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New Headset And/or Soundcard for Alienware M17x

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hello, since im going away from home for a year, im obligated to switch from my desktopPC to a Notebook.

ive chosen a Dell Alienware M17x R4 to do the job for me.

 

on my Desktop i have a Xfi Titanium soundcard icw steelseries steelsound 7H, wich sound great imho.

 

my Steelseries Headset is getting broken (again), Because the build quality is horrible, the plastic breaks everywhere and the connector on the earcups broke too.. (what a bad design...)

 

because im home for 2days a week, i probably want not to carry my headset back an forth...,

wich gives me a good excuse to buy a new one :)

 

Budget: ?? I dont know? €300, but then i want premium stuff

 

Headsets ive been looking at:

 

all the gamerbrands dont excite me very much, bad SQ, Ugly design, Too expensive, ...

 

the steelseries sound great, and are very comfortable. but the break easy, (all the Steelseries (5pcs) ive had all broke within 2 years of use)

 

then i come to the Sennheisers. where there are only 2 models wich would satisfy my needs, PC350 and PC360

the first has bad soundquality, but its moddable.

the second one has an open design, and im worried it will annoy my roommate too much..

both Sennheisers are fairly cheap. €125 and €135

 

next up is astro gaming: the Astro A40's are quite expensive (€200) and i wonder if it will be any better than all of the above?

 

and way down the list are the beyerdynamic's MMX300. well theyre the most expensive €300. but probably worth it?

 

so i think my choice comes down to the modded pc350's or the MMX300, since the difference in pricing is really alot.

id like some help.

 

ive tried the leathercups now for a while on my 7H, and since the summer kicked in, im starting to sweat, and my ears get too hot and get painfull. so i want a headset with soft cups.. so when i buy 350s, i need to buy new pads as well, but i dont know how much the cost..

 

Soundcard:

my notebook comes with a creative soundcard

[quote]

Audio and Speakers

Creative Sound Blaster Recon3Di High-Definition 5.1 Audio with THX TruStudio Pro Software (Standard)
2.0 Speaker configuration
Audio Powered by Klipsch®
7.1 Digtial Audio out using HDMI out connection or S/PDIF Optical port .[/quote]

 

but im worried the SQ wont be any near my Xfi Titaniums.

so i might be looking at a new soundcard as well (USB)

 

- Xfi Titanium HD (€80)

- astro mixamp (€120)

- a DAC and Amp

 

is it more emportant for me to buy a soundcard, and buy a less expensive Headset, or should i go for the Beyer's and keep my onboard (creaitve) soundcard?

post #2 of 17

So, we can assume your going to be gaming on the Alienware M17x.

Listening to music? watching movies?

 

Will your roommate be in the same room as you?

Semi-open headphone block some sound.

 

Anymore spec's on the Alienware's audio?

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

ill be using the notebook for everything, music, gaming, movies..

 

im going to use Z2300 Speakers from Logitech (because theyre the smallest set i have) for playing music, but ill be using the headset also for music. i just like a balanced sound while gaming, no distorted sound for gaming.

 

ive been looking at normal Headphones, and they seem fairly cheap compared to the MMX300's for 300 euro, i can buy decent headphones with a decent soundcard/DAC.

 

im gonna search for my desktop microphone and try if my teammates can hear me good enough to use permanently..

 

 

for multipurpose use(gaming,movies,music): wich do you recommend? a DAC or the Xfi Titanium HD?

 

Edit: i cant find anything about the soundcard... maybe i will openup my notebook to check the used components..


Edited by baloo87 - 6/1/12 at 11:34am
post #4 of 17

I am using modded PC350s right now. They sound adequate in my opinion. The "bass attenuation" was a bit unnatural, which was how they sounded out-of-the-box.

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

how should i spend my money? a XFI titanium icw a modded PC350?

 

i presume they sound better than any other headsets below the €200 budget?

 

do i need a headphone AMP as well, i presume the PC350s will be loud enough on a normal soundcard?

post #6 of 17

If gaming is involved at all, I'd recommend the X-Fi Titanium HD, hands-down...but I don't know if you'd have a dramatic upgrade over the X-Fi Titanium you already have in your desktop. It won't fit in your laptop either, being a PCI-Express card, so that point is moot.

 

I'm not sure how good or bad the Recon3D sound hardware in your M17x is, but maybe it's decent enough in terms of gaming features to start with. Let's focus on the headset first.

 

It seems like if you want a closed headset and don't want to go the headphone + ModMic route, your only viable options are the Sennheiser PC350 and Beyerdynamic MMX300, neither of which I have any first-hand experience with...

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

im talking about the USB version of the Titanium HD.. isnt that a good soundcard as well?

 

ill wait for the notebook to arrive, if the sound is good enough, i might just buy the beyer. if not ill buy a pc350 icw a soundcard

 

Thanks for the help, more help is allways welcome.

post #8 of 17

Looks like the Alienware M17x comes with the Recon3D audio processor, so it's not as good as the Creative Labs Titanium HD.

As there is no Titanium HD "USB" external sound card, I'm guessing you might as well just use what is built in.

Not sure on what headphone Ohm rating the built in Recon3D will work with.

I would guess headphones up to 60 to 70-Ohms would be safe.

The Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80-Ohm might be one choice. It's way under you budget.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 6/1/12 at 3:10pm
post #9 of 17

The X-Fi HD USB is a different device entirely. Like all USB "X-Fi" products, it lacks the distinctive X-Fi DSP that most gaming features rely on, but may replicate most of them in software.

 

I have no experience with it myself, but I've heard good things.

post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Looks like the Alienware M17x comes with the Recon3D audio processor, so it's not as good as the Creative Labs Titanium HD.

As there is no Titanium HD "USB" external sound card, I'm guessing you might as well just use what is built in.

Not sure on what headphone Ohm rating the built in Recon3D will work with.

I would guess headphones up to 60 to 70-Ohms would be safe.

The Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80-Ohm might be one choice. It's way under you budget.

maybe in combination of a Fiio amp? is there a difference in SQ between the E6 and the E11 or only a difference in loudness?

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by baloo87 View Post

maybe in combination of a Fiio amp? is there a difference in SQ between the E6 and the E11 or only a difference in loudness?

At 300-ohms the E11 outputs over twice the power (mW) of the E6.

I believe they both use the same (AD8397?) op-amp.

 

The Senn PC350 is a 150-Ohm headphone

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

At 300-ohms the E11 outputs over twice the power (mW) of the E6.

I believe they both use the same (AD8397?) op-amp.

 

The E6 actually uses the TPA6130. In addition to being more powerful, the E11 does also have better sound quality. However, only the E6 can be used while the battery is being recharged via USB (although when doing so there is some risk of noise from the PC leaking into the audio path).

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

is the E11 only usable powered by battery, or is it usable via a powerconnector as well?

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by baloo87 View Post

is the E11 only usable powered by battery, or is it usable via a powerconnector as well?

 

Unfortunately, it is battery only.

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 

maybe its possible to make a circuitbord wich activates usb power when the pc is turned off. if pc is on, the power cuts off so the E11 can use battery?

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