Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › 200 dollar setup for gaming?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

200 dollar setup for gaming?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have a friend who needs a setup for 200 bucks for gaming. Any suggestions? It requires a mic of some sort, most likely clip on, and headphones. Also, if he needs it, a soudncard/DAC. He has the Realtek HD right now iwth a f4tality headset.
post #2 of 14
what games does your friend play and what OS do they use?
post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
L4d and windows 7.
post #4 of 14
He needs at least a decent card if he wants good headphones as well. Since under $200 you'll be getting unamped headphones, I recommend the following.

Soundcard: Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer (Amazon.com: Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Sound Card (70SB073A00000): Electronics)
Headphones: Audio-Technica ATH-AD700 (Amazon.com: Audio Technica ATH-AD700 Open-air Dynamic Audiophile Headphones with 53mm Drivers with Neodymium Magnet Systems: Electronics)
Microphone: Zalman ZM-Mic 1 (Amazon.com: Zalman Microphone Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone Retail: Electronics)

That's the best you're going to get for the price, and a VERY respectable beginner setup for gaming. Just make sure he turns on CMSS-3D and updates to the latest X-Fi drivers as the stock ones on the disc are terrible.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
He just said he needed closed headphones, sorry.
post #6 of 14
A700 instead of AD700.

Amazon.com: Closed-back dynamic audiophile headphones, 53 mm drivers with neodymium magnet systems, 3.5 mm connector w/ 1/4" adapter: Electronics

That takes him a little over budget though, but those are by far the best headphones you will find near the price range he's looking at, as Amazon sells stuff ridiculously cheap.
post #7 of 14
+ 1 for a700. It has great sence of space. May also try HFI-450 or 550 (but AT is more realistic).
post #8 of 14
Why oh why you would ever need closed headphones for gaming is beyond me.

1) You cannot hear any outside noise with open headphones when playing.
2) You cannot hear your voice when talking with closed headphones. It will make you talk louder then needed, and sound muffled to yourself.
3) Open headphones have all around better sound quality for gaming.
4) Ears will sweat with closed headphones.

And the list could go on.......
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Foe-hammer View Post
Why oh why you would ever need closed headphones for gaming is beyond me.

1) You cannot hear any outside noise with open headphones when playing.
2) You cannot hear your voice when talking with closed headphones. It will make you talk louder then needed, and sound muffled to yourself.
3) Open headphones have all around better sound quality for gaming.
4) Ears will sweat with closed headphones.

And the list could go on.......
1 is false, you can very easily hear outside noise. 2 is true, and tends to annoy my teammates at times, but they do it too so it's whatever. 3 is true, but at the same time open lacks some benefits of closed. 4 is false unless you're weird or get really uncomfortable headphones.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrolic View Post
1 is false, you can very easily hear outside noise. 2 is true, and tends to annoy my teammates at times, but they do it too so it's whatever. 3 is true, but at the same time open lacks some benefits of closed. 4 is false unless you're weird or get really uncomfortable headphones.
I think the key here is that, in the sub-$100 price range, there really aren't any good closed headphones. Open headphones give way more bang-for-buck. Also, external DACs are going to give better performance than internal soundcards...I wouldn't recommend a Creative X-Fi at all.

Also, I'm a little curious why he needs closed headphones. Ususally, I associate needing closed headphones with being in public / in a car / somewhere with a lot of background noise (more noise than the sound of the headphones will drown out). I can't really imagine doing much gaming in such environments, especially with a DAC...I tend to game alone in my room, especially for serious gaming.

If it *has* to be closed, go with an A700. But an AD700 will be a lot better, unless sound leakage is a *huge* concern (really picky roommate or the like).

My recommendation: A[D]700, Zero DAC, Zalman mic. That's a complete setup within the price range. Just make sure to get a Zero with USB unless he's got an optical out.
post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Necrolic View Post
Since under $200 you'll be getting unamped headphones
Why? There are sub-$200 headphones that require amps...the HD580 for one. And Zero DAC (which is a DAC/Amp combo) is about $100, so sub-$100 headphones + Zero is a $200 "amped" headphone setup.
post #12 of 14
On the headphones that need to be closed part, I dont really understand why that is such a big deal with gaming? Why would you want a pair of open headphones when you can get speakers? :P I'm personally going to get the A700's (+the astro mixamp) because I game mostly late at night, with my significant other sleeping close by.
post #13 of 14
+1 for the AD700, great phones, great soundstage
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by aristos_achaion View Post
I think the key here is that, in the sub-$100 price range, there really aren't any good closed headphones. Open headphones give way more bang-for-buck. Also, external DACs are going to give better performance than internal soundcards...I wouldn't recommend a Creative X-Fi at all.
That's a complete lie by the way, A700 is BARELY worse than the AD700 (I have used both), especially when it comes to gaming. If you're primarily getting them for music, yes the AD700 is better, but for gaming the difference is 100% negligible.

When it comes to gaming, 95% of the positional audio comes from your source, not headphones. It doesn't make a damn difference how good your headphones are if your source is crap for positional audio (standalone DACs and non-Creative soundcards are crap for positional audio). That 5% you get from headphones is really just the unmuddled sound good headphones gets you over a headset, and a wider soundstage so you can judge distance better.

I play CEVO-M and ESEA-IM for Counter-Strike, so I do have some experience and a clue what I'm talking about. External DACs may give better performance than sound cards, but do they have CMSS-3D? That's what I thought. CMSS-3D alone is more than enough reason to opt for a sound card before a DAC when it comes to gaming.

The above two paragraphs are why a simple Creative X-Fi is going to destroy any external DAC when it comes to gaming. Now an X-Fi AND an external DAC is the best thing you can get, but if you can only afford one and your focus is gaming then for sure get the X-Fi first.

Quote:
Also, I'm a little curious why he needs closed headphones. Ususally, I associate needing closed headphones with being in public / in a car / somewhere with a lot of background noise (more noise than the sound of the headphones will drown out). I can't really imagine doing much gaming in such environments, especially with a DAC...I tend to game alone in my room, especially for serious gaming.

If it *has* to be closed, go with an A700. But an AD700 will be a lot better, unless sound leakage is a *huge* concern (really picky roommate or the like).
LAN environments, as well as people who have their PCs in their house's living room will do much better with closed headphones. More than enough noise to get distracting.

Again, as his focus is gaming, an AD700 will not be a *lot* better. Somewhat, yes, but not a lot. Since it's cheaper though if you aren't in a noisy environment it is better.

Quote:
My recommendation: A[D]700, Zero DAC, Zalman mic. That's a complete setup within the price range. Just make sure to get a Zero with USB unless he's got an optical out.
Agreed except for the Zero DAC for above mentioned reasons.

Quote:
Why? There are sub-$200 headphones that require amps...the HD580 for one. And Zero DAC (which is a DAC/Amp combo) is about $100, so sub-$100 headphones + Zero is a $200 "amped" headphone setup.
My point is, this guy has $200 to drop on a full setup, and since he's going to need a source as well, there is no room in there for an amp. I didn't mean that sub-$200 amp requiring headphones don't exist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FattyMcFatFatFatty View Post
On the headphones that need to be closed part, I dont really understand why that is such a big deal with gaming? Why would you want a pair of open headphones when you can get speakers? :P I'm personally going to get the A700's (+the astro mixamp) because I game mostly late at night, with my significant other sleeping close by.
Not really sure what you mean by all of this, but for wanting them closed it's probably because he's in a noisy environment, and as for open headphones, they tend to have a wider soundstage. The reason you would choose open headphones over speakers is because headphones have much better positioning.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Headphones (full-size)
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Headphones (full-size) › 200 dollar setup for gaming?