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  1. #1
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    Recommended Headsets

    I recently posted on here some issues I was having with sound card drivers causing my computer to bsod whilst playing games. Well, these are still happening. The sound card still works fine with music and watching DVDs/Blu-rays, so I'm not ripping it out of the computer, but I don't want to have to plug my speakers into my onboard sound every time I play a game. So, I decided I will buy a half decent headset I can use instead.

    Does anyone have any recommendations? I saw these that look like the kind of thing I would want, but I'm not sure if Speedlink has much of a reputation for sound quality - http://www.amazon.co.uk/Speedlink-SL...=medusa+nx+5.1

    I would be looking for this sort of price, although willing to go the other side of £50 if it is for the right thing.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Faldrath's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but I remember reading more than once that 5.1 headsets are more of a gimmick than anything else. I don't really use microphones, but I've recently bought a Sennheiser HD201 and it's excellent, considering how cheap it is (less bass than I'd like, but other than that the sound is crisp and they're extremely comfortable).

  3. #3
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    Unless you're spending a FORTUNE (£120+) the 5.1 stuff is a gimmick at best and a software/driver liability at worst (all USB-based headsets basically use some form of 'onboard' soundcard - many will have interference and noise issues as USB signals are not shielded in most PCs either - I've yet to use a pair which didn't humm/buzz/generally piss-me-off)

    A simpler solution would be to put a 2x3.5 jack into 1x3,5socket splitter cable into the onboard/soundcard outputs so that they both feed into the same pair of headphones - see eBay or Maplins or wherever, should be pennies...

  4. #4
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    So I bought this pair about six months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed using them...
    http://www.roccat.org/Products/Gamin...CCAT-Kave-5-1/

    I think the thing is... A lot of headphones that say they are 5.1/7.1 just simulate it. What I mean by that is, they still only have one speaker in each earpiece and just vary the sound to make it feel like it's coming from behind you or infront of you. That's what people mean, I think, when they say that it is a gimic! The main thing to look out for are headphones, like the above, that actually have multiple speaker units within each earphone that give you *real* directional sound.

    I've used the above for games like Counter Strike: Global Offensive and they really do make a big difference in terms of your ability to place footsteps. It does take a bit of getting used to. In terms of the quality of the sound, it's very good. Bass is remarkably good - still no match for a proper subwoofer but good enough in my opinion...

    That said... The previous posters comment on interference remains - there is often a very clear hissing sound! I tend to keep the sound controls turned down quite low on the unit itself (which is still plenty loud enough, honestly, I still have to turn in game sound quite often) and that limits the hissing significantly - I don't think I notice it that often at all now that I've fiddled around with those controls. If you have very sensitive ears though, I imagine it would be liable to get annoying.

    Have a search around but I personally feel that my Roccat Kave 5.1 was a good buy and offers good 5.1 sound...

    EDIT: Ha ha, just looked at the pictures on that link again and I remembered the one thing that I have since gotten used to... God. Damn. The headset itself was uncomfortable to wear at first!! Again, having adjusted the height things at the side and placing it more carefully on my head it's a lot better but god those 'cushions' felt like they were wearing a hole in my skull... Took to just placing a sock underneath the headband to ease the pressure! :p
    Last edited by Menshai; 08-10-2013 at 08:15 PM.

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sakkura's Avatar
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    You don't need more than two speakers for directional sound. Our brains analyze the timing to determine what direction sound is coming from. That can be perfectly emulated by sending the sound out with altered timing.

    The thing is, cheap USB sound cards can't do a good job of that. That's what's gimmicky.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sakkura View Post
    You don't need more than two speakers for directional sound. Our brains analyze the timing to determine what direction sound is coming from. That can be perfectly emulated by sending the sound out with altered timing.

    The thing is, cheap USB sound cards can't do a good job of that. That's what's gimmicky.
    You mean two speakers in total? i.e. not two speakers in each ear. Wow, okay, I didn't realise that. I guess it makes sense... I might have to do some research on this to satisfy my curiosity...

    Re: USB sound cards... If the headphones have three jacks (black, orange and green) that plug into the motherboards onboard sound card does that make it any better?

  7. #7
    Obscure Node Kr7stof's Avatar
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    I have the Atro A40 and very happy with them and are very comfortable.
    http://www.amazon.com/ASTRO-Gaming-A.../dp/B004N7HSGU

    This and the xonar essence soundcard XT is a joy to listen to:)
    The negative side is, that its expensive.

  8. #8
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    Cheers for the advise. However, the linked to headset doesn't seem to be a USB soundcard. It has the jacks as well as the USB connection, which is used for the power. Also, as it has 4 jacks, does that not mean it comes with the multiple speakers in the ears or do you still use them if it is emulated?

    I expect that the sound quality from them is not particularly great and it probably doesn't produce accurate positional sound at this price. It does seem to be hard to find anything at this price point that would give you such thing and I wouldn't be surprised that the few that do would be gimmicky.

    A couple of alternatives I have found:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/174079-steelse...et-white-51100

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coole...volume-control

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/steel...eadset-(e3130)

    Edit: @trjp "the 5.1 stuff is a gimmick at best and a software/driver liability at worst"

    As I am trying to get away from soundcard bsods, it would probably be best to avoid trying to cause any more problems!

  9. #9
    Activated Node Eric's Avatar
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    How important is it to you to have a headset? The options available to you (and fidelity) at the price range are better when you go for a separate headphone + mic setup.

  10. #10
    Network Hub alh_p's Avatar
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    I use the Logitech G35 headset. It's a USB system that uses software drivers to simulate the surround effect. As mentioned above, it's not hi-fi and is gimmicky, but i don't actually notice interference with them. The big plus for me is that they provide functional enough surround sound for FPS' without requiring the astro-bucks you need for proper surround sound - i.e. you'd need an expensive headset and sound card for proper and good quality surround sound.

    Personaly I find them comfortable, easy to use and the mic is also good quality - including (i think) the auto pickup. It's logitech so you can kind of bank on what you're getting.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vandelay View Post
    Cheers for the advise. However, the linked to headset doesn't seem to be a USB soundcard. It has the jacks as well as the USB connection, which is used for the power. Also, as it has 4 jacks, does that not mean it comes with the multiple speakers in the ears or do you still use them if it is emulated?

    I expect that the sound quality from them is not particularly great and it probably doesn't produce accurate positional sound at this price. It does seem to be hard to find anything at this price point that would give you such thing and I wouldn't be surprised that the few that do would be gimmicky.

    A couple of alternatives I have found:

    http://www.ebuyer.com/174079-steelse...et-white-51100

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coole...volume-control

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/steel...eadset-(e3130)

    Edit: @trjp "the 5.1 stuff is a gimmick at best and a software/driver liability at worst"

    As I am trying to get away from soundcard bsods, it would probably be best to avoid trying to cause any more problems!
    Correct, it has the jacks for a full 5.1 setup and as such has multiple speakers in each ear cup. It is more expensive than the other ones you've listed but I disagree on the sound quality not being good and not giving good directional audio. Other than the problems I've listed (uncomfortable head band without careful adjustment and some background noise without adjustment) I think it's a great headset. They block out a lot of external sound and from my experience of playing video games with them, the directional audio is great. The only down side I'd say the sound has is the bass is a little flat (I'm comparing this to having a subwoofer unit though...) but otherwise the sound quality is great.

    I'd hunt around for some reviews online before writing it off entirely....

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Menshai View Post
    Correct, it has the jacks for a full 5.1 setup and as such has multiple speakers in each ear cup. It is more expensive than the other ones you've listed but I disagree on the sound quality not being good and not giving good directional audio. Other than the problems I've listed (uncomfortable head band without careful adjustment and some background noise without adjustment) I think it's a great headset. They block out a lot of external sound and from my experience of playing video games with them, the directional audio is great. The only down side I'd say the sound has is the bass is a little flat (I'm comparing this to having a subwoofer unit though...) but otherwise the sound quality is great.

    I'd hunt around for some reviews online before writing it off entirely....
    I was referring to the ones that I originally linked to, which I believe are about £20-30 cheaper than the Roccats. To be honest, if I was looking at spending that sort of money, I would rather spend a bit more and get a semi-good speaker setup. This is going to be just for games and, to be honest, upgrading from onboard sound to a dedicated soundcard it seemed to make little difference in games compared to difference in music and DVDs (particularly Blu-Ray.) Bar the odd exception, games don't seem to put much emphasis on their sound quality, so I am happy to not go too mad. Also, as I said before, these are going to be plugged into my onboard sound, so I don't want to end up being bottlenecked by that. Having said that, I still want something that delivers good sound for the price point.

    Anyone used the linked to headsets?

  13. #13
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    The Logitech g930 wireless is a great headset.

    The SteelSeries Siberia USB/Multiplatform was a disappointment for me due to the USB causing to much interference for any mic input and only having a 3ft cord (had to buy extensions).

  14. #14
    Network Hub alh_p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moraven View Post
    The Logitech g930 wireless is a great headset.

    The SteelSeries Siberia USB/Multiplatform was a disappointment for me due to the USB causing to much interference for any mic input and only having a 3ft cord (had to buy extensions).
    The extensions are probably partly responsible for that interference, they are unlikely to have had shielding.

  15. #15
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    The steelseries USB audio mixer extension then had the poor shielding. I have no problems with the thick cheap 3.5mm extensions I got from Monoprice. Works great in 3.5mm. USB not much so. And I have had USB headsets work fine before.

    I even had to pay shipping to return it and they sent me a brand new one, which the same problem. I ended up sitting on the USB dongle while it was plugged in front of my case anyway. No more dealing with that issue. I wish I had bought 1-2 ft longer extensions but it will do.

    http://steelseries.com/us/products/c...atform-headset

    The audio mixer, volume controller is the 12 foot cord where you plugged your headset into the control, then it had a USB for microphone and 3.5mm for sound. This is done because the audio mixer has software to auto lower volume and also have two volume output streams to your headset. Cool in theory but not with the interference it had.

    Tried it in 3 PCs. And knew my PC was not the problem.

    You are right, its probably their Audio mixer cable has poor shielding. The 3.5mm 3 ft portion works fine. Except my head is 3 ft is easily more than 3 ft from my case. The 3ft is only there for people with speakers or monitors with 3.5mm jacks on their desktop.

    I was trying to avoid having two wireless headsets side by side that could potentially cause interference...Now I know what to look for when I get a future corded headset.

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