Solved

USB Audio vs. Analog for 7.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headsets

Hello All,

I need new 7.1 gaming headsets (something better than my virtual 5.1's right now), so I need this question answered. Would an analog (Razer Tiamat) be better or would a USB (Razer Kraken 7.1) be better?

The main reason I ask is because they are almost literally the same except the Kraken's are $99 and the Tiamats are $199. My brother says that the Krakens are great, but I have had previous experience with a friends Tiamats, which were very good.

**Please post with sencirity and modesty, I am trying to get a real answer, please don't tell me to buy some Swedish $2500 headphones, I'm a gamer, not an audio enthusiast. Just to compare, my Virtual 5.1 Trittons, blow the Beats Studio's out of the water, and these things were $149 and sound great. (Showing the fact that $400 Heaphones can sound like crap but something that's less than half the price is better).
8 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about usb audio analog surround sound gaming headsets
  1. 7.1 usb headsets have their own dac/amp internal to them. analog (3.5mm x 3) need a soundcard to power them.

    if you have a very low quality soundcard or have known issues with it then a usb headset avoids such issues. if you have a good soundcard or decent onboard then it may give you better quality then what is inside usb headsets.

    of course... this is in reference to the dac/amp and not the actual differences between the drivers (speakers) themselves which there most certainly are differences between. i couldnt tell you which has better drivers though... you might want to read a few reviews on them or comparsions. i personally use headphones not headsets so i couldnt go into which is the best "headset" other than what i said below about a modmic + headphones.

    be aware that some usb 7.1 headsets are virtual. if you do not want virtual then make sure it has multiple drivers per ear.

    honestly though.. its possible to play games with just a stereo headset and still get positioning right.

    bigger drivers such as those used in virtual sets might be higher quality and potentially sound better in two headphones of the same price. however, virtual surround distorts sound a bit. likewise, multiple drivers may not be very good quality but they will not have sound distorted. take your pick.

    beats studios are junk and are the laughing stock of anything known as studio headphones. even $100 audiotechnica m50s blow away beat studios . something like the hd598 or dt770 however will make headsets sound like crap and are in the $150-200 range (you would need a seperate mic though... but a modmic works great). of course, as all headphones are... they are stereo sound only. the hd598 however is so well known and respected for gaming that its a sure recommendation (it has crisp clear mids and highs, a very wide soundstage and not as much bass response)
  2. The big problem with sound is that unless a set of headphones or speakers have indisputable flaws, you will likely find people who prefer units you consider sub-par over your own favorites so the only way to know for sure which one works best for you would be to actually try them.
  3. Thanks for the replies so far.

    I've had a some experience with the Razer Tiamats, and I have to say, you can literally hear the difference of someone walking, even with background noise, between the Rear Right and the Side Right speaker, they're great. However, my brother did say the same for his Kraken 7.1s, so I'm in a bind.

    I have tried about 10 different forums on them and a couple articles, some helped but most were biased opinions and/or rage threads. :/

    I will definitely look at the sound drivers though, thanks for that input :P

    Edit: I did find this short article however, he has a very good position on the subject and seems to be not biased at all, purely just review it ^_^

    http://www.techhive.com/article/2047134/review-razers-kraken-7-1-headset-delivers-great-virtual-surround-sound-at-a-reasonable-price.html

    @ssddx, nice desktop background btw xD
  4. Quote:
    Razer Kraken 7.1 – Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset


    its virtual, not multi-driver.

    also... razer surround software is freely available and you can use it on any stereo headphones to make them virtual.

    so if you like his kraken, you might like it better if you were using better headphones with the razer virtual surround software perhaps.

    the tiamat however is definitely multiple driver (which explains the price difference too).

    if you can... i would highly advise listening to either the hd598 or dt770 at a local store for comparision. i'm not trying to push you towards that option... but if you were considering using razer virtual surround... its definitely a very valid way you could go and its worth checking out.

    or, if you absolutely must have multiple driver surround sound then you can go with the tiamat (or similar ) set.

    --

    thanks. highschool dxd is a favorite series of mine. i photoshopped the background from a few renders. i have a whole bunch of wallpapers i created as well for both tomshardware as well as my own personal use if you wanted to see.
  5. ssddx said:
    Quote:
    Razer Kraken 7.1 – Virtual 7.1 Surround Sound USB Gaming Headset


    its virtual, not multi-driver.

    also... razer surround software is freely available and you can use it on any stereo headphones to make them virtual.

    so if you like his kraken, you might like it better if you were using better headphones with the razer virtual surround software perhaps.

    the tiamat however is definitely multiple driver (which explains the price difference too).

    if you can... i would highly advise listening to either the hd598 or dt770 at a local store for comparision. i'm not trying to push you towards that option... but if you were considering using razer virtual surround... its definitely a very valid way you could go and its worth checking out.

    or, if you absolutely must have multiple driver surround sound then you can go with the tiamat (or similar ) set.

    --

    thanks. highschool dxd is a favorite series of mine. i photoshopped the background from a few renders. i have a whole bunch of wallpapers i created as well for both tomshardware as well as my own personal use if you wanted to see.




    Thanks for the reply again ^_^.

    After personally trying the Tiamat, I can say:
    -The directional 7.1 is amazing, you can hear almost everything from any direction
    -It has a very customizable volume control. You can control every speaker, the sub woofer, over all volume, mic volume, turn on 7.1 for surround or 2.1 for stereo and bass, and even if you have separate speakers hooked up, you can switch between those and your headsets, all in one "on-the-fly" device.


    After what I hear from the Kraken 7.1, I can say:
    -For $99, and from the sound quality reviews, people say it is great and worth the $99 purchase.
    -The design of the headsets (from most reviewers, said) are much more comfortable than the Tiamat.

    The downsides:
    Kraken:
    -No on the fly volume control, which may be annoying >.>
    -Apparently, one reviewer said that the braided cord for the sound, if rubbing against certain shirt materials (tshirt, dress shirts. etc.) that you can hear the rubbing sound and it takes over all the sound in the left earmuff.

    Tiamats:
    -Personally, not enough bass, but that can be fixed with the bass boost and EQ settings in Surround

    Both (compared to my Current Trittons):
    - I will definitely miss the separate speakers for communications. Since this is a PS3 made headset, there is a separate volume switch for communications, which are stereo speakers, and have a completely different sound and volume level other than the surround speakers.

    That really comes in handy when gaming, so if in CS:GO and people don't want to shut up in TS3, I can turn off the comm. sound and focus on footsteps and other things, but I think I can get over it ^_^.

    I think the main point for me is to have more directional than anything. If it really comes down to it, I can still have my trittons aside for casual gaming and everything else, and use the Tiamats when I really need them.

    Thanks for the support, I think I may go with the Tiamats purely because it has true 7.1, not virtual, and they are still pretty comfortable ^_^.

    I would try those other headphones you suggest, but really what it comes down to is that, I'd rather go for something that has purely good 7.1 over quality since I have another pair for quality if the 7.1 doesn't prove to be "high quality." Thanks for the help ^_^

    P.S: I'd love to see the wallpapers ^_^
  6. Best answer
    here are some i made as tomshardware branded wallpapers as well as some that i've personally used on my own systems.
    http://postimg.org/gallery/5s3aqcsa/

    here are a few i made for the user narrator and their gaming club fleur de lis.
    http://postimg.org/gallery/a2hyyzqy/

    perhaps 10 years ago i used to be big into photoshop and was thinking of freelance... now i just tinker around here and there whenever i need something.
  7. ssddx said:
    here are some i made as tomshardware branded wallpapers as well as some that i've personally used on my own systems.
    http://postimg.org/gallery/5s3aqcsa/

    here are a few i made for the user narrator and their gaming club fleur de lis.
    http://postimg.org/gallery/a2hyyzqy/

    perhaps 10 years ago i used to be big into photoshop and was thinking of freelance... now i just tinker around here and there whenever i need something.


    Wow that's awesome! I love the SaW ones :3

    You have a steam? Mines: http://steamcommunity.com/id/TheDarkSwordsman/
  8. sorry.. i hate steam and refuse to use it.
Ask a new question

Read More

Peripherals Gaming Headsets USB Gaming