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Best sound and headset card for gaming

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August 31, 2010 5:52:43 PM

I want to know what soundcard + headset should i buy... i want 7.1 and obviously analog headset to use the sound card, and i willl using them for listening to music and watching movies, and in the future i want to add speakers, so i wnat support for that too.

Thaks.
a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 5:57:42 PM

You want surround sound headphones?
What is your budget? You could easily go $300 for top end sound card and headphones.
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August 31, 2010 6:27:24 PM

The logitech G35 will give you a 7.1 surround effect (atleast that's what i've heard).. It sports a USB connectivity and as such, will not require a sound card.. I can't speak on the audio quality though..
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August 31, 2010 6:31:11 PM

i wnat surround 7.1 headphones for gaming music and movies and in the future i want to get 5.1 speakers. I dont know my budget cause im from a difrent country and also my dad can get somethings cheaper cause hes on the audio/video industry
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 6:55:01 PM

Here's the problem: Theres no natural 7.1 headphones, analog or otherwise. There are a handful of 5.1 headsets that are not virtualized though...

The only 7.1 headphone offering worth noting is the Logitech G35. It uses virtualization, but does a VERY good job with teh positional audio, and does a good job on teh sound quality side. As its USB, it ignores any soundcard in the system.

On the soundcard front, the best options for most people are the ASUS Xonar D1/DX and HT Omega Striker, though more premium offerings (ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, Auzentech Prelude) are avaliable at higher prices; it just depends how much you want to spend on that front.
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August 31, 2010 7:03:02 PM

I have a g35 and am very happy with it.
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August 31, 2010 7:03:26 PM

so u think there will be analog 7.1 headsets or its just impossible to make for something?? i mean.. if i w8 i can get 7.1 analog to use the soundcard??because if not i think i will buy megalodons and use motherboard soundcard for speakers cause i dont want to spend that much just for speakers.... if i buy a sound card has to be for the headset and the speakers....

so if the companies will not make 7.1 analog headsets i will get megalodons with the sound card integrated and just that... i will not buy sound card cause i will not use
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 7:52:23 PM

Not sure about headsets - WR2 linked a good one - but as for sound cards my suggestion for a reasonably priced sound card is the AuzenTech Bravura 7.1, which supports full 7.1 speaker output, optical/digital output, and it has a dedicated headphone amp for high impedance headsets of very high quality.
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August 31, 2010 7:57:32 PM

but i want to know if razer logitech etc will make analog 7.1 headsets... if they will ill w8 and buy them + soundcard .. if they will not i will buy megalodons .. but the bad thing abaout buing megalodons is that they are usb and they dont use soundcard, and i dont want to buy a soundcard just for speakers.... if i buy sound card is for headset+speakers... if i get megalodon y will use motherboard soundcard but thatone is not very good
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 8:17:53 PM

No one will make analog 7.1 headsets; lets face it, can you think of a way to get a sub and 3 individual speakers per ear? Finding analog 5.1 headsets is hard enough.

Because of this difficulty, most 5.1 solutions are going with some form of virtualization, instead of using more individual speakers.
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 8:25:05 PM

I'm trying hard to find good sub $100 analog headsets. I looked for it a while back and ended up with 7.1 speakers lol but now I live in an appartment so I'm interested in any good analog surround head sets. I don't think true 7.1 or even virtualized 7.1 is a big deal compared to 5.1 in head sets... I'd be happy with 5.1.
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August 31, 2010 8:30:02 PM

why 5.1 over 7.1?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 8:30:11 PM

Check out the SteelSeries. They seem to have some pretty good headsets with analog and usb options. Virtualized 7.1 on their 7H series for $150 (Canadian)
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August 31, 2010 8:52:32 PM

what is virtualized?
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a b 4 Gaming
August 31, 2010 9:24:31 PM

Well "true" 7.1 needs to have speakers dedicated to each of the 7 sound channels, but virtualized they don't, but they trick your ear into thinking that you have sound coming from the side - probably a mix between the rear and front playing a sound so you still hear the sound located to your side.
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August 31, 2010 9:48:20 PM

ohh... i think i just will w8 for ces 2011 lol :p 
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August 31, 2010 10:20:23 PM

In my opinion the multi speaker headsets aren't worth it. I've had the Tritton AX Pro's and the Psyko Surround headset. They use small, low quality drivers that sound terrible if you play them at normal to loud levels. The directional separation just isn't there. The Tritton speakers are too close together to tell where the sound is coming from. In theory the Psyko ports should have been more separated but they didn't sound that way. I have found that a higher sound quality stereo headset and Dolby Headphone to work great. With the better headphones you will hear things you've never heard before and all the positional cues that our ears hear are there. CMSS-3D is Creatives' version which should do the same. And of course the better headphones will make you music sound awesome. I haven't used the G35 headphones so I can't comment on them.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 1, 2010 12:22:17 PM

^^ The Tritton AX Pro's were weak, but they DID do a good job with directional location. Oddly, my old wireless Sony MDR-D3000 (not even meant for gaming) had the best side processing I'd ever seen...go figure...

Virtualization basically takes a 5.1 audio track, and maps the signals to a 2.0 space, essentially using various offsets to make the side channels sound like they are actually comming out the sides, despite teh fact you only have front speakers. Some implementations are bad (most USB headsets), but a few, such as Dolby Headphone/Speaker, do a VERY good job with this.

Most virtualization techs only work up to 5.1 audio tracks, although a few (such as the G35's upgraded version of Dolby Headphone) works up to 7.1.
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September 1, 2010 12:59:04 PM

I'm also looking for a 5.1 analog headset + soundcard.

I've read quite a lot now and most gaming headsets seem to be of bad audio quality. The trittons seem to be ok but you're spending 70dollars on an amp you won't be needing with the ax pro and the headset only AKA the ax pro 51 is hard to find.

Thus the only good gaming headsets are apperently the very expensive ones or the sennheisers(pc 350 and 360).

they are praised in almost every review http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/showthread.php?t=293139

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/968/pg1/sennheise...

There are more reviews bu those are unreliable really. As they are the type that praise all the expensive stuff and despise the cheap stuff.

Thus the pc 350/360(depending if you want closed/open) seem perfect exept for the fact that they are darn egly but hey if they rock in every other aspect who really cares?

BTW: I'm planning on buying a pc 360 with an auzentech bravura. Any suggestion to something better?
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September 1, 2010 3:08:12 PM

I use an Asus Xonar D2X and Audio Technica ATH-A900 headphones. I hear things I never heard before! And if you add a nice tube headphone amp you won't want to take them off! lol Anyway, you don't need to spend that much to do the job. I think Dolby Headphone is the best for positional audio. Like gamerk316 said above, Dolby Headphone takes 5.1 channel sound and calculates and outputs the correct delays and loudness for true actual positional audio from your headphones. It will also take 2 channel but that would be the "best guess" matrixed surround not actual. So find the best sound quality stereo headphones and Dolby Headphone capable sound card in your budget and use a 5.1 source.

The cheapest Dolby headphone compatible sound card I could find is the Xonar DX. It's 80 bucks. Audio Technica ATH-A700's are great too and are around 120. There were some cheaper Koss headphones rated pretty good but I don't remember the model number.
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September 1, 2010 4:41:18 PM

can u tell me what are the good sound cards for gaming??
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September 1, 2010 6:57:32 PM

What operating system are you using?
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September 1, 2010 7:06:06 PM

Juanchioo said:
can u tell me what are the good sound cards for gaming??


X-Fi chip based cards are the best for gaming IMO.. If you do not like Creative (bad drivers or any other reason) you can always get one from the Auzentech's stable.. Keeping that in mind, i'll say the Auzentech Bravura is an excellent choice.. Personnely though, i've never had any bad experience with Creative products and/or its drivers and such, i'll add the Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatality to the equation..
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September 1, 2010 7:28:35 PM

taso11 said:
What operating system are you using?


I will get windows 64 bit ultimate.


Emperus said:
X-Fi chip based cards are the best for gaming IMO.. If you do not like Creative (bad drivers or any other reason) you can always get one from the Auzentech's stable.. Keeping that in mind, i'll say the Auzentech Bravura is an excellent choice.. Personnely though, i've never had any bad experience with Creative products and/or its drivers and such, i'll add the Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatality to the equation..



The auzentech its not aviable in my country... i will have to get a more normal brand... and i dont have any experience with sound cards so i cant tell if i like creative etc... the only thing i know is that i will use for gaming, ohh and if it is posible i would like to the card supports speakers too, i mean i want to conect headphones and speakers from that card (i dont have the speakers right now but probably i will be getting 5.1)
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September 1, 2010 7:54:02 PM

I think the bravura supports an amped headphone and 7.1 surround at the same time.

Where do you live? amazon ships all over the world for reasonable prices.
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September 1, 2010 8:26:12 PM

Argentina... they dont send electronic things u.u
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a b 4 Gaming
September 1, 2010 10:10:52 PM

I'm thinking I might go buy the SteelSeries 5H (non USB) to go with my AuzenTech Bravura. They seem like good candidates for a reasonable price...

IMO, if you don't already have a sound card look for a USB headset. SteelSeries has USB versions, or you could go with Razer Megalodons or Logitech G35. Saves money and if you get a good pair, a sound card isn't necessary.

But if you want a good speaker set up and head set, then well from what I can see either SteelSeries or Sennheiser are where it's at (for non-USB).
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September 1, 2010 11:35:17 PM

maby i will try to get astros a40 cause i can use them for music too and the have a lot of good gaming features
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September 1, 2010 11:43:25 PM

ohh and i want a sound card under $200 (in usa)
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a b 4 Gaming
September 2, 2010 2:19:50 AM

AuzenTech Bravura is great, or it's slightly bigger brother the Forte. Those are my favorites anyway, but I'm sure there's some stiff competition in the Xonar series.
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September 2, 2010 2:27:04 AM

lol but they are not in my country... i think i just can get asus xonar and creative... which one would u recomend?? anyway i will go to shops cause not all the things are aviable on internet...

but the thing im most concerned is headsets... my dad can get discount in sennheiser i think or i can get any other headset from usa, but i dont know wich one.... i read very good and very bad things about turtle beach, tritton, astro, some sennheiser headset, etc... so im very confused
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a b 4 Gaming
September 2, 2010 4:58:15 AM

Well I ended up getting the SteelSeries 5H today, the analog ones. I gotta say they're pretty good. Little heavy on the treble but not bad. Bass is decent, I just pumped it up a bit in my Bravura console thing and it's good. Very comfortable tho. As for sound location it's great in the left and right channels, you can really hear something rotating around you but just front/back is slightly difficult to really make heads or tails of. I think if you want true surround you need either a USB one or, for example, the Zalman set that has like 4 mini jacks. Sennheiser is really good tho, I think it's the 515's I was looking at that I think would be super good.
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September 2, 2010 4:11:46 PM

so i have to choise between asus xonar and creative for sound card

and for headset i was thinking in a40... but i dont know if they are good, and i dont know if i should get normal ones 5.1 or 7.1... i know almos anything abot headphones... i can tell if the sound is good.. but i dont know if the spesifications are good or anything soo if someone can give me a list from good to bad from the popular headsets i will be very thankful and i give the best awnser..
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September 2, 2010 4:41:25 PM

I have Asus Xonar DS soundcard and Roccat Kave real 5.1 headphones and they sound AWESOME , beste headphones I ever had.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 2, 2010 7:29:48 PM

ASUS <> Auzentech <> HT Omega > Realtek > Creative

With Xonars avaliable at a better price and offering better performance, theres no justification with going for Creative. My standard recommendation is the ASUS Xonar D1/DX, although the DS is a bargin at its price, and the D2/D2X has some additional features that some people may need. If avaliable, the HT Omega Striker competes directly with the Xonar D1/DX, with the feature set of the D2/D2X.
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September 2, 2010 7:36:05 PM

I'm far from an audiofile and know nothing hardly anuthing about audio but since I'm in the same search as you these are the two most helful things I found

http://www.mlgpro.com/forum/showthread.php?t=293139

http://www.hardwareheaven.com/reviews/968/pg1/sennheise...

They are both very knowledged on audio and know what they are talking about. The first one is a comparison between popular headsets/headphones. As you can see they are not fond of the astros by any means. Both reviews praise sennheiser for their audio quality/comfort/ build quality. It comes at a cost though sennheisers are ussually ugly and don't come in a fancy box with lot's of useless accessories and features. But from the many many articles and reviews I've read sennheiser ranks top thanks to their awesome price/performance ratio compared to the competition.

I'll be ordering the pc360s soon. I hope I like them.
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September 2, 2010 7:37:05 PM

gamerk316 said:
ASUS <> Auzentech <> HT Omega > Realtek > Creative


Don't let your emotions cloud your judgment and/or comments.. Rating realtek better than creative is outright hilarious..
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September 3, 2010 1:01:37 AM

mmm i think i will get sennheiser pc 350 cause my father has discount on sennheiser... and i can get the xonar d1 and the dx for the exact same price... which one is better? and will i be able to conect speakers and headphones at the same time or i will have to desconect one evry time i want to conect the other?
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September 3, 2010 9:43:04 PM

The PC 360s are open(apperently produces better sound because of this) are sturdier(no hinges to uselessly collapse) and are prettier. I'd get them over the 350s but if you want a closed headset go for the 350.

The d1 and dx are the same cards exept one has pci connection the other pci-e x1(check which one would best fit on your mobo). And no I don't think you connect both at the same time at least as far as I remember there is no headphone out like on the bravura and other cards.
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a b 4 Gaming
September 3, 2010 10:03:48 PM

I'm actually thinking of returning the Steelseries 5H V2s for Sennheiser PC 350s. After comparison, it appears to me the 350s have better sound than 360s because while they're quite similar, the 350s are 150ohm impedance and 10 to 26k hz response. The PC 360s are only 50ohm impedance, 15-28k hz response. Seems to me the 350s should have the better low end sound, given that you have the appropriate hardware for them. My Bravura has a 600ohm capacity on the headphone amp so it's good to go. Possibly the open design helps lower impedance since there's presumeably less air pressure to overcome, but still... I don't personally think that an extra $90 is worth it for open head phones (which, for me, that's not even a bonuus feature although I can understand why it is for some people).

EDIT: Also the PC 350s are 108dB sound pressure level (tbh, not sure what this means entirely), PC 360s are 112dB.
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September 3, 2010 11:00:16 PM

i like cloced headphnes.. but the thing i have to decide if is i like leather or cloth... cuase the pc 350 cmoes with leather and them cant be changed
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September 4, 2010 12:35:27 AM

well i will try them if i can...
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September 4, 2010 8:05:26 AM

Yeah the 360 isn't worth the extra 90. Here in europe the difference is like 20-30 so I assumed it would be the same there.

The 350, 360 and hd595 all have the same speakers so the only difference is the mic and enclosure.

And replacing the leather with cloth is pretty stupid because leather is what makes the headset closed. If you do that you'll eliminate the closed sensation which is what the 350 is about while still having the downsides of it being hot and having worse sound compared to a real open headphone/headset.
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