkin. However, i disagree, from a gamer's point of view, that the DT 770 Pros improve much when the source is amplified. Owning the 80 ohm version, and a Corda Move amplifier, I feel that there is little improvement when gaming with an amplifier compared to gaming without. It is possible that a larger improvement can be heard when using a portable device as a source with these 'phones when an amplifier is used, but i hear very little difference with the X-Fi card in my computer is used.
 

kennyj449

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Regarding the Tritton AX360s... I had a pair and used it for a little more than a week.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826235001 I reviewed it here.

Going into more detail...

These headphones use a "rumble" that approximates a subwoofer. It works okay, for lower bass. Higher bass sucks because the rumble doesn't really go up there all that well, and the front-channel drivers don't go low enough to meet it. The rear drivers are smaller and tinny, and the center channel, even moreso. You spend a good amount of time just trying to get the sound levels balanced out, and even then, each channel sounds different.

This type of configuration is common with 5.1 channel headphones but these are pretty bad examples of how it can go wrong and it's a lot worse than it has to be, especially considering the expense. Better ones make sure that the rear and center isn't so far off and that the lower range of the front channels and the higher range of the sub channel aren't too far off either. You can alleviate some lack of overlap by using bass redirection (IF your sound card can do stuff like that, which I strongly recommend anyone considering any 5.1 channel headset to be certain of) but there's only so far that will go. Better headphones with this sort of design can actually get to sounding pretty damn good with the right configuration at the sound card (Razer HP-1 and the like) but these just can't quite get there in the first place. Personally I can tweak most headphones I get my hands on so that they're more than listenable, but there's no working around a design that is just plain bad. I could make these almost listenable, but in the end they sounded like something you'd pay $20 for at a garage sale, tops.

Now, the rumble feature works IF you use the decoder that the headphones come with. The problem with it is that it runs on the subwoofer output from your audio source. The decoder is also an amp and will adequately power this channel for the headphones. Sound cards, however, do not; they expect (rightly so) that if there's a subwoofer hooked up, then an amp is powering it. So, you can use the G9 to standard audio connector if you want to bypass the decoder, but kiss your bass goodbye. The other speakers just can't provide any bass worth a damn without the rumble working. The bass isn't that great normally anyway (if your sound card can't do user-configurable bass management, it's pretty much hopeless) but without being amped up, it's just plain gone.

So, using the decoder seems like a no-brainer, right? Well, the decoder makes up about half the cost of what you're buying. As a matter of fact, you can buy the headset sans decoder for much less (it actually has two headset ports on it, both in the G9 format... not sure if the replacement headset comes with the G9-to-standard adapter as well.) This is logical; decoding S/PDIF audio is not trivial, especially when you offer both coax and optical reception AND the appropriate cabling, plus the decoder also has to have a DSP and DACs just like a sound card. Here's the catch - the expense of the decoder, the accessories, etc. means that they skimped on the electrical noise shielding and the quality of the aforementioned DSP and DAC. Audio that goes through the decoder sounds HORRIBLE. There's noticable electrical noise when it's turned on without being plugged into anything, and the moment you connect it (either coax or optical; doesn't matter) the noise goes from noticable to severe. Some tweaking will alleviate it, but it's always there. To make matters worse, in addition to the always-present noise, there's a high-pitch screech that can be heard at most times when there's no audio being played through the headset. It's not loud, but still audible, and extremely annoying. I couldn't wear these with the decoder turned on if I wasn't actually listening to something for more than a minute at a time.

My sound card is not the greatest; it's one of the original Audigy cards. That said, the quality of the audio from this card if connected directly greatly exceeds that of the decoder's output. But, it can't power the sub worth a damn (it almost got powerful enough if I maxed the bass redirection and the bottom channels on the EQ as well as the gain, but the artifacts were terrible.)

Last but not least... This thing was really made to work as a headset with the XBox 360 and PC gaming was an afterthought. The mic (which actually sounded decent) can be connected in one of two ways, to the headset itself or to an extension cable (still attached to the headset) that plugs into the XBox controller. As such it's not a standard plug, 2.5mm instead of 3.5mm. The problem is, if you plug the headset into the decoder, there's no mic output from there to plug into the mic jack on your computer. So, if you use the decoder, you can't plug the mic into the headset, you MUST use the extension and plug it into a mic jack that way. If you don't use the decoder, and use the G9 adapter instead, you have a direct connection from the headset to a standard mic jack, but... you don't get any bass. The provided extension cable is not long enough to reach the mic jack on most PCs even if it's front-mounted, unless you like sitting within 2 feet of your tower at all times. Worse, since it's 2.5mm, you'll need an adapter to actually plug it into anything. At best, you'd get a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter and a standard extension cable of an appropriate length. Annoying as hell. They provide you everything you need, with multiple connection options, but if you're a PC user and you want to use the product as intended (with the decoder) then you need to go out and buy at least a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter, and probably an extension cable as well.
 

spike99

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Thanks for the replies... Here is where I stand as of now...

I've pretty much forgotten about the AX360, my initial perception was that I was going to use the digital output from sound card.... but when doing this... it bypasses the sound card and gets audio from Motherboard... If I did that... no need for sound card... No need to get digital input from AX360...

I'm now checking for stereo headphones... I want to go to a store and try them out and check how comfortable they are...

Thanks for the suggestions...
 

Soodey

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I recently ordered the HD555's off of J&R.com
http://www.jr.com/JRProductPage.process?Product=3962027 The price comes to $99, no shipping, no tax(unless you live in NY).

Really nice set of headphones. I currently have it paired with a Creative Audigy 2 Value, so I don't get all the super headphone positional features of an x-fi card, so the positioning isn't quite as good as my prior 5.1 speaker setup. However, even with this crap card, I still get a pretty nice sense of where people are in FPS, and I can hear every detail. Paired with an X-fi I have great faith in it.
 

osirus35

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it is all personal preference. Some people like the 5.1 headsets. Some claim they are just a gimmick. Others like music headphones such as the HD555, or the ATH-A900s. Then you have others who like open cans over closed cans.

As for a headset there really is nothing that is worth it. A lot of the "gaming headsets" do not sound great and they charge you an arm and a leg. (although steel-series is going to release a Neckband version of their Siberia line which sounds interesting)
 

alkaline

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ive got a pair of senn 485's that i paired with a $5 logitech mic. The headphones sound great and the mic is more than good for teamspeak/vent.
 
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Siberia icemat, Steel Series 5H USB, and all those 5.1 true surround gaming headphones, nobody is saying their not good for gaming because they are.

BUT when it comes to music we can all agree that they won't compare to quality stereo cans A900, HD555 etc.....

So what i am getting at is, will you just be happy if it is for gaming only ? or is music/movies also a priority for you ? Which is where A900, HD555 and their ilk come in.

It's not only that, but the price. If the price is comparable, why get Icemat, Steel series and those 5.1 when with the same amount of money you can get the quality Stereo cans that are much better and still awesome for games ? :confused:
 

spike99

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A couple of questions/comments....

What is the difference between open & closed cans ? I know that open cans... you can better hear noise within your environment and closed cans better insulates sound... Which is better for PC games ?

There have been comments about fake/real 5.1 headsets... I don't have any experience much with stereo headphones but my understanding is that sound card has a software that basically fakes a 5.1 environment for stereo headphones.

Note: Please keep in mind that I will be using headphones for PC games only.... I will not be listening to music/movies... and if I do... very rarely...
 
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Well.... 5.1 true surround sound headphones basicly have a few drivers in them to simulate 5.1 surround sound .... which is also further enchanced using XFI CMS surround for headphones..... some people swear by it saying the surround sound is much better than stereo cans :x .... i never them before so i can't make a comment except for what i read about other peoples comments on them.

On the other hand it will never truly be 5.1 surround sound like a speaker system, but the reviewers say it is much closer to it then plain stereo cans :x so make of that what you will.

Imho i'd get the stereo high end cans but that is cauz i enjoy music and movie watching on my pc. Gaming is a big part of my pc usage but so is music and video watching :]

So i don't know, if you were into competitive gaming, would you mind crappier sound as long as it give you a slightly bigger edge in sound positioning ? :confused:
 
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I've tried both the Speedlink Medusa 5.1 headset and a pair of DT 770 Pros I have now, and in my opinion the 5.1 cans were no better at producing positional audio than my stereo cans when using CMSS-3D. Plus, the cost of the cans isn't split between 8 tiny drivers, but 2, so the quality is a lot better.

The Medusas produced pretty much no bass, since the subwoofer speakers inside of them didn't work most of the time, and definitely didn't work in conjunction with the rear speakers. This meant that if ever a sound was heard from behind me, it would just sound tinny since it had no bass. However, with my Beyers, I get the full range of frequencies from all directions, plus explosions in games now sound like explosions and not farts, which was all the Medusas could manage on the bass front.
 

spike99

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Thanks Mansize...

This is what I was looking for... someone that has experience with both 5.1 & stereo headphones...

I am really now convinced to get stereo headphones...

The only question is to get either open or closed cans...

I've read some complaints about ATH-A900 where if you wear them for a long period of time it may get warm... Most people don't seem to mind this much...

Now if I can only decide between these
ATH-A900 (Closed)
AD700 - Open
HD555 - Open
HD595 - Open (I've seen these but haven't seen any comments on these)
 
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Since you've got the HD595s in your list, i think you can rule out the HD555s. I'd also consider the DT 770 Pros, if you can get them at a descent price.
 

spike99

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OK new list

ATH-A900 Closed
AD700 - Open
HD595 - Open
DT 770 Pros - Closed

I think what I need to do is find a store where I can try them out... And check which ever fits/sound better... I'll do this next week and let you know which was best for me...
 
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Uh.... since i got my A900 recently i've been wearing them constantly for long periods....

My room is airconditioned and i use the fan but i don't think it gets uncomfortable or warm over long period....

I've tried my brother's icemat Siberia's and they hurt my ears after while and get VERY warm.

between this and Siberia there is world of difference in comfort and how hot it gets after long usage ._.;

It uses 3d wings ontop of your head which is unusual but not uncomfortable :x

the Beyer's are velur by the way :x
 

spike99

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I wanted to thank you guys for your suggestions....

I wanted to let you know that I decided on the A900's only because they are closed cans and I did not want to disturb anyone at my place while I played games...

After only trying them yesterday night (for a few mins) I am very impressed... It kicks my USB LTB 5.1 headphones.... there is just no comparisson.

Although I have only tried them for a few mins... They felt very comfortable and the sound is very good... I'm gonna recommend these to my friends... :)

Thanks guys !!
 

Droc

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5.1 headphones are bullocks.

Personally, I have used a number of gaming headphones, but they were all garbage. fancy plastic with useless features like wireless, 5.1 or noise canceling.

In the end, I use a pair of Grado SR-225 cans. Excellent audiophile headphones. Not the greatest soundstage for gaming, but I find them more preferable to anything else I have tried.
 

Treyshadow

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Man that beyer looks perfect. Does anyone have a price on those headset AMP combos yet.?
 

osirus35

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Man that beyer looks perfect. Does anyone have a price on those headset AMP combos yet.?

what is funny is everyone has been saying that a dt770 with an attached mic would be perfect and it looks like beyer are going to put out something like that.

the steel-series Siberia neckband headset look good too.
 

w1retap

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the best headset will arrive on earth in November : it's a beyerdynamic !!!

MMx300
;)

b56e6310b7.jpg

ROFL!! :p
 

Skott

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Anyone got an idea of how much the MMx300 will go for? I'm guessing it wont be cheap.
 

Ricey

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5.1 cans are just a gimik really, they stink. I had the Medusa 5.1 before as well and they dont do any better with sound locations either, they actually messed me up sometimes because the "center" sounded like it was coming from the left or right. Also the sound quality blew, seriously SERIOUSLY blew, if you ever do even a bit of music listening they will disappoint you and make you really wish you never got them in the first place.

After the medusa 5.1 i got some grado SR125s, the sound was really good and soundstage was a bit better than the medusa, the only drawback to the grados is i could only wear them for maybe 30 mins before my ears turned red and hurt like hell. They are really uncomfortable if you have any sort of sensitive ears.

After the grados i got the A900s. They have a different sound to the grados but the sound quality is still very good, one of the best i've heard for a can around this price range. The sound is very detailed and has a huge soundstage. The highs are very detailed and i love it, the bass is tight depending on type of music but never too overbearing. The mids are ok, its not too bad. All in all if I had to buy these again i wouldnt, cuz i'd probably save up some more money and get their W1000 (which im planning to get actually) or steal money from my friends to get a W5000 :p
 
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