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Headphone & motherboard question.

Last response: in Components
May 2, 2011 9:04:11 PM

Hi guys,

Quick question, getting me some new headphones -

Now the question i have is this, should I get the cheaper analogue version or the USB. The main reason im asking if because im just not sure of the onboard quality from my ASUS p5q deluxe motherboard. All I do know is that its 8 channel and apparently has 7.1 surround.

What ya recon? USB or analogue then?

Cheers for the advice!
a c 95 V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 9:22:29 PM

I dislike USB audio anything. Get the analog.
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a c 95 V Motherboard
May 2, 2011 10:20:53 PM

I doubt it would be anything you could notice. I'm more annoyed with USB audio driver issues.
a c 140 V Motherboard
May 3, 2011 2:16:43 AM

Stick with the normal analog 3.5mm connection. However, it will depend on your priorities.

These seem like good USB headphones, however you are paying for the headphones AND the audio chip.

I would recommend getting a normal set of headphones and using the onboard audio. If the onboard audio is not good enough then get an inexpensive audio card.

The audio chip or card can be used by headphones AND speakers. When you invest in USB the audio chip it uses is only for its headphones.

There are also some fairly inexpensive PCI or PCIe audio cards that are better than both solutions. Even a $50 card would likely be noticeably better.

Of course, both the audio card/chip AND the headphones/speakers must be of good quality to get good sound. The best audio card sounds like crap with poor quality headphones.

There are also "PC" headphones and "studio" type headphones. You must also get headphones with the same, or close OHM (impedance) measurement. If your audio output is 32ohm, I don't think 70 ohm headphones are recommended.

I have a set of PC headphones (with microphone) for my computer and a set of Sony studio headphones for my HDTV. I almost bought 70 ohm studio headphones until I read that my HDTV output was 16 ohm. I then bought 24 ohm headphones.

My understanding is that, to oversimplify, the greater the OHM value of the headphones compared to the audio output rating, the less sound you'll get. I believe the quality of the sound gets increasingly distorted beyond a certain difference.

In general, I recommend investing in these audio components:
1) audio card $50 or more
2) normal 3.5mm stereo PC headphones (or OHM-compatible studio headphones)
3) desktop speakers
a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2011 2:37:46 AM

i have tried a few solutions in my time. overall i prefer the soundcard 35mm jack over usb. even though im currently using a set of logitech G930's atm. which are both usb and wireless... the sound quality easily matches my xfi extreme gamer card with a set of creative fatality headphones. but its not as rich as my now broken stenhiesser hd595's...

May 3, 2011 7:30:59 AM

small note: out of those 2 corsair headphones, many reviews states that the USB version sounds bit better than the analog one...
a c 140 V Motherboard
May 3, 2011 7:56:44 PM

I think you first need to decide if speakers are of any concern.

If they are, then you need a quality sound chip or card to drive them. If you couldn't care less then maybe that's the way to go.

I'd be curious to know if a $150 USB headphone was better than a $50 audio card + $100 3.5mm headphones. (I suspect there's so many headphones out there and so many opinions it would be hard to figure out exactly.)

I'm not an expert on USB headphones, but in my opinion I think there are better solutions for desktops. Laptops, which have built-in audio which is not upgradeable are the perfect choice for USB headphones.
May 3, 2011 10:49:41 PM

Uther39 but they are stereo headsets are they not? Would dolby headphone still work with them seing as they are not 5.1?

Photonboy i also am curios to know that, as for speakers, never use them only headphones mainly for gaming mate.
a b V Motherboard
May 3, 2011 10:54:53 PM

USB is definitely a nice way of doing it. Onboard audio quality isn't that good, to be honest. If you buy some nice headphones and plug into mobo sound it will be "ok" but with a good sound card, then you're really getting good sound. I have Sennheiser PC 350s and an AuzenTech Bravura 7.1 sound card (with a 600ohm headphone jack) and the sound quality is superb. I noticed just on my cheap desktop speakers that the sound card made it a little cleaner sounding... but USB headsets have a little sound card onboard and it will be set up specifically for those speakers so it's a pretty good option and will deliver nice sound. Also, cheaper than headphones + soundcard.
a c 140 V Motherboard
May 5, 2011 12:31:54 AM

Surround Sound:

There are two ways to get surround sound:
1. Emulation on 2 speakers (i.e. Dolby Virtual)
2. Headphones with multiple speakers

I have a set of Tritton speakers with multiple speakers (technically "drivers") and they don't sound any different to me than regular stereo speakers. For the price I could have got higher quality stereo speakers.

What they need...
They really need to find a way that ALL surround sound sources can be virtualized through stereo speakers. That may include "training" some software to sound better to your specific ears.

What they do have is confusing and only works in certain scenarios. (and why do they have software to convert STEREO to SURROUND? It sounds crappy to me anyway.)

Virtual headphones have great potential but normal room speakers don't. It's basically impossible to get surround sound working properly from desktop speakers unless the room is a specific size, has no holes (like doors or windows), the person's head is in the EXACT spot etc...
May 21, 2011 7:08:36 AM

Hmm that sounds quite interesting, thanks for sharing......