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Surround Sound PS3 Gaming solution

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I have a PS3 and I want to play games late at night and not disturb everyone who's sleeping. I want a good set of headphones that can reproduce the experience of a 5.1 setup. Note: Microphone quality does not matter at all.

I used to have Tritton AX360's but voices sounded absolutely horrible, very thin and trebly. As well, the bass was just a vibration. I'm willing to plunk down $150 to $200 on a good set. I hear there are some new headphones coming out soon as well.

Before you say 'google is your friend': I'm posting here because google gives me threads from 2007. Thanks for all the suggestions.
post #2 of 53
I actually find threads from 2007 quite useful, things don't move that quick in the headphone world. Theres a ton of gaming threads you can check out here, I'll suggust an Astro Mixamp for Dolby processing and mic mixing, plus a good stereo headphone (ad900 etc...) and an mic. Surrond headphones per se have their problems.
post #3 of 53
I'll throw out an Audio Technica AD700. Incredible soundstage for the money.
post #4 of 53
The best solution is the Astro Mixamp (about 150USD) and a quality stereo headphone, like the AD700 or HD555. I prefer my DT990\250ohms and K701, but those are both about 250USD. The AD700 and HD555 both run about 90USD,
post #5 of 53
Thread Starter 
With the Astro Mixamp, will it simulate surround sound on a stereo headphone or will it simply make it compatible with the PS3?
post #6 of 53
It depends on what phones you plug into the MixAmp. The MixAmp doesn't sound amazing with all headphones. I would say that if you're going the MixAmp route, just pick up the A40+MixAmp, it's a GREAT value or you can go the slightly less expensive route and get the Tritton AX Pro which sounds far better than the AX360 (the tin can sound as well and non-existent bass has bee fixed, but the decoder box does have a funny thing it does which introduces interference, a little annoying but not horrible). The reason I'm suggesting one of those two options is due to the fact that both those sets of mics and for the purpose of watching films and playing games, they sound very very very good. Now, if you want to buy headphones for critical music listening, those are obviously not good options.

To be perfectly honest, the A40 headphones sounds on par to the AT-A700s. As for pricing concerns, here's a breakdown:

MixAmp + AT-A700s ='s $100 for the MixAmp and $100 for the AT-A700s, and you need to provide your own mic (hanging a BT headset on your shirt or what not is not that great of an idea, when I hear all the rustling from the other persons mic against their clothes, I choose to avoid playing with them ever again, very distracting). So roughly you're looking at $250 right there.

MixAmp + A40 ='s $250 and you also have a VERY good removable mic on the headphones (left or right side, or no mic if you prefer) that is fully integrated with the MixAmp so that you can set the voice chat and game audio balance.

From a logical and purely practical standpoint, the MixAmp + A40 bundle from Astro is the winner.
post #7 of 53
I believe AKG had a headphone setup with a virtual 5.1 experience. Pioneer may have had the same setup. You could look into either. I think AKG's was called the Hearo 999 and Pioneer's was the SE-DIR800C
post #8 of 53
I had the Pioneer set up for a week before I returned it. Not a big fan, I would say that the sound quality of the phones they came were aren't worth plopping down all that money ($400 plus) for it. The AKG set up is for audio authoring in 5.1 and they cost $1200, in no way practical for the OPs purposes.
post #9 of 53
Astro Mixamp + AD700s (for the budget conscious, around $230 in total. WARNING: AD700s are VERY bass light.)

Astro Mixamp + DT880/32ohm (for a clear upgrade to the AD700s with better fit/comfort, easy to drive, and only need the mixamp, around $430 in total. The DT880 is superior to the AD700s for gaming in almost all aspects, though the soundstage is about 9/10 the size which is more than enough.)


But really, do yourself a favor and SKIP all true 5.1 surround headphones. They sound like crap. Trust me, I know. The Astro Mixamp will simulate surround, which sounds BETTER than true 5.1 headphones.
post #10 of 53
Do not buy the AD700s with the MixAmp. The A40 is on par with the SQ of the AD700s and thus the $250 A40 bundle with the MixAmp is the wiser choice AND you get the added benefit of having the removable mic on the A40.
post #11 of 53
You're out of your mind. The A40's are absolute garbage compared to the AD700s. What an insult.
post #12 of 53
And on what basis do you have for saying that? I'm A/B'ing the A40 and my A700s right now (and I've had the AD700s before I sold them back a long ways to get the A700s because the closed back on the A700s were better suited for my use, on top of that, the SQ are comparable except with the fact that the AD700s has a good amount of air to them due to being open back, but the problem with that is if you're going to use Dolby Headphones decoding, they work far better with good closed back cans, in other words, the imaging and position of the different channels are far more accurate with closed back phones). The A40, again, sounds on par with the A700s which in turn is not that far off from AD700s. So Mad Lust Envy, please elaborate on your claim that the A40s are garbage.
post #13 of 53
The soundstage of the A40's don't come anywhere close to the spacious soundstage of the AD700s. It's pretty well known that the AD700s have the largest soundstage out of any headphones in their price range, and about the only ones that beat it in an affordable range is the AKG 701/702 (which require more amping).

The A40's have a hollow sound to them, and about the only thing they're better at is the bass, and even then they're bass light. The A40's have a sound quality comparable to $75 headphones, not $200.

The majority of the gaming world tends to agree with me, the AD700s are THE best headphones for gaming in their price range. Yes, even more than the A40s.

I don't know where you're getting this, but from what I have gathered, open headphones are MUCH more suited for competitive gaming due to their bigger soundstage. Closed headphones tend to have more bass than required for gaming, which can drown out the finer details, like footsteps in FPS games. This is why MANY pro gamers rock their mic-modded AD700s and Senn 595s over the A40s.

As someone said before, the AD700s and the A700s are COMPLETELY different in sound signature. They don't compare to each other AT ALL.

The only reason anyone should EVER get the A40s is their ease, and detachable mic. They come pretty much ready for gaming. With headphones, you need to find a mic solution, though that's pretty much it. I had the A40s, and found my cheap $20 Senn HD201s to compare to them. $200/$120 w/mixamp vs $20. That goes to show you how overpriced they are. If you own them already, they're fine for gaming. But if you don't, there are MUUUUCH better solutions for the same price or less.
post #14 of 53
Because of this thread, I tried out my A700s in my MixAmp to do some comparing with some games and movies (namely, Uncharted 2, MGS4, Bad Company 2, Dark Night, Black Hawk Down, Drag Me to Hell) and the A40s compare favourably with the A700s. As for soundstage, yes, I know there's a difference but for the purposes of emulated 5.1 from a Dolby Headphones decoder, open back phones do not work as well as closed back due to how Dolby Headphones 5.1 emulation works. From a purely gamer perspective here, knowing the exact positioning of the audio is absolutely NEEDED for playing games and from that point of view, closed back phones work MUCH better with things like the MixAmp as well as the JVC DH1 (I own both).

Keep in mind, I am in no way talking about enjoying music with these, heck, I haven't tried the A40 with anything else but the PS3 with games and movies. From a purely gaming perspective, the A40+MixAmp I have to say as a full package is the way to go. I had the AX Pros as well, but I returned those and then ordered the A40 + MixAmp. From personal experience with these Dolby Headphone decoders, I actually much prefer the mid-range or slightly lower phones for use with them. There's a very good reason for this, the mid-range or slightly lower phones have the advantage of hiding any of the occasional pops and hisses that both the MixAmp and the JVC DH1 will exhibit (I'm pretty sure it's due to lower quality amps on these decoder boxes). Before the A40s, I was using the A700s with the JVC DH1. I've actually tried and kept using the Ultrasone Pro 650s passed through a Tomahawk amp, not a great experience, there's lots of fidelity but it revealed way too many flaws in the audio track.

I wouldn't compare the A40s to cheap HD201s, I would have to honestly say that they sound like $100 headphones, definitely not $200 headphones (the price you pay for the A40s without the amp). I'm in no way saying that the A40s are great for listening to your music with because there are definitely MUCH better phones out there but then again, I am not a big fan of the A700s either nor was I that big of a fan of the AD700s (I feel my Grados SR80s sounded way better). A900s are much better than both and those I somewhat like (I have a pair of those too but they haven't gotten much use since I have much better phones sitting on my shelf).

As a off to the side note: To be perfectly honest, apart from the soundstage and airiness to the AD700s, the A700s are still comparable and if anything, there's a noticeable better impact with the bass for the A700s. Doesn't mean that the AD700s are lacking bass, it just means it doesn't hit as hard.
post #15 of 53
Originally Posted by dookiex View Post
As for soundstage, yes, I know there's a difference but for the purposes of emulated 5.1 from a Dolby Headphones decoder, open back phones do not work as well as closed back due to how Dolby Headphones 5.1 emulation works. From a purely gamer perspective here, knowing the exact positioning of the audio is absolutely NEEDED for playing games and from that point of view, closed back phones work MUCH better with things like the MixAmp as well as the JVC DH1 (I own both).
Can you expand on this? Why do closed back phones have better positioning of audio? What is it about DH that makes closed phones work better?
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