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New headset and soundcard or USB headset

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March 3, 2011 1:03:54 AM

Hello all,

I suppose it was about a year ago now I had asked about which headset I should get. It's about that time again, as my current set (a Turtle Beach Earforce HPA2) has begun to sound a bit funky. It is an analog true 5.1 set connected to my onboard audio. So I have a few questions for the community.

I want to get a new setup for gaming. My primary concern is getting the most precise directional audio possible. Quality is important, but not as much as directional.

I have been looking at USB headsets, sound cards, stereo headsets that are supposed to provide virtual surround (either 7.1 or 3D). No matter where I look there seem to be conflicting opinions, "Surround is a gimmick" "With 3D you can tell perfectly where something is" etc. My most played game is Left 4 Dead 2. I also have a Logitech Z5500 speaker setup (5.1 speaker system).

So what do you guys recommended?

Sound Card with virtual 5.1/7.1?
Sound Card with true 5.1?
Sound Card with 3D?
USB with virtual 5.1/7.1?
USB with true 5.1/7.1?

If you have a recommendation for a specific type of setup, can you recommend a specific headset/sound card?

I have been looking at Logitech G35, Logitech G930, Creative Tactic 3D Sigma, Asus Xonar, Creative X-Fi, etc. (Price range of $150-250 total please).

Thanks in advance, I greatly appreciate suggestions as I have never been much in the audio market.
March 4, 2011 2:21:36 AM

Any recommendations? I was thinking that maybe I'd go with a G930. I don't know if I would get better positional audio with that or with a sound card and virtual 7.1 or a true 5.1 headset.
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March 4, 2011 11:17:16 AM

First and formost: There are no "true" 7.1 headsets, period. The Razar Megoladon and Logitech G35/G930 use virtualization to get 7.1 [and do it very well], but no headset has true 7.1 support.

To my knowledge, most all USB 5.1 headsets use virtualization as well. True 5.1 headsets typically connect via analog [3 cables = 6 channels = 5.1] or via optical connection [Dolby/DTS support].

If you want 7.1, your best option is an actual speaker system. If you don't mind virtualization, I personally can reccomend the Logitech G35/G930, as it handles positional audio very well. [I DO wish they had an equalizer though...]
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March 4, 2011 10:47:05 PM

Have you ever used the Turtle Beach HPA2 (true 5.1)? Would you recommend the G35/930 over it? Or has anyone else used a sound card with Dolby Headphone? Which do you think gives the best positional audio?
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Anonymous
May 3, 2011 1:14:09 PM

I wouldn't reccomend the g930, i just sent mine back because it has so many issues.

For one, the surround sound was useless, when you turn it on all the sound because tinny and spread out, and sounds as if there's an echo. Played some black ops and bf2 and i really couldn't precisely pinpoint the footsteps or any noise at all.

Also, the headset is riddled with issues related to the software, constantly crashing, turning up the bass too high will result in all the sound to crack up etc.

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May 3, 2011 4:50:07 PM

Quote:
For one, the surround sound was useless, when you turn it on all the sound because tinny and spread out, and sounds as if there's an echo. Played some black ops and bf2 and i really couldn't precisely pinpoint the footsteps or any noise at all.

Also, the headset is riddled with issues related to the software, constantly crashing, turning up the bass too high will result in all the sound to crack up etc.


My G15's worked great in BF:BC2. My only real complain is that left/right is hard to pinpoint [back is done VERY well though].

As for the Bass crackling, its a headphone, you can only crank it so far without getting distortion.

Quote:
Have you ever used the Turtle Beach HPA2 (true 5.1)? Would you recommend the G35/930 over it?


[tested on my ASUS D2] I've used a Tritton AX Pro and a wireless Sony MDR-3000 headset. Both had better side channel processing then the G35 [as far as distinguishing where the signal was comming from], but there were "blind spots" right at +- 45 degrees where you go from front to side channel where the audio jumps. Newer games might be better in this regard though.

Oddly though, the home theatre MDR-3000's had the best side-audio processing of any headset I've ever owened, as the channels really stood out. Would have kept them, if not for both sets dieing within a year...
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