I've been looking for a gaming headset for a while. It's going to be used for gaming (capt. obvious to the rescue!) and some late night music listening/tv-watching. In other words, sound quality must be good but doesn't have to be audiophile grade. I have speakers for that.
Another thingie: I'd prefer it to be wireless. Okay, that means paying more for less, but I'm fine with that in return for the convenience it offers.
Budget? Not really important, but 150-200 dollars seems to be where the best bargains are?
So far I only found 3 models:
- Logitech G930: gets high reviews, but it's USB. That means my discrete sound card can't work its magic on it, right?
- Turtle Beach Ear Force X41: gets very good reviews and plays nice with my sound card.
- Creative WoW Wireless Headset: ugly, but sounds nice it seems.
So is there anyone who can comment on these headsets or knows alternatives? Thanks!
most people wont benefit using a USB connection for wireless headphones.. because as you suggested, the soundcard cant use it's processor to keep your frames per second high.
just because the headphones have a digital decoder, that doesnt mean there is a data processor to take the load off of your cpu.
with that said..
maybe you can send the audio data to the soundcard normally.. then use any of the various audio data 'routers' and route the data to the usb soundcard.
see.. there are directX programs that will let you do it.
these are usually called a 'directX host' that most often is used to route VST plugins.
i dont think it has to be directX .. could possibly be whatever program language known.
the problem is, programming one yourself or finding one already made.
and also, finding one that will work with everything without any problems or conflicts.
try 'virtual cable' and see if that works for you.
it is a program that is really simple.
you let the video game send the audio to the soundcard as normal.. but then use 'virtual cable' to grab the output from the soundcard and send it to the USB soundcard.
all this does is allow your pci (or pci-e) soundcard to use its processor to keep the load off of your main CPU so that the game runs faster (more frames per second)
maybe this will clog your southbridge and your frames will go down 5 or 10 per second.
it is certainly a lot better than losing HALF of your frames per second because you are using a USB soundcard.
i switched from a pci soundcard to the onboard soundcard and my frames per second were down from 80's to ....
i really dont remember if it was 60's or 40's
all i remember is that it was a huge chunk that proved my soundcard being installed helped the game run faster, much like it was advertised to do.
virtual cable will work with asio and asio4all to keep the data transfer quick and without degrading the quality.
when you use asio from the pci soundcard to the usb headphones.. you might be able to get a transfer time all the way down to 1ms
the website says it will work anywhere from 1ms to 20ms per interrupt
and 1 - 100 pins.
it supports kernel streaming too if you dont want to use asio (or asio4all)
the wireless signal is very fast, so you wont notice any latency added there.
creative and logitech has failed on me way too early in the past.. so maybe try the turtle beach headphones ?
i mean.. just look at the specs of the turtle beach headphones..
first of all.. they are dolby certified for localization.
they have a bass boost of +9dB for anything from 20hz - 150hz
that is a HUGE plus to have a bass boost that low, if not for explosions in games.. it is fantastic for movies and music.
the drivers are 50mm .. and in the headphone industry, that can be like the difference between some 10 inch subwoofers compared to some 15 inch woofers.
(if you dont know the difference, the bass gets lower with the 15's)
the microphone is a condensor type, and condensor types are known for their flatter frequency response.. they are much more sensitive and accurate, plus the mic says it will go down to 50hz ... unlike the logitech's 100hz (big difference)
the specifications say the headphones are up to >120dB
and that means, for a fact, the headphones have bass.
otherwise 120dB would be more than putting your ear 1ft away from a DJ speaker !! and that just isnt going to happen for liability reasons.
the only problem i see is the 48khz sample rate.
dolby digital on DVD or video games dont really get any higher.
video games might get higher, but DVD's wont.
the headset says it can use batteries for up to 25 hours.. and that means the batteries should last for 2 days and re-charge overnight before you go to bed.
the website says the connection is an optical input.. and that means you dont have to mess around with 'virtual cable'
it does get power for the amplifier from the USB socket.. and at only 180mA current draw.. the amp doesnt pull much from the usb power supply at all.
the usb power output has a maximum of 500mA
even the name 'turtle beach' sounds like an audiophile company.
besides.. i already know, soundblaster with their EAX and cmss 3d sounds like junk compared to dolby virtual surround sound for headphones.
i see the creative headphones are bragging about sounds above and below you.
maybe the turtle beach doesnt do above and below (never ever heard 'em)
the dolby technology does the 360 around you much much better.
and since most games dont have above or below sounds anyways.. you dont need it.
to finalize, it says the creative headsets last 9 hours and the turtle beach last 25 hours.
you can always go on ebay and get some AAA batteries with a higher 'mah' rating.
the higher 'mah' rating usually means they will last a lot longer before going dead.
you can find some decent sized 'mah' batteries at walgreens.. but ebay has the much higher ones.
i am wanting to hear the turtle beach headphones myself.
the bass boost and the stereo expander should really be two simple things that get the ball rolling quickly for anybody.
and even if the sound quality isnt 'audiophile' but still good.. the battery life and the bass boost, and stereo expander, and bigger 50mm drivers, and headphone stand, and better visual aesthetics, and dolby 7.1 (not 5.1)
i have something to say about things that look good on paper.. and my parents used to tell me this too.
if what you see on paper is 'it does exist' or 'it doesnt exist'
that can be much more important, and should be the most important.
some people dont have a soundcard that can encode a dolby digital signal.
that means the only way to get surround sound from games that dont have a dolby digital logo on them, you need a soundcard that can encode the audio to the surround sound format.
movies on the computer (or if you connect 'em to the dvd player) will have surround sound if the movie has surround sound.
television will have surround sound if the show is broadcast with dolby 5.1
and chances are, the 5.1 would be upmixed to 7.1 since dolby does it on many of their decoders (like.. generally all of them)
video games output PCM data.. not dolby digital.
so the encoder takes that PCM data and transforms it into a single stream of data with the surround channels in it.
and when the soundcard comes with the dolby digital encoder, it also comes with the DTS encoder.
the DTS encoder should sound better because there is more information transferred.
i have listened to DTS and dolby both and it isnt something worth NOT buying the headset over.
because if you wanted any upgrade, it would be the new dolby surround format.
it appears these headphones have been around a while.. i seen one price on their website that said $199
and another price that said $150
so the $50 less is probably because there is the new surround sound format that came out and these dont support it.
the review on cnet said these are accurate with the positioning.
the reviews on amazon said 160 people gave it 5 stars .. 80 people gave it 4 stars
and the people who gave it 1 star were mostly complaining about the reception being bad.. and most of them said they had a wireless N router.
maybe check for strong signals from your neighbors before you let out the money for the system?
wouldnt want the house next door to ruin the range.
if you are close enough, it shouldnt matter.
usually the neighbors signal is very weak.. since they are obligated to use a directional antenna anyways if the power is up high (or if they are sharing internet with the neighborhood.. at least find out what frequency they are on (a,b,g,n)