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Sound Blaster X-Fi and the best headphones

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September 17, 2005 5:57:08 PM

I was going to buy a Sound Blaster X-Fi Fatal1ty FPS and wanted to purchase the best gaming headset for it. The soundcard now has X-Fi CMSS-3D. Does this mean I don't need a 5.1 headset? That CMSS-3D does all the work using a normal set? I was thinking of picking up the SL-8792 - Medusa 5.1 set, but this was before the X-Fi came out. I want a gamer's set, with a microphone. I only want the best! Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.
September 17, 2005 9:28:43 PM

I think the new XiFi sound effects are meanted to work with stereo headphones. You don't want one 3D algorithmn on top of another (the 5.1 headphones').

Best to pick up a decent set of Sennheisers or Grados methinks.
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September 23, 2005 7:59:30 PM

I did a lot of research and for gaming I chose the sony MDR-V6's (not the 600's which suck), very accurate rendering which is what you want for gaming.

You will definately want to replace the pads though, a very popular mod for this model, also nice to know that replacement pads exist as they often wear out while the headphone still sound great.

Definately worth searching for a few reviews, just don't be supprised when someone comparing them unfavorably to $600-$1000.

Music fans might find sound too "sterile".
September 24, 2005 4:13:38 PM

Thanks for your posts, I've looked at the Sennheiser gaming set PC165 (wouldn't use the USB option). However they aren't as good a headphone as I wanted, they are also open air speakers (I wanted the closed ones). Seems the gaming sets with microphones are on the lower end models. Some sets mentioned in the posts, didn't have a mic. I even visited the www.headphone.com site, I think I want an headphone amp now. One nice thing about the Medusa set it included one. I might end up getting 2 sets of headphones, one for music, one for gaming. I was hoping to get a high quality set that could do both. But I'm probably too picky. ;-)
September 27, 2005 12:27:39 AM

I don't think you want two sets of cans, find best you can afford for music and I am 100% sure they'll do more for games than any "best" gaming cans ever will. If you want the mike, just get some clip on or something (cans with mikes are as horribel as they can be).

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
September 27, 2005 9:02:20 PM

There simply are no decent headphones with a built in mic. Accept that and buy good headphones and a standing mic.

For team games I use a cheap labtech microphone and get excellent results. Get an "L" shaped one so you can tuck the base under your keyboard (maybe this only works with ergonomic keyboards). Or you can get one that sticks to your monitor. Simply placing it behind your keyboard will work if you got the desk space.

Headphone attached mics tend to be very sensitive to possition, they get jarred and move an half an inch and suddenly your team can't hear you clearly.

No point in spending more than $10-$15 on a gaming mic since the compression used by roger wilco/whatever won't let you hear any quality improvements.
September 29, 2005 6:08:52 AM

grado labs makes the best headphones try one of these. i have the x-fi with grado sr125`s and it sounds great. You can always get a mic for a few bucks
October 1, 2005 11:09:32 AM

I wouldn't say Grado makes the "best" headphones. They make clear, detailed headphones that happen to be very bright. This works well for games because the music/sounds are encoded at a very low bitrate, so some of the "lost" details may be found with a loudspeaker that isn't as accurate.

Sennheisers are more neutral and designed for people who would like more accurate reproduction, although for games (and low bitrate mp3s), it would come off as very laid back speakers.
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