My conundrum is that it seems all of the feature rich headsets are now expensive and USB, for example my buddy just got a Logitech G930 wireless USB headset that comes with all sorts of bells and whistles. ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) It seems very nice and has nice little features like voice morphing you can do and programmable buttons on the headset. I would use those features, but are not as important as comfort and sound quality.
With that being said, I also have a dedicated sound card that I've used for quite some time and have been very happy with. It has always sounded better than any onboard or USB headset I've used to date. ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) The question is do I go to USB, like the above mentioned G930, or get a nice headset that connects with a 3.5mm to my existing card. My initial thought is the USB headsets rely on heavy drivers and user more system resources than a dedicated card, but as far as sound quality goes I am not up to speed. I would look at something like the Steel Series Siberia V2. ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... )
Thoughts, comments on which direction to go? I do have stereo speakers that I do use with the sounds card regardless, but my headset also runs off of the card.
Yeah, I'm that guy... look, if you really are set on getting a headset, even though you have a nice sound card, then by all means, go for the plantronics. I am a high-school teacher and my added bonus as a teacher is that I get to try out all the kids gear. Yes, they know I'm a pc gamer. I actually liked the plantronics 780 and recommend it to my budget oriented students. I absolutely hated the Siberia (especially at that pricepoint).
However, I am an audiophile and once my students listen to gaming/music/media with the AD700s or the M50s, then it's a whole new ballgame. Actually, three of them got M50s this Christmas after listening to mine.
7.1 surround sound on "virtual" headsets is like hitting "hall" mode on an a/v unit. It isn't precise, the sound is just sort of around you... inaccurately around you, but around you nonetheless. I'd much rather spring for the AD700s, with their accurate soundstage than go for a headset with virtual 7.1 surround sound. Just get a Zalman clip on mic for eleven bucks and you're done at around $100.
But then again, I have sensitive hearing. You might be satisfied with a headset. If so, go for the Plantronic 780. It is decent, if a bit mudied in the bass. Also, if you have a big head, I could see the 780s being very hard for extended listening.
I actually struck out today with the Razer Tiamat 2.2 headset. I picked it up at Bestbuy and played a round. It has a lot of bass and just sounds muffled. For $100 I am not satisfied at all. I may check into the headsets coolhandluckboy mentioned above. The bestbuy here has a music area and I saw a whole row of just headphones there. Otherwise I can scout on the interwebs.
Coolhandlukeboy, What are the main differences between the two headphones you listed? I saw the AD700 come up in my searches and never thought much of it since it did not have a mic. I am coming to believe that most gaming headsets are crap audio wise because I strike out with everything. I really like my Plantronics 367, but they are poorly made and cracked after less than a year. They've always sounded pretty decent. They are also very conformable, which is important to me. The AD700 looks nice and big and possibly comfortable. I can deal with a clip on mic if need be. Who would have the best deals? I found the below.
Ok so I returned the Razer Tiamat 2.2 and continues my search today. I ended up with a Guitar Center $20 off $99 coupon and talked to the guys there. I left with a set of SHURE SRH750DJ headphones. These this sound freaking incredible. I haven't even played a game yet, just content here listening to music. The driver is 50mm and the bass is unreal, but doesn't sacrifice the highs. It comes with an extra set of ear cushions, a nice bag, and the cable is replaceable. They seem a little tight on my head, but I am hoping they break in. I have to figure out a way to fashion a microphone and also maybe get some sort of in line volume control because they are LOUD and I have to adjust via the windows and app volume control. Any thoughts on those?
I actually returned the Shure today. After 3-4 hours of gaming last night my jaw was sore from the pressure and I woke up with a splitting headache. So they went back. I talked to the Guitar Center guys some more and settled on a little more expensive set, but they things feel like I have lambs laying over my ears. They also sound better than the Shure. They are a bit less bassy but the full range of sound is better and the mids and highs are much more crisp. Games sound amazing as they did before with the Shure. I will give them a full go tonight.