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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (3/18/2016: MrSpeakers Ether C 1.1 Added) - Page 1483

post #22231 of 37458

currently using the PULSE Wireless Elite

anyone tried the Gold and feel that it's a good upgrade?

post #22232 of 37458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Change is Good View Post

Bored...

Going live I guess...

 

How can you be bored when you have us?

post #22233 of 37458
Quote:
Originally Posted by AxelCloris View Post
 

 

How can you be bored when you have us?

Because you're boring.

 

Just kidding, please don't take offence :)

post #22234 of 37458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Napalmhardcore View Post
 

Because you're boring.

 

Just kidding, please don't take offence :)

 

post #22235 of 37458

May have to save that pic for when I make posts that get no replies lol.

post #22236 of 37458

I just googled "I'm boring" and it was the first image. :p

post #22237 of 37458
Thread Starter 
oh youse gyez.

I'm being lazy. I should hurry up with the 'sone.
post #22238 of 37458

I have a real trick up my sleeve, guys. Soon, when the time is right, I'm going to try it. Let's just say it's an open headphone, will have alcantara pads on, and will be BoomPro compatible...

 

The sound sig with the alcantaras will ultimately decide if they will be the greatest headphone turned headset, thus far! :eek:

 

Can't do it until the M-Stage sells, however... :o

post #22239 of 37458
Thread Starter 
Dekimashiita!







Ultrasone HS-15 (*headset*)



Discontinued (found on Ebay for $20-$40)

Where To Buy: Ebay
Review (Click to show)
Before I begin, I'd like to personally thank forum member and friend @calpis for sending me the Ultrasone HS-15. It was unexpected, yet very much welcome.

The Ultrasone HS-15 headset. It is the third Ultrasone I've heard, and sounds completely different from what I have experienced with the Pro 900 and Pro 2900 (which calpis also sent to me at the time of it's review). The Ultrasone HS-15 is no longer in production, and is somewhat rare and hard to find outside of the random Ebay listings. There is a semi-open variant without a microphone, the HS-15G which is unfortunately even harder to find and more expensive. I'd like to get my hands on the HS-15G at some point.

HS-15 bullet points found on Amazon:
Quote:

*S-Logic natural surround sound moves the sound out of the headphones and into the room around you for a spacious three dimensional sound, as if you are in a live concert

*Safer listening, less fatigue - pressure to the ear drum is decreased by up to 40% (3-4dB) for the same perceived loudness, significantly reducing the risk of hearing damage

*ULE technology with MU Metal shielding to reduce radiation by up to 98% compared to ordinary headphones

*Ideal for Gamers

*Lower dB output for equal clarity



Build Quality:

Rating: Great



The HS-15 has a retro 80's vibe to it's design, with an all black plastic frame, overly lengthy boom microphone (see here), and a cable that looks like it was taken from a home appliance. The HS-15 reminds me of the many cheap no-name headphones found in any store in terms of aesthetics. It's all function over form, substance over style, which fits it's intentions in every way.

The headband is covered in relatively cheap looking, but smooth synthetic leather. It sits perfectly on the head, and you could potentially bend and twist it in any which way without so much as even a minor scare of it breaking.

The circular cups are held by short plastic arms that would allow plenty of extension for my longish head.

The foam ear pads are supraaural/on ear, reminiscent of Koss Portapro, and the Sennheiser PX-100, though larger, and considerably softer. The HS-15 pads are thicker and more plush, though you can feel a thinner circular area in the middle (which I'm sure is to not muffle up the sound before it reaches the ears).

The cable itself is incredibly long and (as mentioned earlier), looks like those found on home appliances, like 3 small cables clued together horizontally. Electrostatic headphones share this style of cable as well. The cable terminates into two 3.5mm plugs, one for audio (black), one for the microphone (gray). Strain reliefs appear perfectly functional on both ends.

Overall, while the HS-15 certainly looks cheap, I don't see any structural weaknesses anywhere on it's frame, and the plastic looks like it could take a lot of abuse. You could bend the headband and twist the cups, yet it'd go back to it's normal shape without any issue whatsoever. It's a wonder how headphones this relatively inexpensive can take any abuse short of a nuclear strike, yet headphones costing over 10x the price would crumble under any minor stress. I can safely say that these would suit anyone that needs a beater headset to toss around and abuse without any real consequences.



Accessories:

Carrying Pouch:




The HS-15 comes with a very nice carrying pouch which appears to be water resistant. Much more convenient than a standard cloth carrying pouch. Since the HS-15 looks very abuse resistant, the pouch may better serve other, more fragile headphones in your arsenal.



Comfort:

Rating: Amazing

The HS-15 is easily THE most comfortable supraaural headphone I have owned to date, outside of the Koss/Yuin clip ons (which may be on ear, but as clip ons, don't sit on the ear the same way as headphones with headbands).

The HS-15 is incredibly lightweight, and rests on the ears just enough to not be loose, but tight enough to stay secure. The only issue I have is that my right ear gets sore after a prolonged session, though that may be a personal sensitivity issue, as I get no discomfort on my left ear. I have to assume that if others have less sensitive ears, the HS-15 may be near perfection in comfort for them.

Again, these are arguably the most comfortable headphones I have ever worn outside of the Koss KSC75 and Yuin G1A. I'd argue that the Sony MA900 may beat it solely due to the fact that it (mostly) rests around the ears, though with it's larger frame and my inability to relax and lay down with them in the same way as the HS-15, I would honestly reach for the HS-15 over the MA900 more times than not if I were basing everything off comfort. I'm positive that some who didn't find the MA900 to be comfortable, would think otherwise of the HS-15.

Long story short, if you want supreme comfort, it simply doesn't get much better than this.



Design Issues:

Microphone:



The boom microphone is massive, and isn't as flexible/malleable as others I have owned/tested. It easily reaches the front of my mouth, and is almost always present in my peripheral vision. The only solution is to bend the microphone a bit away from the face, and even then, it's not elegant.

Microphone plug:



The plug is single pole, and doesn't exactly plug into inputs quite right. If you connect it into an input completely, you won't get any audio. The solution is to connect it partially until you get chat audio. This is a problem I have encountered with all my chat inputs, whether on my mixamp, computer, or my Mixamp female 'Y' splitter cable for audio/chat.



Isolation/Leakage:

Rating: Fair

While it's closed back, the pads allow sound to leak in and out, so it's not one of the better closed backed headphones I have used for noise control. Not as bad a fully open headphone, but it's not going to contain it's own sound all that well.



Microphone:

Rating: Good

From the brief testing I have done with the microphone, everything was heard relatively well. The only problem with the mic is that it has it's own plug, so something like a PC Y audio splitter (those that have an audio and microphone input and convert it into one plug) will be needed for most new devices that have only one input for both audio and chat. The problem here is that for some reason, the microphone plug won't pick up any audio unless I partially plug it into my devices. Perhaps someone can send me a message as to why this older looking gray plug works this way, or if this is just an issue with the HS-15.



Sound:

Rating: Decent

The HS-15 is undeniably on the warm, bassy side. It is overall a quite non-fatiguing, and relaxing sound signature, with a spike in treble for some upper range clarity, though not so much as to aid much in airiness, clarity, and detail retrieval. The mellow tone of the HS-15 is unlike what I would expect of Ultrasone, since from my experience, Ultrasones are known for their aggressive, bright, and forward sound which is the opposite of the HS-15's sound. One thing that the HS-15 shares with the other Ultrasones I have reviewed is that it yields excellent low end control despite it's emphasis.

S-Logic to me is a hit or miss. The pros are that it expands the soundstage and works well with virtual surround. The downside is that it makes music sound slightly distant, and is akin to a full tonal recession. It also makes ear pad placement on the ear alter the sound quite noticeably, so it has to be placed perfectly to get the best possible sound.

The bullet point stating lower decibel output for equal clarity is somewhat true. The volume level is considerably lower than other headphones, and I find a need to use an amp for most occasions, as the HS-15 sounds distant and muted overall. To contradict it's intention, I find the HS-15 to sound it's best when played moderately high in volume, which aids in clarity and detail, which isn't hampered much by it's bass due to the excellent control.

Let me clarify with some specifics...



Bass:

Rating: Great

If one thing can be said of the HS-15, is that it handles bass very well. This is a budget priced headphone that I have no shame in saying would outdo many headphones in bass control at any price range. The bass is strong and commanding, textured, and expertly controlled. Due to it's emphasis, it may take some of the spotlight away from the HS-15's other frequencies, though it's more a problem of it being strong on emphasis, and not because the HS-15 lacks control or speed. The HS-15 is ideal for bassy music without any of the upper range fatigue.

The one downside I find is that some male vocals and instruments that hit in the lower depths of sound tend to sound artifically strong and boomy.



Mids:

Rating: Fair

The mids (due to S-Logic and the strong emphasis of bass) sound a bit distant/spaced further back in the mix than I'd personally like. I'm fine with mid recession as long as it's not too distant, and the HS-15 walks a fine line between being fair to being mediocre.

The upside is that due to the great control of bass, the mids aren't swallowed up or masked in general. Just...pushed back.



Treble:

Rating: Decent

There are a few areas that sound peaky, sizzly, and artificial. Thankfully, the ranges seem to be short, as the treble is generally smooth for long-term listening sessions. The detail in the treble isn't the final word on transparency or clarity, so if you're looking to analyze details and want lots of air, the HS-15 isn't a strong contender in that regard.

If you want a headphone you can listen to for hours, upon hours, and don't mind the warm, smooth presentation, the HS-15's treble range will more often than not please you.



Soundstage:

Rating: Good

For stereo/music, I find the HS-15's soundstage to be decent for a closed headphone, partly in thanks to the S-Logic. The instrument separation is very good within the head space, though it doesn't image as well as some of my favorite soundstage proficient headphones.

In virtual surround, S-Logic once again proves itself valuable, as the HS-15 throws off a nice soundstage depsite it being a closed headphone, with decent depth, and tight, well defined sound placement.



Positioning:

Rating: Very Good

The HS-15's good soundstage especially in virtual surround paired up with sharp sound placement is quite beneficial to it's very good positional cues. It easily bests my Astro A30s and DNA On Ear in pinpoint accuracy, despite it's warmer, more bass driven sound and smooth tonality. While it certainly wouldn't be a top recommendation for competitive gaming due to the bassy and warm tonality, the HS-15 can stand it's own feet if you decide to use it for hardcore gaming.



Clarity:

Rating: Mediocre to Fair

The HS-15 is slightly muted and distant sounding alongside it's bass emphasis, so don't expect proficiency in clarity and detail. The warm, non-fatiguing tonality sacrifices clarity and detail, with the exception of some treble ranges which shimmer and peak above the softness of the HS-15's general sound.

As stated before, the HS-15 favors moderately high volume levels to bring out some of the detail that at low volumes can come off non-descript and veiled.



Amping:

Recommended

The HS-15 was designed with a lower volume output supposedly for equal clarity. I'd say they partially succeeded as it does make it harder to drive to satisfying volume levels. The clarity is 'equal' as stated, though I'd joke that it's more or less equally lacking.

For music, you will want at least a portable amp on the neutral to bright side to bring out more of the detail.



Personal Recommendation?

Movies, Music, In General? Maybe
Gaming? Maybe

As long as you understand it's limits, and I assure you it's not without flaws, you will be pleased by it's warm, smooth nature, and amazing comfort, which makes the HS-15 decent for all around listening, with good immersion for fun gaming, or bass driven music.

Despite it's less than stellar technicalities, I could see myself reaching for these more than many other headphones due to it's comfort and inoffensive nature.

Considering that the HS-15 can be found for as low as $20, it puts it next to some of my absolute fave budget cans, the KSC-75 and Sportapro/KSC35. In terms of all around purpose, I would still reach for the legendary budget killers by Koss, though the HS-15 is a good alternative.



Comparisons:

Fortunately, I had two on ear headphones on hand for comparison.

Astro A30: The A30s is a headset I can safely say I just do not like. Not much about it sounds agreeable to my ears. It manages to sound loose, yet thin at the same time. It has an odd imaging issue, and a flat, almost two dimensional soundstage. The HS-15 sounds fuller, more rounded, and considerably more appealing in almost every single way. There is no question that the HS-15 is the more likable headphone, winning in basically any and every category I can think of.

Monster DNA On Ear: Next to the Monster DNA On Ear, the Ultrasone HS-15 sounds thin, and artificial. The Ultrasone HS-15 however, gives sharper positional cues for gaming, though the DNA On Ear performs quite well in this regard, with the benfit of sounding more refined, fuller, natural, and more balanced. The HS-15 demands a fairly significant amount of driving force compared to the DNA On Ear, and thus makes for a weak choice for portable use (though with the huge microphone, I wouldn't be caught dead in public with the HS-15). The DNA On Ear sounds a bit less proficient in the bass, and lacks the texture, speed, and control of the HS-15's bass. Other than the bass and positional cue proficiency of the HS-15, the DNA On Ear is easily identifiable as the better headphone (as well as it should be, considering the price gap between the two).



Final Impressions:

Sound quality on the HS-15 isn't amazing overall, so if you're looking for something to be impressed by, the HS-15 will leave you longing for something objectively clearer. However, if you are looking for a beater headphone that you can wear all day, and can jam out to without over analyzing it's details, the HS-15 is a great headphone. It presents a good value at it's low street price, with excellent control of it's bass and nearly perfect comfort.

While the review may sound a bit on the negative side, I have to say that the HS-15 is enjoyable and pleasing to use, enough for me to forgive it's shortcomings and mark it as a decent headphone. I would simply reach for the HS-15 over many headphones mainly due to comfort and pleasing sound.
Fun: 7/10 (Good) (Click to show)
The strong, yet well controlled bass, paired up with the very good positional cues, makes for a pretty fun and immersive headphone.
Competitive: 6.5/10 (Very Decent) (Click to show)
While the HS-15 offers very good positional cues, it's mellow and distant sound won't hold up next to headphones more detailed, forward, and clearer. It is still quite decent for competitive gaming, with sharp positional accuracy and a good sense of space in virtual surround, just don't expect soundwhoring goodness. I'd wager that a good EQ of the mids and treble would make the HS-15 a very good competitive gaming headphone for a budget price.
Comfort: 9.5/10 (Amazing) (Click to show)
Regardless of whether any other headphone is on ear or over ear, there simply isn't much out there that is as comfortable as the HS-15
Overall: 6.5/10 (Very Decent) (Click to show)
The HS-15 makes a good backup headset, and a good, relaxing headphone due to it's warm tonality and top tier comfort.







Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 3/29/14 at 3:19am
post #22240 of 37458
So has anyone tried modding an ma900 to use it with the boompro mic? I was thinking of going that route and paying btg audio to add a 3.5mm input to the headphone
post #22241 of 37458
Thread Starter 
I've added a bit more to the HS-15 review, like images which I should start doing so I can show any strengths and weaknesses to the build in particular, etc.

So I'd say that this is probably the best looking review in terms of how fleshed out it is... maybe.
post #22242 of 37458

I think they could have done a bit better job with youtube and put a subscribe button on twitch, other than that I am more than happy with my ps4!

post #22243 of 37458

Seems most of the headphones I've been interested in or have been investigating have compatibility issues with the BoomPro (locking mechanisms, proprietary connectors... and bears, oh my!). Why can't life be simple? (this may become my catchphrase lol)

 

Edit: I'm very much liking the idea of the Sennheiser PC 360's. I know I said I was probably going to go with headphones and a mic, but half my posts on this thread have been me thinking out loud/seeking validation.

 

What processor would you pair the PC 360's with if it were you?


Edited by Napalmhardcore - 3/29/14 at 7:05am
post #22244 of 37458
Thread Starter 
I'm really irritated right now. So I pay $8 for weekend delivery, and the freaking fedex comes in a 9:30am. WHY THE HELL DO THEY DELIVER SO EARLY? I got home 15 minutes later, and now I have to waste the rest of my morning pissed off until its 3pm just so I can go pick up the damn package. I'd just hold out until Monday, but then I'd just be throwing my gd money away. I was expecting them maybe 10 or 11. This is so damn stupid. I swear, they do this on purpose. I hate Fedex with a freaking passion.
post #22245 of 37458
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

I'm really irritated right now. So I pay $8 for weekend delivery, and the freaking fedex comes in a 9:30am. WHY THE HELL DO THEY DELIVER SO EARLY? I got home 15 minutes later, and now I have to waste the rest of my morning pissed off until its 3pm just so I can go pick up the damn package. I'd just hold out until Monday, but then I'd just be throwing my gd money away. I was expecting them maybe 10 or 11. This is so damn stupid. I swear, they do this on purpose. I hate Fedex with a freaking passion.

Sorry to hear that.

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