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Astro A40/50 vs Sennheiser PC350/360 (Additional questions as well)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'm very new to Head-Fi and have come to the following conclusions after reading the Buying Guide and seeing Astros and Semmheimers listed and doing further research. If anything in this post is unclear or I'm missing information that would help your input then please let me know.

 

Overall I know I have an untrained ear for quality as compared to most here. I'm upgrading from an old stereo sound system and $25 logitech headset to something more robust. Plus the fact my neighbors can't handle my noise after 10PM...

 

TL;DR - [ Astro A40 vs A50 (sound quality) ] vs [ Senn PC350 vs Senn PC360 (bass power?) ]

 

Budget: $350

 

What I'm Looking For:

I'm looking for the purest and realistic audio output I can grab within my budge.

I strongly prefer headsets vs. headphones + clip mic. 

Strong bass output for music (electronic genres mainly)

Clear mic. quality without boosting the gain

 

What I'm Not Looking For: 

Something that requires a ridiculous amount of cables and crap to clutter my desk (hence my desire for the A50 and hide all the extra stuff).

 

What I don't have a preference about:

Open or closed muffs. I will be strictly using these at home or a friends place (quiet locations). Sound bleed is fine as long as I still get what I'm looking for out of it. 

While I prefer something that doesn't look ugly, I would be willing to make a visual sacrifice for some additional quality.

 

My take on the products in question:

 

A40 - Overall it seems like they would do fine, I've heard the mic tends to droop after time and the muffs start to wear sooner rather than later. The audio quality I've been told is good but not great. Why I want the A40 is due to the stylish look, and am told the accuracy is quite good. I'm a bit overwhelmed with adding in a MixAmp (never dealt with one) and feel it would somewhat be a hindrance rather than a welcomed addition to my space.

 

A50 - Wireless is the key feature of these I am liking. I can hide the MixAmp away and not alter my space in anyway. I can be worry free of tearing a cable or catching it and overall bring the headset to the floor. I see that the audio range isn't as high but maybe someone can shed some light on if it's still wide enough. Boom up to mute the mic is a great plus. Overall design is quite nice and fits the overall theme I'm in well. Minimalistic is nice. I'm afraid of the reviews about the quality being shoddy and crackling when it's being used wirelessly as well as other general interference and bugs.

 

PC350 - Noise reduction for increase immersion is great. Though I believe this somewhat distorts my audio. Bass is lacking in these and that is a big downside to me. Cost is very approachable and the collapsing function of these for transport. The mic I've heard is very clear and that's a great aspect to me as communication is key in the games I play.

 

PC360 - Uses drivers from the 500 series headphones (forgot which model exactly) and this tells me the quality will be great. Open back (haven't listening to any with this design) makes me hesitant on how it would affect quality. Sound bleed is not a problem to me (g.f. sleeps like a rock and it increases sound quality?).

 

 

Additional Questions:

 

With the purchase of either the PC350 or 360 headsets, is a mix amp required/suggested if I have a 7.1 integrated sound card? I'm using the Rampage 3 Extreme motherboard which features 8 channels (7.1) and DTS support. If I don't need a mix amp then I will be more incline to pick the Semmheimers over Astros. 

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 6

Heya,

 

Beyer MMX 300

Xonar DG (PCI)

DGX (if you need PCI-E)

 

Your motherboard doesn't output multi-channel to a headphone. No headphone will do more than stereo unless it has more than two drivers (speakers). You can emulate surround in headphones, but it's purely software. It has nothing to do with the headphone at all unless it has more than two drivers. If you want surround, just look for something with dolby headphone. A $30 Xonar DG soundcard will provide that, plus an onboard amplifier. Your motherboard doesn't have anything special onboard for audio beyond the simple spdiff output to something else that can process the multi-channel signal, but since you're using headphones, it's useless to you.

 

Wireless is a bad idea unless you're just using it for skype or something. If you're playing games, which it looks like you most likely are, wireless is going to have latency and the quality is just not nearly as good at your price range.

 

Very best,


Edited by MalVeauX - 10/24/12 at 2:28pm
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the response. I'm shocked to see those on such a discount. Also, thanks for clearing up all the sound hardware information. Seems like I should at least get a sound card regardless of what I purchase. Is there a notable difference between 5.1 and 7.1 via headsets/headphones?

 

Seeing as this is the #1 suggested item in the buying guide in regards to quality for a headset, and seeing it on sale really makes me feel I'll be buying these. Can anyone else endorse MalVeauX's suggestion or have a counter opinion?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by DGVictus View Post

Thanks for the response. I'm shocked to see those on such a discount. Also, thanks for clearing up all the sound hardware information. Seems like I should at least get a sound card regardless of what I purchase. Is there a notable difference between 5.1 and 7.1 via headsets/headphones?

Seeing as this is the #1 suggested item in the buying guide in regards to quality for a headset, and seeing it on sale really makes me feel I'll be buying these. Can anyone else endorse MalVeauX's suggestion or have a counter opinion?

Some headsets have the surround sound processor / amp built in (actually most consumer headsets. TB, Astro, tritton, etc).

For example, don't bother getting a sound card if you're using a headset with a built in surround sound processor (logitech g35 is a good example).

I personally would get a sound card + headphones + a mic so that I can change each part individually as I need.
If I want better voice quality I'll upgrade my mic. If I need more amping power I'll change the sound card. If I want a different sound signature from my headphones (or just an upgrade), I'll switch out the headphones.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GL1TCH3D View Post


Some headsets have the surround sound processor / amp built in (actually most consumer headsets. TB, Astro, tritton, etc).
For example, don't bother getting a sound card if you're using a headset with a built in surround sound processor (logitech g35 is a good example).
I personally would get a sound card + headphones + a mic so that I can change each part individually as I need.
If I want better voice quality I'll upgrade my mic. If I need more amping power I'll change the sound card. If I want a different sound signature from my headphones (or just an upgrade), I'll switch out the headphones.

 

Very valid point with a 3 point system. I guess this is doable if I either wrap the mic cable around the headphone cable (to remove the 2 cable look) or potentially sleeve them both into the same line. 

 

A 3 point system is plan B as I would still prefer a headset as I personally don't see myself upgrading again for at least a year or two and at that point we'll hopefully have a beautiful combination of headphones and a microphone (wishful thinking).


Thanks for your input.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

A friend found these the other day and I must say I'm quite impressed. Was looking for an additional opinion.

 

http://v-moda.com/crossfade-m-100/

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