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Gaming headsets.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,


My name is SoundForeigner, and I hope you are all doing well!  :)


As you can see by my name, the art of sound is foreign to me for the most part.  I know a few things about audio, but nothing too technical and in-depth.  Some examples are: I know what the numbers represent on a specification sheet, like 7.1.  The number before the period represents the number of speakers you have in your setup, and the number after the period represents the number of subwoofers you have.  Stereo means audio placement between two speakers, and surround means 360 degrees of audio placement.  Now, I will admit I could be wrong about things, but I just wanted to establish the extent of my knowledge on this subject.  As far as Ohms and all that go, I have no clue.  I would never be able to make a custom audio setup haha (something might get fried or whatever happens if you mess up).


Now, I really don't know if any of this applies to headsets, but again, I just wanted to establish a background.


Alright, I will explain the type of headset I would like to have.  I apologize if I explained a little too much:


The type of headset that I am looking for is for gaming.  While it is hard to explain your sound quality standards, I would like to have a headset with good bass (for me, the bass is key.  It ties everything together and provides a richer sound experience).  360 degree sound is a must.  As you can see from my profile picture, I play a game called Quake.  While the audio is older in that game compared to newer games, positional audio is absolutely vital in Quake.  I would like to have this type of headset for newer games as well though, so a nice quality surround sound headset would be ideal.  As for treble and all that (I really don't know if this even applies to headsets, but please bear with me), I just want a realistic sound.  I apologize if this isn't a good enough explanation, but I just want rich, not scratchy or tinny sound.  I would expect explosions to be louder and glass to have a nice sharp and crisp sound when breaking: basically a whole spectrum of highs and lows for different sounds.  Being able to hear footsteps would be nice and little subtle things like that.  These are just a few examples.


Brief story time!  ;)  Once I tried on a headset (sorry, didn't think to look at the brand) and was struck by something.  Without the headset, the stereo surround sound made it so it was hard to hear people talking in a game when there was explosions and other game sounds in the background...not to forget the soundtrack playing as well.  Once I put the headset on, I did not lose any of that experience, but I was able to hear the people talking, and clearly too!  Amazing!


I would like to have a design where the headset covers your ears entirely.  Having a corded headset is preferred, but if there is one out there where only a cordless model is available and it is a great headset, I would consider it.  Also, the mic isn't necessary, but I would like to have one.  The audio is what I would get them for and the mic is just extra (I could just buy a mic separate if this even makes a difference).  Comfort would be nice for extended play sessions.  I enjoy console gaming too, so having a universal headset would be ideal, but if it depends on the console, this isn't a deal-breaker.


As for the price, I guess I have a question: What is the best gaming headset where the audio quality is really good for the price?  I am willing to pay around $200 if it is worth it.  If there is a cheaper model that is basically the same as one for $200 (only people that are really picky would feel there is a major difference), please do share.  The same goes for a more expensive model.


Please share any recommendations you may have or any questions you may have for me if this post is not detailed enough.


Thank you very much!  All of your posts are greatly appreciated!  :)


This seems like a great forum, and I look forward to getting to know it better and the great people who contribute here as well.


Take care, and have a nice rest of your day.  :)


Sincerely, SoundForeigner

post #2 of 6
post #3 of 6

As i see it, bass heavy headphones tend to be 'not as good' for competitive gaming. If i were you, i would get a good sound card for gaming too, because that would be vital for positioning.


Heard a lot of good things about the Audio Technica AH-AD900 for gaming (they are not bass heavy). Get 'em used and go for a good sound card for gaming. I THINK the Creative Sound Blast X-fi Titanium is good for gaming, but some might know it better than me... This might be a bit above your budget, but it should be good.


Sound card IS essential.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello UpsideDownAce and davidsh,


I hope you both are doing well!  :)


Thank you both for your contributions, they are greatly appreciated!


That gaming guide is handy.  Since I do not know much about headsets or audio in general though, I guess I should do some research first.  The thing is, it can be overwhelming, and it is not guaranteed everything you read will be true.


If there was a place (maybe on this site even) that explained audio (Audio 101) in a universally accepted way, that would be great.  Having that solid foundation to build upon would make things easier.  Once that foundation is in place, then I can filter through the opinions with more understanding.


That is interesting that heavy bass isn't recommended for competitive gaming, I will make a note of that.  I also see that a sound card is essential.  That is good to know.  Thank you for your personal recommendations!


It looks like I should get two separate headsets for what I would like to do: one for gaming in general, and one for competitive gaming, plus, a good sound card.


I should get one headset for playing Quake (computer) and one for playing on consoles (the Nintendo Wii U).  Regarding the Nintendo Wii U, in the Wii U Operations Manual, the description for the headphone jack is written partially as follows:


"Audio Jack

For connection of stereo headphones (sold separately)."


Stereo headphones caught my attention.  Does this mean I can't get full surround sound, or am I mistaken?  On Nintendo's official website, the Wii U's Technical Specs page describes the hardware's audio output as follows:


"Audio Output

Uses six-channel PCM linear output via HDMI connector, or analog output via the AV Multi Out connector."


Here is the link for a handy reference:




I know there is a lot in this post and I apologize for that.


It would probably be good to continue browsing this site myself - I just wanted to have a thread so I can communicate directly with you knowledgeable people!


Again, thank you very much UpsideDownAce and davidsh, and thank you in advance to everyone who contributes their expertise to this thread.


Have a nice day!  :)


Sincerely, SoundForeigner

Edited by SoundForeigner - 12/12/12 at 3:22am
post #5 of 6



Try to read up on frequency response, it is essential. You know you have understood  what frequency response is, when you can read frequency response graphs properly, knowing what it means.


For a gaming headphone soundstage is important. Soundstage translates to a feel of 'room' in the sound. Good positioning of sounds are not the same as good soundstage, but a big soundstage do in general help.


The way I have learned all the terms are by browsing the forums a lot, and i know, that i can't remember all terms and etc, but I'm on my way.


You might want to look at this thread about gaming headphones: http://www.head-fi.org/t/634586/looking-for-advice-gaming-headphones/15


The Ultrasone HFI-2400 is recommended, it does have more bass and it should pack quite a bit of punch compared to the ad900. If you want something cheaper, you can have a look at the ad700, but it is very bass light.


As of now, which headphones have you tried? Remember you can't count on reviews, graphs and other stuff. Head-fi is highly individual, you can only trust your ears.

Also, a good thing about the HFI-2400 is, that it can be driven fairly well from a phone/ without an amp from what i have heard.


More resources for further reading: http://www.head-fi.org/a/frequency-response-of-headphones





If I were you, I would definitely get the Creative Sound Blaster Titanium HD. Remember to be sure that you can either try your new headphones or return them, in case you don't like them. What are your past experiences in audio, and why did you like/dislike?


Your Wii should not be able to produce surround sound. If you want surround in your headphones using a console you should get a mix amp.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello davidsh,


I hope you are doing well.  :)


Thank you for your thoughtful post with all the links, that was a quick reply!

I will definitely check the resources you provided out.


Regarding my personal experience with headsets/headphones and audio in general, my personal history is very small.  I am familiar with the Turtle Beach brand a little (mainly because of advertisements I have seen), and your average headphones that fit in your ears.  Basically, my audio background consists of finding equipment at a garage sale and mixing and matching hardware to get a setup for a home theater (speakers, not headphones).


Currently, I own a Sansui Stereo Tuner Amplifier (all I know is that it is old, that is about it haha) and have four speakers hooked up to it (two in the front of the room and two in the back).  Two of the speakers are Magnavox brand (the front ones) and two are Studio Acoustics (the back ones) and were marketed for outdoor speakers (like for a patio or something).  The speakers are connected by twisting wires around this screw type of thing.  I then have the white and red audio cables plugged into the back of the Sansui, including a gaming chair that has two built-in speakers and a subwoofer or bass or something (it says Pyramat 52000 Sound Rocker on the side and Pyramat Sound Furniture on another).  In total I have six speakers and one subwoofer or bass or something (there is a big circle in the chair where your back goes and it must be a subwoofer or bass...my audio vocabulary is embarrassing haha).


I assume that I am not getting any Dolby sound (when I load up a game, there usually is the Dolby logo), but I could be wrong.


At first, I thought about purchasing a home theater audio system, but I experienced a game with headphones at a store and was convinced that was the way to go because you can here subtle things that you could not hear with a home theater setup (unless it is just my own setup preventing that).


This is the extent of my audio history.  Personally, my setup sounds good, but I know there is better hardware and sound out there.


I hope that answers your questions.


Take care!  :)


Sincerely, SoundForeigner

Edited by SoundForeigner - 12/12/12 at 4:59am
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