Gaming headset

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Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:29 am

I am looking at getting a gaming headset. There are so many choices I do not know where to even start although I have given it a shot today. I am looking for something that sounds good, speakers and microphone both, and will last a long while. I like the idea of having a headset with surround sound, 5.1 and 7.1, built in.

In the short time I spent looking around today I like the Plantronics GameCom 780.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=0TH-000R-00020

Any one have a better suggestion?
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:38 am

I don't think that you'd go wrong with the Sennheiser PC151 or PC230 for $60 +shipping. I've been using a PC150 (predecessor to the PC151) set for many years.

P.S.: The PC151 is just $49¼ at Amazon.
Last edited by JustAnEngineer on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:05 am

I rather like my Turtle Beach Z11 but it's not surround.

Personally I'd stay away from USB for audio. It's just not a good fit from what I know.

But then, I don't design the stuff so I can't really go into detail.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:37 am

I recently got a Sennheiser PC330 headset and so far I'm pretty happy with it! The sound quality does not disappoint me, and considering that I'm used to other, more expensive Sennheiser headphones (HD595, HD 25-1) this is a Good Thing. I can't really compare microphone quality but I can say that I managed to setup Teamspeak in such a way that I can be in a pretty noisy room and still use voice activation instead of PTT. With microphone boost disabled, it doesn't hiss either.

It does have a pretty horrendous head squeeze, it'll hurt my ears if I don't position my glasses so that they're not in the way. But that does mean that the isolation is pretty good. Not nearly as good as my equally head-squeezing HD 25-1's, but still pretty good.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:19 am

Surround sound in a headset is a gimmick dont waste your money on it.

Buy the best Audiophile cans you can get (Personally you can't go wrong with Sennheiser) and just buy the Zalman Clip on mic.

Oh and yeah, stay away from USB audio.
Last edited by tanker27 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:59 am

Get Sennheiser HD555's or whatever the latest iteration is called and run your microphone from your webcam. Seriously it is a much more comfortable setup. I find the webcam mic is waaaaaay better than any "gaming" headset and the non-microphone headsets are better quality.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:17 am

tanker27 wrote:Surround sound in a headset is a gimmick dont waste your money on it.

Buy the best Audiophile cans you can get (Personally you can't go wrong with Sennheiser) and just buy the Zalman Clip on mic.


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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:32 am

I'm happy with my Sennheiser PC151.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:35 pm

He's asking for a gaming headset, not audiophile ones. I'm assuming "sounds good" means "good enough for games" and not "I can hear the scritch of a violin".

The key metrics should then be comfort (for long gaming sessions), the microphone and surround sound capability (keep in mind the multiple speakers in a headphone thing is a gimmick, the best you can get is HRTF). This means even USB phones are in contention.


Looking at the Plantronics link you provided, it doesn't look like it's a bad set for those purposes. The only thing that seems concerning is how the mic doesn't have background noise cancellation but that might not be an issue for you.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:53 pm

I actually really liked true (non-virtualized) surround headsets, but they die quicker than normal ones and tend to be expensive so no go for me.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:01 pm

I have a pair of the Corsair 1500's (USB) just for gaming. The sound is less precise than what I am used to from good speakers and headphones, but for gaming and voip it works really well. It has the positional virtualization and I was surprised at how accurate it sounds.

They are comfortable to wear for hours of gaming, but the full ear-cups get a little warm and the volume/mic mute dongle gets almost hot. Also, the dongle caches on the desk if I move around, so I put it in my shirt pocket.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:50 pm

A thumbs down on the Corsair HS1A. I like Corsair products, but was very disappointed in this one. Sound is ok, but the volume control is too far down the cord, and the mic is terrible.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:18 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:He's asking for a gaming headset, not audiophile ones. I'm assuming "sounds good" means "good enough for games" and not "I can hear the scritch of a violin".

The key metrics should then be comfort (for long gaming sessions), the microphone and surround sound capability (keep in mind the multiple speakers in a headphone thing is a gimmick, the best you can get is HRTF). This means even USB phones are in contention.


Looking at the Plantronics link you provided, it doesn't look like it's a bad set for those purposes. The only thing that seems concerning is how the mic doesn't have background noise cancellation but that might not be an issue for you.


No, No, NO!

This is totally the wrong advice.

Trust me I went through 100's of dollars of headsets, then one day I read somewhere that instead of going for these cheaply made pieces of junk that I should buy the best Audiophile cans I can afford and just use the zalman clip on mic that I would sear buy them. Ever since I bought my Sennheiser 555s (I also have some Grado SR255i's, that I switch between) and the Zalman mic I have never looked back. They are comfortable for extended gaming sessions and are quality cans. Mine are running about 5 years old now. In 5 years time before that I must have gone through like 10+ 'headsets'. And stay away from USB! Chances are you have a sound card or on board sound use those discrete connections dont let Windows or a stand alone sound processing algorithm control the sound let the hardware do it.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:26 pm

If you were looking for audiophile quality in a gaming headset YOU were the one making a mistake in the first place.

The question of course is whether the OP is. Not whether YOU do.

Which is why I posed the question about what he meant by "good sound quality". Because if it's "games sound good" then the comfort, durability and the mic of the headset becomes more important than some phantom cause against USB (which admittedly has lower quality than a discrete solution).
Last edited by ChronoReverse on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:31 pm

tanker27 wrote:No, No, NO!

This is totally the wrong advice.


No one is discounting your expert advice, but you are recommending a $200 set-up to a person who linked an $80 set-up as their current choice. There are lots of options in a similar price range, so I think that is the place to start here.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:34 pm

I think what tanker27 is trying to say is that in the long run, audiphile headphones will be well worth the investment because they will have better sound quality, will be more comfortable, and will last longer.

It's not just a matter of what the OP wants, but encouraging him to consider a higher quality option because he might be happier in the long run.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:43 pm

A good USB set gets my vote, though nice cans are nice. The Corsair 1500 seems about right.

You can spend a lot of money trying to get a nice set of cans with a nice sound card/USB DAC and a nice mic trying to get perfect sound for everything, but a simple USB headset will get you 90% of the way there for hundreds less.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:58 pm

I have the steelseries h7's. her comfortable, the mic is bendy and can be retracted, you can change the material for the ear cups from a cloths type or vinyl. The headset construction is pretty good too. You have the option of using the USB dongle or you can connect it analog too. The cord is braided and can actually detach from the headset, this feature saved me a few times because I stepped on the cord an it detached on its own opposed to ripping out of the headset like my old headset I replaced.

I can't compare them to the hd555 or pther audiophile cans since I don't own any, but I've been happy with the sound quality and comfort.

My only complaint is that the construction is almost too rigid, they fit ony head pretty tight an I wouldn't say I have a large head or anything.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:37 pm

I had some steelseries before these. The construction was horrible...those old plastic clips that break if you look at them funny secured the earpieces.

Never buying them again.

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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:52 pm

ChronoReverse wrote:phantom cause against USB

For starters, nforce2 could use 200MB/sec for audio. That's megabytes.

That is one reason USB2 isn't good enough...and so far there isn't any USB3 audio kit even though it seems like a great idea.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:58 pm

Savyg wrote:
ChronoReverse wrote:phantom cause against USB

For starters, nforce2 could use 200MB/sec for audio. That's megabytes.

That is one reason USB2 isn't good enough...and so far there isn't any USB3 audio kit even though it seems like a great idea.

Assuming that's true, it's still meaningless since sound quality over USB is certain Good Enough (TM) for a lot of things including Video Game Audio.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:30 pm

Savyg wrote:
ChronoReverse wrote:phantom cause against USB

For starters, nforce2 could use 200MB/sec for audio. That's megabytes.

That is one reason USB2 isn't good enough...and so far there isn't any USB3 audio kit even though it seems like a great idea.

I've been using an USB headphone amp for several years now and never had a problem. The drivers ship with windows and the whole thing is stable as can be. I still use the normal soundcard for the microphone input and as a secondary sound card, but the USB amp has been my primary for years and still is on my high end PC from last february. Before that, I used it on a C2D laptop from 2006, no problems with stability, quality or CPU load.

So yeah, I don't doubt for one second that a quality USB headset would work just as well as any other. In fact, I bet it will sound *better* than the same headset directly from a standard integrated sound card. Lord knows that my Sennheiser HD 25-1's are laughably bad out of my 2006 laptop, but quite excellent out of that puny USB headphone amp.

edit: Also, I do recommend good headphones with a separate microphone. However, a quality headset (headphones + microphone) can be just as good. I highly recommend Sennheiser, but that's because I'm a Sennheiser fanboy. There are enough manufacturers out there that have been making quality headphones for DECADES and also offer headsets, Sennheiser being one of them. To discount all gaming headsets because brands that barely dipped their toes into the audio pool come out with some crappy sounding or flimsy headsets is not smart.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:51 pm

ericfulmer wrote:No one is discounting your expert advice, but you are recommending a $200 set-up to a person who linked an $80 set-up as their current choice.


My Senns were 90 bucks (on sale) (I would also recommend any Senn product as some can be bought on the cheap the HD 202 II Pros Are 25 bucks at Amazon), the zalman mic can be gotten for 10. Thats not a $200 setup.

superjawes wrote:I think what tanker27 is trying to say is that in the long run, audiphile headphones will be well worth the investment because they will have better sound quality, will be more comfortable, and will last longer.


In a way yes.

Savyg wrote:I had some steelseries before these. The construction was horrible...those old plastic clips that break if you look at them funny secured the earpieces.


I also bought a set and they ultimately broke in a couple of months.

I'm not hard on my cans, heck they have their own stand when not in use. I use my cans almost exclusively because I have a small child (dont want to interrupt him sleeping nor expose him to some more mature content thats inevitably in some games) in the house I rarely turn on my speakers.

Savyg wrote:For starters, nforce2 could use 200MB/sec for audio. That's megabytes.


Lastly this is correct. When you throw in Vent or TS to the mix, good luck at getting people understanding you. However, it has been 5 years since I tried a USB headset so maybe 7 or 8 has fixed this.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:10 pm

If a USB mic can be good- a USB headset mic can be good.

I've hated the voice pickup quality of many mics- they're just bad, for whatever reason- but good USB headsets seem to work well for most.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:25 pm

FYI, The Zalman uses a 3.5mm connector
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:20 pm

Has anyone tried the Sennheiser PC320 headset? It's $120 at Amazon and at B&H.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:52 am

Firestarter wrote:I've been using an USB headphone amp for several years now and never had a problem. The drivers ship with windows and the whole thing is stable as can be. I still use the normal soundcard for the microphone input and as a secondary sound card, but the USB amp has been my primary for years and still is on my high end PC from last february. Before that, I used it on a C2D laptop from 2006, no problems with stability, quality or CPU load.

So yeah, I don't doubt for one second that a quality USB headset would work just as well as any other. In fact, I bet it will sound *better* than the same headset directly from a standard integrated sound card. Lord knows that my Sennheiser HD 25-1's are laughably bad out of my 2006 laptop, but quite excellent out of that puny USB headphone amp.

The sound quality isn't the issue. The amount of data the games can push is. A lot of games can push a hell of a lot more than USB2 offers, which was my point.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:54 am

Airmantharp wrote:If a USB mic can be good- a USB headset mic can be good.

I've hated the voice pickup quality of many mics- they're just bad, for whatever reason- but good USB headsets seem to work well for most.

The Z11 is the first time I've liked a headset mic, before that I had to pick up some Olympus ME52W mics to accompany my headsets.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:02 am

I personally owned a pair of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 surround headphones and absolutely loved them. The surround actually worked very well. So idk what people are saying when they say its a gimmick. It certainly didn't sound that way to me.

Sadly a few years ago I left for basic training and AIT and stored a bunch of stuff at my parents house and that pair of headphones mysteriously went MIA by the time I came back home almost a year later. So now I am also in the market for a new pair of headphones.

I actually liked the surround sound of those original turtle beach HPA cans so much that I was hoping to get another surround sound set. But the only two I see are the Turtle Beach Z6A and the Razer Tiamat 7.1's.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6826502019
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6826153089

The Z6A's seem to have seriously build quality issues
The Razer Tiamats look very nice, but are expensive as all heck, and I also am still using a Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeMusic (ironically now an issue because of the way the jacks are setup).

The sound card has served me very well for many years and still works like a charm, so I would hate to get rid of it. But I can't find the dang 5.1 to 7.1 adapter cables anywhere. Some quick googling revealed they may be called 3:4 adapters? since they are taking the 3 shared inputs of the x-fi and converting them into the four standard audio jacks required for true 8 channel audio.

For those who cannot remember or simply do not know what I am talking about with the shared audio jack issue of the x-fi, here is TR's article on the X-fi which explains what I am talking about. I would love to get the adapter cables so that I could hook up a true 7.1 surround setup.

http://techreport.com/review/8884/creat ... rocessor/2

Any recommendations for someone who is looking for surround sound effect in a headphone? Also if anyone can point to me where I can get the adapter cables for my x-fi so I can actually use the 7.1 it is capable of... that would be fantastic. Don't know why creative couldn't have just either used a normal number of jacks for 7.1 support or at least included the damn adapter cables when I bought the card...

Edited because like a dumby I forgot to include links to everything the first time...
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:37 am

moose17145 wrote:I personally owned a pair of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 surround headphones and absolutely loved them. The surround actually worked very well. So idk what people are saying when they say its a gimmick. It certainly didn't sound that way to me.


Direction is simulated by the recording, not the headphones, you only have two ears. You can get "Surround Sound" in a perfectly fine pair of cans. Just as if you can tell where bullets are coming from by using any one of these 5.1 or 7.1 cans you can also hear the same in any number of audiophile cans. Its a selling point of the misinformed and the uninitiated.

If the recording is only 2 channel it will always be 2 channel even if you throw a pair of 5.1 headsets at it. Most games use simulated surround sound that is processed by the gaming code or used in conjunction with Creative's latest offering and their specialty drivers. E.g. X-fi. Thats where the gimmick comes in.
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