Gaming headset

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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:05 am

Savyg wrote: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.

Oh, so according to you I shouldn't be able to play BF3 or Planetside 2 or any number of modern, highly demanding games using a USB headset or headphone amp? Because if so, I've been doing the impossible for several years running now.

If you think that for some reason the mixing of the channels and such is done on the USB device, then you're mistaken. All mixing is done in software (often the game itself), using the CPU, and only the end result (less than 2MB per second in case of stereo audio) is pushed over the USB cable. It works fine with no noticeable lag or performance degradation.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:39 am

My 2ct. Do not buy anything tagged as "gaming". It's not that they are bad, but the sound and build quality is lesser compared to "normal" stereo headphones at the same price level. There is no "gaming" sound, the inner workings are just the same as normal cans, except for the often included microphone. That's just not worth the asked price for them. Regarding surround see below.

My advice: Get decent stereo headphones and any kind of microphone you like. I like the clip-on ones. Some good ones have already been mentioned.

For the surround part go with dolby virtualization from a decent sound card, e.g., one of the Asus cards frequently advised in the TR build guides. I had a couple of such cards and for all such tests/reviews i remember they came out in front of the 5.1 headsets. Mostly due to sheer size, having to squeeze not one speaker but several into each can does not allow for high quality membranes and such...

Do not go for USB sound cards, they add a totally unnecessary layer of communication (sound via usb) and drivers.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:48 am

Firestarter wrote:Oh, so according to you I shouldn't be able to play BF3 or Planetside 2 or any number of modern, highly demanding games using a USB headset or headphone amp? Because if so, I've been doing the impossible for several years running now.

You miss points spectacularly. Any audio chip on any interface can run any game out there (unless it's horribly broken.)
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:57 am

Savyg wrote:You miss points spectacularly. Any audio chip on any interface can run any game out there (unless it's horribly broken.)

Oh yes I'm rather dumbfounded, and I'm totally missing the point of this argument that you're making:

Savyg wrote: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.

If any functional USB audio device can run any game out there, then why is the "amount of data the games can push" an issue?
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:20 pm

Firestarter wrote:If any functional USB audio device can run any game out there, then why is the "amount of data the games can push" an issue?

How many voices can your chip process at a time? 31/32? Most sound cards can handle at least 63/64, going anywhere up to 256.

Now this is quick and dirty math because I'm not an engineer, it was told to me many years ago and I don't know where the source is...

But stereo x 16 bit x 44100 x 64 voices runs you 90 megs a second.

So unless you really need a rundown on what uses a voice in a game (everything, with some things using multiple) there's your answer.

Latency is also not guaranteed in USB which can be an issue, although it usually isn't...it depends on the chips.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:28 pm

Seriously, don't you think they have already thought about this and maybe just mix audio in software and then channel the stereo audio through USB?

It's not exactly complicated.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 1:50 pm

Savyg wrote:How many voices can your chip process at a time?

1

The chip is nothing but a USB device tied to a DAC, and it does exactly one thing and does it well. All the rest is done in software.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:13 pm

The only thing "gaming headsets" do that audiophile cans don't, is fake the HRTF positional sound processing in their own USB brick, rather than letting your soundcard do it.

You're ALWAYS better off getting the sound card to do the positional audio for you. If you're using onboard sound and you don't have these options, get a better soundcard because THAT is your problem. Buying better cans for onboard codecs is just an attempt to treat the symptoms rather than solving the actual problem!
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:09 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:The only thing "gaming headsets" do that audiophile cans don't, is fake the HRTF positional sound processing in their own USB brick, rather than letting your soundcard do it.

You're ALWAYS better off getting the sound card to do the positional audio for you. If you're using onboard sound and you don't have these options, get a better soundcard because THAT is your problem. Buying better cans for onboard codecs is just an attempt to treat the symptoms rather than solving the actual problem!


You're best off letting the games do this for you, since all sound is done in software. If the game is horrible, yeah, you might get something useful from using some sound card's drivers.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:22 pm

Wow, looks like I started quite the discussion. I currently use my desk top speakers and separate microphone that sits on my desk. This set up has worked well for me for many years. However, all things change. I am now finding I need a headset so I do not disturb others in the middle of the night with exploding ships in Star Trek Online or a burst of machine gun fire in a first person shooter.

I am probably one of the few people who does not turn off the music in games so along with the sound from all the action I want the music to sound good as well. So I'm looking for the best sound possible with good mic that does not pick up every little noise around me.

I think I'm like every one else that wants the best possible sound/mic for the lowest price.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 10:28 pm

If the microphone sitting on the desk works for you now, it should work even better when you're wearing headphones. You probably have a bit of an echo problem in chat when your microphone picks up the sound from your external speakers.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:46 pm

Firestarter wrote:The chip is nothing but a USB device tied to a DAC, and it does exactly one thing and does it well. All the rest is done in software.

I have never heard of an audio codec that works that way, on USB or anywhere else. Most Razer USB sets use Cmedia kit. I can't speak for anyone else. (Though I'm fairly sure Corsair does too.)

I'd throw in my USB headset as a datapoint but Sandra doesn't seem to be loading at the moment.
Last edited by Savyg on Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Fri Jan 11, 2013 12:05 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:If the microphone sitting on the desk works for you now, it should work even better when you're wearing headphones. You probably have a bit of an echo problem in chat when your microphone picks up the sound from your external speakers.

JAE's right about your desktop mic working better with a switch to headphones. I would go with a good pair like Sennheiser, and if you ever need to ditch the desktop mic, a lapel mic should be a good addition.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:29 am

I find the directional, noise-cancelling mics like these cheap things on ebay etc are actually some of the best; Just slap one on top of your screen and be done with it.
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Re: Gaming headset

Postposted on Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:49 pm

hahaha, mine is usb 1.1. that's funny. I guess I know what to put in the junk pile to go to the nearest waste disposal facility now
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