Why do inexpensive highly reviewed "good" headsets all have trash mics?

Tengis

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
4,879
Bought a Kingston HyperX Cloud... fixed the mic issue by literally making my own mic. Anyway... only sort of fixed it. Now I realize there is also an issue internal to the headset where sound bleeds over from the headset output to the mic input. You can find people talking about this issue online in various places but not that many people (including Kingston themselves) know that this is a problem. If you physically remove the mic from the headset you will still get noise going into the mic input - as Ive been trying to fix it I test it by tapping my finger on the headset earpiece and you can clearly hear it in a recording.

Bought a Razer Kraken when I was in Target just because I was sick of messing with my headset. Well, now Im messing with my headset again. This mic is pretty trash (quiet) and has to be boosted considerably and is still quiet to some people Im talking to. The headset itself is inferior to the HyperX Cloud in fitment, comfort, possibly in sound quality... and unfortunately the build quality (a very specific issue Ive got). This is the first headset Ive ever had in my life where if you slide your finger/arm/whatever across the cable that connects to the headset then you can hear it clearly in your left ear (where the cable connects to). Sound is traveling up the cable through the actual structure of the cable and isnt isolated in any way (apparently) where it connects. If I move my head or start moving my right arm I will hear it the movement in my left ear and its annoying.

Started looking at reviews of some other sub-$100 headsets and there seems to be a lot of headsets with junk mics. I had a Madcatz Freq 5 before this that I bought on a whim and really liked it... was hoping to upgrade after using that headset for 4-5 years. How does a company like Madcatz get sound quality, mic quality, and general build quality higher then the big players in the game?
 

UnknownSouljer

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
6,172
This is generally why people buy mics and headsets separately. Generally either the headphones or the mics on combined setups will be garbage. There are very few companies that specialize in audio that actually make good sets. Sennheiser being among them as they have more or less been making mics since 1946 and were the inventers of open back headphones in 1968. They also aren't cheap.

So you can either pay a bit more and get a good combined set or keep playing the low end and get separates or alternatively pay even more and get high-end separates.

(As for why certain OEM's get good partial parts etc, there isn't really a good answer outside of: "they are building products to a price". Making the product better at a certain point gets the price outside of their target market. A $5 increase in mic will often kill margins or pricing targets. Especially when you consider that $5 increase over 100,000 sets or 1 million sets or whatever adds up really quick with basic multiplication. If they can source parts and fabrication of better parts for less money that is generally how product pricing over time gets driven down. Through mass manufacturing and decreased cost over time. Maybe in 10 years you'll find a sub $100 set [+inflation] that meets your criteria. But clearly we aren't there yet).
 

IdiotInCharge

[H]ardForum Junkie
Joined
Jun 13, 2003
Messages
13,265
I don't really recommend headsets, unless an integrated solution is a requirement; but I'm picky about my headphones.

That said, stop going to retail stores. There are a few gems, but like many / most things, the products there are sold more on flashiness than function.

Instead, try Sennheiser's PC37X for US$100 at Drop.com.

There are others of similar quality in the price range, of course, but this one 'just works'.


[the 'better' solution is to get a decent set of headphones that meet your listening criteria, a decent DAC/Amp for them, and a microphone such as a modmic to stick on to them or a decent USB mic on an arm above your monitor like in studios, but at this point you're likely well north of US$300]
 

Tengis

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
4,879
I don't really recommend headsets, unless an integrated solution is a requirement; but I'm picky about my headphones.

That said, stop going to retail stores. There are a few gems, but like many / most things, the products there are sold more on flashiness than function.

Instead, try Sennheiser's PC37X for US$100 at Drop.com.

There are others of similar quality in the price range, of course, but this one 'just works'.


[the 'better' solution is to get a decent set of headphones that meet your listening criteria, a decent DAC/Amp for them, and a microphone such as a modmic to stick on to them or a decent USB mic on an arm above your monitor like in studios, but at this point you're likely well north of US$300]
I'm currently on a military training base so I'm likely going to sell my headphones without a loss and move to something better. I almost bought Sennheiser for Christmas but Cloud reviews are generally very positive and the ones I listened to in-store were nice. Couldn't have anticipated how trash the mic situation is though.
 

criccio

Fully Equipped
Joined
Mar 26, 2008
Messages
12,647
I was all about proper headphones and a dedicated mic until I finally got fed up with the wires. Decided to try the Logitech Pro X with its advertised "Blue Audio" microphone and I'm very impressed.

Over $100 but I think it sounds as good if not better than a Modmic.
 

Tapper

n00b
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
21
Most headset miks are utter shite! The ones I like are from Beyerdynamic the MMX 300 or the DT130. I now use Beyerdynamic 770 pros with a modmic on the side. I am blind and use voice chat to talk to other blind people around the world so I have used and hird a lot of headsets in my time.
 

Tengis

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Jun 11, 2003
Messages
4,879
Most headset miks are utter shite! The ones I like are from Beyerdynamic the MMX 300 or the DT130. I now use Beyerdynamic 770 pros with a modmic on the side. I am blind and use voice chat to talk to other blind people around the world so I have used and hird a lot of headsets in my time.
Like, fully blind? Never really thought about blind people using the internet. How do you navigate forums?
 

B00nie

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Nov 1, 2012
Messages
8,172
The word 'inexpensive' might give a clue why cost was saved on the mic.
 

DoubleTap

2[H]4U
Joined
Dec 16, 2010
Messages
2,346
Moving to a separate usb mic on a desktop stand was the best decision for me. It alwas works, it's super clear and now I'm free to look at headphones and not just gamery headsets.

Also, people that don't use push-to-talk on discord are posessed by Satan and will spend eternity in hell.

You all know those people and if you don't, then you are those people.

Reject the open mic Devil and all his works and embrace our Lord and Savior, Push-to-talk.

Amen.
 

djoye

2[H]4U
Joined
Aug 31, 2004
Messages
2,813
Like, fully blind? Never really thought about blind people using the internet. How do you navigate forums?
Just a guess. There are probably programs designed to recognize and vocally read a variety of page formats. I imagine an application could parse the HTML elements of a page (button text, username items, time/date elements, body of text, etc.) and allow a user to press something like the Tab key to navigate around while the digital voice reads off the text of whatever element they've tabbed to.
 

Starfalcon

[H]Lite
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
87
Moving to a separate usb mic on a desktop stand was the best decision for me. It alwas works, it's super clear and now I'm free to look at headphones and not just gamery headsets.

Also, people that don't use push-to-talk on discord are posessed by Satan and will spend eternity in hell.

You all know those people and if you don't, then you are those people.

Reject the open mic Devil and all his works and embrace our Lord and Savior, Push-to-talk.

Amen.
I agree, push to talk was invented for a reason. We had a guildie that refused to use PTT, and we all ended up muting him on discord. It took him 2 weeks before he figured out no one was listening to him anymore.
 

UnknownSouljer

[H]ardness Supreme
Joined
Sep 24, 2001
Messages
6,172
Moving to a separate usb mic on a desktop stand was the best decision for me. It alwas works, it's super clear and now I'm free to look at headphones and not just gamery headsets.

Also, people that don't use push-to-talk on discord are posessed by Satan and will spend eternity in hell.

You all know those people and if you don't, then you are those people.

Reject the open mic Devil and all his works and embrace our Lord and Savior, Push-to-talk.

Amen.
I haven't bothered to play any multiplayer game in a while in which this mattered. However I will say I didn't bother to use push to talk while playing WoW.
However a key with that is not having the mic trigger unless there is a loud enough sound. In other words setting up your minimum at a reasonable loudness. If you're doing it right then people don't know or notice the difference between PTT and always on. I rarely spoke. And also I literally never had my mic "accidentally trigger". However I guess doing that is too much work if you're a scrub who is intent on not doing it right.
 
Top