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Thread Starter 

Hey everyone,


This is quite a long post, so please bear with me. 


A few days ago, the microphone of my headset stopped working, so I started looking for a new headset. I saw loads of people on the internet recommend buying a set of headphones and a seperate microphone instead of a headset, because of the superior quality of the headphones. Now, I really like the idea of having better quality headphones, but there are just so many options, I really don't know what to buy!


The purpose of the headphones is simple: Voice chat. I use skype a lot and using speakers with a microphone isn't pleasant for the people I'm skyping with. I'm currently using the Sennheiser 201 headphones in combination with a webcam microphone, but as you can probably figure out, this isn't a great setup. I will also be listening to some music (Classical, indie, rock, pop and trance/dance). Because my desktop is in a seperate room, I don't have a lot of background noise, so open headphones sound like a great idea to me, but if there are great closed headphones in my budget range, then those are good too.


I've been looking at the following headphones with my €80 (~$105) budget (the budget can always be stretched a bit): 


- Sennheiser HD 449 (I listened to these, and I didn't really like the sound of this pair)

- Sennheiser HD 558 (Obviously these are over my budget, but I'm willing to pay a higher price if it justifies the higher quality. Also 3.5 mm jack via an adapter, which isn't very practical, in my opinion)

Shure SRH440


The problem with headphones is that I'm not sure whether I need an amplifier, a soundcard or a combined amplifier, or something. I am currently using a desktop with an onboard soundcard (Realtek ALC892), so I figured I might need an amplifier, or buy one later on. The second problem is that I need a desktop microphone/clip-on microphone and I don't really like the thought of having one of those on my desk/on my headphones. 


Currently I'm tempted to just buy a headset like the Sennheiser PC 320, because it's easier to have the microphone and volume control on the headset than using the windows controls to lower the volume. And I don't have to worry about additional soundcards or amplifiers, but I'm certain that the sound quality of the 320's will be inferior to similar priced headphones. I wonder if the headphones and seperate microphone are worth the extra hassle.


So, I'm asking the experts! Do you guys have any suggestions on which option to choose in my situation? Headphones and microphone or a headset? And which headphones/headset?

Edited by Hardebaas - 12/6/12 at 10:50am