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Gaming Headphones

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July 17, 2008 1:45:56 AM

Hello. I am looking to buy some decent headphones for PC gaming.

I have spent the better part of 8 hrs at work and now 2 hrs at home looking at different headphones/headsets and forum posts and reviews. Trying to get more up to date and personalized advice.

I have looked at every set in this thread; http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/245791-31-best-gaming... and this review; http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/headsets-gamers-lov... as well as many many others.

My main concern is 3D positioning. This leads me to believe I need 5.1.

I have a SupremeFX 7.1 audio card and array mic that came bundled with my Asus Striker Extreme. Right now I have the PC hooked up to my old Pioneer VSX-D414 with an optical S/PDIF cable.

I would like to spend around $100 or less but am willing to spend more if it's worth it. I know almost nothing about specs or stats so any advice is greatly appreciated.

Priorities: (in order)

  • 3D position
  • Comfort for long gaming sessions
  • Sound quality
  • Bass quality
  • Attached Mic
  • Cost


  • Thanks in advance for any suggestions or advice on what to look for.



    *********************HUGE EDIT********************

    Okay. I have finally narrowed down my choices. Please weigh in with any advice or comments. I have picked links with the most comprehensive descriptions.

  • SENNHEISER HD555
  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826106392

  • Sennheiser PC350
  • http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3756954&Sku=S302-2046&SRCCODE=GOOGLEBASE&cm_mmc_o=TBBTkwCjCVyBpAgf%20mwzygtCjCVRqCjCVRq

  • ULTRASONE HFI.700
  • http://www.djdeals.com/ultrasoneHFI700.htm

  • Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2
  • http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/efhpa2/home.aspx

  • Medusa 5.1 Home
  • http://www.medusa-usa.com/medusa-51-home-edition-p-876.html

  • Razer Barracuda HP-1
  • http://www.razerzone.com/p-93-razer-barracuda-hp-1-51-channel-gaming-headphones.aspx

  • TRITTON AX360
  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826235001

  • Steelseries 5H v2
  • http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826249016

  • More about : gaming headphones

    July 17, 2008 1:52:32 AM

    I have these headphones and i really like them. I can hear in game footsteps, glass breaking, etc. that most other ppl don't hear. I get accused of cheating alot when i'm wearing these :)  They are very comfortable and have a good mic that is very clear.

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8497888&s...
    Related resources
    Anonymous
    July 17, 2008 2:15:07 AM

    I have ultra sone hfi-700 headphones... although expensive... I COULD NOT HAVE A SOUND SYSTEM... due to a work environment near by... and I can tell the direction stuff is coming from... no matter where its coming from... I literally hear say a copter above behind and to the left... and spin around... and its there.... but you need a sound card to get the most out of it... these headphones also have AMAZING base
    July 17, 2008 2:18:19 AM

    I have a pair of Sennheiser EH350's that are absolutely amazing. Crystal clear, quite comfortable, and cheap (well, relatively). No mic though. Sennheiser makes good stuff though, so for one with a mic, the PC350 looks amazing. Noise cancelling mic too - only picks up your voice, without as much background noise. It is a bit above your stated budget, but would be amazing for overall sound quality.

    For a lower budget, those Plantronics look good, though I don't have any personal experience with them.
    July 17, 2008 2:45:31 AM

    Thanks, there are just too many choices for this kinda stuff. It drives me nuts.

    What do you guys think about the medusa 5.1's or other 5.1 sets?
    July 17, 2008 3:47:25 PM

    Okay well I stayed up most of the night looking at headphones. Anyone els got a suggestion?
    July 17, 2008 11:18:11 PM

    Please see my edit above.
    July 18, 2008 12:09:32 AM

    As I've said before, I'm partial to the Sennheisers - those 555's are stunning if you don't need a mic, and the 350's should be great for having a mic (Sennheiser is known for professional microphones as well, so you are guaranteed a good quality mic as well as the headphones themselves). Of course, none of those look bad.
    July 18, 2008 12:59:54 AM

    I bought Creative Fatality ane i am also happy with them ;d
    July 18, 2008 9:43:10 PM

    Well, I decided to go with the PC350.

    Here's hoping my sound card is good enough to use them properly.
    July 18, 2008 10:14:42 PM

    I would say that your sound card should be fine.
    July 25, 2008 4:36:33 AM

    Just got the headphones, good so far. A bit uncomfortable but I prolly just need to get used to wear headphones.

    Any idea what I should set my audio filters to? I have the SoundMax and Windows set to stereo headphones but AC3 didn't change from 5.1. Should I set it to 2/0-stereo, 2/0+SW 2.1, or just AS IS? And what about the PCM, 16, 24, 32, or float?
    July 25, 2008 4:40:42 AM

    PCM float should be the best quality, IIRC. As for the setting, you want stereo.
    July 26, 2008 12:42:28 AM

    Cool, thanks.

    I have decided to buy a new sound card anyway bc I want to use EAX. I take it that I'll need an X-Fi card right? I checked out their website, and I'm really confused. Any help? I'm also told to look for OpenAL hardware support.

    Only problem is there is like 10 different X-Fi cards, how do I know what is what?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

    PS, The headphones are working good. Positioning seems to be lacking a lil bit but works well enough. The mic is outstanding, once I got it tweaked right my friends say it sounds like I'm there.
    July 26, 2008 2:16:20 AM

    The mic should be outstanding - Sennheiser has been making professional microphones since the 1940s

    As for which X-fi? I'd go for one of the Titanium series ones - they are the newest, and likely to have the best driver support. Between those two options, either will work - just decide based on features. The sound quality should be the same in either case. Excellent choice by the way - I have an x-fi, and I love it.
    July 26, 2008 2:24:03 PM

    That is what I figured. In fact I thought they were the same thing only one had a 5.25 panel included. But I noticed that the one is 96khz and the other is 192khz. Does this make a big difference? I know that my current card is 192khz.
    July 26, 2008 3:20:08 PM

    Well, in theory, 192 is better, as 96kHz sample rate can accurately reproduce sounds up to 48kHz, and 192kHz can accurately reproduce sounds up to 96kHz.

    Of course, your hearing stops around 20kHz, so it is basically irrelevant anyways.
    July 26, 2008 9:23:25 PM

    Thanks once again. You have been very helpful. You know I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier but I have a close friend who is about to graduate from Full Sail for music production. I prolly shoulda just asked him about this stuff.
    August 6, 2008 6:59:45 AM

    Stay away from SpeedLinks 5.1 from MedUSA, they have great sound but my second pair cracked and then broke, poorly engineered ear cup to headband. MedUSA would not warranty them after 30 days, and SpeedLink wanted me to pay a small fortune for shiping overseas and back.

    Ultimate Gaming Headphone if you have the cash, these are going on my wish list.
    http://www.astrogaming.com/products/detail/12/MLG_Editi...
    August 6, 2008 10:44:48 PM

    Ill way in and agree with the Titanium suggestion not only are they the newest, but they support DDL out of the box and have a PCI-e slot which is much more viable these days.

    I own a pair of the HD555's are they are awesome, if you dont need a mic and you got a bita money treat yourself.
    !