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measurements
10-03-2013, 03:02 AM
Hey Rock Paper Sensible-financial-decisions! I need to buy a new headset cause my current one is busted. I've already bought and returned one for being terrible build quality and having features I didn't like. So please suggest me a headset that hits these criteria:

Good Microphone (both in physical form and sound quality)
USB handled sound so you can just flip over the outputs / practically no install / seemingly better quality sound all around (YMMV).
Inline remote with analogue volume slider - I like to set volume to full on windows system so if the vol slider works with windows system output it is annoying (and pointless, it's near deafening at 3% and too quiet at 2%). My current broken headset has a mic mute on inline as well, welcome addition.
Comfort over long time periods.

Will also consider 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound or faux surround sound. I've heard some praise for locational assistance. Not essential.

Budget is not really an issue. Bonus question: is it a waste of money to replace a 560ti frozr (http://uk.msi.com/product/vga/N560GTX-Ti-Twin-Frozr-II-OC.html) with a 680 frozr (http://www.msi.com/product/vga/N680GTX-Twin-Frozr-2GD5-OC-.html)? I want to splurge some cash, it seems.

Cheers, big ears!

shaydeeadi
10-03-2013, 12:55 PM
I have a Sennheiser PC323D set (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sennheiser-PC-323D-Gaming-Headset/dp/B0087ZMAUS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362920031&sr=8-2) and I heartily recommend it, the sound quality is great, the mic is of a really good standard and the 5.1/7.1 is pretty good. It has a volume control on the right earcup, is really comfy for hours on end and I think it's a pretty good package.

Danny252
10-03-2013, 03:33 PM
+1 for Sennheiser. Sadly can't link you a headset of theirs which fits your requirements (mine is headphones only and non-USB), but never been disappointed by them.

Labbes
10-03-2013, 03:39 PM
The Steelseries Siberia v2 comes with a USB variant. Out of all the headsets/headphones I've tried, it's the one I found the most comfortable. In fact, it's only one out of two that I can wear over a long period of time (apparently my ears are weird). It weighs next to nothing and in my experience is quite sturdy, I have dropped it quite a lot. The mic (I have no idea how good the quality is, as I never hear myself) can be put into the left earcup which is an amazing feature. It has a volume control on the chord with an included mute button.

Grizzly
11-03-2013, 02:20 PM
Will also consider 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound or faux surround sound. I've heard some praise for locational assistance. Not essential.

5.1 or 7.1 surround sound headphones work with built in soundcards to make the surround work trough psychoaucoustic cues. Just several drivers close to your ear won't do it, as our eardrums can not detect in which direction sound is coming - the shape of the ear, shape of the head, and time difference between left and right eardrum is what defines how we detect where which sound is coming from. Therefore, if you want to get 3d sound in your headphones, you can also get yourself a dedicated Asus soundcard, which works just as well (and does not have to be replaced with the headphones).

Frankly, I do not know why you would prefer USB over jack plugs, when you cite "Ease-of-installation" - you have to install drivers to make USB headphones work, right?

My personal recommendation is to go with a Sennheiser PC 300 series - any of them, as they are all suburb. I have the budget PC310 (normal stereo headphones, onfortunately lacking a volume adjustment, although the higher models all have them) on my head right now, and it's already miles better then anything I have had so far. There's also a Sennheiser PC350 out there which had an Asus soundcard specifically built for it, if you want to go all in and burn all your money :).

SephKing
11-03-2013, 02:48 PM
I just got a pair of these a week ago and they're pretty awesome...

Creative Sound Blaster Tactic 3D Rage

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41HZXxuG86L._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Review
http://www.custompcreview.com/reviews/creative-sound-blaster-tactic3d-rage-review/16845/5/

Kadayi
11-03-2013, 04:14 PM
The Steelseries Siberia v2 comes with a USB variant. Out of all the headsets/headphones I've tried, it's the one I found the most comfortable. In fact, it's only one out of two that I can wear over a long period of time (apparently my ears are weird). It weighs next to nothing and in my experience is quite sturdy, I have dropped it quite a lot. The mic (I have no idea how good the quality is, as I never hear myself) can be put into the left earcup which is an amazing feature. It has a volume control on the chord with an included mute button.

+1 for these. I've been through quite a few headsets over the years and Siberia's are by far the most durable and comfortable ones I've used.

shaydeeadi
11-03-2013, 06:07 PM
I have had numerous pairs of Siberias and found the wires to be built to break, although very comfy and decent sound on them; my neckband pair were great while they lasted but YMMV. I'm not sure where you could go and try each pair on for yourself but I presume there must be somewhere. A couple of my friends have recently got the new Corsair ones and I have heard positive things about those from them.

Sakkura
11-03-2013, 06:57 PM
My personal recommendation is to go with a Sennheiser PC 300 series - any of them, as they are all suburb. I have the budget PC310 (normal stereo headphones, onfortunately lacking a volume adjustment, although the higher models all have them) on my head right now, and it's already miles better then anything I have had so far. There's also a Sennheiser PC350 out there which had an Asus soundcard specifically built for it, if you want to go all in and burn all your money :).
I don't know about an Asus sound card, but I like my Sennheiser PC 350s a lot. There's an open version too if closed headphones make your ears too hot.


I have had numerous pairs of Siberias and found the wires to be built to break, although very comfy and decent sound on them; my neckband pair were great while they lasted but YMMV. I'm not sure where you could go and try each pair on for yourself but I presume there must be somewhere. A couple of my friends have recently got the new Corsair ones and I have heard positive things about those from them.
I've also run into problems with the durability of Steelseries headsets, though that was with their slightly cheaper 5Hv2 headset. Which wasn't all that comfortable for my ears. The sound seemed decent until I got my Sennheisers and was blown away.

trjp
13-03-2013, 09:12 PM
I've run a few USB-based headsets and I'd avoid them like the plague, frankly.

First problem is that you're switching to using the likely to be cheap-as-chips soundcard in the headphones rather than your onboard one which - unless you have a very, very old PC - is likely to be MUCH MUCH better. If nothing else you may have to keep switching which card is default to get it to work etc. etc.

Second problem is that every PC I've tried a USB headset in came with either
a - high pitched whining in the background (inaudible when listening to music but annoying if you're just chatting)
b - interference from the HDD, Wifi or anything else inside the PC - e.g. radio buzz

It's down to the way USB is wired/works and not really soluable if you get it. On my laptop it's deafening wheras on my desktop it's less of a problem, but MUCH MORE of a problem on the front panel sockets than the rear ones (less interference I guess)

I've been promising myself a SS Siberia Neckband headset for years now - just regular 3.5" jacks - I like neckband headsets and it's the best one there is, but even now it's down to 50 it still seems like a LOT of money for a headset (they started at 80!)

Horses for courses of course but the trend in headsets is to 'massive and military' and even tho I'm indoors I don't want to look a massive cock :)

Grizzly
15-03-2013, 09:36 PM
I've been promising myself a SS Siberia Neckband headset for years now - just regular 3.5" jacks - I like neckband headsets and it's the best one there is, but even now it's down to 50 it still seems like a LOT of money for a headset (they started at 80!)

I also think that 400 euros is a lot for a graphics card - trust me, you will notice differences :).

trjp
16-03-2013, 12:04 AM
I also think that 400 euros is a lot for a graphics card - trust me, you will notice differences :).

I'm not convinced with headsets - I own some really nice headphones and yet day-to-day I use a cheap set of Skullcandy headphones because I can hear phones ringing, people talking to me etc. (which I can't with the good quality headphones)

I think a lot of the more expensive headsets on-sale are much like the high-end mice and keyboards - you're paying for image and it's all a bit of a con, frankly.

My last headset was a Plantronics - cost <30 - did the job perfectly, I cannot actually imagine how you could better it!

Ragnar
16-03-2013, 02:33 AM
I'm not convinced with headsets - I own some really nice headphones and yet day-to-day I use a cheap set of Skullcandy headphones because I can hear phones ringing, people talking to me etc. (which I can't with the good quality headphones)
If you get/use open headphones, you can still do that.


I think a lot of the more expensive headsets on-sale are much like the high-end mice and keyboards - you're paying for image and it's all a bit of a con, frankly. In some cases - Beats - that's entirely true. In other cases it's not, but you're paying exponentially more for diminishing returns.


My last headset was a Plantronics - cost <30 - did the job perfectly, I cannot actually imagine how you could better it!As a previous owner of a Plantronics headset, I can assure you that you absolutely can do much better, but you don't have to spend a lot more.

I liked my Plantronics, but I just used it for the mic with my speakers for sound, and only plugged the headphone sound in when I needed to be quiet.

When it died, I bought the Panasonic RP-HTF600 headphones - $30 - added replacement Behringer velour ear pads - $20 - and paired it with a Labtec mic - $10 (you could also use the popular Modmic for $30). Total cost came out to $60, and they sound so much better that I actually started using them all the time instead of my Logitech 5.1 speakers.

Ragnar
16-03-2013, 02:36 AM
Bonus question: is it a waste of money to replace a 560ti frozr (http://uk.msi.com/product/vga/N560GTX-Ti-Twin-Frozr-II-OC.html) with a 680 frozr (http://www.msi.com/product/vga/N680GTX-Twin-Frozr-2GD5-OC-.html)? I want to splurge some cash, it seems.
Are you playing anything now that you can't run at the graphics settings that you want? For example, I'm running a GTX 470 now, which is roughly the same speed as your car, and I haven't run into a game yet that it can't handle on a single 1080p monitor. But I want to step up to Eyefinity performance with modern games, and for that a GTX 680 would be great.

TheIronSky
16-03-2013, 04:29 AM
I will second an recommendation for Plantronics or Panasonic headsets. As an owner of a Plantronics 780 headset, I can say that the audio is fantastic, the volume controls are (mostly) responsive, it has a hardware toggle for Dolby Surround, and it's tight enough yet comfortable enough to stay on for extended periods of time (+6 hours). Not super cheap, but it was worth the investment.

Kadayi
16-03-2013, 07:49 AM
I'm not convinced with headsets - I own some really nice headphones and yet day-to-day I use a cheap set of Skullcandy headphones because I can hear phones ringing, people talking to me etc. (which I can't with the good quality headphones)

I think a lot of the more expensive headsets on-sale are much like the high-end mice and keyboards - you're paying for image and it's all a bit of a con, frankly.

My last headset was a Plantronics - cost <30 - did the job perfectly, I cannot actually imagine how you could better it!

I've had Plantronics before however the problem is they aren't durable (you get what you pay for) I found I was going through a headset every 4-6 months when I was heavily into MP and they got bashed around a bit and it made more sense to find a headset that would last. I upped to Sennheisers, which have great sound, but are just as flimsy in my experience. Moved onto fatalities that were tougher, but fairly uncomfortable to wear for any length of time. With the Siberia's my last set lasted a good two and a half years in comparison and that to me seemed a fair trade off given they're used pretty much daily. Comfortable to wear (I use the cup version rather than the neck ones) and I like the fact that the audio cord splits so you're far less likely to end up inadvertently stretching the cables when you forget that you're wearing them and try heading off to the kitchen at one in the morning.

ru1n3r
18-03-2013, 05:05 PM
Creative Fatality, however I am not an audiophile, but the bass is good and the mic is detachable. Pretty decent for 20~

Boris
22-03-2013, 12:15 PM
I think a lot of the more expensive headsets on-sale are much like the high-end mice and keyboards - you're paying for image and it's all a bit of a con, frankly.

If you buy Beats or pretty much anything by a gaming brand, yeah, you're paying for the image and you can probably get a better sounding pair for the same amount of money.

But try a more serious pair of headphones like the Sennheiser HD-25 and you'll hear the difference. Those are about 150 euro and they kick the 300 euro studio beats ass so hard it's not even funny.

Grizzly
22-03-2013, 03:03 PM
If you buy Beats or pretty much anything by a gaming brand, yeah, you're paying for the image and you can probably get a better sounding pair for the same amount of money.

But try a more serious pair of headphones like the Sennheiser HD-25 and you'll hear the difference. Those are about 150 euro and they kick the 300 euro studio beats ass so hard it's not even funny.

To be fair, you do also pay a bit for the brand with Sennheiser. It's just that Sennheiser is a bloody awesome brand.

Boris
22-03-2013, 05:16 PM
Of course you do. That's pretty much the case with any good brand. It's just that the 150 euro options from Beyerdynamic and Sennheiser shit all over Beats' 300 euro option.

undertaken316
22-06-2013, 11:28 PM
The Siberia V2 full size or the more expensive Blue frost edition is what you're looking for. I'm posting an unboxing of these two so you can have an idea of what to expect.


http://youtu.be/V1gwgFpKaJQ

Sakkura
22-06-2013, 11:52 PM
Steelseries have crappy sound quality. And mediocre quality in general.

Moraven
23-06-2013, 05:54 AM
I got a v2 Siberia multi platform. The USB portion is garbage, worst than another USB I have had in the past. I even exchanged it once (which took like 3 weeks for them to warranty it) and the Microphone still sucks, although slightly better. 3.5mm connectors work fine, but the cord length is to short. Have to order 2 extensions. Comfort and sound is great. Avoid the USB one.

We got a Logitech G930 wireless headset at the same time. Works great. Good quality. Comfortable. USB connection and works with no problems that I face with the Siberia.

Moraven
23-06-2013, 05:55 AM
Creative Fatality, however I am not an audiophile, but the bass is good and the mic is detachable. Pretty decent for 20~

I had one until I broke the 3.5mm connector (sound only for one ear works now). Works great for the price. Should have just gotten a new one for my replacement.

Kadayi
23-06-2013, 10:13 AM
I got a v2 Siberia multi platform. The USB portion is garbage, worst than another USB I have had in the past. I even exchanged it once (which took like 3 weeks for them to warranty it) and the Microphone still sucks, although slightly better. 3.5mm connectors work fine, but the cord length is to short. Have to order 2 extensions. Comfort and sound is great.

Too short? You get 3 metres. More than enough for a PC gamer.

Moraven
24-06-2013, 06:26 AM
Too short? You get 3 metres. More than enough for a PC gamer.

You get 1 meter. 3 with the USB/Audiomixer dongle which is where I have all the mic issues with. 1 meter is not enough to go from the front of my case to my head.

Jambe
24-06-2013, 01:13 PM
headset: my (US) experience is that Sennheiser's quality is good and they back up their warranty. I don't like USB headsets because the necessary software often gets in the way of good & straightforward sound, but any USB set they offer that ticks all your boxes is what I'd suggest.

I have a Corsair headset, and it's nice enough. Decent sound, interchangeable cups, workable mic, reliable. On the negative side it's a bit tight after a while and the in-line vol/mic controller is just at the right position to hang over the edge of a chair and feel "weighty" on the cord.

If you're flush and looking to splurge, I'd get a quality pair of headphones (not a headset) from Sennheiser or AKG and a separate USB dynamic or condenser mic, perhaps on a boom so you can feel all radio-spiffy.

560 ti vs 680: not if you're gaming at more than 1920x or if you are gaming at 1920x but want to run every single new title at max settings and respectable FPS. If neither of those are true, you can keep the 560 ti for another year or two (depending, ofc, on what you play and at what res & settings).

Kadayi
24-06-2013, 02:02 PM
You get 1 meter. 3 with the USB/Audiomixer dongle which is where I have all the mic issues with. 1 meter is not enough to go from the front of my case to my head.

But that's still 3 meters. The fact that you've eschewed the USB for the 3.5mm connectors is your choice (buy the 3.5mm cable extension).

trjp
24-06-2013, 11:03 PM
I've been through a couple of headsets (courtesy of the DSR and eBay) recently - some thoughts

SteelSeries Siberia 'Neckband' - I've wanted these since they came out in 2008 and were 80 - I got a set brand-new for 25 and was chuffed! Good news was the sound quality, the mic quality, the design and construction - all absolutely top notch. Downside was that they were HEADCRUSHING to wear and impossible to wear specs with - and even as they crushed your skull they'd fall-off your ears - returned em.

Tritton AX 180 - for sale SUPER cheap in a local store so I jumped and they were - erm - they were OK for the money (half the cheapest price online) but they weren't super comfy, the mic was boomy/echoey, they lean on my specs and I realised I could sell them on eBay for more than I paid so I did just that (and went back to get another pair but they'd sold out!!) :)

Turtle Beach X12 - quite nice overall, no real complaint except that they were more expensive than...

Plantronics Gamecom 380 - super comfy, you could wear these all day - sound quality is OK if a BIT quiet, mic is good - easily the most comfy of the lot BY A COUNTRY MILE and I got Trackmania Canyon thrown-in for less than 20 so the TB's were returned...

I still use my PortaPros as day-to-day phones tho - the 380s if I'm talking to people or want some peace and quiet... :)

Ernesto
25-06-2013, 11:50 AM
I am using a Creative Draco. It gets a bit uncomfortable after longer play sessions because the earpads are too small for me.
But I like the removable microphone.

trjp
29-06-2013, 04:14 PM
p.s. I was using the GameComs today and noticed 2 things

1 - they're not the loudest headphones in the world - compared side-by-side with the PortaPros they're positively quiet
2 - unless you're NOT wearing them, in which case they're loud-as-fuck

Seriously, they're louder outside than they are inside - you'd think the drivers were in backwards - they're NOT for the office, let me tell you :)

Leakage isn't normally something I care about, but with their being quiet I was running the at full whack and her indoors could hear them downstairs!!